The construction industry in America has been booming in recent months as housing starts in the US are nearing highs not been seen since 2007.
While this is great for the economy, it is important to keep in mind the dangers associated with an increase in construction activities.
In fact, we recently wrote a blog post which highlighted the correlation between increased construction activity in New York City and the rise in construction-related accidents.
Elevated work environments, heavy machinery and potentially hazardous tools are just a few of the dangerous conditions faced by construction workers in New York every single day.
When a construction worker is injured on the job in New York, he or she typically has multiple legal options for recovering monetary compensation to help pay for damages.
In this article we discuss workers’ compensation and personal injury lawsuits, including the difference between these two legal options for recovering compensation after a workplace accident.
Personal Injury Lawsuit or Workers’ Compensation?
Injured construction workers can experience financial difficulties after a workplace accident from a lack of income and unexpected expenses that are incurred as a result of their injury.
Fortunately, these workers can often obtain financial support through multiple avenues which are discussed below.
Workers’ Comp Claim
The first option that an injured construction worker has is to obtain financial benefits through a workers’ compensation claim.
In New York, workers who becomes injured on the job are generally entitled to workers’ compensation, regardless of who or what caused their work-related injury.
Workers’ compensation benefits can help pay for certain damages associated with a work-related injury including medical expenses, lost wages and death benefits.
Most workers’ believe that the only option for recovering compensation to help pay for injury-related expenses is through a workers’ compensation claim. However, this is not always true…
Personal Injury Lawsuits
While workers’ compensation can be very helpful in paying for some injury-related costs, it may not be sufficient in covering all of your damages.
In addition to filing a workers’ comp claim, an injured construction worker may be able to pursue compensation for other damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
A personal injury lawsuit typically alleges that the negligence of a third party is what caused an injury to occur. While it would often be difficult to file a personal injury lawsuit for a work-related accident, the construction industry in New York is different.
New York Scaffold Law
The State of New York has specific laws in place that are designed to protect construction workers in the unfortunate event of an injury.
One of such laws is known as “The Scaffold Law,” which holds property owners and contractors responsible for the safety of scaffolding, ladders, hoists and other work.
Workers who are injured in accidents involving scaffolding, ladders or elevated heights are typically able to file a lawsuit against their employer or another party under the Scaffold Law.
What Should I Do?
Regardless of your whether or not you wish to file a personal injury lawsuit, you should always consult a New York attorney after being injured in a construction accident or other work-related accident.
Understanding your rights and your options after being injured at work is very important.
At Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C. we offer free consultations to injured workers throughout New York and are dedicated to helping injured workers obtain the compensation that they may deserve.
Give us a call today at 212-285-3300 for your free consultation.