The third party action
Because construction sites usually have employees from several different companies working on the same project, it’s not uncommon for an employee of one company to be injured as a result of the negligence of an employee of another company. That’s when New York law allows for an exception to the workers’ compensation sole and exclusive remedy law. The injured employee is allowed to file a negligence lawsuit against the employee of the other company and his or her employer. This lawsuit can be brought at the same time that the injured employee is receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
The four major types of construction accidents
OSHA has identified the four major causes of serious construction accident injuries and fatalities and characterized them as the “fatal four.” Those are:
- Electrical accidents
- Being struck by an object
- Getting caught between two objects
Workers’ compensation benefits
The general workers’ compensation benefits to be received by an employee after a serious injury that was suffered at work include:
- Temporary total disability payments while off work and recovering from injuries
- Payment of reasonable and necessary medical bills resulting from the accident
- Compensation for any permanent partial disability resulting from the accident
These benefits are generally sufficient for somebody who gets injured at work and returns a short time thereafter, but they’re wholly insufficient to fully compensate somebody who was severely injured. That’s because they don’t compensate a claimant for damages like pain and suffering or loss of a normal life. As opposed to workers’ compensation benefits, the law of negligence allows an injured person to seek these additional non-economic damages.
Who can be sued as a third party?
Any entity that caused or contributed to a construction accident that resulted in injuries can be sued in a third party case. Those can include:
- General contractors and subcontractors
- Owners and occupiers of property
- Real estate managers
- Manufacturers of dangerously defective construction equipment
The law doesn’t permit two recoveries for one injury, so after a settlement or verdict in the third party case, the workers’ compensation insurer of an employer can seek to recover what it paid out on the workers’ compensation claim. There are times when that insurer will agree to take less than it paid out, and with the additional damages that are available in the third party case, the injured person is likely to end up far better off than with workers’ compensation benefits.
Marc Albert has offices in Long Island, Manhattan and Queens, and he’s been successfully representing injured construction workers in their third party negligence lawsuits throughout his career. He’s experienced, aggressive and compassionate, and to maximize third party compensation, he’ll pursue all of the entities that contributed to a construction accident. Contact Marc Albert right away after any serious construction accident at 855-252-3788 for a free consultation and case evaluation.