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Knowing Your Legal Rights When Injured at Construction Sites

In some ways, construction site accidents differ significantly from other types of work related accidents. In most work environments, a New York employee injured on the job cannot sue the employer for damages, but can seek compensation for lost wages and medical treatment through the employer’s workers compensation coverage. Workers compensation does not cover damages for pain and suffering or health insurance or pension benefits that workers lose due to becoming disabled.

If a third party bore liability due to a faulty product or tool that caused injury, the worker could pursue a products liability claim against the manufacturer to help offset expenses suffered from the accident.

What additional rights do construction workers have in New York?

Under New York Labor Law, property owners and contractors are held to a higher standard of accountability for construction workers. When construction workers do jobs on ladders and scaffolds at elevated heights, their employers are responsible for providing them with safe tools, properly functioning devices and safety equipment. Also, owners and contractors bear responsibility for ensuring that the jobsite is free of avoidable hazards and must comply with safety regulations when dealing with building, materials lifting, excavation and demolition.

Consequently, under NY Labor Law, when construction site workers suffer serious injury on the job, their employers are strictly liable for damages if they failed to adhere to the law.

What time limits exist for pursuing a lawsuit?

In most cases, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to file a claim. However, if you were working on a public project under government contract, you would only have 90 days to file a claim with the appropriate government authority. (For more information, see the NYC Comptroller website.)

Get legal help if you’ve suffered a serious construction site injury. It is wise to consult with an experienced injury lawyer who can apprise you of your rights and ensure time limitations are met.

At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your construction site accident and evaluate your potential case.