It is in your best interest to speak with an experienced injury lawyer after a construction accident in New York City.
Assuming that your injuries are minor, a workers’ compensation claim may be relatively straightforward and provide the temporary relief that you need while out of work. More serious injuries, however, can impose financial burdens on construction workers that are unmet by workers’ comp. In such cases, a lawyer can help you explore sources of compensation in addition to what may be provided by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.
Workers’ Compensation Covers Only Economic Losses
The idea behind workers’ compensation is simple: you give up the right to sue your employer for on-the-job injuries, and in turn you’re guaranteed certain benefits (at least, if your claim is accepted). You don’t have to show that your employer or a co-worker did anything wrong to be eligible for these benefits. That’s different from a typical personal injury lawsuit.
But workers’ compensation does have drawbacks. One of the greatest is that only economic damages such as medical bills, a portion of lost wages and rehabilitation costs are covered. Losses such as pain and suffering and emotional distress—which typically make up a large part of a personal injury award—are not paid by workers’ comp.
Also, while cash benefits are available for injured workers who cannot perform their job duties, the weekly benefit amount is less than full-time wages. If an injury keeps you out of work for an extended period, you might struggle to make ends meet with only cash benefits as income.
Third-Party Claims For Construction Accidents
Although the workers’ compensation system generallydoesn’t allow lawsuits against an employer or a co-worker, you may be able to bring lawsuits against third parties such as property owners, general contractors, subcontractors and product manufacturers.
The damages you recover in a personal injury lawsuit are completely independent of any workers’ compensation benefits you might receive. In fact, if your injuries are severe, you may very well need more than just workers’ compensation benefits.
It is important for injured construction workers to understand all their legal rights. Construction work is physically demanding. If you get hurt on the job, your career could be jeopardized and your finances destroyed if you don’t receive adequate compensation.
An experienced New York City injury lawyer at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can assist you in exploring all your options following a construction site accident. For a no-cost initial review of your claim call or contact us online today.