How Temporary Workers Can Protect Their Rights After a Construction Accident

Temporary Workers on NY Construction Sites Still Have Rights to Compensation After an InjuryIn 2017, an estimated 60,780 people worked construction jobs in the state of New York. Many construction workers in our area are employees who work directly for their employers. However, temporary workers are also an important part of the construction industry. Temporary workers are employed by an employment agency and sent to a specific construction site when there is a demand for their skills.

While temp workers may do the same day-to-day work as other workers on a construction site, they have different employers. This can create confusion and additional risks for injuries. Accordingly, it is important for all temporary workers to know what they can do to protect their rights if they are hurt in a construction accident.

Special Risks for Temporary Construction Workers

All construction workers risk getting hurt. However, temporary construction workers may be at greater risk for injury because:

  • They have less training than other construction workers.
  • There is confusion over who is responsible for complying with workplace safety and health requirements.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is clear that the temporary agency and the host employer have joint responsibility for training and for complying with workplace safety and health requirements.

Workers’ Compensation for Temp Workers Hurt in Construction Accidents

Temporary workers may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim if they are hurt in a work-related accident—just like other injured construction workers can do. However, it is typically not the construction company, or subcontractor, whose insurance covers temporary workers’ claims.

Instead, temporary workers are employed by temporary service agencies. These temporary service agencies have the right to hire and fire workers and control their day-to-day work. Accordingly, New York law typically requires temporary service agencies to provide workers’ compensation coverage for the workers they place on construction sites and in other locations.

Since temporary service agencies employ temp workers, an injured temporary worker should notify his supervisor of the accident and injury as soon as possible after he is hurt and he should notify the temporary service agency of the accident and injury in writing within 30 days. The temporary service agency must then report the injury to the Workers’ Compensation Board and the insurance company. These are the first steps in the workers’ compensation process and the first steps toward injured temp workers getting fair benefits for the injuries that they suffered at work.

Third-Party Claims for Temp Workers Hurt in Construction Accidents

Sometimes, construction accident injuries are not caused by the inherent danger of the work or a simple accident, but instead by the negligence of a specific party. If a temporary worker can prove that someone was at fault for his injury then he may have a third-party claim.

The procedures for pursuing a third-party claim are very different from the procedures for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Often, a third-party claim requires an injured worker to file a lawsuit in court.

Damages in a third-party claim often exceed what a worker could collect in workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits include compensation for medical care and lost wages. Third-party claims also include compensation for medical care and lost wages and they may also go further and include compensation for other damages such as physical pain and emotional suffering.

Contact a New York Construction Injury Lawyer If You Have Been Hurt

The laws that apply to any injured worker’s recovery can be complicated and they may be even more complex when the injured worker is a temporary worker. Our experienced construction accident lawyers help all injured workers—including temporary workers—protect their rights and get the fair benefits and recoveries that they deserve.

Contact us online today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys. You can also call our office directly at 800.362.9329. We will review the facts of your case, answer your questions, and advise you of your rights so that you can make sure that you are making the decisions that are right for your future after being injured on a New York construction site.

 

Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Tim Schweitzer is a personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.