Construction Site Accidents: How To Seek Compensation Beyond Workers’ Comp
From painting the exterior of an office building to completing projects for a major commercial development company, construction workers are at high risk for fall, slip-and-fall, electrocution, struck-by-object and caught-in/-between accidents. Despite OSHA safety laws and regulations, as well as other job-specific provisions and job safety programs, the dangerous nature of construction work translates to a greater frequency of workplace accidents. When workers get injured on a construction site, it’s important to seek skilled legal representation to receive proper financial compensation for their pain and suffering.
When workers get hurt on the job, they should receive workers’ compensation. Required by law in New York State, Workers’ Compensation Insurance offers benefits for employees who become injured or ill as a result of their job without regard to fault. Workers that are totally or partially disabled and incapable of working for more than seven days receive cash benefits based on their average weekly wage and extent of disability. Certain workers may also be eligible for medical, supplemental, social security and death benefits.
“Like automobile insurance, workers’ comp is there to protect people,” says James Alexander, personal injury attorney and founder of Alexander & Associates. However, construction site workers involved in workplace accidents often sustain serious injuries and may never perform the same type of work again. Alexander notes that, “While workers’ comp is just enough to get by, it doesn’t take care of the bigger expenses.” When serious accidents happen due to employer negligence, filing a liability claim may help the injured worker acquire additional compensation.
“We’re fortunate in the state of New York to have special laws under the Labor Law, so we can recover more money for injured workers – especially where they fall from a height, like off a ladder or scaffold,” Alexander explains. “We have laws that impose strict liability on the owner and general contractor. Strict liability means that the owner and general contractor are responsible for safety on the site, and if somebody falls because of a lack of fall protection, the ladder or scaffold wasn’t set up right or the right safety device wasn’t used, then the owner and general contractor are strictly liable.”
What does this mean for construction workers hurt on the job? James Alexander, advises, “There’s pain and suffering money available in addition to workers’ comp.” To ensure they receive the compensation they deserve, it’s crucial for workers to contact a personal injury attorney directly following the accident, as there are usually strict filing deadlines. They should also file an accident report with their employer, seek medical attention, document the scene with photos, take down witnesses’ names and contact information, retain the equipment or tool that caused the accident and keep all medical bills and related paperwork.
“Not only do workers not know about the special laws, there are many attorneys who are unfamiliar with these rules as well,” says Alexander. For experienced representation following a construction site accident, seek help from Alexander & Associates by calling 1-800-529-1333 for a free, no-obligation consultation. James Alexander has been helping personal injury victims for over 37 years and is well-versed in New York State’s special laws, rules and regulations.