Probably the best way to learn if you should file a lawsuit or just apply for workers’ compensation for your construction accident injuries is to speak with a construction accident attorney about your options.
Not all injured construction workers will qualify to file a lawsuit under New York State law. Under most circumstances, workers cannot file suit against their employers for on-the-job injuries; they can only file a workers’ compensation claim to seek benefits that include coverage of their medical care and cash payments for a portion of their missed income while they are out of work. This coverage is probably enough for workers who suffered only minor injuries and will return to work quickly.
However, those with more serious injuries or work-related illnesses will benefit from the additional financial recovery available through a third-party claim if they qualify to hold the property owner and/or general contractor liable.
Understanding Construction Accident Legal Action in New York
Not all workers who suffer construction site injuries will be able to hold the property owner and/or general contractor liable. New York State provides additional protections for workers whose work requires the use of ladders and scaffolding under New York Labor § 240. The Scaffold Law allows those who suffer fall injuries or are hit by dropped or falling objects to hold the landowner and general contractor strictly liable. The Scaffold Law applies to construction workers, carpenters, renovation workers, demolition workers, window washers, and others.
While it does not apply to all construction accident cases, falls are among the most common types of accidents on construction sites. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the top work-related cause of construction worker deaths. Falls and related injuries lead to about a third of all fatalities that occur in the industry.
Recoverable Damages in a Construction Accident Lawsuit
If you suffered moderate or serious construction accident injuries, you should likely file a third-party claim or lawsuit instead of just applying for workers’ compensation benefits. A third-party claim or lawsuit based on a construction accident injury might allow you to recover compensation beyond the damages available through your workers’ compensation benefits, including:
- Lost income not included in workers’ compensation benefits
- Related out-of-pocket expenses
- Non-economic losses, including physical pain and emotional suffering
While access to additional wage loss benefits is important, you should note that
non-economic damages sometimes have a value that is more than the total financial losses experienced as a result of the accident and your injuries.
Learning About Your Legal Options After a Construction Accident in New York City
The only way to know for sure what you could gain by filing a claim or lawsuit in your construction accident injury case is to discuss your options at length with a construction accident team member from a law firm who handles these cases regularly.
Your legal team knows how the New York State laws apply to cases like yours and will help you understand the options and make a decision based on the facts of your case. They will have a network of experts who they call on to reinforce the proof in these cases, including medical experts, vocational rehabilitation specialists, life care planners, and economists.
Trusting a Construction Accident Attorney with Your Case
When a construction accident attorney from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. represents you in an injury case, they have a limited time to take legal action under New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules § 214. We need to get started on your case early in order to:
- Keep you updated on your case
- Identify liable parties
- Communicate with all parties for you
- Gather evidence
- Determine a value for your case
The sooner your reach out to us the greater our opportunity to build the strongest case possible on your behalf.
Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. represents clients who suffered injuries in construction accidents, helping them seek damages beyond their workers’ compensation benefits by holding the landowner and general contractor responsible.
Speak with a team member for free today. We will help you understand your case and take the time to explain your legal options for financial recovery. Call (516) 932-0400 today for a complimentary consultation with our team.
Our multilingual staff will meet with injured workers on Long Island or in another part of the New York metropolitan area. You will meet with a passionate advocate for injured construction workers, and we will speak with you in Spanish, Greek, Bengali, Kannada, or Tamil, if necessary.