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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Injured in a NYC Construction Accident? Your Essential Guide to Protecting Your Rights

Updated: Feb 17


Construction work powers the growth of New York City, but it comes with an exceptional level of risk. Falls,electrocutions, falling objects, and countless other dangers threaten construction workers daily. If you've been injured on a NYC construction site, understanding your options isn't a luxury – it's critical to your future and securing the vital support you need.

Construction's unique hazards

Construction workplaces brim with potential for severe injury due to several factors:

  • Working at Heights: Falls from ladders, scaffolding, or roofs are all too common in the industry. These falls often cause catastrophic spinal cord injuries, head trauma, and broken bones.

  • Heavy Machinery and Equipment: Cranes, lifts, trucks, and other heavy machinery on site can malfunction or be operated unsafely, leading to crushing injuries, amputations, and fatalities.

  • Electrical Hazards: Live wires, poorly maintained tools, and inadequate safety protocols pose constant electrocution risks, potentially triggering cardiac arrest and severe burns.

  • Falling and Struck-By Objects: Work occurring high above means danger lurks below. Tools, materials, and debris falling from upper levels can cause head and neck injuries with long-term consequences.

  • Unsafe Conditions: Crowded worksites, poor lighting, lack of protective gear, and countless other negligent conditions set the stage for life-changing injuries.

Your Rights Under NYC Law

New York provides injured construction workers with two potential avenues for seeking compensation:

  1. Workers' Compensation

  • Nearly all construction employers must carry workers' compensation insurance. It's a no-fault system, meaning even if your own actions contributed to the accident, you're likely covered.

  • Benefits include:

  • Medical Expenses: Full coverage for necessary treatment related to your work injury.

  • Lost Wages: Partial wage replacement, typically two-thirds of your average pay, if you're unable to work.

  • Disability Benefits: If your injury leads to permanent limitations, additional payments based on the severity of your disability and its impact on your earning potential.

  • Tradeoff: Crucially, you generally give up the right to sue your employer directly while receiving workers' comp benefits.

  1. Third-Party Lawsuits

  • New York Labor Law protects construction workers with special rules about worksite safety. Often, a party other than your employer – a property owner, a general contractor, the manufacturer of defective equipment – could be held liable for violations.

  • Lawsuits focus on negligence: Did someone's failure to provide a safe work environment cause your injury? If proven, a lawsuit could cover:

  • All medical expenses, past and future

  • Lost wages and diminished future earning capacity

  • Pain and suffering

  • Loss of quality of life

  • Punitive damages (in especially egregious cases of neglect)

Choosing the Right Path: Why Cases Can Be Complex

  • Workers' Comp is Guaranteed, But Limited: You'll likely get basic medical care and a portion of missed income.But benefits may not cover long-term costs if you can't return to work, and you won't receive compensation for the non-economic toll your injuries take.

  • Lawsuits offer Larger Payouts, But Are Harder: Proving fault takes investigation and skilled legal arguments.However, it's your route to maximum recovery and holding negligent parties truly accountable.

  • Sometimes, You Get Both: If a third-party is clearly at fault, you may pursue both workers' comp benefits AND a lawsuit simultaneously. It's where expert legal guidance is crucial to avoid jeopardizing your rights to either pathway.

NYC Construction Accident Lawyer: Your Ally in a Tough Fight

Never battle insurance companies or complex construction lawsuits alone. A top construction accident attorney serves as your:

  • Investigator: Uncovering what went wrong, who's liable, and all potential sources of compensation.

  • Benefit Maximizer: Workers' comp is notorious for denying and undervaluing claims. An attorney ensures you receive every dollar you deserve.

  • Legal Strategist: Deciding whether to sue, when to settle, and how to build the strongest case to get you justice.

  • Voice: Taking the pressure off you so you can focus on healing, while they stand fearlessly against powerful defendants.

Don't Hesitate - Your Time to Act is Limited

New York has deadlines (statutes of limitations) for both workers' comp filings and lawsuits. Prompt action preserves your options to get the full support you're entitled to.

Leitner Varughese Warywoda Fights for Injured Construction Workers

Construction helps build our city, and you deserve nothing less than absolute protection if you've been harmed. Call 212-671-1110 for a free consultation with our dedicated team, or contact us at today.


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