Visitor Question

Can I sue a homeowner for a back injury while working?

Submitted By: Kevin (Phoenix, New York)

I fell at a customer’s house while installing a TV. I ended up with three herniated disks in my back. I am currently collecting workers comp and am scheduled for surgery. I live in New York state and was wondering if I can sue the home owner? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Kevin,

The answer is “Yes.” Anyone can sue anybody at any time and for any reason. The real question we think you are asking is, if you are already collecting benefits from the Workmans Compensation insurance do you have the right to also file suit against the homeowner? The answer to this question is also “Yes.”

When an employee, while on the job, suffers injuries from a 3rd party, or as a result of a 3rd party’s negligence, the employee is not barred from pursuing a claim against that 3rd party, in your case the homeowner.

In your case your chances of prevailing in a lawsuit against the homeowner will depend on several factors…

First: Does the homeowner have private homeowners insurance?

Second: If the homeowner does have insurance will the homeowner’s insurance company accept liability on behalf of its insured for the injuries you suffered?

Third: How did your injury occur? Is there sufficient reason to believe your injuries were as a result of the homeowner’s negligence, or as a result of an unreasonable risk for which the homeowner should be held responsible?

Fourth: Did you act in an imprudent manner which created an independent risk which resulted in your injuries?

Finally: Is there a chance your employer may terminate your employment as a result of your pursuing your claim or lawsuit against the homeowner; especially because your claim against the homeowner may result in your employer’s loss of a client, and hence, income?

All of the above issues should be closely examined before you decide to pursue a claim and possible lawsuit against the homeowner.

Learn more here: "Off the Books" Work Injuries

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck!


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