Construction workers face countless hazards every day as part of their jobs. It’s not uncommon for accidents to occur on construction sites leading to serious injuries or even fatality. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions regarding construction site accident lawsuits — and when workers believe these myths, they may lose out on the compensation to which they’re rightfully entitled.
Here are some common myths regarding construction site accidents:
Myth #1: Workers’ Compensation is Your Only Recourse
Workers’ Compensation provides monetary benefits to construction workers who have been injured on a job site. While it is the first avenue of recovery, it is usually not the only one. Although you can’t sue your employer due to New York’s Workers’ Compensation laws, you can still pursue a personal injury lawsuit against a third party — such as a contractor, subcontractor, property owner, architect, or other — for negligence.
Myth #2: If You Are Partly to Blame for the Accident, You Can’t File a Lawsuit
This is incorrect. Under New York’s comparative negligence law, an injured construction worker may be entitled to recover monetary compensation in a personal injury action even if they share blame for the accident — as long as they are 99% or less at fault. Any monetary recovery to which they are entitled would be reduced by their percentage of fault.
Myth #3: You Can’t Sue if You Return to Work
After a construction accident, it’s crucial to take the time you need off work to allow your injuries to heal. However, you may be able to return to work once your doctor has determined you’ve reached “maximum medical improvement.” But it’s essential to keep in mind that the defendant will attempt to use any activities you perform while you are injured against you in a personal injury action. Medical documentation is critical to establish your injuries.
Myth #4: You Shouldn’t Report an Accident to Your Employer if You Didn’t Follow the Rules
In order to obtain Workers’ Compensation benefits, an accident that resulted in injuries must be reported to an employer within 30 days. Significantly, Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system. This means that even if you failed to follow safety protocol, you can still obtain monetary recovery for your lost wages, medical bills, and other compensable expenses. In addition, your employer is legally prohibited from taking adverse employment action against you for reporting the accident.
Myth #5: It’s Not Necessary to Have a Lawyer for a Construction Accident Lawsuit
Having the representation of an experienced personal injury attorney is vital in a construction accident case. These types of cases require specific knowledge regarding New York Labor Law and construction industry regulations. A skilled attorney can protect your legal rights and help you navigate the complexities of the legal process to ensure you maximize your compensation.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you sustained injuries on a construction site, it’s important to have a personal injury attorney on your side to recover the compensation you deserve. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has been fighting for the rights of injured construction workers for more than thirty years and has a long-standing reputation for obtaining positive results in clients’ cases.
The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.