Owners of building projects and contractors in NYC procure basic protection from direct liability for construction accidents with workers’ compensation insurance. Injured workers collect benefits from that insurance rather than pursuing the owners or contractors directly for their damages. Workers’ compensation insurance is not, however, a perfect liability shield. There are instances in which an injured worker can recover compensation directly from an owner or contractor.

The construction accident lawyers in New York City at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. represent injured construction workers in lawsuits against owners and contractors. From our more than 50 years of experience, we recognize when owners and contractors are liable for construction accident injuries.

Workers who are employed without workers’ compensation insurance

This situation might occur, for example, when a subcontractor does not provide insurance or enroll in the owner’s or contractor’s insurance, and an employee gets hurt at a construction site. Owners often use “wrap” policies to prevent this, but coverage might be overlooked in a project that involves many subcontractors. Our attorneys analyze these interrelationships to determine coverage and liability issues that give rise to a direct lawsuit for negligence liability.

Third parties that provide services outside the scope of the primary contract

Workers’ compensation insurance often does not extend to material suppliers, safety consultants, and other third-party service providers whose work is outside of the contractual definition of the project. An owner or contractor might add an insurance rider to a workers’ compensation policy to include these workers. Apart from that rider, the owner or contractor may be directly liable for a third party’s injuries.

Gross negligence or intentional disregard for worker safety

Contractors or owners who deliberately ignore unsafe situations or require workers to provide services without basic safety protections will be liable for gross negligence or willful misconduct. They will be directly responsible for the construction worker’s damages. This situation might occur, for example, when several workers suffer the same injuries from an unsafe condition and the owner or contractor does nothing to remedy that condition.

Crossover of the roles of the project developer and general contractor

When a developer’s project manager assumes the duties and responsibilities of a general contractor, that manager exposes the developer to direct liability for injuries to workers–that are otherwise employed by the general contractor. Therefore, every party responsible for any part of a construction project must procure its own workers’ compensation insurance as a shield against direct liability. 

How an Attorney Can Prove Liability in Construction Accidents

Construction accidents are often complex, with multiple parties potentially liable for the injuries sustained. To investigate what happened and then identify which party or parties may be held liable, you need an experienced attorney by your side. 

An attorney can prove liability in a construction accident case by showing that the defendant was negligent by establishing the following:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
  • The defendant acted negligently and breached their duty of care
  • The plaintiff’s injuries are a direct result of the defendant’s breach of duty
  • Damages were sustained, such as missed days of work and medical bills.

 As stated above, multiple parties may be negligent. For example, if a construction worker is injured because of a defective piece of equipment, the manufacturer may be liable even if they did not directly cause the injury.

The Complexity of Proving Liability in Construction Accidents

Proving all of the elements of negligence is challenging, which is why having an experienced attorney on your side is essential. They will know, for example, how to gather evidence to support your claim. They will also be able to navigate the legal system and protect your rights. So, if you or someone you love has been involved in a construction accident, don’t wait to get help–because while the process can be complex, you deserve to be fairly compensated for your injuries.

Call the accident attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green for a free consultation

Even when workers’ compensation benefits are available, those benefits rarely cover the full range of losses and injuries suffered by hurt construction workers. Our team of construction accident lawyers makes sure that employees get everything they deserve when an owner’s or contractor’s negligence leaves them injured.

Injured workers in New York should call our offices for a complimentary assessment of their right to file a lawsuit to collect the full measure of damages they are entitled to recover for their losses and injuries.