New York laws and regulations require that most employers carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance provides coverage in the event that a covered employee is injured on the job. The purpose of carrying workers’ compensation insurance is twofold: it protects employers from being bankrupted by a large verdict, and it provides a faster way for injured workers to receive benefits after an incident. Workers’ compensation claims take the place of personal injury lawsuits when on-the-job accidents occur.
Is Workers’ Compensation Your Only Source of Recovery After a Construction Site Injury?
Unfortunately, there are caps on the amount of damages an injured employee may receive under New York’s workers’ compensation laws. A special formula is used to calculate the amount of benefits an injured employee may receive. The formula takes two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage and multiplies that by the percent the claimant is disabled. For example, someone who was earning $400 per week and has a 50% disability rating may be entitled to $133.34 each week in workers’ compensation benefits.
Every July 1, new limits are established and provide a maximum benefit amount that injured workers may receive. Currently, the maximum is $1,063.05. Therefore, even if you are entitled to $1,500 per week, the most you would receive is $1,063.05.
Another thing to keep in mind when pursuing workers’ compensation benefits is that you do not have to prove fault. Workers’ compensation covers employees regardless of whether their employers acted negligently.
Many employees incorrectly assume that workers’ compensation is the sole remedy available for injuries suffered while working. However, workers’ compensation benefits do not address the negligence or wrongdoing of a third party. If your injury was caused by a third party, you have the option to pursue compensation through a third-party liability claim or personal injury lawsuit. According to our Floral Park construction site accident lawyer, a civil lawsuit can award you economic and non-economic damages way beyond what your workers’ comp can cover. In some situations, if your case goes to trial, your attorney could prove that gross negligence caused your accident, opening the possibility of you receiving punitive damages in the court. In other words, your potential awards are not limited by the caps on workers’ compensation awards, provided you bring your case to a specialized lawyer who can explore all your legal options.
What Types of Third Parties May Be Responsible for Injuries on a Construction Site?
General contractors, the owners of a construction site, contractors that hire subcontractors for specific jobs, contractors that operate certain types of equipment (such as tractors, cranes, etc.), and a number of other individuals are all examples of third parties who may be responsible for construction site injuries.
For example, a contractor may fail to train a subcontractor to use heavy equipment. When an accident occurs, they would be liable for the losses. In another case, even a third-party driver could crash into a construction site, causing injuries to workers. Construction sites may sit close to public roadways, and a distracted driver could easily overlook signs around blocked exits, for instance.
How Do You Know Who Is Responsible for Your Injuries?
Construction sites require dozens, even hundreds, of workers. These workers must carefully work together and ensure that all safety regulations are being followed to maintain safety. When a construction site worker is injured, the negligence of several individuals is often to blame. Determining whether New York’s workers’ compensation laws apply to your injury claim requires an analysis by an experienced injury attorney. At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, our attorneys have represented injured construction workers both in workers’ compensation claims and civil claims. We understand how to analyze the facts of your claim to determine who is liable.
If a third party is responsible for your injuries, we can file a third-party liability claim or personal injury lawsuit in place of a workers’ compensation claim. We can handle your case on a contingency-fee basis, so you do not have to risk further losses after your accident.
Applying the Four Elements of Negligence
When our construction accident lawyers handle your case, they can work to establish the four elements of negligence. They can help link your injuries to another party’s actions and make your case for compensation.
To receive awards through a third-party liability claim or personal injury lawsuit, we can work to prove:
- Another party owed you a duty of care.
- That party breached their duty of care in some way.
- The breach caused a construction accident.
- The accident resulted in your injuries and losses.
Our legal team can gather evidence, such as surveillance footage and eyewitness testimony, to support your case. We leave no stones unturned when it comes to getting to the bottom of what happened.
You Have a Limited Time to File a Lawsuit
As with workers’ compensation claims, taking legal action against a third party also comes with deadlines. According to CVP § 214, you generally have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you lost a loved one to a workplace accident, you have even less time – generally two years – to file a wrongful death lawsuit, per EPT § 5-4.1.
Filing after these deadlines pass could result in the court dismissing your case. Few exceptions stall the deadline, and you do not want to risk losing your last chance to hold a negligent party responsible. The sooner you get started on your case, the better.
Our lawyers can help you meet any deadlines that apply to your case. We offer free consultations, after which we can get to work immediately. We can submit necessary paperwork in a timely manner and keep an eye on the statute of limitations when negotiating with insurers.
Contact a Long Island Construction Accident Lawyer’s Team
If you were injured on a construction site, let the attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP help. We aggressively pursue all avenues of recovery so that you obtain the compensation you deserve. This way, you can focus on what matters most – your health.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and may not be applicable in your jurisdiction.