Fall injuries are common in the construction industry, but that does not mean that you should assume the risk alone. If you or someone you love suffered a serious fall while working in construction, you could be owed substantial compensation through a third-party injury claim.
Types of Falls That May Lead to Third-Party Claims
Nearly all construction workers will suffer a fall at some point in their careers. A fall from a height could keep you away from work and in the hospital for weeks, or even months, and could affect your future ability to earn an income. Even with workers’ compensation, your increased bills could easily exceed the amount of your benefits.
While state workers’ compensation laws prevent workers from suing an employer, employees are able to seek damages from other negligent parties who played a part in the accident. For example, workers could file a third-party lawsuit for falls from:
- Scaffolding. Scaffolding is vital to the construction and maintenance of buildings throughout New York City. Unfortunately, scaffolds may be put up too quickly or reused too many times, causing sudden falls or even scaffold collapse. If the scaffold you were standing on before the fall did not meet accepted safety guidelines, the contractor or the scaffold manufacturer could be named in a third-party liability claim.
- Open platforms. Platforms on unfinished structures should be fenced in by adequate railings, and workers should be provided with sturdy and functional harnesses when performing work at height. During roof construction, contractors should ensure that proper fall-arrest systems are used and that sufficient workers are present.
- Ladders. Ladder falls may be caused by improper maintenance, contractor or sub-contractor negligence, or worst deficiencies. In some cases, the ladder was poorly designed or put together by the manufacturer, making it more likely that the ladder would tip over, become unlocked, or buckle during use.
Benefits of Filing a Third-Party Claim for a Construction Site Fall
If a third party played a role in your accident, it is vital that you contact a construction injury lawyer as soon as possible. New York state labor laws allow construction workers to hold site owners and general contractors liable for injuries caused by an unsafe workplace. Even if a defective product was to blame, additional parties may be named in the injury lawsuit.
Your claim could provide you with:
- Compensation. The potential damages in a New York construction injury claim are far greater than the amount provided by workers’ compensation. In addition to paying for your lost wages and future disability costs, a third-party claim allows you to collect damages for pain and suffering—something that is not available through the workers’ compensation system.
- Prevention. Both state laws and OSHA regulations require safety compliance on construction sites. If your fall was caused by a defective product, your claim could call attention to the dangerous item and compel the manufacturer to issue a recall. If your fall was the result of a defective workplace or dangerous site conditions, your claim could help raise awareness of systemic problems during building, inspiring additional protections to ensure that the accident doesn’t happen to someone else in the future.
- Closure. Too often, construction site falls will result in the death of a worker. Families whose loved one was killed in a fatal construction accident can hold the negligent party accountable, allowing them to recover necessary costs and get justice for their untimely loss.
Contact Experienced NYC Construction Attorneys
If you are suffering after a construction site fall, our attorneys will work to get you the compensation you are owed—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 at Hofmann & Schweitzer today, or learn more about your rights in our FREE brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.