Construction has some of the highest injury rates across all work industries, with accidents ranging from dropping a hammer to falling from great heights. When injuries occur, construction workers have the right to file for their workers' compensation benefits just as any other New York employees.
One of the most helpful aspects of claiming workers' compensation for a construction injury is that you will not have to prove fault to collect your benefits. However, the amount paid by workers' compensation may fall far short of your actual losses, especially if the accident resulted in long-term disability. While you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to recover additional money damages, you will have to prove negligence in order to win the compensation you deserve.
Evidence Is Key to Proving Negligence in a Construction Site Injury Case
Under state workers' compensation laws, employees cannot sue employers for causing a construction accident if the employer provides benefits. However, other negligent parties whose action (or lack of action) directly led to injury can be held accountable in a lawsuit. As there are many individuals, agents, companies, and entities on a job site during the workday, victims should consult with our New York construction injury lawyers to help them determine the cause of the incident.
We can gather the necessary evidence to determine where the fault for your suffering lies. Common entities named in third-party suits may include:
- A general contractor. The general contractor has a wide range of obligations to workers and visitors to a construction site. Under Section 200 of New York State Labor Law, employees can hold contractors responsible for injuries by proving that the workplace was not reasonably safe. Safety violations may include failure to inform construction workers of potential dangers on the worksite, hiring untrained or incompetent workers, failing to enforce safety regulations, or otherwise making injuries more likely. Worksite records, such as inspection reports and repair invoices, can be invaluable in proving liability.
- The site owner. The owner of the construction site's responsibility to the workers varies depending on their level of involvement in the day-to-day operations. The exception to this rule is any injury that involves a fall from a height. Under New York's Scaffold Law, an owner can be found at fault for injury or death costs even if they are not directly involved in the work being performed onsite.
- Subcontractors. Subcontractors have the same legal duty of care as the general contractor, but their liability is limited to the area of the construction site where they have authority. We can evaluate the type of work being performed at the time of the accident, the precautions taken (or not taken) by the subcontractor, and other factors that can tell us more about how the injury occurred.
- Building and project designers. Some accidents are waiting to happen from the minute the project is put on paper. Architects and design professionals must perform routine inspections during the course of construction to ensure the building conforms to code regulations as well as blueprints. Engineers may also be held liable for a construction injury if work falls below acceptable standards.
- Product manufacturers. If you were injured by defective hand tools, machinery, wiring, protective measures, or other equipment, the manufacturer of the defective product can be held strictly liable for damages. Evidence that can help your case includes the broken product itself, video of the equipment failing on the job, photos of a missing or inadequate safety warning, or witness testimony affirming that the product led to the injury.
Let Us Advise You on Your Next Steps After a Construction Accident
If you are suffering after a construction injury, it is vital that you contact Hofmann & Schweitzer as soon as possible. The sooner we are brought in to fight on your behalf, the more likely it is that we will be able to build a strong case for compensation—and we do not collect any fees until after your case is won. Simply fill out our quick online contact form or call (800) 362-9329 to speak with a lawyer today, or learn more about your rights in our FREE brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You're Not Alone.