Construction accidents in New York can result in serious and deadly injuries, and they often occur because of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing. In most work injury cases, the injured worker’s only recourse following an accident caused by negligence is to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, in New York, injured construction workers are able to sue their employers for negligence under New York Labor Law. Accordingly, injured construction workers may be able to obtain compensation following an accident caused by employer negligence through the workers’ compensation system and through a lawsuit. Moreover, if a third party caused the construction accident injuries, it may be possible to file a third-party lawsuit. Our New York construction accident lawyers can provide you with more detailed information about ways to seek compensation after a New York construction accident.
Workers’ Compensation Claims and Construction Accidents
After nearly any type of construction accident that results in a work injury to a construction worker, that worker can seek compensation through the New York workers’ compensation system. After a workplace injury on a construction site, it is critical to take a series of steps in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Those steps include the following:
- Obtain medical treatment as soon as possible after the injury from a health care provider who has been authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board (except in a case of an emergency, in which case you can see any emergency provider);
- Notify your employer of the injury within 30 days from the date of the accident; and
- File your workers’ compensation claim through an Employee Claim Form C-3, which must be done within two years from the date of the injury.
Workers’ compensation can pay for a portion of your lost wages due to your inability to work, as well as your medical bills related to your injury. You can obtain workers’ compensation benefits whether an employer or a co-worker’s negligence caused the accident, and you can obtain workers’ compensation benefits even if your own negligence resulted in the accident.
Filing a Lawsuit Under New York Labor Law
In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against your employer under New York Labor Law if your employer’s negligence resulted in the accident that caused your injuries. There are three relevant sections of New York Labor Law that allow injured construction workers to sue their employers for negligence:
- Section 200, which is a “general duty to protect [the] health and safety of employees,” and allows injured workers to hold employers liable for general negligence;
- Section 240, which is also known as the “Scaffold Law,” allows injured workers to sue employers for negligence when the scaffolding or related equipment on a construction site is not safe for workers; and
- Section 241 allows injured construction workers to sue employers for negligence related to excavation and demolition work.
Contractors, like employers, can also be held liable for negligence under New York Labor Law. When an injured construction worker files a lawsuit under New York Labor Law, it may be possible to obtain additional damages beyond the compensation provided through a workers’ compensation claim.
Third-Party Personal Injury Lawsuit
Sometimes construction accident injuries result from a third party’s negligence, such as a motor vehicle driver who crashes into a roadside construction site. Third parties are also commonly responsible when construction accident injuries result from a defective machine or tool, with third parties such as the designer or manufacturer being liable for the injury. When a third party is responsible for a construction worker’s injuries, that construction worker may be able to file a lawsuit against that third party to seek financial compensation. Third-party claims can be filed in addition to workers’ compensation claims.
Contact Our Upstate New York Construction Accident Lawyers
New York construction accidents can be devastating, and it is important to hold anyone accountable whose negligence or wrongdoing contributed to the accident. Fortunately for construction workers in New York and their families, New York permits workers to sue employers for negligence at construction sites. Accordingly, you may be able to seek compensation through a workers’ compensation claim in addition to seeking further damages through a lawsuit.
Whether you need assistance with a workers’ compensation claim, a lawsuit under New York Labor Law, or a personal injury lawsuit against a third party, one of our Upstate New York construction accident attorneys can assist you. Do not hesitate to contact Powers & Santola, LLP to find out more about filing a New York construction accident claim.