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Construction Workers' Compensation Claims

New York City Construction Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim After a Construction Accident

Any employee can be injured on the job, but construction workers are statistically at the highest risk of work-related injuries and illnesses. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about one in five (or 20 percent) of all work-related fatalities in the private industry sector in 2019 were in construction.

If you were injured on the job or if your loved one died due to a construction-related injury or illness, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The state of New York requires nearly all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for all employees, including most contractors and subcontractors. In addition to on-the-job injuries sustained in workplace accidents, workers’ compensation also covers work-related injuries and other medical conditions that occur over time, such as repetitive strain injuries and occupational exposure.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim after a construction accident doesn’t have to be hard. At Schotter Millican, LLP, our New York City construction workers’ compensation attorneys provide personalized legal guidance every step of the way. We can help you file your claim, appeal a denied claim, or navigate any related workers’ compensation matter.

Were you injured in a construction accident? Do you need help seeking workers’ compensation benefits? Contact Schotter Millican, LLP at (718) 550-0610 for a free case review. Our services are available in English, Spanish, and Polish.

What Are the Most Common Construction Accidents?

Construction workers face numerous hazards every single day. Unfortunately, these hazards often lead to devastating job-site accidents and work-related injuries.

OSHA categorizes the most common construction accidents as the “fatal four,” which include:

  • Falls
  • Being struck by an object
  • Electrocution
  • Being caught in or between objects

Other common construction accidents include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Explosions and fires
  • Structure and ground collapses
  • Cave-ins
  • Construction vehicle accidents
  • Crane accidents
  • Forklift accidents
  • Machinery/equipment accidents
  • Machine entanglement
  • Demolition accidents
  • Toxic/harmful exposure

Due to the severe nature of these and other common construction accidents, workers often suffer life-altering injuries, which may lead to permanent disability and the inability to return to work. As a result, many injured construction workers are unable to earn income to support themselves of their families.

Common Construction-Related Injuries

Construction accidents and working conditions often lead to a range of serious physical injuries and medical conditions, such as:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Brain injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Hearing loss
  • Face and eye injuries
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Repetitive motion/strain injuries
  • Overexertion/overuse
  • Sprains and strains
  • Asbestosis and mesothelioma
  • Cancer

In the most tragic of cases, construction workers die as a result of their injuries or work-related illnesses. When this happens, surviving spouses, children, and other relatives may be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits, which can help replace lost income, cover the cost of funerals, and assist with other unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.

What Is Workers’ Compensation For?

Workers' compensation for construction workers is an important form of insurance that provides financial and medical assistance to those who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. This crucial within the construction industry due to the high-risk nature of the work involved. It operates on a no-fault basis, allowing employees to receive benefits without having to establish blame in the event of an accident. This element is especially essential to the construction industry, as it provides a safety net for workers even if the harm was largely or totally caused by their own acts.

Workers' compensation insurance for construction workers includes a wide range of benefits designed to help employees heal and move forward. This includes covering all necessary medical expenses for injuries caused on the job, ensuring that financial obligations do not impede an employee's recuperation.

If an injury prevents you from working, your coverage includes salary replacement benefits, which provide financial security during this difficult period. Recognizing the probable need for job changes following an injury, the insurance also covers retraining costs, allowing workers to transfer into other professions if necessary. Furthermore, for injuries that result in long-term or permanent impairment, there is a provision for compensation that recognizes the worker's lifelong influence.  

In the tragic case of a fatal workplace accident, the insurance company provides survivor benefits, which provide critical assistance to the families of departed employees. This complete strategy guarantees that workers and their families are financially protected and supported in times of need, while also reflecting the inherent hazards of the construction business.

How to Qualify For Workers’ Comp As a Construction Worker

Generally, employers in New York are required to provide all employees with worker's compensation benefits. However, there are some exceptions. If you fall under any of these categories, then you will probably not be entitled to workers' comp:

  • Independent contractor
  • Government employee
  • Non-profit volunteers
  • Were proven to be under the influence of a substance at the time of the accident
  • Not on the clock at the time of the accident
  • Your injuries were self-inflicted
  • Violating laws or policies at the time of the accident

If you are employed by a nonprofit, such as Habitat For Humanity, you may qualify for workers' comp, but if you volunteered with the organization as many in New York do to help build homes, you are not owed these benefits from them. Many of these organizations require volunteers to waive the company's liability upfront before starting work.

When Do I Qualify For Workers’ Comp Benefits As A NY Construction Worker?

As a construction worker in New York, you are normally eligible for workers' compensation payments if you sustain an injury or sickness that is directly related to your employment. According to New York law, construction workers are presumed to be employees and hence entitled to workers' compensation payments. This is part of the state's efforts to guarantee that all construction workers are properly protected and supported in the case of workplace injuries or fatalities.

To be eligible for these benefits, you must follow certain actions and requirements. First and foremost, you must provide your employer formal notice of the injury within 30 days of the incident. This early notification is essential for retaining your eligibility for compensation benefits.

Moreover, the nature of your injury and the circumstances under which it occurred play a significant role in determining your qualification for benefits. In general, if your injury is work-related, you should qualify for workers' compensation. However, there may be exceptions, such as if it's determined that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the injury.

