What Are Your Rights if You Get Hurt at a Construction Job in New York?
Construction workers and contractors often fall into a unique category of workers. While some may be able to make workers’ compensation claims, many construction workers do not have coverage under this system or may have ways around it to help them get compensation through a lawsuit instead of an insurance system. When you are injured on a job site, it is important to understand what rights you have and how to pursue claims to get you the damages you need.
Injured contractors and construction workers often have the right to seek medical care after an injury, but they may have to pay for care themselves and seek reimbursement through a lawsuit. If workers’ comp. covers their case, emergency care may be covered, but other damages down the road might go unpaid.
Talk to our New York construction accident lawyers for more details about your specific case. The Carrion Law Firm represents injured construction workers and their families, and we fight to get injury cases and medical bills paid after serious accidents. Call us for a free legal consultation at (718) 841-0083.
Workers’ Rights After Injuries on Construction Sites in New York
Injured workers will have different rights depending on what kind of worker they are. Many employees are covered by workers’ compensation rules, which could get their emergency care covered by an employer and ongoing medical care and wages covered if they use an approved doctor for approved care only. Independent contractors often have greater rights, and they can typically do more to fight for compensation after an injury. Talk to a lawyer, either way, to make sure that your rights are protected, as many construction firms and companies fight to avoid liability and payouts.
Right to Seek Treatment
First, injured contractors and non-employee construction workers are typically able to get whatever care they need after an injury without needing to seek approval from their employer. However, they may be responsible for any costs or expenses. Injured employees can also get emergency care, but employers might try to refuse them immediate services or ask them to delay treatment to avoid time loss at work. In any case, if your injuries are severe enough, you should go to the hospital and seek help.
Right to Sue for Damages
If you are an independent contractor, you are typically on the hook for your own medical care – but you may have the right to seek compensation later through a lawsuit. Workers’ comp. rules often block lawsuits against employers, stopping injured workers from being able to claim pain and suffering and other damages against their employer. Independent contractors and self-employed workers do not have this same restriction, and they can almost always access the courts to sue the at-fault parties after an accident.
Right to Recovery Time
As a contractor, you may have more flexibility to set your own hours and stagger your return to work so that you can return at your own pace. Employees might have certain protections that give them explicit time off for injuries, but the specifics about when you return to work will always depend heavily on the facts of your case. Talk to a lawyer about what effects an injury might have on your ability to return to work and how it might affect ongoing jobs or contracts while you recover from your injuries. In many cases, your own insurance for your contracting business will be able to cover some of the effects of stopped work caused by an accident or injury.
Suing for Injuries After a Construction Accident in New York
As mentioned, independent contractors are not typically limited from suing after an accident. This means that you could be entitled to sue any responsible parties after a construction accident, whether that means filing a case against the construction firm or construction company, another contractor, a negligent workman on the site, a driver who crashed into you at a job site, a negligent equipment manufacturer, or some other at-fault party.
Workers have stricter limitations that block them from suing their employer in many cases. However, any of the third-party actors listed above could be sued for injuries on a job site. To prove that they were at fault, you will need to show evidence that they did something “negligent.” In injury cases, negligence refers to a breach of a legal duty that they owed you that ended up causing injuries, such as the following:
- Manufacturers who produce dangerous power tools or faulty safety gear
- Drivers who cause a car accident inside a construction zone by violating traffic laws
- Construction site operators who fail to get gas and power lines marked before digging
- Workers who drop tools and debris without checking whether someone is below them
If you faced any kinds of serious injuries on a construction site, check with a Long Island lawyer to determine what right you have to seek compensation. Sometimes, complex situations can occur where you may meet exceptions even if you would otherwise be unable to sue. A free consultation with an attorney can help you determine your eligibility, and your attorney can explain the options you have moving forward.
In many cases, filing a lawsuit is the best way to maximize your damages where accepting insurance payments or worker benefits might fall short. Check with a Brooklyn attorney to find out which route to recovery is best in your case.
Call Our New York Construction Site Accident Lawyers
If you were hurt on a construction site and need help getting compensation and understanding your rights, call The Carrion Law Firm. Our Queens construction site accident lawyers offer free legal consultations. Call (718) 841-0083 today.