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Should I File a Construction Accident Lawsuit or a Workers’ Compensation Claim?


After a construction accident in New York, it can be difficult to know precisely what options are available to you for seeking compensation. Most immediately, you may be wondering whether you should file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit. You may know that, generally speaking, workers’ compensation is an “exclusive” remedy in New York as in other states across the country. What this means is that, by filing a workers’ compensation claim and seeking compensation through the workers’ compensation system, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer even if they were negligent. Workers’ compensation is a “no fault” system, and it does not allow an employer to file a personal injury claim against a careless worker, either.

However, there are a few key situations in which you may be able to file a lawsuit in addition to seeking benefits through the worker’s compensation system after a New York construction accident. We will give you more information below.

When a Third-Party is Responsible for Your Construction Accident Injury

In situations in which a third-party is responsible for construction accident injuries, the injured construction worker may be able to seek workers’ compensation in addition to filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault third-party. For example, a motorist or a manufacturer of a machine part used on a construction site could be named as a defendant in a construction accident lawsuit.

If Your Employer Intentionally Caused Your Construction Site Injuries

In some rare situations, an employer will intentionally cause a worker’s construction accident injuries. In such scenarios, the injured construction worker may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer.

Seek Compensation Through Section 200 of New York Labor Law

You might already know this, but New York is the only state in the country that has laws that hold construction site owners, general contractors, and other parties in similar positions accountable for failing to protect the safety of construction workers. New York Labor Laws hold an employer strictly liable for certain safety violations that result in construction site injuries. Accordingly, an injured construction worker does not need to prove that the construction site owner was negligent. Instead, the injured construction worker only needs to show that a dangerous condition existed and that the dangerous condition caused the injury.

It is important to recognize that New York Labor Law provides a remedy for injured construction workers in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. To be clear, an injured construction worker in New York can obtain workers’ compensation benefits and can also seek additional compensation by filing a lawsuit under New York Labor Law. One of our experienced New York construction accident lawyers can provide you with more information about your options for compensation.

Contact a Construction Accident Lawyer in New York

At Leitner Varughese, PLLC, we have spent years representing injured workers in claims. We can speak with you today about how one of our New York construction accident attorneys can assist you with your case. Contact Leitner VarugheseWarywoda PLLC to learn more about the services we provide to injured workers in New York.


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The information you obtain on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.  The Firm's attorneys acted as trial counsel, attorneys of record and/or otherwise facilitated in the recoveries of the stated verdict and settlements.  Certain verdicts and settlements achieved by trial counsel and/or outside counsel.  Attorney advertising.