Are All Construction Workers in New York Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

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    If you work in the construction industry and were injured at work, learning about your possible paths to compensation is important. As a construction worker, you will most likely be covered by Workers’ Compensation. So, what might that mean for your potential recovery?

    Because New York requires all employers to have Workers’ Compensation for their employees, all construction workers should be covered. That said, not all employers follow insurance requirements, leaving some employees without coverage. If you are covered by Workers’ Compensation, our lawyers may still explore the possibility that a third party’s negligence caused your injuries, or if your case meets an exception to New York’s exclusive remedy rule, entitling you to sue your employer. This can allow you to file a construction accident lawsuit, which could result in you recovering additional damages, such as compensation for your pain and suffering. To secure your recovery, get immediate medical attention for workplace injuries sustained on a construction site and inform your employer of the accident right away.

    To get help with your case from our New York construction injury lawyers, call The Carrion Law Firm now at (718) 841-0083.

    Are All Construction Workers Covered by Workers’ Compensation in New York?

    New York has fairly strict Workers’ Compensation laws, requiring virtually all employers to have workplace liability insurance. Because of this, most construction workers should be covered in case of injury. So, what does that mean for you?

    All employers with employees must have Workers’ Compensation in New York. This applies to employers with part-time employees or those who employ family members. It also pertains to companies within the construction industry.

    New York’s Workers’ Compensation system is a no-fault system, meaning injured workers can get benefits, no matter who was at fault for their injuries. That is to say, your employer does not have to be at fault in order for you to file a workplace liability claim in New York. Because of this your ability to sue your employer for injury may be limited, though there are exceptions to the exclusive remedy rule that allow workers in the construction industry to file injury lawsuits against their employers. But, yes, generally speaking, most construction workers should be covered by Workers’ Compensation in New York.

    Are Independent Contractors Covered by Workers’ Compensation in New York?

    Independent contractors are used in the construction industry very often to tackle specific parts of larger jobs. Whether or not these individuals are covered by Workers’ Compensation can be a complicated matter.

    The Construction Industry Fair Play Act of 2010 set the standard that, any person who becomes injured while working for a contractor is presumed to be the employee of that contractor. So, if a construction company hires a you for a specific job, you will most likely be considered a regular employee, unless you meet certain criteria. For example, to be considered an independent contractor, an individual must be free from a contractor’s direction when performing their duties. They must also perform duties and services that are outside the contractor’s normal course of business and have an already-established business or occupation that relates to the services they are performing. If a construction company hires a sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation, it will only be considered a separate entity from the contractor if additional criteria are met.

    The Construction Industry Fair Play Act has made it easier for those who might be classified as independent contractors in other states get Workers’ Compensation in New York. However, this might make it more difficult to sue an employer for injury. Fortunately, there are construction-specific exceptions to the exclusive remedy rule, like violations of safety practices, that allow employees to sue their employers.

    Is Workers’ Compensation the Best Option for Injured Construction Workers in New York?

    While filing Workers’ Compensation claims might be the easiest path to recovery for injured construction workers in New York, it might not always be the best course, as other routes might provide the opportunity for a greater recovery.

    Workers’ Compensation does not provide damages for pain and suffering, which many construction site accident victims experience. This alone is reason enough to explore the possibility that another party, someone other than your employer, might ultimately be liable for your injuries. Should this be the case, you could file a third-party work injury lawsuit to recover additional compensation than what a settlement from your employer’s insurer might provide. That is because compensatory damages are unlimited in injury lawsuits in New York.

    Third-party construction accident claims might involve manufacturers or distributors of defective products, negligent drivers who run into roadside construction sites, or other parties. Generally speaking, victims will have three years to bring third-party injury claims in New York, according to C.V.P. Law § 214(5). Comparatively, victims have two years from the date of injury to bring a Workers’ Compensation claim, according to W.K.C. Law § 28. If you can sue your employer for injury because they acted negligently and violated safety regulations, such as those pertaining to the proper use of scaffolding set out in L.A.B. Law § 240, you will have three years to file your lawsuit.

    When you file a lawsuit, you can claim damages for your pain and suffering. Furthermore, if your case goes to court, you might be awarded punitive damages by the jury, depending on the level of negligence exhibited by the defendant.

    What to Do After a Construction Accident in New York

    In the immediate aftermath of the incident, you can speak to your peers or passersby to see if they witnessed the accident take place. Their statements might be useful to your claim, especially if it goes to court. Our Staten Island construction accident lawyers can interview eyewitnesses and compile additional evidence to use in your lawsuit, such as surveillance footage and your medical records.

    Do not assume that, just because you are covered by Workers’ Compensation as a construction worker, that it is your only option for recovery following a construction site accident in New York. Doing so might cause you to miss out on crucial compensation.

    Call Our New York Lawyers to Discuss Your Construction Injury Case

    Our Queens, NY construction injury lawyers can review your case for free when you call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083.