Line-Of-Duty Injuries to New York City EMS Workers are Not Just Part of the Job
Like FDNY firefighters, New York City EMS workers are employed by the New York City Fire Department. But when it comes to line of duty injuries, there are significant differences between the rights afforded to EMS workers as compared to the rights afforded to firefighters. EMS workers do have the right to sue when they are injured in the line of duty as a result of someone’s negligence. There is one caveat, unlike firefighters, NYC EMS workers may not sue their employers.
Generally, any employee who receives workers’ compensation benefits for an accident at work is barred from suing his or her employer for those injuries. NYC firefighters who are injured in the line of duty do not receive workers’ compensation benefits; their lost wages and medical costs are paid directly by the City of New York. Therefore, NYC firefighters are not subject to the workers’ compensation bar; they have the right to sue their employer.
On the other hand, paramedics and EMT’s who are injured in the line of duty are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Therefore, even if the City of New York negligently causes an injury to an EMS worker, the workers’ compensation act bars him from bringing a lawsuit against the City.
However, where an injury to an EMS worker is caused by a person or entity other than the City of New York, the injured EMS worker has the right to bring a lawsuit seeking compensation against the responsible party. For example, because EMS workers spend so much time on the road, many of the lawsuits brought by EMS workers stem from motor vehicle accidents. But EMS workers have also recovered compensation for injuries sustained while responding to motor vehicle accidents. In one case, an EMS worker suffered a severe laceration to his arm while working through a broken window on an injured driver trapped inside his car. The accident was caused by the driver’s negligence, and the EMS worker was entitled to compensation for the injuries.
EMS workers often find themselves in dangerous situations while responding to emergency calls. For example, EMS workers have been injured as a result of loose steps, poor lighting, holes in the floor, falling ceilings, and Collyer’s-type conditions. Property owners have an obligation to maintain their premises in a safe condition. EMS workers who are injured as a result of someone’s failure to maintain their property are entitled to compensation.
Contact our personal injury lawyers to pursue full compensation for your EMS injuries
If you have been injured in an accident while in the line of duty, you should speak with an experienced attorney to protect your rights. Barasch & McGarry provides aggressive representation for injured EMS workers. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 844.874.1564 or contact our office online.