Construction work is potentially hazardous. Due to workplace accidents and hazardous conditions, employees may be injured or killed.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Construction Site Accident in New York
The majority of construction accidents are covered by workers’ compensation. If this is the case, the employee cannot sue the employer with certain exceptions.
For instance, if an employer intentionally inflicted harm on an employee, the employer could be held liable for damages. Similarly, if the employer lacks the mandatory workers’ compensation insurance, the employee may have a claim against the employer.
In exchange for not being able to sue an employer for injuries sustained on a New York construction site, workers’ compensation claims do not require proof of negligence. The workers’ compensation insurance benefit is a no-fault benefit. Therefore, you can receive these benefits without having to prove that your employer was negligent.
You can also receive workers’ compensation benefits if you contributed to your injuries. There would be exceptions if you intentionally caused your injuries or if you were intoxicated when you were hurt on the job.
Why Do I Want to File a Third-Party Claim for a New York Construction Site Accident?
The state limits workers’ compensation benefits. It covers reasonable medical care for injuries sustained on the job site. However, you only receive two-thirds of your lost wages in a workers’ compensation claim.
By filing a lawsuit against a third party for personal injury, you could receive the following economic damages:
- Total compensation for all income losses, including future lost wages and diminished earning potential.
- Past and future medical expenses and treatment costs
- Ongoing personal care and nursing care over the long term
- Pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and medical supplies
- Personal expenditures and costs
In addition, you may be entitled to compensation for non-economic damages. Workers’ compensation does not provide compensation for pain and suffering.
These losses consist of:
- Emotional distress
- Physical suffering and distress
- Mental suffering
- Loss of life’s pleasure
- Handicaps and impairments
- Decreased quality of life
These damages can constitute a substantial portion of a settlement for personal injury. Permanent disabilities can have a lifelong impact. A claim against a third party can provide compensation for future care and expenses.
Who Can You Sue for a New York Construction Site Injury?
The first step is to determine the cause of your injury. One or more third parties may be responsible for your injuries.
Among the parties you could sue for a construction site accident are the following:
- Real estate owners
- Employers and subcontractors
- Manufacturers of defective tools and equipment (product liability claims)
The cause of action depends on how the injuries occurred. For instance, if you were injured due to defective scaffolding, you could sue the manufacturer under product liability laws.
Alternatively, suppose unsafe property conditions caused your injury. In such a case, you may have a premises liability claim against the property owner.
Some construction-related injuries may be covered by New York Labor Code section 200.
The law requires contractors and property owners to provide construction workers with reasonable protection, including:
- Immediate correction of unsafe conditions
- advising workers of hazardous conditions
- Ensuring the safety of machinery and equipment for use
In a third-party claim, the construction worker must demonstrate that the property owner or contractor was negligent in causing their injuries. In contrast to a workers’ compensation claim, the negligent party may assert contributory negligence as a defence against a third-party claim.
How Does Comparative Negligence Affect Construction Site Lawsuits in New York?
The third party may assert that you contributed to the injury you sustained on the construction site. Under New York’s law on pure comparative negligence, a judge may reduce your compensation by your proportion of fault.
A contractor may allege, for instance, that you were using your cell phone when you fell from a ladder on a construction site. If the jury determines that you were 60% at fault, your compensation will be reduced by 60%.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.