Q: Does a Workers Comp Board Finding of No Disability Bar a NY Accident Claim?
The short answer is no - not necessarily. As with many things, it will depend on whether the nature of the proof adduced at the Workers' Compensation Board was the same as that required in the garden-variety negligence context, and chances are that the defendant (who will likely be the one trying to assert that as a defense, and will bear the burden of proving that it was one and the same) will be unable to prove that to the satisfaction of a New York court. And the reason for this is fairly straightforward: the focus of a Workers' Compensation Board in terms of its evaluation of a claimant's injuries is markedly different than a regular court evaluating those injuries in the context of a personal injury claim. The former is primarily concerned with the claimant's ability to return to the same job; the court, on the other hand, is concerned with the claimant's lifelong damages resulting from the accident.