Options for Filing a Claim After a Personal Injury on a Construction Site
by King Law
Accidents and injuries on Rochester construction sites can happen in many different ways. Many construction accidents happen when a construction worker is involved in risky work, such as demolition work or trench excavation work, or construction that requires being up on a scaffold many stories above ground level. Yet, construction site accidents can also occur in roadside construction when an oncoming vehicle is speeding or fails to move over for construction work. A distracted or aggressive driver can crash into a roadside construction worker, causing serious or fatal injuries. And in some construction site accidents, the injured person is not even a worker. For instance, a pedestrian may be walking on the sidewalk near a construction site when a falling piece of building material or a tool strikes and severely injures that pedestrian.
If you are injured on a construction site in or near Rochester, New York, what are your options for seeking compensation? The answer to that question depends on whether or not you were a construction worker when you sustained injuries on a construction site, and who was responsible for your injuries. We will explain more to help you understand what your options might be for filing a construction accident claim.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Injured Construction Workers
One of the first options for compensation for injured construction workers is to file a workers’ compensation claim. The New York workers’ compensation system is a “no fault” one, which means that it does not matter if the employer was at fault due to his or her negligence, or whether the employee’s own negligence caused the construction accident. Given that it is a no fault system, an injured worker can seek compensation regardless of who was at fault, and nobody is liable for injuries caused by negligence under current workers’ compensation law.
In most situations, workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy, which means that an injured construction worker cannot seek workers’ compensation benefits and then file a negligence lawsuit against the employer—the workers’ comp is the exclusive remedy. However, there are some exceptions.
New York Labor Law Protections for Injured Construction Workers
One exception to an injured construction worker’s ability to file a lawsuit against his or her employer is in situations where the employer’s negligence was a violation of New York Labor Law Section 200, Section 240, or Section 241. These New York laws are distinct from laws in other states. To be sure, these kinds of laws do not exist. However, in New York, a construction employer has a duty to protect the health and safety of employees, to provide certain safety measures and protections from falls and scaffolding accidents, and to take steps to prevent injuries in construction, excavation, and demolition work.
If you were injured while working on a construction site, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim and a lawsuit based on a New York Labor Law violation.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Party
What about a personal injury lawsuit? In general, there are three scenarios in which a personal injury lawsuit may be an option for you:
- You were nearby a construction site (but were not working there) when the accident occurred and you suffered injuries;
- You were working on a construction site and your employer engaged in intentional behavior aimed at causing your injuries; or
- You were injured because of a third party (such as a driver who crashed into you while you were working on a roadside construction site, or by a defective piece of equipment you were using on the construction site).
Other types of accident cases also may give rise to a personal injury lawsuit, and it is important to seek advice from an experienced Rochester personal injury attorney. No matter what your situation is, you should know that a Rochester construction accident lawyer will fight for compensation on your behalf. At King Law, we know how important it is to exhaust all options for seeking compensation after a devastating construction accident, and we are here to help guide you through this complex process.
Contact a Construction Accident Lawyer in Rochester
If you were injured in a construction accident in or around Rochester, you should seek advice from a Rochester personal injury attorney as soon as you can. Depending upon your specific circumstances, you may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim and a lawsuit. Our firm can speak with you today and can assess the merits of your case. Contact King Law to learn more about how we can assist you with your claim.