Q: I got hurt on a construction job. Do I need a Workers’ Comp attorney or a construction accident attorney? Generally, claims for damages related to an on-the-job injury in New York State are governed by the Workers’ Compensation Law. Under Workers’ Compensation, also known as “Workers’ Comp", an employee can’t sue his or her employer for damages, but rather is entitled to compensation for lost wages and medical bills related to the accident through the Workers’ Comp claim process. These benefits are available even if the worker is an illegal immigrant, was at fault (provided s/he was not intoxicated or impaired by drugs), or even if the employer didn’t carry Workers’ Comp insurance. Workers’ Comp was instituted was to streamline the process for an injured worker to get access to and payment for medical treatment, so s/he can heal quicker and hopefully return to work faster. While the employee is recovering, the Workers’ Comp system provides for a portion of his or her salary to continue to be paid by the employer pursuant to a formula which factors in the body part injured, the percentage of loss of use of that body part, and the expected time it will take to regain its full use, if ever. Designed to bypass a traditional court proceeding, the Workers’ Comp system is mandatory for employees making claims against their employers. It’s beneficial in that it results in streamlined access to medical treatment and avoids a complete disruption of the injured worker’s income. But a big negative is the general inability to sue your employer for other damages, like pain and suffering, or future income losses and medical bills. There are exceptions to those Workers’ Comp claims limitations for workers who perform dangerous work, such as construction workers. Construction worker accidents can result from a wide variety of dangerous activities including but not limited to using defective machinery, being hit by falling debris, falling off ladders or into trenches, etc. If the workplace injury is the fault of a third-party other than the employer, the worker can sue that third party. In the case of a defective tool or piece of machinery, an injured construction worker may sue not only the manufacturer, but also the owner of the land on which the work site accident happened. And the scope of the damages sought can be broader than the Workers’ Comp claim against the employer would be, covering damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of potential future wages. Recently, a construction worker was critically injured on a job site in Brooklyn when a cinderblock fell from a height of about five feet and hit him in the head. A skilled construction accident attorney would investigate the possibility of third-party liability in order to maximize the compensation for the injured worker. For over forty years, the New York City Law Firm of Jaroslawicz & Jaros have successfully brought many Workers’ Comp cases as well as cases for persons injured in various types of construction site accidents and even obtained a $44 million dollar record-breaking verdict in one such case. If you or a loved one has been injured on a construction site and are looking for an experienced firm with a proven track record, contact us here or call 800.269.2780
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If you or a loved one has a been injured in an accident, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation. Call Jaroslawicz & Jaros in New York at 800.269.2780, or submit an online questionnaire. You can also email Abraham Jaros directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call his personal cellphone at 917.842.9544.