As a construction worker employed by a business in New York, you have plenty of rights under the law. Your employer has to comply with state law regarding safety measures and how they treat their employees.
Typically, your employer will have to maintain workers’ compensation insurance to protect you against injuries you might suffer on the job. Most injured construction workers will only need to file a workers’ compensation claim to get medical care or disability benefits when an injury keeps them from doing their job.
However, in rare situations, an injured construction worker may be in a position to go to court and file a personal injury lawsuit.
1) When another company is responsible for their job incident
Accidents in the workplace can stem from all kinds of issues. If your employer hired an outside company to install the scaffolding or the property owner had scaffolding erected before your company started the project, either the building owner or the company that installed the scaffolding could be responsible for your injuries. The same is true if you get hurt because of defective safety equipment or power tools used on the job.
2) When a passerby is the cause of the issue
Not all construction incidents are the fault of someone working for the company doing the work. Sometimes, it is a completely uninvolved third party who causes your injury.
Someone driving into a construction site and striking you with their vehicle might be one example. People throwing items, pushing support poles for scaffolding or otherwise affecting your work operations could all potentially lead to your getting hurt and leave them possibly liable for their contributions to the situation.
3) When your employer is grossly negligent or broke the law
Many times, lawsuits stemming from a job injury involve a third party being at fault, but that isn’t always the case. When the business that hired you is grossly negligent or outright violates the law regarding safety, construction or similar matters, they may open themselves up to liability for a worker’s injury.
While workers’ compensation is an excellent system, it does have limitations. Disability benefits, for example, are typically lower than your average weekly wage. When there is someone clearly at fault for your workplace injury, a civil lawsuit could be a way to recover the financial losses from a workplace injury that workers’ compensation won’t fully cover.