Can an Undocumented Worker File a Construction Injury Lawsuit in NYC?
Many undocumented workers in New York City work in construction. These are often approachable jobs that workers can get with or without paperwork – but they are also incredibly dangerous jobs that often result in serious injuries. If you are injured, getting compensation through a lawsuit might be an option – but is it legal for undocumented workers?
Your immigration status and status as an undocumented worker should not hurt your ability to file a lawsuit, and undocumented construction workers are entitled to file an injury lawsuit in the same situations that any injured citizen would be entitled to a lawsuit. However, NY employment and labor laws often limit lawsuits, preferring that victims file through Workers’ Compensation. Nonetheless, there are many routes to a lawsuit for injured construction workers, documented or undocumented.
For help with your injury case, call The Carrion Law Firm’s NYC construction accident lawyers at (718) 841-0083.
Are Undocumented Workers Allowed to Sue for Construction Injuries in NYC?
Undocumented workers should have all the same rights as documented workers when it comes to pay, benefits, injury compensation, and access to the courts. It is illegal under the laws of the United States and the State of New York to discriminate against people on the basis of their country of origin, making discrimination against undocumented workers illegal. This gives undocumented workers the same right to sue that any other construction worker in NYC would have.
As an undocumented worker, you might have fears and apprehension about contacting a lawyer or taking a case to court for fear that you could be turned away or that immigration officials could be called to try to stop you from filing. Under the law, it is illegal to discriminate against you, and you should be given access to the courts in the same way that any other worker would be given access.
After an injury on a construction site, you could be entitled to take your case to court with the help of our Bronx construction accident lawyers. However, there are other restrictions that might keep workers from filing lawsuits even if they are citizens.
When Can Injured Construction Workers Sue for Injuries in NYC?
Under New York law, construction workers throughout the state are often limited in how and when they can file injury lawsuits for work injuries. New York’s Workers’ Compensation statutes block lawsuits against employers, leaving injured workers to get compensation through their employer’s insurance policies. However, there are a few loopholes and exceptions that allow lawsuits despite this typical restriction:
Many construction workers are hired as independent contractors, but this might not affect your right to sue your employer under these laws. While correctly classified contractors are not required to be covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance, NY law treats most workers as “employees” for purposes of coverage. This means that, even if you are paid as a contractor, your employer should likely still cover you with their insurance and pay for your injuries through a claim if you are injured. This also means that you might still be blocked from suing your employer.
For independent contractors who are not working in the same field as the party that hired them, you could be entitled to a separate lawsuit outside of this system. For example, a general contractor hired by a construction firm could potentially be treated as an employee and blocked from suing their employer. But a general contractor hired by a private business or homeowner to do work for them should be entitled to sue the party that hired them if they caused their construction accident.
Lawsuits Against Third Parties
These insurance rules only prevent lawsuits against your employer. Many construction injury lawsuits are not filed against employers because the employer was not actually the one who did something wrong. Instead, lawsuits can be filed against other parties who cause accidents on construction sites.
One common target for these lawsuits is equipment manufacturers who provide faulty or defective tools, safety gear, and other equipment. For example, a saw with a defective guard could lead to injuries, and that would be the tool manufacturer’s fault.
Other parties could also be held responsible for causing a construction accident, such as the owner of the property where the work is taking place, a nearby property owner, a driver passing through a construction zone, or some other contractor at the job site.
Employers can actually be sued for injuries in a construction accident if they committed certain mistakes and safety violations under New York’s labor laws. For this kind of claim to succeed, you must be able to prove that your employer was responsible for the accident and that they committed a particular violation. Our Queens construction accident attorneys can analyze your case and see if any of these particular violations were involved in your case.
Failure to Provide Insurance
Many immigrants and undocumented workers face discrimination in spite of these laws meant to protect them. If your employer was supposed to provide you with Workers’ Compensation coverage and did not, you might be entitled to a lawsuit instead. In many cases, you could also be entitled to get on their insurance and get damages paid that way, but if we can help you file a lawsuit, that could ultimately pay higher damages.
Law Firms that Help Undocumented Workers with Construction Injury Claims in NYC
Our attorneys work with all kinds of injured construction workers. Whether you were an employee, a contractor, or a subcontractor – and whether you are documented or undocumented – our attorneys can help you file an injury claim and get the compensation you need. We will analyze your case in a free case review and see if you meet an exception that allows you to file a lawsuit. Then, we will be able to take your case and fight to get you compensation from the at-fault parties for your construction accident.
Call Our Construction Accident and Injury Lawyers in NYC Today
Call (718) 841-0083 for a free case review with The Carrion Law Firm’s Brooklyn construction accident lawyers.