Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. | April 25, 2022 | Construction Accidents
Construction work can be dangerous. Workers may be injured or killed due to on-the-job accidents or hazardous conditions.
Unfortunately, construction workers can rarely sue their employers after getting hurt on a New York construction site. However, the employee might have a third-party claim that could result in additional compensation for damages. A third-party claim can result in compensation for the construction worker that they cannot receive by filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Construction Site Accident in New York
For example, if the employer intentionally injured the employee, the employer might be sued for damages. Likewise, if the employer fails to have the required workers’ compensation insurance, the employee might have a claim against the employer.
The trade-off for not being able to sue an employer after getting hurt on a New York construction site is you do not need to prove negligence for a workers’ comp claim. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance benefit. So you can receive these benefits without proving that your employer was at fault.
You can also receive workers’ comp benefits if you are partially to blame for your injuries. Some exceptions would be if you intentionally caused your injuries or were intoxicated when you were injured at work.
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 your construction site injuries. However, you only receive two-thirds of your lost wages in a workers’ compensation claim.
By filing a personal injury lawsuit against a third party, you could receive economic damages that include:
- Full compensation for all loss of income, including future lost wages and decreases in future earning potential
- Past and future medical bills and cost of treatment
- Ongoing personal care and long-term nursing care
- Medications, medical devices, and medical supplies
- Out-of-pocket expenses and costs
Additionally, you can also receive compensation for non-economic damages. Workers’ compensation does not pay anything for pain and suffering damages.
These damages include:
- Emotional distress
- Physical pain and discomfort
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disabilities and impairments
- Reduction in quality of life
These damages can be a substantial portion of a personal injury settlement. Permanent disabilities can impact the rest of your life. A third-party claim can provide the compensation to pay for future care and expenses.
Who Can You Sue for a New York Construction Site Injury?
The first step is to determine why your injury occurred. One or more third parties could be liable for your damages.
Examples of parties that you could sue for a construction site accident include:
- Property owners
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Manufacturers of defective equipment and tools (product liability claims)
On the other hand, suppose dangerous property conditions caused your injury. In that case, you might have a claim against the property owner under premises liability laws.
Some construction injuries might fall under New York Labor Code §200.
The law requires contractors and property owners to provide reasonable protection for construction workers, including:
- Promptly correcting hazardous conditions
- Warning employees of dangerous conditions
- Ensuring machinery and equipment are safe to use
The construction worker has the burden of proving that the property owner or contractor was negligent in causing their injuries in a third-party claim. Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, the at-fault party could allege contributory negligence as a defense to the third-party claim.
How Does Comparative Negligence Affect Construction Site Lawsuits in New York?
The third party may allege that you contributed to the cause of your construction site injury. A judge could reduce your compensation by your percentage of fault under New York’s pure comparative negligence law.
For example, a contractor might allege that you were talking on your cell phone when you fell from a ladder on the construction site. If the jury finds that you were 60 percent at fault, your compensation is reduced by 60 percent.
Contact Our Construction Accident Law Firm in New York City For Help With a Construction Site Lawsuit
Construction site lawsuits can be complicated. You must prove negligence or wrongdoing instead of merely filing a claim. A New York City construction accident lawyer will investigate the accident to gather evidence proving fault and help you document damages to maximize your recovery for a construction site injury.