Construction Accidents – When To Go Beyond Workers’ Comp – Today’s guest blog is by Jaroslawicz & Jaros PLLC. The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of The Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm.
Accidents on the job can be catastrophic to your livelihood. On top of the physical and emotional trauma of an injury, you realize afterward that what should be a relatively simple process of obtaining workers’ compensation through your employer is actually a logistical nightmare for both of you and can often become more complicated through long-term disability, pain, and suffering. In some cases, the amount of compensation isn’t nearly enough to cover living expenses and that doesn’t seem fair.
After fighting for what little money you are entitled to from worker’s comp, is there anything you can do to help get more compensation? The quick answer is maybe yes, and maybe no. If you were injured on the job, then the best thing you can do for yourself is to find an experienced and accomplished personal injury attorney to sort through the details of your case in order to determine whether or not you might be entitled to a third-party lawsuit.
What is a reasonable third-party personal injury claim? It depends on the details of your situation and where you reside. Here are the basics!
Third-Party Personal Injury Claims
- What does workers’ compensation cover? In NYC, the extent of compensation is dependent on a worker’s average weekly wage, and only covers a percentage of that wage. In addition, it covers medical expenses and rehabilitation services for the injury within reason and when necessary.
- When can I go beyond workers’ comp? First and foremost, in NYC you can sue when your employer does not have workers’ comp insurance. If you don’t sue directly, your filed claim will be paid through the workers’ comp organization, which will then recoup their losses directly from your employer. Either way, your employer is responsible for the damages you’ve suffered as a result of your injury. It’s also important to recognize that compensation doesn’t necessarily end when the injury is fully healed if the underlying damage is debilitative or permanent. In other words, if you have an injury that prevents you from attaining the same level of productivity or potential you previously had, thereby undercutting your long-term earning potential, then you’re entitled to continue receiving payments. In construction, the amount of these payments is based on the body part that was injured and the extent of damage to that body part.
- When and how to do I file a third-party personal injury claim? Sometimes, someone other than your employer may be to blame for an accident leading to injury. In NYC, workers’ comp will still cover damages related to physical injury, but an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to recover additional compensation because of the pain and suffering during and after the accident. Who is the third party in a third-party lawsuit?
- Property owners,
- Transport drivers
- General contractors and subcontractors
If an accident is caused by an unsafe work environment and one of these groups is at fault, then the liability falls squarely on their shoulders.
In addition, if an accident is caused by faulty equipment, then a manufacturer is often to blame. In this case, you can directly sue the manufacturer. Examples of defective products include tools, power equipment like bulldozers or forklifts, gas detectors, boilers, etc.
All of these are examples of third-party personal injury claims and potential avenues beyond workers’ comp.
Construction may be a rewarding career building the very foundation of our future, but the job is statistically one of the most dangerous out there. We’re not always in control of the chaotic events that affect us or those around us, but we certainly are in control of how we react to those events. We can choose to protect ourselves, both physically and financially. If you were involved in a construction-related accident, then you should immediately seek the counsel of an attorney trained to assess personal injury claims.
About The Author
Abraham Jaros, co-partner, and founder of Jaroslawicz & Jaros PLLC, a personal injury law firm located in New York. He began his career over 40 years ago and has tried hundreds of cases winning numerous multi-million dollar verdicts on behalf of his clients. When not in the courtroom he can be found writing information blogs about the current state of personal injury law.
Construction Accidents When To Go Beyond Workers Comp