Under most circumstances, you cannot sue your employer for your construction accident injuries under New York State law. However, there are other legal options that some injured workers can pursue to help them recover compensation for their expenses and losses. Most workers who suffered injuries on a job site or have work-related illnesses qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Some will also be able to take civil action against any third party who is legally liable for their accident and injuries. These third parties may be the property owner an/or the general contractor on the project, or it may be some other party that contributed to the cause of the accident, such as a construction worker on the job site working for a different employer than the injured construction worker had been working for, but it cannot be the victim’s employer At Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., our team will review your case and explain if you qualify based on the circumstances of your accident and injuries.
New York State Law and Third-Party Construction Accident Claims
New York State law limits workers from holding their employer accountable for their construction accident injuries. Instead, it points them to their workers’ compensation insurance to cover their basic losses. These injured construction workers cannot file a lawsuit against their employer, but other New York State laws provide a path for third-party claims against other liable parties.
Under New York Labor Law § 240—often called the Scaffold Law—additional protections are available for some workers in the state. This law applies specifically to those who work at an elevated height and suffered injuries in a fall or other related accident. Property owners and general contractors are strictly liable for providing the right ladders and scaffolds, personal protection equipment, training, and more.
Obeying these laws should dramatically reduce the risk of a fall accident, so when workers fall and get hurt, the landowner is possibly liable. This law also applies to some other related accidents and injuries, such as when debris or tools are dropped from a height and hit workers below.
Financial Recovery After a Construction Accident
Even though you cannot sue your employer for your construction accident injuries, there is recourse and options for seeking compensation. The primary way New York State law provides for injured construction workers to recover compensation is through workers’ compensation. This system pays out for medical care and related expenses, as well as some wage loss benefits.
For those who suffered serious injuries and will miss weeks or months of work or who have permanent injuries and will not return to their previous job, this is often not enough. With only up to two-thirds of their usual wages and no coverage of their non-economic damages, many injured workers are left wondering how they will make ends meet and provide for their families.
A third-party construction accident claim seeks additional damages for the victim and their family, including additional lost income and benefits. Documented related expenses are also recoverable. The largest portion of a third-party settlement agreement is often the non-economic damages suffered by the victim—primarily physical pain and mental suffering.
Building a Third-Party Lawsuit for a Construction Accident
At Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., our team represents construction accident victims in New York City, on Long Island, and in other areas of the New York metropolitan area.
You could have a case against the property owner, general contractor, or another liable party under New York State laws. Workers who could qualify include subcontractors, carpenters, painters, maintenance staff, window washers, demolition workers, and others who often use ladders or scaffolding.
Our team needs to meet the necessary deadlines in these cases, including the deadline for filing a civil lawsuit set by New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules § 214. In addition to this statute of limitations, we want to be sure to obtain all relevant evidence, so seeking to obtain such items as witness statements and job-site video as soon as possible is most advantageous. The sooner you contact us, the greater our ability to build the strongest case possible on your behalf.
Our team includes many passionate advocates for the injured, including multilingual staff members who discuss accidents, injuries, and legal options with clients who speak Spanish, Greek, Bengali, Tamil, and Kannada. We meet with people in locations that are convenient for them, such as their home, the hospital, or a rehabilitation facility.
Talk to Our Team About Your Construction Accident
At Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., our team will review your accident and injuries to help you determine your options for seeking a payout beyond your workers’ compensation benefits. If we represent you, we will do so based on contingency. You will not have any upfront fees for our services. We will evaluate your case for free and go to work investigating your claim with no out-of-pocket charges.
Reach our team now by dialing (516) 932-0400 to get started.