Construction workers are not strangers to hazardous working conditions. From heavy machinery to heights, construction sites are home to many dangers. However, just because construction work is dangerous does not mean you should be forced to handle the cost of an injury on your own.
Workers’ compensation benefits are generally available after a construction accident, but you may be able to recover additional damages through a personal injury lawsuit against one or more third parties. Filing a workers’ comp claim and pursuing an injury case are two separate processes, and it is important to understand your legal options after being hurt on the job.
One of the most important steps you should take to protect your rights after a construction accident is to contact an experienced attorney. The attorneys at O’Connor & Partners, PLLC have extensive experience helping injured workers with construction accident claims, and we can help you determine if another party’s negligence resulted in your injuries.
Please call (845) 303-8777 or contact us online for a free evaluation of your case. We serve injured construction workers throughout the Hudson Valley, including Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and nearby areas of New York.
1. Seek Treatment
If you have been hurt on the job site, your first priority is to receive care for your injuries. A coworker or supervisor may be able to perform first aid and transport you to the emergency room, or it may be necessary to call 911.
Once you have received emergency treatment, you will need to select a treating doctor to serve as the primary care provider for your construction accident injury. Generally, you have the choice of providers authorized by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, although your employer’s insurance company may require you to see a doctor who is in the company’s health insurance network.
2. Report the Accident to Your Employer
If possible, you should notify your employer of your injury immediately after the accident happens. You will also need to provide written notice of the accident to your employer within 30 days.
It is important to note that notifying your employer is not the same as filing a workers’ comp claim. Workers in New York have up to 2 years to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board.
3. Speak to a Construction Accident Lawyer
One of the biggest differences between personal injury claims and workers’ compensation claims is the matter of fault. New York has established a no-fault workers’ compensation system. Generally, workers who file for workers’ comp benefits are not allowed to sue their employer for damages.
However, if your injuries on a job site are the result of another party’s negligence, you may be able to file a claim against:
- A contractor
- A subcontractor
- A vendor
- The owner of the premises where you are working
- The manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment
- A driver, if you were hurt in a job-related car accident
In these cases, the question of fault is of the utmost importance. Your attorney must prove that the other party was negligent in order to establish your right to compensation.
4. Keep Track of Your Damages
Workers’ compensation benefits cover medical costs related to your construction accident and offset a portion of the wages you miss from the time you are unable to work after an injury. However, the total cost of your injuries is not always confined to medical bills and lost wages.
If you have a third-party negligence claim, you may be able to recover compensation for all of the losses you have suffered. The viability of your claim, however, is contingent on your ability to prove the damages in your case.
As you recover, keep track not only of bills and receipts for medical care and other expenses but the overall impact on your life. This may include:
- The pain and suffering you experience day to day
- Household tasks you can no longer perform
- Hobbies and activities in which you can’t take part due to your injuries
- Changes in your family life
- Feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, or embarrassment stemming from the accident and your injuries
Organizing your records as well as your thoughts will enable your attorney to build a strong case on your behalf.
Attorney Thomas Yatto of O’Connor & Partners, PLLC represented a construction worker who ruptured his Achilles tendon in a workplace accident. Our client accepted a settlement offer of $400,000. See more of our results.
5. Act Quickly
We previously mentioned the deadlines for notifying your employer of a workplace accident (30 days) and the time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim (2 years). Personal injury lawsuits in construction accidents are also subject to time limits.
In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 3 years from the date of the accident. This might seem like a long time, but it is crucial that your lawyer has time to investigate the circumstances of the accident and collect key evidence demonstrating how one or more parties’ negligence resulted in your injuries.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to review your options with an attorney as soon as possible after being injured in a construction accident. Taking prompt action will preserve your right to benefits and other compensation.
How Our Construction Accident Attorneys Can Help
The lawyers at O’Connor & Partners, PLLC have more than 150 years of combined experience serving clients in personal injury claims. This experience includes cases that hold negligent parties accountable in construction accidents.
For a free case review, please call (845) 303-8777 or contact us online today. O’Connor & Partners, PLLC serves injured construction workers in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and other areas of New York.