Were you injured in a construction accident and wondering whether you can file a civil lawsuit?
When an employee gets hurt in a construction accident, the employer or state's workers compensation insurance often compensates for the medical bills, lost wages, and any permanent or temporary disabilities. However, workers comp does not cover other damages that may arise, such as pain, emotional distress, and how the accident might affect your loved ones.
So, when can you sue for a construction accident, even after collecting workers compensation?
When Faulty Equipment Caused Your Injuries
If equipment or heavy machinery that you were using in its intended way caused a construction accident, you might have grounds for a product liability lawsuit. The equipment might have had a manufacturing or designing defect that caused the malfunction that in turn caused injuries.
Some possible liable parties include manufacturers, designers, marketers, or the dealership that sold equipment parts. Consider working with a construction injury lawyer to help you pinpoint the negligent person.
When You Were Exposed to Toxic Substances
Construction employees can work with a lot of chemicals, including those that are harmful to human beings. If you were exposed to toxins such as silica, benzyne, or asbestos during your work in a construction site, which caused injuries, you may qualify to file a toxic tort lawsuit.
Your construction accident attorney may have to prove that the defendant knew about the exposure and didn't take appropriate measures or that the protective gear that was provided had a manufacturing defect.
When Insurance Denies Your Claim in Bad Faith
Insurance bad faith can occur when a work comp insurance carrier denies your claim, unjustly delays, or fails to pay out without plausible reason.
When this happens, you might be able to recover your initial compensation, as well as any damages that you've suffered due to the insurance company's unjust actions.
In Cases of Premise Liability
Imagine this: You are descending a flight of stairs in a construction site when you trip on a loose step and fall. The owner had hired you to repair the building's electricity.
If the property owner had not warned you or mentioned the faulty stairs that they were well aware of, you might have grounds for a premises liability suit.
When Third Parties Are Involved
While workers compensation bars you from suing your employer for negligence, you can file a construction accident lawsuit against other liable third parties that were at fault.
In a construction site, other possibly negligent parties might include engineers, suppliers, architects, construction managers, site owners, fellow employees, and so on.
When the Employer Doesn't Have Workers Compensation
Most states, including New York, require employers to carry workers comp insurance for their employees. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines and denial of a business permit.
If you've suffered an accident at work on a construction site and your employer does not have insurance, you may be eligible to sue them for your damages.
Reach Out to a Construction Injury Lawyer
Just because you received your work comp benefits from your employer's insurance company doesn't mean that you can't also sue for a construction accident. Speak with a construction injury lawyer to see if your case qualifies for a civil lawsuit, as well, which can offer additional relief.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Dennis Smith, PC are ready to discuss your case in an initial no-obligation consultation for free. Contact us by calling (212) 680-4280 or tell us briefly about your situation in our online form below, and someone will get back to you.