The damages you can collect for a construction accident case depend on the documented expenses and losses you suffered because of your accident and your legal options for securing compensation. Most injured workers should qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, and other victims may be able to take legal action to hold a third party responsible for their damages.
According to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, benefits typically available through a workers’ compensation claim include payment for your treatment and care, some vocational rehabilitation expenses, and up to two-thirds of your lost income, multiplied by the percentage of your disability. Each year the state establishes a weekly maximum for cash benefits. In the tragic event of a fatality, some funeral and burial costs and a death benefit may be available. Beyond workers’ compensation, injured workers usually cannot hold their employers responsible for on the job injuries. However, the New York State Scaffold Law (New York Labor Law § 240) provides a way for some injured workers to hold the landowner and general contractor responsible through a third-party action.
The financial recovery potentially available in this type of case allows for additional compensation beyond workers’ compensation. Still, the damages will depend on what you and your attorney are able to document based on the specific details of your accident.
Recoverable Damages in a Third-Party Construction Case
The types of damages covered by a third-party claim could include:
Out-of-Pocket Costs and Other Expenses
A third-party claim can allow injured workers to seek compensation for their expenditures beyond medical care costs. This includes things like personal property damaged in the accident, parking at doctor’s appointments, and over-the-counter medication for pain relief or other needs.
Your attorney will help you claim these expenses, provided you have your receipts or other proof.
Additional Wages and Other Income Losses
While workers’ compensation does provide some wage loss benefits, as mentioned above, these benefits are limited. Having a greatly reduced income while their expenses increase because of their injuries can lead to financial hardship for many workers and their families. Some even try to go back to work early to relieve the economic stress, possibly leading to additional injuries.
A third-party claim provides a way to seek additional lost income and benefits, as well as future lost income if you cannot return to your previous position.
Every accident victim likely suffers intangible losses, but these losses are not compensable under New York workers’ compensation law. Injured workers can only recover these damages by holding a third party responsible for their injuries. They include “pain and suffering” damages, which value the physical pain and emotional suffering caused by the construction accident and resulting injuries.
Wrongful Death Damages
Workers’ compensation provides a death benefit to the family of a worker who suffers a fatal injury. These benefits also include reasonable funeral and burial costs. With a third-party case, qualifying family members may recover additional expenses, lost income, intangible losses, and more because of the worker’s wrongful death.
Pursuing a Construction Accident Case
The damages you can collect for a construction accident case depend on the strength of the case you present to support your claim or lawsuit. Working with an attorney who represents injured workers on Long Island and in the greater New York metropolitan area is the wisest course of action.
At Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., our passionate advocates for the injured will take the necessary steps to protect your rights, prove your case, and navigate the process for seeking compensation on your behalf. We will also ensure you are always up to date on the case and communicate with all involved parties on your behalf. We will identify the deadlines, including how long we have to file a civil lawsuit under New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules § 214.
Before we begin negotiations for a fair and just settlement agreement, we must determine a value for your case. This includes documenting your damages and putting a monetary value on your intangible losses. As called for by the unique circumstances of your case, we will call on expert witnesses to support your claim for fair compensation, including experts in medicine, vocational rehabilitation, life care planning, and economics.
A team member from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. will meet you on Long Island or anywhere else in the New York metropolitan area to discuss your accident and injuries. We will evaluate your options based on what happened, where, why and how.
It is often possible for injured construction workers and those in related industries to pursue third-party claims for compensation above and beyond their workers’ compensation benefits. Get started today by calling (516) 932-0400 for your free case assessment.