Third Party Construction Accident Claims
Most construction workers are aware that they’re entitled to seek Workers’ Compensation from their employer after suffering a workplace injury. But it is less well known that workers may also seek compensation from third parties responsible for their injuries. This “third party claim” or “third party lawsuit” can be crucial to helping workers recover the full amounts to which they are entitled.
Below, we answer common questions about third party lawsuits in New York. If you believe that you or a loved one suffered a construction site injury due to a third party, contact an experience New York construction accident lawyer, without delay to find out whether you’re entitled to file a third-party claim.
What is a Third Party?
In workplace injury terminology, a third party is any person, organization, municipality or entity other than your employer or colleague who may be responsible for a workplace injury or illness.
On a construction site, third parties are typically the general contractor or subcontractors working at the site. Less frequently, a third party might also be an individual unrelated to the site who nonetheless caused a workplace injury.
When Can You File a Claim Against a Third Party?
A person may file a third-party lawsuit when there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that a third party’s negligent action or omission gave rise to a workplace injury.
Countless varieties of third-party claims exist, but a few hypothetical examples include:
- a claim against a contractor whose failure to erect scaffolding properly resulted in worker injuries when it collapsed
- a claim against a general contractor who failed to provide adequate safety equipment to workers who suffered injuries as a result
- a claim against a subcontracted cleaning service that negligently left hazards on the work site that resulted in a trip-and-fall accident
- a claim against a visitor to the construction site who negligently dropped a piece of equipment onto a worker on a lower level, causing injuries.
Does the Third Party have to Be Solely Responsible for the Injury to File a Claim?
No. There is often overlap between the employer’s responsibility and that of the third party. Concern that your employer is also partially at-fault should not prevent you from investigating whether you have a viable third party claim.
Can’t You Just File a Workers’ Compensation Claim Instead of a Third-Party Claim?
You’d likely be limiting your financial recovery if you did. New York Workers’ Compensation law only allows injured workers to receive compensation for medical costs and some lost wages. It does not compensate for the pain and suffering arising from the injury and other non-economic losses. What’s more, lost wages are capped under Workers’ Compensation law. So, if your workplace injury results in more lost wages than beyond the allowable amount, that lost income is gone forever.
A third party lawsuit can help you recover higher amounts for a more extensive range of injuries and losses, including:
- pain and suffering
- loss of life
- loss of earning capacity
- decreased enjoyment of life
Although filing a third party claim may seem like extra work, receiving compensation for these additional injuries and losses can make an enormous difference in your financial circumstances.
Can You File for Workers’ Compensation and a Third Party Claims Simultaneously?
Yes, although if you succeed in your third party claim, your employer’s insurer will have the right to subrogate (attempt to recover) the money already paid on your behalf.
How Do You Know Whether You Have a Valid Third-Party Claim?
The only way to know whether a potential lawsuit against a third party in a construction accident has merit is by discussing your case with a knowledgeable construction accident attorney, such as Bronx Construction Accident Attorney Ivan Diamond. Construction cases have unique challenges and you should work with an attorney with ample experience and success in this field.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, call the Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond at 877-960-1702 for a free consultation. A dedicated, experienced construction accident attorney, Ivan meticulously examines the facts of your situation from every angle determine how to best proceed.
Contact us today. Our team is ready to help you recover all the compensation you deserve.
The Law Offices of
888 Grand Concourse #1L
Ivan M. Diamond
Bronx, NY 10451
Phone: (718) 588-2000
Ivan M. Diamond is available for home and hospital visits, as well as weekend and evening appointments.
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