Construction is one of the biggest and most lucrative Industries in New York. Putting up big buildings and helping maintain them after their erection requires the support of skilled professionals whose abilities range from welding to installing electrical wiring.
As a construction professional, you may have valuable benefits provided by your employer, such as short-term disability benefits, workers’ compensation coverage and health insurance that the company subsidizes to reduce your monthly costs. You may want to make use of those benefits, as well as any paid time off that you have accrued, after you get hurt on the job.
However, workers’ compensation and similar benefits will leave you with gaps between what you usually earn and what disability pay will cover. Using your personal health insurance for an injury on the job might mean that you have to pay thousands of dollars to meet a deductible or end up paying for whatever treatment you received. Pursuing a third-party claim could be a solution if there is someone else with liability for your injury.
Gravity-related injuries can connect you with special protection
New York has a unique law put in place long before workers’ compensation was a mainstream program. New York Labor Law 240 or the scaffold law imposes strict liability on property owners or the individuals representing them, as well as on the companies managing large construction projects.
They have an obligation to proactively attempt to protect workers who will perform services at an elevated location or run the risk of getting hurt by falling objects. Sometimes, you may be able to bring a third-party claim against a business or property owner because of unsafe facilities or inappropriate safety precautions for the workers managing the project.
Someone completely unrelated could hurt you
Perhaps a drunk driver falls asleep at the wheel and goes off the road, striking the scaffolding below you and causing a fall that leaves you severely injured. Maybe a tool that you used at work had a defective component, which led to a major injury.
When an outside business or an individual breaks the law or does something obviously negligent, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim against that party to seek compensation for all the losses you suffered, including lost wages, property damage and hospital bills.
Serious injuries to construction workers might not just leave them with hospital bills but might force them permanently into a lower-paid profession. Recognizing how your injuries may limit your future opportunities will make it easier for you to evaluate settlement offers or seek the right amount in a civil lawsuit. Identifying who might be to blame for your recent construction injury can help you connect with compensation.