Construction Accidents in New York – Workers’ Compensation vs. Third-Party Lawsuits

Construction Accidents in New York

Construction work is physically demanding and dangerous. Unfortunately, safety on a construction site is often overlooked by those in charge simply because they want the job done quickly. Even minor injuries like sprains and broken bones can be devastating for a construction worker, who may be unable to work even after recovering.

The jobsite accidents are on rise

The Daily News reports that The number of jobsite accidents in New York City jumped 31% from 119 to 157 from fiscal 2011 to 2012, while the number of injuries rose 46% from 128 to 187, city records show.

In the New York metro area, including northern New Jersey and Long Island, construction fatalities jumped from 28 to 40 between 2010 and 2011, the latest available data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show. (Source:

The number of fatal accident cases are coming down in USA

The number of fatal work injuries in the private construction sector declined by 7 percent in 2011. Fatal work injuries in construction have declined every year since 2006 and are down nearly 42 percent over that time. Despite the lower fatal injury total, construction accounted for the second most fatal work injuries of any industry sector in 2011 with transportation and warehousing having the most fatal work injuries.
(Source: National census of fatal occupational injuries in 2011 (preliminary results))

Controversy over downsizing inspection work

New York has witnessed downsizing oversight of construction drastically, number of worksite inspections coming down to just over 141,000 in fiscal 2012 from 244,000 in fiscal 2009 - down by 40%. It also resulted in the notices of violations dropping by 6,600 from 2011 to 2012. Many believe that the downsizing has poorly affected the reporting rather than above-quoted stats being encouraging signs.

Construction Accidents and the Scaffold Law

When construction workers are hurt on the job in New York, they typically can file a workers' compensation action. However, the law allows construction workers to sue either the general contractor or property owner for injuries they sustain in certain kinds of construction accidents.

Workers' Compensation vs. Third-Party Lawsuits

Workers' Compensation is entitlement of employees that covers medical and lost wage expenses incurred by injured employees. When a worker opts for this compensation, he agrees not to sue the general contractor or property owner.

He can also opt for a third-party lawsuit generally against general contractor or property owner where, in addition to medical expenses and lost wages, he can claim damages resulting from his on-the-job accident. There must be negligence on part of the defendants which led to injuries. There are several kinds of negligence and an experienced NY construction accident attorney can help you in this matter.

Consult an experienced Bronx Construction Accident Attorney

Third party lawsuit will get you better compensation compared to compensation under Workers' Compensation rules. However, you must prove the negligence on part of the defendant third party. You need an expert legal help to

*Collect evidences

*Arrive at conclusion in accordance to law to determine whether you have a valid case for damages or not

*Get the right compensation to help deserve.

Stephen B. Kaufman has devoted his life to serving the people, institutions, and businesses of the Bronx as a practicing attorney, elected official, and concerned citizen. For any query on construction accident compensation, call the Law Offices of Stephen B. Kaufman, P.C. at (718) 775-3614, (888) 690-3812 or email at


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