As an undocumented worker, sustaining an injury on the job does not exclude you from receiving compensation.
In New York, you have the same rights as any other American when it comes to workplace injuries. In a recent New York City study published by Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open, researchers found that undocumented patients were three times more likely to receive an injury on the job. That makes it even more imperative to understand your rights.
1. Can I get workers’ compensation?
Regardless of your immigration status, the state recognizes that you deserve compensation for your injuries. That means you have the right to file for workers’ compensation. This compensation provides you with financial assistance to cover medical costs and lost wages associated with the work injury.
2. Can I sue for a work-related injury?
New York laws allow undocumented workers to file personal injury lawsuits. These lawsuits help you or an injured loved one recoup monetary damages beyond what workers’ compensation provides, such as for pain and suffering. You also have the right to file a third-party lawsuit for negligence, such as in the case of your employer’s contractor causing the injury.
3. What proof will I need to provide?
To receive any compensation, you must prove negligence. Regardless of your job, you should file an incident report after sustaining an injury. This will provide proof of what happened during the incident. You should always seek medical help after an injury. This solidifies the injury itself and offers a record of incurred medical expenses.
As an undocumented worker, you may feel hesitation or confusion when it comes to a workplace injury. Remember that you have rights and do not have to face the situation alone.