Is Workers Compensation My Only Option if I Suffer Serious Injuries on a Construction Job?

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Explore:  Workplace Injury

[author: Michael Barasch]

When you suffer on-the-job injuries at a construction site, or any other place of employment, the Workers Compensation program can provide important benefits to help you obtain immediate medical treatment. But in certain situations, workers can also file a personal injury claim, to pursue additional compensation.

In its online Introduction to the Workers Compensation Law, the New York State Workers Compensation Board explains that most workers can file for cash benefits, medical care or both when they become injured or ill as a direct result of their jobs. A major component of the plan is that claims place neither the employee nor employer at fault for the injuries. But even when employees qualify for workers compensation benefits, they can often pursue additional compensation in a personal injury action against any third parties responsible for their injuries.

Say you incur serious injuries during a fall from the top of a 36-foot extension ladder in the course of your construction job. If you lost your footing, you would typically qualify for workers compensation benefits. But if a defective rung broke when you stepped on it, you might also have grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit against the ladder manufacturer — if you can prove liability based on the use of substandard materials, or other errors in the manufacturing process.

Construction site injuries often result in serious, long-term injuries, or even permanent disability or death. If you suffer injuries, you need to first follow the required procedures to obtain medical attention and initiate a workers compensation claim. Then you need to contact an experienced construction site accident attorney, who can intervene if you experience difficulties with a claim — and potentially help you hold responsible the third parties liable for your injuries.