How To File Workers’ Comp Claim As A NY Construction Worker

To file a workers' compensation claim in New York, here are the general steps to follow: 

  • Notify your employer: You must inform your employer about the work-related injury or illness within 30 days of its occurrence. It is best to notify them in writing and retain a copy for your records.
  • Seek medical care: It's important to seek immediate medical attention for your injury or illness. Your medical provider should be familiar with handling workers' compensation cases.
  • Obtain necessary forms: To file a claim, you will need to complete Form C-3, the Employee's Claim for Compensation. This form can be obtained from the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) website or by contacting the WCB directly.
  • Complete the C-3 form: Fill out the C-3 form accurately and thoroughly, providing details about the incident, your injury, and any medical treatments received. Make sure to include all relevant information and sign the form.
  • Submit the form: After completing the C-3 form, submit it to the appropriate District Office of the New York Workers' Compensation Board. Keep a copy of the form for your records.
  • Follow up with your employer and the insurer: Stay in communication with your employer and their workers' compensation insurance carrier to ensure that they receive your claim and process it accordingly. Maintain records of all conversations and correspondence related to your claim.

What Should I Do If My Workers’ Comp Claim For A Construction Worker Injury Is Denied?

If your workers' compensation claim for a construction work injury is denied in New York, it's crucial to take immediate action to protect your rights and pursue the benefits you deserve.

Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Understand the Denial: Carefully review the denial letter from the insurance company. It should explain the specific reasons why your claim was denied. Common reasons include insufficient medical evidence, discrepancies in the accident report, or missed deadlines.
  2. Gather Evidence: Collect all relevant documentation related to your injury. This includes medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and any correspondence with your employer or the insurance company. Detailed documentation can strengthen your case on appeal.
  3. File an Appeal: In New York, you have the right to appeal a denied workers' compensation claim. You must file a Request for Assistance (Form RFA-1W) with the New York State Workers' Compensation Board as soon as possible. There are strict time limits for filing an appeal, so prompt action is essential.
  4. Consult a NYC Workers’ Comp Attorney for Construction Workers: Engaging experienced workers' comp lawyers from Schotter Millican, LLP can significantly improve your chances of a successful appeal. An attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process, gather additional evidence, and represent you at hearings.
  5. Attend Hearings: Be prepared to attend any hearings scheduled by the Workers' Compensation Board. Your attorney will represent you, but your presence and testimony may be necessary to support your case.
  6. Follow Medical Advice: Continue following your healthcare provider's recommendations and attending all medical appointments. Ongoing medical documentation is crucial for substantiating your claim.

If your claim has been denied, our dedicated NYC workers’ comp attorneys for construction workers are here to guide you through every step of the appeals process. Schotter Millican, LLP is ready to advocate tirelessly on your behalf to ensure that you receive the benefits and compensation you deserve. Contact us for a consultation to discuss your case and explore your options.

Why Should You Hire an NYC Construction Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

New York workers’ compensation laws typically favor employers and their insurance companies. Injured workers may not fully understand their rights, or they may experience difficulties in recovering the full amount they are owed in benefits. They could have their claims denied or their benefits terminated. By working with an experienced attorney, you arm yourself with an ally who will advocate for you throughout the legal process.

At Schotter Millican, LLP we are proud to represent hard-working individuals who have been injured on the job or who have suffered work-related illnesses. Our New York City construction workers’ compensation lawyers have a long history of defending employee rights, as well as established connections with local labor and transport unions. We are pro-worker and pro-labor and have the experience and resources to take on complex cases other law firms can’t. When it comes to maximizing our clients’ recoveries, we go further and push harder to ensure that they receive every penny they are owed.

Understanding Third-Party Liability in Construction Accidents

While workers' compensation benefits provide financial support for injured construction workers, it's important to also consider the possibility of third-party liability claims.

In addition to workers' comp, you may be entitled to seek compensation from other parties who contributed to your accident, such as:

  • General contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Property owners
  • Manufacturers of defective equipment

Third-party liability claims can help you recover additional damages not covered by workers' comp, such as pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, and punitive damages. Our experienced NYC construction workers' compensation attorneys at Schotter Millican, LLP can evaluate your case to determine if there are grounds for pursuing a third-party claim in addition to workers' comp benefits.

Learn more about how our New York City construction workers' comp lawyer can help you by calling (718) 550-0610 or contacting us online!

Schedule a Complimentary Case Evaluation

Our team is here to help you with every aspect of your construction workers’ compensation claim. We offer dedicated and highly personalized legal services to clients in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and all of New York City. We have a team of on-staff videographers who can accompany you to your independent medical examination (IME) free of charge, and we are happy to provide you with the information you need to make empowered decisions about your case.

Our multilingual staff can assist you in English, Spanish, or Polish. We offer contingency fees, meaning you do not pay any legal fees unless/until we recover compensation for you. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

Call (718) 550-0610 or contact us online to schedule an appointment for a free case review.

Why Choose Schotter Millican, LLP?

  • We'll Be Your Resource
    Workers' Compensation can be confusing, but we're here to make sure you have everything you need.
  • When Others Quit, We Persist
    We'll push farther for our clients - when other firms may throw in the towel, we'll dig in deeper.
  • Activism Backed With Heart
    We have been involved in worker activism for decades, and we care deeply about you and your case.
  • We're Used to Winning
    Our attorneys have a long history of large appellate wins, so you can feel confident in our experience.
  • Videography Training for IME

    You will be trained by us to know how to videotape the independent medical examinations (IME) to protect your rights.

  • We Take Complex Cases
    We're not afraid of a challenge, and we'll use our experience to win even the most complicated cases.

Contact Schotter Millican, LLP Today!

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