After a devastating construction accident in New York State, an injured construction worker (or that construction worker’s family in the event of a fatal accident) should know how to file a lawsuit in order to seek compensation. It is important to know that, although workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy for most types of workplace accidents such that injured workers cannot sue their employers for negligence, injuries sustained by construction workers on construction sites are treated differently. Indeed, in addition to the possibility of filing a third-party claim for compensation, it may be possible to seek compensation by filing a negligence claim against a construction site employer under New York Labor Law.
What information do you need as you consider the possibility of a construction accident claim? The following are five important things to know about filing a New York State construction accident lawsuit.
1. New York Labor Law Allows Injured Construction Workers to Sue Employers for Negligence
New York Labor Law requires employers of construction workers to protect workers from health and safety issues, and it allows injured construction workers to sue if an employer’s negligence results in a construction accident injury. We want to emphasize that injured construction workers can sue their employers for negligence even though workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy for these types of injuries in other states.
2. There Are Several Potentially Applicable Sections of New York Labor Law
Three sections of New York Labor Law could be applicable to an injured construction worker’s lawsuit. Those sections include the following:
- Section 200: General negligence and duty to protect a construction worker’s health and safety;
- Section 240: Scaffolding safety requirements and duty to protect construction workers from falls from heights (this section is commonly known as the “Scaffold Law”
- Section 241: Trenching and excavation safety, as well as related construction work.
Before you file a lawsuit under New York Labor Law for a construction accident injury, it is important to speak with a construction accident lawyer in New York who can help you to understand which section or sections may be applicable to your claim.
3. New York Labor Law Does Not Allow a Construction Worker to Sue a Co-Worker
While New York Labor Law allows injured construction workers to bring lawsuits against negligent employers when that negligence causes injuries on a construction site, you should know that the law does not usually extend to a co-worker who makes a mistake on the job site. In such circumstances, the injured construction worker may need to rely on workers’ compensation in order to cover losses.
4. Injured Construction Workers May Be Able to File a Third-Party Claim
In some types of construction accidents, the employer may not be liable, but the injured construction worker nonetheless may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. These circumstances involve a negligent or otherwise liable third party who is responsible for the construction worker’s injuries. These types of third-party lawsuits based on construction accident injuries are not filed under New York Labor Law, but rather these kinds of claims arise under general negligence and personal injury laws in New York State.
5. Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can Be Available Even If You File a Lawsuit
New York State is distinct from other states in that it allows injured construction workers to sue a negligent employer or contractor for negligence that results in a construction accident injury. Yet it is critical for any injured construction worker and their family to understand that planning to file a lawsuit under New York Labor Law does not prevent the construction worker from initially seeking compensation through the workers’ compensation system. Likewise, if an injured construction worker does obtain workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages, that injured construction worker is still eligible to file a lawsuit under New York Labor Law in order to seek compensation for additional losses.
Contact a New York State Construction Accident Attorney Today
Were you injured on a construction site because of an employer’s negligence? You could be eligible to file a lawsuit under New York Labor Law. You also may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party if that third party’s negligence resulted in your construction accident injury. One of our experienced New York State construction accident attorneys can evaluate your case for you today and can discuss your options for filing a claim and seeking compensation for your losses. Contact Powers & Santola, LLP for more information about how we can assist you with your construction accident case.