Can I file a personal injury claim on top of workers’ comp?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2020 | Construction Accidents

Workplace injuries can significantly affect a construction worker’s life. Construction workers have to complete their duties in potentially dangerous situations and locations, putting them at high risk for a severe injury.

If you work on a construction site and experience an injury due to falling or an object striking you from above, you may have the option to file both workers’ compensation and a personal injury claim.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim

After an accident, you have 30 days to report your accident to your employer per New York state laws. You must also file a workers’ compensation claim within 2 years of the accident.

A workers’ compensation claim can provide compensation for the following expenses:

  • Wage losses
  • Medical treatment
  • Medical rehabilitation

Your workers’ compensation claim should cover the full extent of your injury so you can focus on recovering your health.

Filing a personal injury claim

Generally, you cannot file for a personal injury claim on top of workers’ compensation. However, there are certain circumstances where it may apply. In New York, a few labor laws offer specific protections for construction workers.

Labor Law 240, also known as the “Scaffolding Law,” enforces that any scaffolding or staging that’s over 20 feet from the ground must have safety rail to protect the workers from falling. The scaffolding and staging must be secured and rise at least 34 inches around the structure. Under this rule, you may have the opportunity to hold the property owner or general contractor of the construction site accountable for negligent safety measures.

This allows you to file a personal injury claim against the site owner while also filing for workers’ compensation to your direct employer.

Consulting with a lawyer

Filing for workers’ compensation is challenging enough without adding a personal injury claim into the mix. If you find yourself in a position to seek both forms of compensation, you might want to talk with an experienced attorney in construction accidents.

An attorney can help you navigate the difficult filing processes so that you are eligible for the fullest compensation that you deserve.


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