The construction industry is notorious for being one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Workers face everything from falls to exposure to toxic chemicals and harsh weather. In 2015, over 21 percent of all employee deaths were in construction alone, and fatalities in this sector increased by nearly 6 percent in 2016, records the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Most of the time, these job site accidents result in workers' compensation claims. Sometimes, however, they may also lead to third-party lawsuits for maximum compensation. Know the laws ahead of time so you can prepare in case you sustain an injury at a construction site.
New York labor laws
New York Labor Law 240, also known as the Scaffold Law, and Law 241 give construction workers the ability to hold more parties liable for an accident. Victims can sue building owners and businesses even if they are not overseeing the project or directly responsible for the hazard. It does not matter if the worker was partially at fault either. As long as there has been a safety violation, there can also be a third-party claim.
Product manufacturers, other contractors, utility companies and architects can also be liable for accidents. New York ensures the protection of construction employees due to the dangerous nature of their job. With the chances of severe injury or death so high, these laws mitigate risk by encouraging all parties to practice the highest safety standards to avoid costly lawsuits and settlements.
When an accident occurs on the job, follow standard procedures for workers' compensation: report the incident to supervisors and seek immediate medical care. Then speak to a personal injury attorney to see if you have a third-party claim, as this type of lawsuit does not fall under workers' comp laws. Holding all the responsible parties accountable can increase the damages you will receive to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.