All employers in the state of New York are required to carry workers' compensation insurance to pay for medical treatment, disability income, rehabilitation costs, and death benefits after a work-related injury. This provides guaranteed payments to a worker without the need to file an injury lawsuit against an employer.
However, some work injuries are not just "accidents," but the result of a third party's negligence or misconduct. If a third party is found liable in a construction injury lawsuit, they usually won't pay for damages out of their own pocket. Instead, they carry a range of insurance policies that settle injury claims on their behalf.
Insurance That May Provide Your Construction Injury Damages
Construction in New York City can range from rehab and restoration to the building of bridges and skyscrapers, and each project is covered by insurance to pay for any damage and injuries that occur on the site. Since the types of coverage and policy limits can vary widely, it's a good idea to consult with a construction site attorney to explore your compensation options.
Construction insurance policies may include:
- Commercial general liability insurance. Commercial general liability (CGL) covers claims for physical injury or property damage that occur during contracting or construction work. Workers, guests, or even bystanders near the site may collect payment for injury losses and subsequent medical expenses from a CGL policy. In New York, site owners and general contractors are required to carry general liability insurance policies of a minimum of one million dollars.
- Disability insurance. State law also requires contractors to carry disability insurance before they can be issued building permits. Disability insurance replaces a portion of an injured worker's income if their injury prevents them from going back to work. Policies usually replace up to 60 percent of a disabled worker's salary, but supplemental plans could cover as much as 80 percent of lost income. Disability benefits under these plans generally last until the worker reaches retirement age.
- Employer's liability insurance. This coverage is included in a workers' compensation policy, and provides payment if an employer or business is named in a lawsuit in connection with an employee's death or injury. Unlike workers' compensation, injured parties will have to prove negligence in order to collect payment under these policies.
- Premises liability insurance. Property owners and property managers will likely have premises liability insurance to pay for the costs of an injury. If your claim involves an unsafe condition on the property that an owner should have fixed or warned workers about, the owner's premises liability insurance will be expected to pay for damages.
- Product liability insurance. Some construction site accidents are the direct result of a malfunctioning component or defective product. When this happens, workers can file a lawsuit against the product manufacturer to recover the costs of their injuries. If the claim is successful, the company's product liability insurer pays for the victim's medical bills and wage losses.
- Professional liability insurance. If an architect, engineer, designer, or other professional was responsible for your injury, these parties should be covered by their own liability insurance. Professional liability policies generally cover injuries due to errors, omissions, negligent acts, and even breach of contract committed by an architect or engineer. Without professional liability insurance, injured workers could sue the designer directly, putting the designer's personal holdings at risk.
- Commercial auto insurance. Construction site car accidents are unfortunately common, as workers often drive between sites carrying materials, equipment, and fellow workers. Construction firms should have commercial vehicle policies to cover all road-legal motorized vehicles owned by the company, including cars, trucks, vans, tractor-trailers, cement mixers, and dump trucks.
Let Us Advise You After a Construction Accident
If you or someone you love was hurt on a New York construction site, our legal team will do everything we can to get you the compensation you are owed. Contact Hofmann & Schweitzer today or learn more about your rights in our FREE brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You're Not Alone.