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Who Is Liable in Construction Accidents?

If you or a loved one were hurt while working construction in New York, you could be entitled to receive compensation for your losses. To do so, it is often important to determine who was liable in a construction accident case.

Those who could be held liable include one’s employer, contractors at a site, the property owner, or equipment manufacturers. If you live on Long Island and have been injured in one of the five boroughs, consider contacting a lawyer to discuss your case.

Information About Employer Liability for Accidents

In some cases, accidents occur at a construction site because of the actions of your employer. You could be hurt on the job if your employer allows hazards to form on a construction site. For example, your employer could:

  • Fail to provide proper safety gear
  • Fail to offer you the correct training
  • Fall behind on maintenance for tools and machinery, allowing them to become faulty

These are some examples of hazards that you could experience because of the actions of your employer. However, if you were injured in the course of your employment in the state of New York, your employer will have a defense to a claim brought by you.

If an employer (or fellow employee of the same employer as you,) caused your injuries, you are able to seek compensation that you might be entitled to through the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). Workers’ compensation could provide you with damages after a job-site accident regardless of who caused your injuries. To obtain Workers Compensation benefits, all you need to show is that you were physically injured, while on the job, and that you have medical expenses and/or you are medically disabled from work. Because the Workers Compensation benefits are intended to be readily available under the circumstances described, the trade-off is that the employer is shielded from you, as the injured employee bringing a direct lawsuit against the employer. This shield is the “Workers Compensation defense” to a lawsuit described above.

Third-Party Liability in New York Construction Accidents

Your employer is not always solely responsible for construction accidents. There are several third parties who could be at-fault for your accident, and you are legally allowed to seek the compensation you might be entitled to from a third party. You could be able to seek compensation from:

The Property Owner

In many cases, construction companies do not own the property they are developing. The individual(s), corporation(s), or other legal entities who own the property could be liable for your injuries. A construction accident lawyer will determine who owned the property when your accident occurred and gauge the strength of the claim against that property owner.

Contractors at the Site

Construction workers often work with contractors and sub-contractors. These individuals have a degree of responsibility to ensure that the construction site remains safe and free from hazards. If hazards are allowed to develop, they could be considered responsible for your injuries.

Construction Equipment Manufacturers, Vendors, and Others

You likely work with many pieces of heavy equipment if you are employed in construction. You count on this equipment to function properly and safely. However, sometimes construction equipment is manufactured incorrectly or has a dangerous defect that leads to accidents. If you were hurt by a defective piece of equipment, a company or the companies that made it, sold it, or maintained it could be responsible for your injuries.

Demonstrating Liability for a Construction Accident

In order to get the compensation you might be entitled to after a construction accident, a lawyer must demonstrate that:

  • Someone else took a direct action or failed to take an action that they ought to have taken, and that the action or the failure to act caused, in whole or in part, your accident, or;
  • The property owner and/or general contractor are responsible for your accident and the resulting injuries, not as a result of their negligence, but as a result of a duty created by statute
  • That accident caused your injuries
  • Your injuries required medical treatment

Establishing liability is an important part of building a claim after a construction accident. A lawyer will investigate your claim and review the hazards found at your job site when working to determine who caused your accident. There are four leading causes of private sector worker deaths according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

  • Slipping and falling
  • Being struck by an object
  • Being electrocuted
  • Being caught in or between objects of machinery

These “Fatal Four” causes of injury resulted in over 58 percent of construction worker deaths in 2018, but there are other causes a legal professional in New York is able to investigate.

Possible Compensation for New York Construction Accidents

Once you determine who is liable in your construction accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your losses. Depending upon your situation, you could be awarded damages for your:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages at work
  • Lost earning potential
  • Pain, suffering, and mental anguish

A construction accident lawyer will be able to assess your case to determine what kinds of compensation you might be entitled to receive. In some situations, it is in your best interest to have your construction accident lawyer make a personal injury claim or even commence a lawsuit on your behalf. Review all of your legal options by reaching out to a lawyer at our firm. It will be our privilege to answer your questions and address your concerns in a patient and compassionate manner. If you have been seriously injured in a construction accident, we know you are going through an incredibly difficult time and we want to help you. Our mission is to help our clients rebuild their lives after a bad accident. Call us today to discuss the process

Learn About Liability for Construction Accidents in New York

Liability in construction accidents could rest on your employer, the property owner, general contractors, sub-contractors, or even manufacturers, vendors, or those who service and maintain construction equipment. Discuss your case with the team from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. by calling (516) 932-0400. We offer free consultations and are able to assist clients in other languages including Spanish, Greek, Bengali, Tamil, and Kannada.

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