In any construction site accident in New York, individuals and entities who do not directly employ you (third parties), but whose negligence causes an accident, are legally liable for your injuries. In these cases, your workers’ compensation benefits may not be sufficient to cover all the economic and non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, or loss of quality of life suffered by you. The legal recourse available to you to recover fair and rightful compensation for your injuries is filing a third-party personal injury claim.
What Constitutes a Third Party Construction Injury Claim in New York?
Many New York construction workers are unaware of a third-party claim that exists along with the workers’ compensation. As an injured worker, you can bring a third-party construction injury claim against an individual or entity fully or partially responsible for your injuries.
This individual or entity is not your employer, but their negligent behavior caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. Compensation recovered in a third-party lawsuit is in addition to the benefits received through workers’ compensation.
Nature and Scope of Injuries from Third-Party Negligence
Not all construction site accidents may be eligible for a third-party compensation claim. However, chances of a third party or parties causing an accident at a construction site are higher due to the nature of work at a job site that usually sees the involvement of multiple parties and entities in routine operations.
You will need the help of a competent New York personal injury attorney to correctly identify liable parties. This is especially crucial in your quest to recover adequate compensation for your injuries and lost wages. Typically, construction site accidents necessitate the filing of third party construction injury claims for the following reasons:
OSHA regulations protect workers in cases of likely injuries from such accidents as listed above. But these regulations do not provide for you to file a lawsuit against your employer even if their negligence, misconduct, or failure in compliance, caused any conditions responsible for your injuries.
On the other hand, if the involvement of another party results in these conditions on the construction site, you may be able to file a legitimate claim for damages against this third party.
New York Law for Third Party Liability
According to New York Labor Law Section 241:
All areas and sites for construction, demolition, or excavation activities must provide sufficient safety and protection to people working at such sites. The construction companies, property owners, and contractors must ensure proper storage of tools and clear marking of physical hazards, apart from limiting workers’ exposure to harmful materials.
Employees with Grave Construction Injuries Can Sue Employers in NY
Under a special provision, the New York workers’ compensation law allows an employee injured in a work-related accident to file a lawsuit against the employer. An employee with a grave injury can file third-party litigation against a construction site owner, a contractor, or any other negligent party that caused the injury.
Subsequently, the third party can legally involve the employer in the lawsuit to share liability and damages for the injury, bolstering the potential recovery of the injured worker. An employer may be brought into an injury lawsuit if the employee suffers from one or more of these injuries or disabilities:
Challenges in Proving Third-Party Liability in Construction Injuries
Proving third-party liability can be arduous and challenging in construction accidents. Complicated laws pertaining to product liability come into play if you claim that a faulty design or product caused the accident resulting in your injuries.
A product design and development expert may need to testify about the unreasonable hazard of the item. Another big challenge is to establish how the accident site looked like at the time of the accident, due to continual changes at job sites. Furthermore, the contractors might change any signs of negligence, to protect themselves from liability.
The outcome of an OSHA investigation, photographs of the accident scene, testimonies, and eyewitness accounts of co-workers, can be valuable as evidence of omissions, defects, or other causes of an accident.
The Difference an Experienced Third-Party Liability Attorney Can Make in a Construction Accident
The experience of a seasoned New York third-party construction injury attorney is vital in holding third parties legally and financially liable for their negligence that caused your injuries. The work of an attorney during a construction accident investigation involves the review of OSHA regulations, the New York State Industrial Code, and other safety standards related to construction site activities.
As a part of this investigation, your lawyer may consult with professional accident investigators and safety experts to establish any violation of New York building codes, labor laws, or safety regulations by a third party, such as a subcontractor or a property owner.
Parties That You Can Sue for Personal Injury Liability in NYC Construction Accidents
Determining liability in a construction accident can be a challenging task, given the involvement of several parties at a job site. Let us have a brief understanding of some of the individuals or entities who may bear responsibility in case of injuries resulting from a construction site accident:
Construction site owners
Site owners with ownership or control over the property that is the site for the construction work
Contractors and subcontractors
General contractors and subcontractors working with them, whose responsibility lies in ensuring safety at the job site and keeping the workers informed of any risks related to tasks on hand
Construction site supervisors and managers
Engineers and Architects
Professionals responsible for creating design blueprints and plans that are safe and effective
Construction equipment manufacturers
Manufacturers of construction equipment, machinery, and materials
Can I File a Third-Party Construction Injury Lawsuit and Claim Workers’ Compensation Benefits In NYC?
If you are on a legally sound footing, you can file a third-party lawsuit for your injuries in a construction site accident along with your workers’ compensation benefits. While the insurance company provides workers’ compensation benefits on account of your employer, your third-party lawsuit is a legal matter.
The Workers’ Compensation Board presents your workers’ compensation case before the Workers’ Compensation Judges. On the other hand, the lawsuit progresses in the regular judicial system against third parties and not directly against your employer. The two take an entirely different path from each other.
What if the Construction Site Accident Results in Death?
In case of the death of a construction worker in a work-related accident, the spouse and children of the worker share 2/3rds of the average weekly wage.
While the children are eligible to earn the benefit till the age of 18, or 23 if they pursue a college degree, the spouse collects the benefits for their entire life or until they remarry. In the event of remarriage of the spouse, they receive a lump-sum payment equivalent to two years’ benefits.
Apart from the workers’ compensation claim, the deceased worker’s family has the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in court against any individual or entity they may feel is responsible for the death. New York State construction workers benefit from laws that allow third-party action and provide them more protection than most of the other states in the country.
No Substitute for Experience in Construction Site Accident Cases
You must retain an experienced third-party liability attorney with an in-depth knowledge of the New York State Labor Laws, who can perform a thorough analysis of the facts surrounding your accident to identify the possibility of a third-party lawsuit.
New York State has some of the more progressive and protective legislation for construction workers in the country. Construction workers risk hazardous conditions in their line of work and have every right to protective legislation. As an injured construction worker, you need a law firm with substantial experience in construction-related claims and litigation.
Trusted and Capable New York Construction Accident Lawyers
In severe construction-related injuries, workers’ compensation benefits may fall woefully short of compensating an injured worker for all their expenses and damages. Our capable attorneys are proficient at conducting immediate investigations to determine if you have a valid basis to file a third-party lawsuit and recover compensation in addition to your workers’ compensation benefits.
At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, our construction accident lawyers will work tirelessly to pursue the full amount of compensation you deserve. Our help is yours at no upfront cost – you will not be asked to pay a fee until we have won your case. We are one of the first and one of the best personal injury law firms in New York. Call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today at 1-800-660-2264 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.
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