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NY Public Servant Right to Sue

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New York uses a no-fault system for workers’ compensation, enabling individuals to receive wage replacement benefits and lifetime medical care if they suffer work-related injuries and illnesses. It provides these benefits to all for-profit workers and most nonprofit employees. But this system does not apply to certain public servants.

Public servants play critical roles in making New York a global mecca. They extend across many areas, including:

  • Police: The New York Police Department has approximately 36,000 officers and 19,000 civilian employees on staff. These individuals are responsible for protecting millions of residents across the state.
  • Teachers: New York schools employ 70,000 teachers who educate children on a wide range of topics and help them reach their full potential.
  • Sanitation Workers: New York’s sanitation department is the third-largest city agency. At least 7,800 sanitation workers collect garbage and perform other tasks to keep their community clean.
  • Firefighters: There are about 10,000 firefighters in New York, and they put their lives on the line every day.

There is no telling when any of the aforementioned public servants may get hurt on the job. Public servants may experience injuries due to someone else’s negligence in these instances. And they may want to file a lawsuit in the hopes of getting financial compensation from any at-fault parties.

Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP help injured public servants and their families file lawsuits against public entities. Partner with us, and we’ll help you receive the compensation you deserve.

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Which Workers' Comp Doesn't Cover New York City Employees?

New York City employees and volunteers who filed a WTC-12 form by Sept. 13, 2010, can submit a workers’ compensation claim. Workers who aren’t covered under New York’s workers’ compensation law include:

  • Police officers
  • Educators
  • Sanitation personnel
  • Firefighters

Can a New York Public Servant Sue the City?

A New York public servant may be ineligible for workers’ compensation. As such, a public servant can file a lawsuit against a New York public entity if this individual experiences an injury through no fault of their own.

For example, a public servant may suffer an injury due to their employer’s negligence. The damage may cause the employee to miss work. It may also force the worker to pay steep medical bills.

In this scenario, the public servant can sue the public entity at fault for their injury. The entity did not take appropriate precautions to protect the servant. Therefore, the entity may be held responsible for the worker’s injury and its associated damages.

Also, there can be times when a public servant’s family can sue a New York public entity. For instance, what happens to a public servant’s family if this individual suffers a wrongful death. In this scenario, the victim’s death can cause emotional trauma for their family members.

Additionally, these family members may encounter financial issues due to the loss of income caused by the victim’s death. Following a public servant’s wrongful death, the individual’s family can file a legal claim against the entity behind the incident. At this point, the family may be eligible to get the compensation that covers the financial losses it suffers due to the victim’s wrongful death.

How Long Does A Public Servant Have To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit?

There is a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in New York. To understand how the statute of limitations works, consider the example below.

A New York public servant experiences an injury due to their employer’s negligence. The employee will have a three-year statute of limitations to file the lawsuit. If the employee waits too long to file the case, this individual risks missing out on an opportunity to get compensation from the party responsible for it.

Can an NYC Police Officer Sue the City?

New York City police officers can file lawsuits against the city. They can do so for many reasons. For example, a retired NY police officer recently sued the city due to an abusive supervisor.

A cop sues the city in some instances due to negligent working conditions. Furthermore, a cop can submit a lawsuit against the city if their employer was negligent or intentionally put the officer in harm’s way.

Can an NYC Firefighter Sue the City?

Like NYC police officers, firefighters can sue the city. They can do so for negligence and failure to provide workers with a safe work environment, among other reasons.

Over the past year, firefighters have submitted many legal claims against the city. New York firefighters filed a lawsuit against the city due to its COVID-19 vaccination requirements. In another instance, a firefighter sued the city for discrimination.

Can an NYC Teacher Sue the City?

NYC teachers are eligible to sue the city. They may do so if they experience an injury due to unsafe work conditions. But teachers may sue for other reasons as well.

In January 2022, several New York teachers sued the city in the hopes of requiring remote classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And a decades-long lawsuit filed by New York teachers who claim specific certification tests were discriminatory is pending.

Can an NYC Sanitation Employee Sue the City?

NYC sanitation workers can submit lawsuits against public entities. These workers may file lawsuits for negligent, on-the-job workplace injuries.

The New York Department of Sanitation may pay compensation for legal claims against it. In FY 2020, the department reported a tort claim settlement payout of $37.7 million.

Parked FDNY Emergency service truck

Deadline for New York Public Servants to Sue

A New York public servant has 90 days to file a claim against the city or state, beginning an investigation. At this time, the city or state may look to settle. In doing so, the entity and servant can avoid going through a potentially lengthy and expensive legal process.

Initially, a public servant may be inclined to accept a settlement from a New York governmental entity. Yet doing so may cause this individual to miss out on an opportunity to secure fair compensation for their injury.

Fortunately, Sam N’ Dan can effectively review a public servant’s case and help them determine the best strategy to receive maximum compensation.

Types of Compensation for New York Public Servant Personal Injury

There are four types of compensation available in New York public servant personal injury cases:

1. General Damages

General damages refer to compensation awarded for non-economic losses. Awards go to injured public servants for many reasons, including:

  • Physical pain
  • Disability
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship
  • Difficulty finding work

2. Special Damages

Special damages are economic losses that occur due to an injury. They can include:

  • Medical treatment costs
  • Transportation expenses
  • Loss of earning capacity

3. Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not economical or subjective. Instead, they are awarded to personal injury accident victims to deter others from reckless or negligent behavior.

4. Wrongful Death

Wrongful death damage awards go to a personal injury victim’s loved ones. They can include compensation awarded to cover lost wages and other damages the family suffered due to the victim’s wrongful death.

There is no need for New York public servants to pursue personal injury lawsuits alone. For more information or to request a free case consultation, contact us online or call us at 212-897-1988.

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