If you suffered an injury while either visiting, traveling near, or working at a construction site, you may be wondering, how long do I have to file a construction accident claim? The timeline for filing your workers’ compensation claim and starting the process of seeking damages in a third-party lawsuit varies.
If you were working at the construction site, you will almost certainly need to file a workers’ compensation claim. You must follow a series of steps to be eligible for benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation law, according to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), some of which must occur immediately after the accident.
For a personal injury lawsuit against the parties who caused your injuries through their negligent actions and other parties who may be legally liable even if they were not negligent, the statute of limitations to begin proceedings varies depending on the liable party, but the typical deadline for personal injury is three years, as stated under New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CPLR) §214. It is always in your best interest to start the process as soon as possible, though.
Deadlines for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Someone who is an employee at the site would typically need to follow the workers’ compensation rules for claims, in addition to rules for claims beyond the workers’ compensation claim.
However, if you are not subject to workers’ compensation laws regarding your injury, such as if you are only a visitor to the site or if you are a member of the public who was near the site, you have the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against anyone involved in the construction project or planning whose negligence led to your injuries. This would impose a different set of deadlines than those which an injured employee at the site. would be obligated to follow.
Personal Injury Claim Against a Third Party
If you are claiming that the negligence of a third party led to your accident and injuries at the construction site, you have some time from the date of the
accident to begin the process of starting the proceedings.
Some of the potential third party entities that could be part of your personal injury lawsuit include:
- General Contractor in charge of the project
- Equipment manufacturers
- Safety gear manufacturers
- Those who maintain the equipment
- Negligent vehicle driver
- Property owner
Personal Injury Claim Against a Government Entity
If government entities representing New York City or the state of New York will be the defendant in your personal injury lawsuit, your deadline to file a notice of the claim will be ninety days, according to General Municipal §50E and the NYS Court of Claims Act §10 respectively, which start from the date of the incident.
Wrongful Death Claim
Should the construction site accident have resulted in a fatality, New York Estates, Powers & Trusts (EPT) §5-4.1 allows for family members of the decedent to file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years starting from the date of the death.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-932-0400
Deadlines for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you are filing a workers’ comp claim in relation to your injury, which is the most common protocol for an employee who suffered an injury at the construction site, you must follow a few deadlines:
- Immediately: the employee should seek medical treatment for the injury right away and notify a supervisor of the accident verbally.
- Within 48 hours: a doctor must complete an initial report about the employee’s injuries.
- Within 30 days: the employee must inform his or her employer about the accident in writing.
- Within 10 days of notification: the employer must make a report of the injury to the state Workers’ Compensation Board within 10 days of receiving written notification from the employee.
The insurer handling the workers’ compensation claim then has deadlines it must meet to begin sending benefits to the employee for reimbursement of lost wages during his or her recovery from the injury.
Potential Loss of Right to Compensation
If the employee does not follow the rules or does not make a verbal and written notification of the injury and the desire to file a claim within the required deadlines, the employee could lose his or her right to receive compensation.
We Will Work Tirelessly on Your Behalf
After suffering an injury at a construction site, you may be concerned about your long-term health outlook. As a doctor gives you a diagnosis that could involve ongoing medical care and growing medical bills, you may be wondering, how long do I have to file a construction accident claim?
As you might imagine, the process of filing this type of claim is sometimes confusing for someone who does not deal with it on a regular basis. That is where a personal injury attorney will help.
The team at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. is ready to help you move through the process, meeting all deadlines and keeping your claim on track. Even if you believe you are outside the window for filing this type of claim, you should contact us, as there are exceptions to the rules. Call us as soon as possible at (516) 932-0400 for a free consultation.