building under construction with crane

In 2020, New York City recorded more than 500 construction accident-related injuries and 8 fatalities. Many injured construction workers will recoup at least a portion of their lost wages and medical costs from the Workers’ Compensation that their employers carry. For many of those accidents, workers’ comp will be the injured employee’s only remedy.

In other cases, the circumstances of the accident might allow the injured employee to sue for additional damages even if they have already received workers’ comp benefits.

If you have questions about your opportunity to sue for additional damages, contact a New York construction accident lawyer from Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C.

When can an injured construction worker file a lawsuit after recovering workers’ comp benefits?

An injured construction worker’s right to sue will always be a function of the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the accident. A personal injury lawyer will always need to study them before a determination is made.

Here are some of the facts that the attorney will consider:

  • Whether the owner and general contractor can be held liable
  • Whether a negligent party other than the injured worker’s employer caused the accident– for example, if an individual suffers injuries due to defective construction equipment or as a result of an unsafe condition on the construction site property. Workers may have a right to sue the equipment manufacturer or the property owner.

What damages can an injured construction worker recover in a lawsuit?

Negligence law governs construction site fall accidents and other mishaps. If an injured worker has an opportunity to sue for injuries, they can claim damages that would be recoverable in different kinds of negligence cases. These include:

  • lost wages and compensation for reduced future earnings if injuries cause permanent disabilities
  • reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses related to the injuries
  • costs and expenses for physical, rehabilitative, and occupational therapy
  • medical and hospital costs and expenses
  • compensation for pain and suffering

However, negligence law will not allow a worker to claim double recovery for the same injuries. If an injured party has received workers’ comp benefits, the aggregate value of those benefits will likely be credited against the damages that they can recover in a lawsuit. A lien is asserted and a portion of the benefits already paid are paid back only if a recovery is made.

How should a construction worker proceed after suffering an on-the-job injury?

An injured construction worker should provide written notice of the injury to their employer and start the process as soon as is possible. Worker’s compensation insurance will be the quickest source of recovery for reimbursement of lost wages and medical expenses. Prompt notice of injuries is generally a condition to receive it.

That worker should also write down all information about the accident and injuries and then contact a knowledgeable and experienced construction accident attorney. They can help determine if additional damages are recoverable in a lawsuit. Workers’ comp claims can be filed without a lawyer’s help, but any subsequent lawsuit will require a lawyer’s assistance.   

Call the NYC Construction Accident Lawyers at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C.

If you’ve been injured in a construction accident in New York City and have already filed for workers’ compensation benefits, you may be able to hold other parties accountable and recover further compensation for your injuries.

The personal injury and construction accident attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green in Manhattan represent injured New York construction workers in lawsuits. Please see our website and call us after you have suffered injuries to determine if you have a right to recover damages above and beyond your workers’ comp benefits.