Can I sue my employer if I’m injured in a construction accident?

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2021 | Slip-And-Fall Accidents |

seriously injured on-the-job. When this happens, it is important for the injured construction worker to understand what avenues of compensation they can pursue to make ends meet until they are well enough to work again.

Worker’s compensation is the default

New York has a state workers’ compensation system. If an employee is injured on the job, they can seek workers’ compensation benefits to help them pay for medical care and lost wages while they cannot work. These benefits are seen as a nonnegotiable alternative to pursuing a legal claim against the employer. There may be times, however, when a construction worker can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against a third party.

Third-party construction accident claims

There are circumstances in when a construction worker can pursue a personal injury claim following an on-the-job injury. One instance is if a third-party contractor was negligent. This means that the third-party contractor caused dangerous conditions that led to the construction worker’s injury and that the third party had either actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition of and had control over the dangerous condition.

New York Labor Law 240 also protects construction workers

New York Labor Law 240 also allows construction workers to pursue a personal injury claim if they were injured while performing necessary work in the erection or repair of a structure and were working at heights without appropriate safety devices to prevent falls. If these safety devices are not provided to the construction worker and the construction worker suffers injuries as a result, the construction worker can pursue a personal injury claim against the third-party whose responsibility was to provide these safety devices and supervise the work being done with them.

To prevail in such a claim, the injured party must be able to show that the third-party had actual or constructive knowledge that there were safety violations. If it can be shown that it was the worker, not the third party, that was solely responsible for the injuries suffered, it may not be possible to recover damages from the third party.

Learn more about third-party construction claims

Construction workers in New York face many risks on-the-job, especially if they work at heights. Whether a third-party claim can be pursued depends on the facts surrounding the accident. Construction workers injured on-the-job will want to ensure they understand all their options for compensation, including pursuing a third-party claim if appropriate.