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Third party claims for construction site injuries

If you work on a construction site in New York City, you know you run the risk of injury from various causes. With the recent increase in construction accidents, you may have concerns about your options if an injury leaves you with mounting medical expenses and a decreased ability to work.

Many people assume a work injury means they can only get workers' compensation. On one hand, it can be quicker and easier to obtain than getting a legal judgment or settlement. On the other, you end up facing limitations in the extent of benefits, which may fall short of what you actually need.

Third-party negligence

In some types of construction accidents, you may be able to sue a third party. This can happen when a party who is not your employer causes the accident that results in your injury. For example, you work for an electrical contractor, putting down power lines. You suffer an injury because another contractor's worker drops an object from scaffolding or mishandles a piece of equipment.

As with any personal injury lawsuit, a successful third-party claim will have to show that this third party both acted negligently and caused the injury through this negligent action. A person does not have to break official health and safety rules in order for a jury to find negligence; he or she must fail to act with reasonable prudence under the circumstances. This is distinct from workers' comp, where your employer does not have to act negligently for you to get benefits.

How the accident really happened

For the above reasons, it is very important to figure out the exact cause of your accident. Appearances and initial impressions can mislead. You may want to keep the door open to consider all potential options.

Scaffold laws

New York law also permits you to sue your employer in some cases. Employers who violate certain types of safety provisions and thereby cause injury to a worker may face a lawsuit.

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