December 15, 2023
Construction Injuries: Can I Sue if I’m Burned on the Job?
By Jonathan Damashek
Construction is one of the deadliest and most dangerous lines of work. It’s an essential one, however, and there are regulations meant to protect the people working in the field. However, accidents can happen. Although the number of injuries caused by fires or explosions in the workplace has been trending down in the United States, the number of construction workers injured has stayed around the same number for the last five years.
Burns are some of the most painful and devastating injuries you can receive. If you’re burned while on a construction job, you could be prevented from working while you recover. In some cases, you might not be able to return to your previous role even if you do get better. There might be a solution to help you cover the lost income and diminished earning capacity.
Learn more about burns in the workforce, and how to handle a construction injury.
Construction Site Burns: How Bad Can They Be?
There are three different levels of burns, ranging from mild to extreme. They can be superficial or deeply penetrating.
First-degree burns affect the outer layer of the skin. They’re painful: the skin turns red and there could be minor swelling.
Second-degree burns affect the outer layer of skin and the tissue underneath. Their symptoms are like amplified versions of first-degree burns: the swelling is worse, and there could be blistering.
Third-degree burns are the most severe burns: the damage extends into several layers of skin. The affected area could be charred and blackened.
How Do Burns Happen On Construction Sites?
It’s common for electricians, HVAC contractors, equipment operators, and carpenters to be burnt while working on a job site. You should note that burns on a construction site can happen to anyone working with chemicals, electrical components, or operating machinery.
When people on the job site aren’t careful, there could be an increased chance of an incident. Many worksites don’t have the same protections that completed residential or commercial buildings have to prevent fires or mitigate damage. There might not be any smoke detectors, alarms, sprinklers, firewalls, or other operating suppression tools.
There are regulations outlining how to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards. They cannot provide protection when they’re ignored, or if they aren’t enforced.
Seeking Compensation for Burns on the Job Site
In New York, employers are required to offer workers’ compensation benefits, which should cover your medical benefits. That means your medical expenses, lost earnings, and in some extreme cases, your funeral benefits.
In most instances, you’ll be limited to recovering your workers’ comp benefits provided by your employer. However, in extreme cases, you can pursue a third-party liability claim. You might have a case for a liability claim if your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance, if the act was willful or intentional, or if a third party’s actions caused your injuries.
Who Can I Sue After a Burn Injury On a Work Site?
You can sue anyone involved in the accident, or who may have contributed to your injuries.
Under New York Labor laws, employers must keep the worksite safe. Determining who’s liable for a burn injury can be complicated because there could be several parties involved. You will need the help of a construction accident lawyer to make sure you’re getting the most out of your claim.
Parties that might be responsible for your injuries could include:
- The general contractor
- The property owner
- Vendors or suppliers
- Manufacturer of any defective equipment
Available Damages in a Third-Party Claim
Once you’ve identified the people responsible for your injuries, you can work with your attorney to determine the value of your loss. There are various factors that can impact the total damage you experience. The more severe the accident, the more you can expect to fight for in a lawsuit.
Burns have many kinds of treatments, ranging from simple creams to in-depth surgeries. These operations can require lengthy recovery times, and you could be out of work for a long time, all while your medical expenses climb.
If someone’s negligence caused your injuries, you deserve compensation. In a third-party claim, you can claim damages for your medical bills, lost wages or benefits, pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, diminished quality of life, and a reduced ability to earn money.
Why You Need a Lawyer to Help with Your Burn Injury Claim
Your lawyer will be able to walk you through the lawsuit process, including calculating your case’s value.
You need a determined advocate, one who recognizes that you were hurt because of someone else’s actions. A lawyer can help communicate with the insurance company, collect evidence after the accident, and help you through any court appearances required to get your life back on track.
Call a NYC Burn Accident Lawyer Today
New York City is one of the most construction-involved cities in America. The state is one of the largest sector for construction. It’s likely that you will be injured on the job, and a burn injury is a painful prospect to face alone.
Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., have helped countless clients recover compensation for construction-related injuries. We know how tedious these claims can seem, but we understand how getting compensation for your injuries is critical to getting back to a normal life. We’ll help you through the process, and we’ll fight for the compensation you’re entitled to.