For an on the job pedestrian accident, can I sue my employer if the third party is uninsured?

My medical and wages are being covered by LI. I was on the clock and hit in the crosswalk as a pedestrian by an uninsured motorist. My injuries didn’t require a hospital stay. I am employed by the city that it happened in. There have also been other employees hit off the clock. How hard is it to find neglect for civil engeering design work and cities responsibility to correct it? Also, the motorist was not cited for all violations. No field sobriety test was taken even though his license was punched.

Asked on February 17, 2016 under Personal Injury, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You cannot sue your employer for an injury like this unless the employer--as your employer (i.e. what it did as *your* employer); not just as the city, in it's capacity as being responsible for crosswalks and roads--was at fault in some way, since liability for personal injuries is based on fault. It is highly unlikely that your employer was at fault if you were hit by a 3rd party while in a crosswalk. The fact that the 3rd party is uninsured is irrelevant: the fact that you can't get compensation from the person who injured you does not entitle you to get money from a blameless party.
IF the crosswalk, traffic flow, traffic lights, etc. at that location were so badly designed, placed, implemented, etc. as to make the crosswalk significantly more dangerous *and* the increased risk/danger can be shown to have contributed to the accident *and* the city can be shown to have been aware of the issues but failed to correct them, it is possible you could hold the city (I'm assuming it was a city street; if not, the county or state--whomever was in charge of this intersection) liable. However, this is rarely successful and can be very expensive in terms of the expert studies and witnesses you'd need to prove your case.
You write that you didn't have to stay in the hospital, so presumably, your injuries were minor. In a personal injury case, all you can get is your out of pocket (not paid by insurance) medical costs and lost wages, and, for significant disability or life impairment lasting many weeks or longer, some amount for pain and suffering. But with injuries that did not even require hospitalization and your medical costs and wages already being covered, you could likley recover very little money--quite possibly less than the cost of a lawsuit, so that by suing, you'd lose money.


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