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Understanding Compensation for Construction Site Accidents in New York

New York City construction site

Hundreds of construction site workers are injured in New York City each year. Some construction site accidents arise due to the inherently hazardous nature of the work. However, negligence, faulty equipment, falling debris, or dangerous machinery can also cause job site accidents. Unfortunately, some of these accidents also involve fatalities. Although employees generally can’t sue their employers for workplace injuries under New York State Workers’ Compensation law, you may still be entitled to obtain compensation for your injuries.

While Workers’ Compensation covers medical costs and lost wages up to a certain amount, it may not be your only avenue of financial recovery. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your accident, you may also be able to file a personal injury action to hold a negligent third-party accountable for your economic and non-economic damages.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

If you’re a construction worker injured on the job, filing a Workers’ Compensation claim can help you recover your accident-related financial losses. Workers’ Compensation benefits can cover medical treatment for your workplace injuries and lost wages up to a certain amount — the amount of lost wages paid is calculated by 2/3 of your average weekly wage multiplied by the percentage of disability, as determined by the Workers’ Compensation board.  

It’s important to understand that you don’t need to prove fault in a Workers’ Compensation claim. However, there are still procedures that must be followed to get these benefits. To ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to, you must:

  • Immediately get the medical treatment you need
  • Notify your employer in writing within 30 days of the accident
  • Complete a “C-3” form to file with the Workers’ Compensation Board
  • Make an appointment with an authorized Workers’ Compensation medical provider

If you lost a loved one due to a construction site accident, you may be entitled to death benefits through Workers’ Compensation.

Pursuing a Personal Injury Action Against a Negligent Third-Party

Workers’ Compensation doesn’t always compensate for an injured construction worker for the full extent of their damages. While you generally can’t sue your employer for construction site injuries, New York Labor Laws §§ 240 and 241 allows you to recover compensation based on a third-party’s negligence, carelessness or recklessness. Negligent third-parties involved in construction site accidents often include the owner of the building site or the general contractor.

Construction site injuries can result in severe disfigurement and lasting disabilities that can significantly impact relationships with family and your daily life. Unlike in a Workers’ Compensation claim, a personal injury action against a negligent, careless, or reckless third-party can allow you to recover non-economic damages — these can include pain and suffering, loss of consortium and emotional distress. In addition, you may also be awarded unreimbursed medical expenses and lost wages not covered by Workers’ Compensation benefits. In some cases, you may also be able to recover punitive damages.   

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Unfortunately, some construction site accidents are severe and can result in a workers’ death. Workers’ Compensation benefits may provide a certain amount of lost wages to certain surviving family members. Workers’ Compensation may also pay funeral costs.

However, Workers’ Compensation benefits may not adequately compensate a grieving family for the loss of their loved one in a construction site accident. If the wrongful death resulted from labor law violations, the personal representative of the victim’s estate may be able to commence a wrongful death action in court.

Recoverable damages in a wrongful death action can include economic losses, funeral expenses, and loss of the value of services the deceased provided. In specific circumstances, damages for the accident victim’s conscious pain and suffering may also be recovered.   

Contact a New York Construction Site Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a construction site accident or lost a loved one, it is crucial to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who handles labor law violations and third-party negligence actions. In any construction site accident, there are strict statutes of limitations that begin running from the accident date. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. can help you obtain the maximum compensation available for your injuries.  

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, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us for a consultation.