Responsibility for Construction Accidents

As a construction worker, getting injured on the job can be devastating to your finances. Not only do you have unexpected medical bills that you have to pay, but you need to find a way to pay them while you are out of work.

If you are injured in a construction accident, you have several options for recovery. Some of these options revolve around questions of fault, while others do not.

The best step after being hurt on the job site is to contact an experienced construction accident lawyer. Call O’Connor & Partners, PLLC at (845) 303-8777 today for a free consultation in or around Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and other areas of the Hudson Valley in New York.

Is Your Employer Liable for Your Construction Accident?

By law, most construction workers in New York are classified as employees (rather than independent contractors). As a result, they are entitled to the protections afforded by New York’s workers’ compensation statute.

So, in most cases, injured construction workers will be eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits. As in most states, workers’ compensation is provided on a no-fault basis. That is, workers are eligible for benefits regardless of who may have caused the injury.

In limited circumstances, however, employees can seek full compensation from their employers outside of the workers’ compensation system. You could sue your employer, for example, if your employer intentionally caused your injury or your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance as required by law.

Is the Property Owner Liable for Your Construction Accident?

In many cases, property owners will be liable for construction workers’ injuries. In New York, property owners have a duty to maintain their premises in reasonably safe condition, and this duty extends to periods during which the premises are under construction.

In the event of a slip and fall, trip and fall, or a fall from a height, the property owner may be liable.

Unlike claims against employers, claims against property owners are not subject to the limitations of New York’s workers’ compensation law. In other words, if you have a claim against the property owner, you can seek full compensation for all of your injury-related losses.

This includes not only full coverage for your medical expenses and lost wages, but also your:

  • Prescription, rehabilitation, and therapy costs
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss of companionship, enjoyment, services, and support

The attorneys at O’Connor & Partners, PLLC will fully evaluate your losses from the accident and pursue maximum compensation from the negligent property owner on your behalf.

Is a Contractor or Subcontractor Liable for Your Construction Accident?

If a company other than your employer is to blame for the accident, you can pursue a claim for full compensation. Other parties that may be liable include contractors and subcontractors.

For example, if you work for a general contractor and you were injured in an accident caused by an electrical subcontractor, then the subcontractor may be liable for your losses. Likewise, if you work for an HVAC or drywall subcontractor and you were injured because the general contractor’s employees were negligent, then you could have a claim against the general contractor.

Is a Product Manufacturer or Supplier Liable for Your Construction Accident?

Another possibility is that a product manufacturer or supplier is liable for your injuries. Ladders, scaffolding, tools, machinery, building materials, and construction vehicles can all suffer from defects. If you were injured due to a product defect, then the manufacturer or supplier could be liable.

Under New York law, manufacturers and suppliers are strictly liable for injuries caused by product defects. Strict liability means that the plaintiff in the case does not need to prove negligence, simply that a defect resulted in injury. Companies can also be held liable for negligence, warranty violations, and other legal wrongs as well.

Is Someone Else Liable for Your Construction Accident?

While these are the parties that are typically liable for construction-related injuries, it is important to determine whether any other person or company could share full or partial responsibility for the accident. For example, rather than being defective, did a tool or piece of machinery malfunction because it was not properly maintained? If you were injured in a collision, could the other driver (or his or her employer or insurance company) be liable?

These are just two of numerous possibilities. In order to protect your legal rights, it will be important for you to engage a law firm to conduct an investigation as soon as possible.

Speak with a New York Construction Accident Lawyer for Free

Were you injured on the job in Kingston, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, or any of the surrounding areas of New York’s Hudson Valley? If so, our lawyers can determine who is liable for your construction accident and make sure you receive the full financial compensation you deserve.

To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, please call O’Connor & Partners, PLLC at (845) 303-8777 or contact us online today. Read our results for information on cases we have successfully tried on behalf of other construction workers.

by O'Connor & Partners, PLLC
Published on

Posted in: Construction Accidents