Workers Comp and Construction Accidents
A construction sites is one of the most dangerous work environments. With all the heavy machinery and people moving about doing different jobs, one small mistake can cause an accident. Unfortunately, construction accidents usually cause serious injury. If you are injured on the construction site, which renders you unable to work or make a living, you may be eligible for worker’s compensation insurance also known as workers comp.
What is Workers Compensation?
Workers comp is a state mandated benefit that pays money to employees who are injured in a work-related accident. Due to changes in New York’s workers compensation system make it more important than ever that you obtain legal counsel before filing a worker’s compensation.
Can You Sue If You Are Already Receiving Workers Comp?
If you are injured on the construction site, New York law prevents construction workers from suing their employers – even if the accident was caused by employer negligence. When you are injured on the Construction site, your best bet is receiving workers compensation benefits. Though this is common, there are cases in which you can sue for damages. These include:
- Injuries caused by a defective product
- Injuries caused by a toxic substance
- Injuries caused by intentional or bad conduct of employer
- If employer does not carry workers comp insurance
- If a third party caused your injury
In all but one of these instances, a third party caused the accidents. Though you forfeit the right to sue your employer by accepting workers comp insurance, you can however sue a third party involved in your accident.
Third Party Construction Accident Lawsuits and Workers Compensation
Oftentimes construction workers injured on the job are only entitled to workers compensation benefits. Rarely does this compensation fully reimburse a worker for their pain, suffering and other losses. If you are injured on the job, depending on what caused your accident, you may be able to sue a third party in a personal injury lawsuit.
A third party claim can be filed against your employer if negligence or wrongful actions of a third party, such as another employee can be proved. This is especially common on construction sites where there are several subcontractors all working at the same time.
Common third party accidents include:
- Falling from scaffolding
- Falling into an unsecured elevator shaft
- Being hit by falling tools or building materials
- Falling into trench
- Being struck by a crane, fork lift or other construction vehicle
While you wait for your third party claim to go through, you can apply for and receive workers comp benefits. If you attorney is able to recover damages for you, you will have to pay back your workers compensation you were paid with the money you are awarded.
How An Attorney Can Help You With A Construction Site Workers Comp Claim
If you are injured in a construction site accident it is important that you seek a lawyer before you apply for workers comp insurance. Insurance companies hire experience lawyers to investigate accidents in order to find enough evidence that will help them pay out the smallest benefit amount possible.
An experienced attorney knows what to look for in a construction site accident case. They can help develop legal argument with medical testimony from doctors to describe the extent of your injuries, which gives you the best possible chance of obtaining the maximum benefit amount possible.
By hiring a lawyer, you can also focus on getting healthy again. You will need to spend time documenting the accident, injuries sustained and the cost of your medical bills so that your workers compensation lawyer can build your case. But besides that, you have the piece of mind in knowing that an attorney is handling your claim for you, which can lower your stress level and enhance your recovery process.