Employees injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Companies are not required to provide workers’ comp insurance for independent contractors or self-employed construction workers. Under New York law, there are strict requirements for a worker to be classified as an independent contractor instead of an employee. In some cases, an “independent contractor” on a construction site may actually be an employee under the law.
Construction is one of the most hazardous industries for workers. When a construction accident results in death, it can cause tremendous pain and financial hardship for family members left behind. Surviving family members may be eligible for death benefits under workers’ compensation. If the actions of a negligent party contributed to a loved one’s death, survivors may also be entitled to file a wrongful death claim for damages.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists falls among the top dangers for construction workers. When falls happen from significant heights, like rooftops, serious injuries can occur. Rooftop falls can happen for a variety of reasons, ranging from inadequate scaffolding to just plain negligence. New York offers injured workers a range of options for seeking compensation. If you or a loved one suffered a rooftop accident while on the job, you can apply for workers’ compensation benefits. Alternatively, you can pursue damages through an injury claim or lawsuit.
Rain, hail, and snow should be the only answer to the question “Is the sky falling?” But construction materials, tools, and equipment? They should stay on the ground, attached to workers’ belts, or away from high drops. A single falling object can severely injure a construction worker, even if he or she is wearing a hard hat. Yet these accidents can be prevented when employers utilize proper safety measures.
Negligence at a job site should never be accepted, whether it is failing to correctly secure scaffolding, a reckless excavation, or not providing workers with mandatory safety equipment. Construction sites are inherently dangerous, and workers should always feel safe knowing that their employers, other workers, and other parties are not putting them in danger. Unfortunately, construction accidents are commonplace throughout New York, and a single accident can change a worker’s life. While workers’ compensation is mandatory in our state and an important source of compensation, victims should consider working with a dedicated attorney who will fight to get them the highest possible award.
In New York, Workers’ Compensation is governed by the Workers’ Compensation Board, which is a state agency that makes sure the system functions properly. The Board oversees claims and disputes, ensures employers are properly insured, and sees to it that injured workers are compensated.
Being an undocumented worker is difficult and you may not know what your rights are as someone who is not a citizen. While your status makes you ineligible to legally work in the United States, you do have some of the same rights as an American citizen. Being informed can help you understand and pursue your rights as a worker in New York State.
Anyone who’s ever held a job knows that it’s all too easy to get injured while at work. Whether it’s a bad burn, a slip or fall, or even stress, workers’ compensation (more commonly referred to as “workman’s comp”) is insurance that will cover the cost of lost wages and medical expenses should an accident occur. If you are ever injured at work and decide to make a worker’s comp claim, it’s essential that you understand that you then automatically give up your rights to sue the employer.
If you work in the state of New York as a domestic employee, you are entitled to certain protections under state law. Under New York law if you work for the same employer for a minimum of 40 hours per week, excluding any farm work, then your employer is required to meet worker compensation requirements. This includes having the right level of insurance in the event that you are injured on the job, and need to file a workers’ compensation claim. Even though you are a domestic employee, the state of New York sees you only as a worker, and this means you are entitled to the same protections as somebody who would, for example, be working on a construction site. Clearly somebody working in the domestic environment can suffer an on-the-job injury such as a slip and fall, and have needs under workers protection laws.
With the warm summer weather on the way, we are entering the busy construction season. The streets of New York will be lined with orange barrels and detour signs leading to longer commutes. Along with the increase in the construction-related activity we also begin to notice the disturbing and all too familiar headlines:
“Worker severely injured at Theatre District construction site”
“One dead and one in stable condition when lift overturns at Midtown construction project”
“Roof collapses at Queensbridge unit expansion project—two workers severely injured”
According to the US Department of Labor, the most common construction accidents are:
- A result of falling, tripping or slipping
- A consequence of worker contact with equipment
- Involve a worker being struck by an object
What is the nature of the most common construction worker injuries or illnesses?
- Sprains: These injuries involve damage to the ligaments, the tissue connecting your bones. The ankle is the most common area of occurrence.
- Strains: Involves damage to either muscles or tendons. Tendons are the critical link between muscles and our bones. Strains of the upper body are most likely to impact the lower back region. In the lower body, the most common location is in the hamstrings, in the rear of the thigh.
- Tears: Most commonly occur when cartilage is torn within the knee.
- Soreness: Aches and pains resulting from trauma to a muscle, which may increase in intensity over the course of a day.
- Pain: An unpleasant symptom stemming from bodily damage.
- Bruises: When there is blood vessel damage beneath the skin, blood rises and collects near the surface resulting is tenderness and skin coloration.
- Contusions: A variation of a bruise resulting from impact damaging a deep tissue.
Contact Us Today
Our team of tough and experienced New York workers compensation lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP want you to know that you do not have to be alone in seeking compensation for work-related injuries. Contact our office at (212) 986-7353 today so we can begin working to insure you are treated fairly, allowing you to remain focused on recovery. Put our strength to work for you today by scheduling a free consultation.
If you have been injured on the job, make sure that you and your loved ones get the representation that you deserve! The workers compensation process can be difficult to navigate and there may be other liable parties at fault in your case; therefore, make the call to Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP now for a confidential case review.