Can You Have a New York Worker’s Compensation Claim and Personal Injury Claim in the Same Motorcycle Accident?

If injured in a New York motorcycle accident while working, can you have both a Worker’s Compensation claim and a personal injury claim or lawsuit?

Some people think that if you have a Worker’s Compensation claim, you cannot have a personal injury claim. The Worker’s Compensation Law, enacted by the New York State Legislature in 1914, took away the right of an employee to sue an employer in most instances. However, you may be able to sue a third-party whose negligence caused or contributed to your injury in an accident while at work.

It’s not very common to have a Worker’s Compensation claim involving a motorcycle and a personal injury claim from the same accident, but it is possible. It is more common to have a personal injury claim if you were hurt while driving a car or van for work.

Some people may be employed to work on motorcycles or ride motorcycles for work and encounter an injury while working. These injuries may be covered only by Worker’s Compensation or by Worker’s Compensation and a personal injury claim.

For instance, an employed motorcycle mechanic would be covered only by Worker’s Compensation when injured in the shop from an accident that was not caused by someone other than the mechanic or the employer. However, if the mechanic is injured by someone else’s negligence, the mechanic can be covered by Worker’s Compensation and may also have a personal injury lawsuit.

If the mechanic is working on a motorcycle in front of the shop and a customer driving to the motorcycle shop strikes the mechanic, the mechanic may have both a Worker’s Compensation claim and a personal injury claim against the owner and driver of the car.

Likewise, a motorcycle police officer could be injured because the officer parked the motorcycle on hot asphalt where it sinks into the asphalt and falls onto the police officer. Since no one besides the officer or employer is negligent for the injury, this would only be covered by workers’ compensation. However, if the police officer’s motorcycle was struck by a car that ran a red light, the police officer would have both a Worker’s Compensation claim and a personal injury claim against the owner and driver of the car that ran the red light.

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Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is the author of all articles and content on this website, one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York, well-known for representing motorcyclists. He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and is a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Franckel created the motorcycle awareness campaign BE AWARE MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE®.

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