Why Are Construction Site Accidents Different Than Other Personal Injury Cases?

There are several things that differentiate construction site accidents from other personal injury cases.

New York Has Worker’s Compensation For Construction Accidents

One difference is the relationship between the worker and the owners or contractors at the site. Rather than having outside individuals suing someone for negligence, a worker who was injured on the job would be covered by worker’s compensation.

This means he would not be able to sue any other co-employee, or he would not be able to sue his employer as a result of any negligence that caused injury. His only remedy would be worker’s compensation.

New York has its own special rules including the New York State Labor Law and other laws through which New York permits someone who has been injured in a construction accident to sue not his employer, but any other third party who may be involved and whose negligence or lack of care caused the accident.

There are also contractual relationships between the parties that make it a little bit different. Every construction case scenario usually involves an owner and a general contractor as well as the various subcontractors.

These companies all have contractual agreements with each other that set forth who had been assigned certain responsibilities for different aspects of the work including supervision, safety and so forth, which is part of these cases that is unique and makes them different from regular negligence cases.

The final thing that makes construction accident cases a little bit different than normal personal injury cases are the insurance relationships between the various parties. Almost every company involved in any major construction work has workers compensation for their employees but that would only apply in the situation where an employee was injured by the negligence of another employee.

Other parties involved in the construction site would also have different forms of liability and policies that would further make these cases unique and different from usual personal injury cases.

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Misconceptions About Construction Accident Injury Claim’s Process

The most important misconception is people do not realize that if they were injured in a construction accident and even if they were covered via workers compensation, then they still may be able to sue for benefits outside of worker’s compensation.

Worker’s compensation would provide some benefits, some loss wages benefits and medical benefits, although those would be limited and the wage claims would be limited.

Under workers compensation, there would be no compensation for pain and suffering, for the permanent effects of an injury or for the effect it would have on a spouse or a domestic partner when someone was injured.

In New York, a third party lawsuit could be brought if there was another party whose negligence or lack of responsibility caused the accident, and under those circumstances, the injured party would be able to sue via a lawsuit and have a jury trial.

This would include certain damages, access to medical benefits, wage loss and most importantly pain and suffering both in the past and projecting into the future.

Statute Of Limitations For Construction Site Accidents

The statute of limitations in a construction accident, which would essentially count as a negligence accident in New York, would be the same as other negligence accidents, meaning it would be 3 years from the date of the accident.

The exception for this would of course be if the person was dealing with the municipal or governmental owner or manager at a construction site and for those entities, there would generally be a 90-day notice of claim deadline.

This means that an injured party would have 90 days from the date of the accident, to bring a Notice of Claim against that entity. Thereafter, a lawsuit could be filed but only after certain requirements had been met such as giving the municipality or governmental entity a right to have a hearing to question the person about the accident and the injuries.

The statute of limitations to file the lawsuit against that entity would be 1 year and 90 days after the date of the accident, although for all other non-governmental entities, it would be a 3-year statute of limitations.

For more information on Construction Accident Cases In New York, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (718) 720-7000 today.

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