What is a General Contractor?

The general contractor is responsible for handling the construction site safety and responsibilities. Typically, the general contractor is responsible for the following:

  • The construction job sites daily operations
  • Vetting potential subcontractors
  • Hiring subcontractors
  • Vendor sourcing
  • Drafting and management of the construction schedule
  • Purchasing machinery and equipment
  • Renting necessary construction equipment
  • Sourcing materials

General contractors are responsible for ensuring their construction workers and subcontractors wear the necessary protective gear, have protective equipment, have the tools and machinery they need to get the job done safely, and take other steps to reduce and prevent the number of injuries that occur on the construction site.

How Can a General Contractor Be Negligent?

General contractors are held responsible when injuries and accidents occur on the construction site. They can be held accountable in a variety of situations. For example, suppose general contractors fail to ensure site safety, hire unskilled subcontractors, or fail to act with repeated safety violations. In that case, they may be held accountable for any injury victims’ damages.

Contractors will often delegate their responsibilities to their subcontractors, but that does not mean they can pass off their obligation to safety and the construction site. For the general contractor on the construction site in your case to be held accountable, your NYC construction accident attorney will need to show that the elements of negligence have been met as follows:

  • The general contractor owed you a duty of care to protect your safety
  • The general contractor decided or failed to make a decision which made it impossible for them to uphold their duties and care
  • The general contractor’s breach of this duty caused your injuries or damages

Other ways general contractors could be held accountable for construction accident injuries include:

  • Negligently giving instructions to hired subcontractors
  • The work was inherently dangerous
  • The contractor failed to minimize risk to construction workers or subcontractors
  • The contractor failed to vet potential subcontractors properly

Negligent Independent Contractor Liability

Negligent Independent Contractor Liability in New York City

Negligent independent contractor liability arises when a self-employed individual, contracted to provide services or goods, acts negligently, leading to harm such as construction accident injuries. To establish negligence, it must be shown that the contractor had control over the work site, was aware or should have been aware of the site’s hazards, and their actions directly caused the victim’s damages.

Liability can extend to the hiring company if they exert control over the contractor’s work, chose an unskilled contractor, or if the contractor’s work is inherently risky. Previously, companies were not held liable for independent contractors’ negligence, but recent trends see companies assuming this risk, allowing them to be sued for contractors’ negligent actions.

Negligent Subcontractor Liability

In New York City’s construction industry, negligent subcontractors increase the risk of on-site injuries. These subcontractors, independent from general contractors, are responsible for specific tasks but aren’t protected under employment laws, making their liability complex. If injuries occur due to their negligence, victims might pursue legal action not against the subcontractor, but the general contractor who hired them.

The general contractor may then seek damages from the subcontractor. Victims can seek compensation through workers’ compensation, insurance claims, or civil lawsuits against responsible parties. Subcontractors typically carry liability insurance, but pursuing claims against them can be challenging. An experienced NYC construction accident attorney can help victims prove liability, organize evidence, and maximize compensation in such cases.

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Pursuing Third-Party Liability in New York

If a general contractor is responsible for causing your construction accident injuries, there are multiple ways in which you may be able to recover the compensation you are entitled to. First, you may have the right to workers’ compensation benefits if you are a construction worker or employee.

Here, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider will be responsible for providing you with workers’ compensation insurance protection coverage. Suppose you are injured on a construction site due to your general contractor’s negligence. In that case, you may be entitled to coverage of your medical expenses, vocational rehabilitation benefits, disability benefits, and more.

However, workers’ compensation benefits may not be enough to meet your needs. For this reason, you may instead choose to move forward with a third-party liability claim. In New York, employees cannot pursue workers’ compensation benefits and third-party liability claims against their employers.

However, if you suffered a severe or catastrophic injury according to the law, you may be able to move forward with your third-party liability claim.

Damages You Can Pursue in a Third-Party Claim

In pursuing a third-party liability lawsuit for a construction site injury caused by a general contractor, you have the right to be made whole. You should be compensated for all the ways your life has been affected by your construction accident injuries and damages.

While recovering compensation and benefits through workers’ compensation may be helpful, the damages you may be awarded are often limited. The same is not true for third-party liability claims. Here, you could be compensated for every single loss.

Examples of economic damages and non-economic damages you could recover in your third-party liability lawsuit include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses
  • Property damages
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss of consortium
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Skin scarring and disfigurement
  • Inconvenience
  • Reputational damages

You can get a better idea of how much your New York construction accident claim is worth when you discuss your damages in greater detail with your New York construction accident lawyer at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C.

Why You Should Contact a New York Construction Accident Lawyer

Having a New York construction accident attorney on your side to pursue a claim against a general contractor after their negligence causes your injuries can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.

Our New York City personal injury firm will handle all the legality so you can heal without the extra stress of a lawsuit or insurance claim. Some of our most essential responsibilities may include the following:

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Call HKD for Help in Your NYC Construction Injury Case

When negligent contractors cause your construction accident injuries, you need an experienced New York construction accident attorney to help you make them pay. Contact Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. for a no-cost, risk-free consultation today.

Our NYC personal injury firm will help you tackle your construction site injury claim and hold the negligent general contractor accountable for their recklessness. Fill out our quick contact form or call our office at (212) 490-5700 to get started on your case.

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