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Under NYC construction accident law, third-party liability claims allow an injured construction worker to sue entities other than their employer, such as a negligent building owner, the manufacturer of defective equipment, and others. Injured construction workers can pursue third-party liability claims in addition to the benefits they receive from workers’ compensation.

When a party other than your employer is responsible for causing your on-the-job injuries, Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green can represent you in a third-party personal injury lawsuit above and beyond your workers comp claim. Partnering with an experienced NYC construction accident attorney can put you in the best position to recover the full compensation you need to cover expenses both now and in the future. Call or use our online form to schedule your free consultation.

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When Can You File a Third-Party Claim Against a Subcontractor?

A construction worker who suffers an on-the-job injury can generally recover a portion of their salary and reimbursement for medical costs from workers’ compensation insurance. However, if a third-party subcontractor caused the injury, the worker might also have the right and opportunity to sue the subcontractor for greater financial remuneration.

Under New York law, a third-party claim against a subcontractor features three components:

  • The claim will be made against a company or an individual that is not the injured worker’s direct employer
  • That company’s or individual’s negligent conduct must be the primary cause of the accident
  • The injured worker suffers damages that exceed the reimbursements paid by their workers’ compensation claims.

The potential scenarios that can give rise to a third-party claim against a subcontractor are limitless. Consider, for example:

  • A worker might be injured in a collision with a truck driven by a material supplier
  • A subcontractor’s employee might drop a tool or some construction material onto an employee from an elevated surface
  • An electrical subcontractor might leave unshielded power lines where an employee of another subcontractor can come into contact with them
  • Trenches that are not properly secured by one subcontractor might collapse and injure another party’s construction employee
  • Tools or construction equipment might fail and cause injuries, leading to a third-party product liability claim.

In the immediate aftermath of a construction site accident, an injured worker’s priority will be their injuries without being immediately concerned with how they were caused. However, a lawyer with the expertise to pursue third-party claims against subcontractors will be their best resource. Victims of third-party construction accidents in NYC, Long Island, and the greater metropolitan area should always retain the services of an experienced attorney to give themselves the greatest opportunity to recover the full amount of damages they deserve.

Should You Still File for Worker’s Compensation? 

Worker’s Compensation is a first step for many workers, covering initial medical expenses and lost wages. It is within your legal right to file for Worker’s Compensation, and Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green can connect you with a skilled Workers’ Compensation attorney or you can access a claim form through the state website. Payment often comes quickly through this system, which can be a relief in the immediate aftermath of an injury.

However, these settlements rarely go far enough in providing for out-of-pocket costs, long-term disability, loss of future earning capacity, and less tangible losses such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, and loss of household services. You cannot collect punitive damages in a workers’ compensation claim, no matter how much gross negligence, carelessness, or malice were involved.

You still have the right to file a third-party liability claim even if you have already filed for, or received, workers’ compensation benefits, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by exploring your full set of legal options.

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Which Third Parties Can You Sue for an NYC Construction Accident?

Any entity that was negligent in its duty to keep you reasonably safe from harm on a construction site may potentially be liable for your injuries. For example, heavy equipment operators should be adequately trained by their employers before being entrusted to handle these machines. If not, and the operator causes an accident, those employers could be held legally responsible. Similarly, tool manufacturers are expected to make and sell reasonably safe equipment or at least warn users of known risks. 

You may be able to file a third-party claim against:

  • Property owners
  • Tool or equipment manufacturers
  • NYC Department of Buildings
  • Service providing companies
  • Parent companies
  • Subcontracting firms
  • Vendors
  • Delivery truck companies
  • Janitorial companies
  • Scaffolding manufacturers
  • and More

Anyone who was derelict in their duties may owe a percentage of the total settlement or jury award amount, depending on how fault gets assigned.

Situations That Give Rise to Third-Party Claims in Construction Lawsuits

Situations on a construction site that may lead to third-party accident claims include:

  • Airborne mold
  • Asbestos
  • Auto accidents
  • Broken stairs or railings
  • Ceiling collapses
  • Chemical burns
  • Crane mishaps
  • Dangerous or defective products
  • Electrocution
  • Elevator failures
  • Falling objects
  • Falls from a height
  • Fires or explosions
  • Heavy equipment accidents
  • Improper lighting
  • Lead poisoning
  • Machine malfunction
  • Scaffolding collapse
  • Slippery or damaged floors
  • Trench collapses
  • Toxic fumes

Construction Accident Lawsuit Injuries

If your workplace injury is likely to fully heal within a couple of weeks, chances are that workers’ compensation will provide for your medical bills and lost wages. Most of the construction site accident claims we handle involve serious, long-lasting injuries and disabilities, including:

  • Head trauma / Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Broken bones
  • Amputations
  • Burns and electrocutions
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Joint injuries
  • Organ damage
  • Scarring and disfiguration
  • Serious illness

Free Consultation with Construction Accident Lawyers in NYC

Not all construction accidents involve third-party liability. It is best to speak with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green to determine if you have sufficient grounds for a construction accident lawsuit above and beyond your workers’ compensation. We are available to discuss your case at no cost to you.

Our firm represents clients in every NYC borough. Our office is located at 380 Lexington Ave, 29th Floor, New York, NY 10168. Our personal injury attorneys can travel to you if you are unable to visit our offices due to injury. We can also provide free transportation to and from our office or conduct a virtual consultation.