A construction accident can have a significant impact on your life, livelihood, and family. If you’re a construction worker who was hurt while working on a job site, it’s important to understand your legal rights and remedies. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries — and hold the negligent party accountable for their carelessness.
Here are five crucial things you should know about filing a construction accident lawsuit:
1. You May Be Able to File a Personal Injury Claim Against a Third Party
New York’s Workers’ Compensation laws generally bar an employee from suing their employer for injuries arising as result of a workplace accident. But this doesn’t always mean you cannot bring a personal injury claim. On construction sites, there are many third parties who might be held liable for negligence if an accident occurs. Depending on the facts of your case, there may be several parties who could be named in a lawsuit.
For instance, there are typically third party general contractors and subcontractors on job sites who are responsible for part of the work. If the accident was caused by defective machinery, the manufacturer of the equipment might be to blame. Other potentially liable third parties can include architects, engineers, the property owner, and the companies that rent out the construction machinery. A thorough investigation should be conducted to determine all possible avenues of liability.
2. You Can Bring a Personal Injury Claim Even if You Received Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ Compensation can be crucial after a construction accident. Not only can these benefits cover your medical expenses, but you may also be entitled to a certain amount of lost wages while you’re unable to work because of your injuries. While you can file for Workers’ Compensation regardless of fault for the accident, these benefits might not be enough to cover the full extent of your damages — they also don’t compensate you for the pain and suffering you might have experienced because of your injuries. If you are able to show that another party’s negligence caused your accident, you may be entitled to file a personal injury action to hold them accountable, even if you had obtained Workers’ Compensation benefits.
3. You May Be Entitled to Recover Your Economic and Non-Economic Damages
In addition to the monetary losses you incurred due to your construction accident-related injuries, you might have suffered from a considerable amount of physical pain, emotional anguish, inconvenience — and experienced loss of enjoyment of life. By filing a personal injury action, you may be entitled to recover not only your economic damages, but also your non-economic damages. While these damages are much more difficult to quantify, they usually comprise the largest portion of a victim’s recovery.
4. Construction Workers in New York Have Legal Protections By Statute
Construction workers are entitled to legal protections under New York Labor Laws §§ 200, 240, and 241. Specifically, New York Labor Law § 200 details the general duties associated with ensuring a worker has a reasonably safe working environment. Labor Law § 240 imposes absolute liability on owners and general contractors for gravity-related injuries that arise due to their failure to provide adequate safety equipment and protective gear. Labor Law § 241 applies to a variety of other activities on a job site, including construction, demolition, and excavation — it holds owners and contractors responsible for failure to take reasonable steps to provide for the safety of their workers when carrying out their work-related tasks.
5. You Only Have a Limited Amount of Time to Bring a Lawsuit
In the event you were hurt in a construction accident, you only have a limited amount of time to bring a lawsuit. In most cases, there is a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury actions in New York that begins running on the date of the accident. If you miss the deadline to commence a claim, you could be forever barred from receiving the monetary recovery to which you’re entitled. It’s essential to be aware that the timelines involved in a personal injury action are separate and distinct from any deadlines to file a Workers’ Compensation claim.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you sustained a construction accident injury that was caused by a third party’s negligence, it’s critical to have knowledgeable legal counsel who can pursue the monetary recovery you deserve. Located in Manhattan, The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown, LLP has successfully represented construction accident victims throughout New York City since 1937. Due to our knowledge, skill, and dedication, we regularly obtain substantial settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. Contact us to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.