Can I Sue My Employer After I Get Hurt on a New York Construction Site?

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Can I Sue My Employer After I Get Hurt on a New York Construction Site?

If you’ve had the misfortune of getting hurt on construction site, it’s important to investigate whether the incident resulted from negligence. The cause of workplace accidents determines whether you’re entitled to compensation from your employer. Depending on the circumstances, you may sue your employer for a construction accident in New York.

Workers Compensation Basics

New York’s workers’ compensation system is a mostly no-fault system where you can file a workplace injury claim if you’re in an accident and can’t work. This is good for gaining assistance for economic damages like medical bills, lost hours, and so forth.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much for non-economic damages like pain and suffering or emotional distress. Those require you to file a lawsuit, which you usually can’t do while on workers’ compensation (there are exceptions, though).

Construction Workers

Suing a Third Party for Damages

Who might you sue if you’re an employee and get hurt at a construction site? This can be tricky, but only because the construction site owner is often different from your employer. If that’s the case, there is a loophole in New York law that allows you to sue for non-economic damages against a third party (i.e., the construction site owner).

This is an option if you can prove that the site owner neglected to provide a safe work area and that it contributed to the accident.

Comparative Fault & Grave Injuries

Under New York’s Comparative Fault system, it becomes possible to sue your employer along with the construction site owner. This is where a judge would determine the level of culpability between the two defendants. Of course, this would also take into consideration how much fault belongs to employees themselves. A court might decide, hypothetically, that the construction company assumes 60% fault, the employer has 25%, leaving the employee with 15%. This would correspond with the damages awarded (the employee would lose 15% of the damage total).

Grave Injuries

New York has something called a “grave injuries” loophole, that allows employees to receive workers’ compensation and non-economic damages simultaneously. This occurs when neglect results in a grave injury such as loss of limb, wrongful death, paralysis, facial disfigurement, blindness, deafness, or traumatic brain injury.

Call Gruenberg Kelly Della for Personal Injury Counsel

This is a brief snapshot of the complexity involving workplace injuries, especially on construction sites. We can help you determine what it means for an employer or construction site owner to be negligent. If that’s the case with your accident, then it’s in your interest to pursue damages to the fullest extent possible, and we can facilitate that.

Gruenberg Kelly Della serves New York workers with outstanding legal counsel for construction site accidents, automobile accidents, and more. Contact us at 631-737-4110 to learn more about our many services.