All employers are required to take steps to keep the workplace safe for employees. Often, they must follow OSHA rules in order to keep workers reasonably safe. OSHA mandates the use of safety equipment. Other federal, state, and local laws provide guidelines that workers are expected to follow in the interest of safety. In spite of multiple safety regulations, on-the-job injuries do occur in New York City and elsewhere. In some cases, someone other than your employer is responsible for on-the-job injuries, such as an equipment manufacturer, contractor, or other company. At Newman, Anzalone & Newman, our New York City construction accident lawyers may be able to help you recover damages when a third party is responsible for your injuries.Types of On-the-Job Injuries
Injuries sustained on the job can include soft tissue injuries, fractures, neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, disc injuries, shoulder injuries, repetitive stress injuries, and wrongful death. In some cases, the only remedy is workers' compensation. With workers' compensation benefits, you need not prove fault. However, these benefits typically do not fully compensate a victim for serious and painful injuries. They do not provide pain and suffering damages or compensation for other intangible losses connected to the injuries.
People in charge of a workplace can avert many on-the-job injuries through the use of reasonable care. Labor laws in New York provide special protections to construction workers who are hurt during building or repairing structures because construction jobs are among the most risky. Contractors and project owners may be held liable for falls or falling objects under New York Labor Law section 240. They can also be held liable for failing to provide certain safety equipment and taking certain steps to protect safety under New York Labor Law section 241.
When a third party is responsible for your injury, you may be able to sue for damages. For example, if you are an interior designer who is consulting on a construction site run by a developer, and you slip and fall as a result of poor construction site maintenance, you may be able to recover damages from a developer who was responsible for keeping the area where you fell maintained. Your attorney will likely need to show that the developer knew or should have known about the maintenance issue that caused your fall. Similarly, if you are visiting a company as part of your job, and you fall down the stairs because of a broken rail, you may be able to recover damages through a premises liability lawsuit. Again, you will need to show that the defendant knew or should have known about the broken rail. This can be challenging to prove, which makes it important to retain an experienced litigator who understands how to investigate and develop the available evidence.
When defective equipment is the reason for your injuries, you may be able to recover damages from the manufacturer. For example, if you sit in a chair and it collapses underneath you, causing you to break your hip, you may have a basis to bring a product liability lawsuit. Different theories may be available if you can show that there is an actionable defect. Actionable defects can involve the manufacturing, design, or marketing of a product.
In some cases, on-the-job injuries occur in a vehicle en route to a jobsite or while traveling for work. In those cases, you may be able to recover monetary damages from the other driver by establishing negligence. You will need to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the other driver owed a duty to you to use reasonable care, the other driver breached the duty, the breach caused your injuries, and actual damages resulted.
Damages that you may be able to recover from a third party include wage loss, loss of earning capacity, household services, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and past and future medical bills, including emergency care, treatment, rehabilitation, therapy, and medical mileage. However, you should be aware that if you receive workers' compensation benefits, these might need to be reimbursed from a damages award that you receive in civil court for on-the-job injuries.Consult an Experienced New York City Attorney Following a Workplace Accident
On-the-job injuries can devastate workers and their families. Litigation is a way to recover your losses from anyone responsible for them. Newman, Anzalone & Newman has provided effective legal representation to construction accident victims in New York City since 1978. Our attorneys represent clients in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Call us at 718-896-2700 or complete our online form.