Were You Hurt on the Job Site?
You Have Two Chances to Receive Financial Compensation
The laws around construction worker injuries are complex, but they lean in favor of the worker. When you’re injured on the job, New York gives you two different ways to get the compensation you need to pay for medical medical bills and loss of wages. For many construction workers this is the only way to provide for their family after an accident. If you are a construction worker injured on the job, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
The Difference Between Worker’s Comp and a Lawsuit
You do not have to sue your employer to receive financial compensation. In fact, New York law doesn’t even allow you to sue your employer. Instead, there are two legal options for you: a worker’s compensation claim, or a lawsuit against the general contractor or owner of the construction site. In most cases, the smartest move is to pursue both.
Worker’s comp is a form of insurance that your employer is required to carry. It protects both you and your employer. Here’s what you need to know about worker’s comp:
- You can receive compensation for both your medical costs and a portion of your lost wages.
- You don’t have to prove your employer did anything “wrong.” Worker’s comp pays out whether there was a safety violation or not.
- Employers will not generally challenge a worker’s compensation claim. Worker’s comp does not endanger your job. In fact, worker’s comp protects your employer from liability.
- All injured workers are eligible for worker’s comp.
Our first move in your case is to make sure you have a claim filed for worker’s compensation. This helps protect you whether you have grounds for a lawsuit or not.
Suing a General Contractor or Site Owner
Construction accidents generally don’t happen unless a safety rule is broken. It can be anything from not being given a stable, safe ladder to being issued scaffold harnesses that have frayedropes. It can also mean pushing workers to work too fast or under strenuous, unsafe conditions. When a work accident involves a violation like this, your injuries are a direct result of someone else’s negligence. This is when a lawsuit is appropriate.
Pursuing a lawsuit is important for three reasons:
- Worker’s compensation does not pay out anything for pain and suffering. You can only get this form of compensation from a lawsuit.
- Worker’s comp rarely pays out 100% of all of your costs, especially missed wages. A lawsuit allows you to get the full amount you need.
- The construction industry is New York’s most dangerous industry. If construction companies aren’t held liable for injuries they will not improve safety conditions.
A lawsuit like this is never aimed at your employer. The person responsible for safety at a work site is the owner of the site or the general contractor overseeing it.
What Should You Do If You’re Injured on the Job?
If you are injured on the job you should see a doctor immediately. In serious situations, you’ll be rushed to the emergency room. Even if your injury doesn’t seem serious, it is highly recommended you go see a doctor. Some seemingly minor injuries can become severe enough to end your career if left untreated.
“They’re not offering you a doctor to make sure their guy gets the care he needs right away. It’s because they want to lock you into a statement as to how the accident happened.”
Many construction sites will have their own doctor to send you to: sometimes they’re on site. They often don’t have the diagnostic tools to make a full assessment. They will take a statement from you while you are still in pain and before you know the severity of your injury. That statement is for the insurance company to use against you.
Similarly, some insurers will offer to send a nurse along to your doctor appointments to “coordinate care.” That nurse’s incentive is to reduce the amount of expensive treatments you’re approved for since the insurance company has to pay for them.
If you are injured on the job, go to a doctor you know you can trust. If the nature of your injury is urgent, go to the emergency room right away. The insurance company can wait to get a statement until you have a lawyer at your side.
Beating the Deadline
Once you’re injured on the job, the clock is ticking. You have a tight deadline to file your case.
These deadlines are variable and can be very confusing:
- If you’re working for a municipal entity, you have as little as 90 days to file a notice of claim.
- If you’re working for a private entity, you have up to three years to file a lawsuit but should give notice much sooner.
- Worker’s comp must be filed within two years, but notice should be given much sooner.
If you wait to file notice of a lawsuit, even if you’re within the three year deadline, you may not get any money. The insurance company is going to try to “disclaim” it because of the amount of time that has passed.
“Never put off your case. You’re in pain today, so start your case today. Waiting only means you’re less likely to win.”
An Attorney Who Understands Workers
The bottom line is that any time you’re injured on a construction job, you need to look out for yourself and your family. Steven Weinstein has represented injured workers for 30 years. His clientele has included:
- Iron workers
- Mason tenders
- Tin knockers
- Sand hogs
- Shop stewards
Steven Weinstein doesn’t give you things in lawyer speak. He’ll talk to you with respect and sensitivity to your injury. He will return your calls and answer any question you may have. His concern is to help you get the compensation you need to continue supporting your family. Most importantly, he has a successful track record and has won multi million dollar verdicts.
When you call The Weinstein Law Group, PLLC you don’t pay anything unless we win you money. It doesn’t matter how long we worked on your case. If you don’t get financial compensation, we don’t charge you anything.
Don’t pass up the money that you deserve. Call The Weinstein Law Group, PLLC today and we’ll give you a 100% free case consultation. We’ll answer your questions and suggest the next step for you to take, whether you hire us or not. Call us at 212-741-3800 or fill out our case form and get your free consultation today.