Under state law, you have two separate courses of action available for pursuing financial compensation in the wake of a fatal construction accident. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you could either pursue death benefits through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy, or you could file a wrongful death claim. In either scenario, you have a right to hire an attorney to represent your claim. Contact us at Greenberg & Stein, P.C. for an initial consultation to discuss your situation and to determine which type of claim best suits your family’s needs.
Nearly all injuries on the job are eligible for coverage under our state’s workers’ compensation laws, with the exception of accidents caused by the worker’s own use of alcohol or drugs, as well as intentionally self-inflicted injuries. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault program, so it is not necessary to prove that anyone else is responsible for the accident, and it is even possible to recover benefits if your loved one was at fault.
The amount you could receive in death benefits is calculated at two-thirds of your loved one’s average weekly wage over the course of the last year before the date of the accident. Note that there is a maximum of two-thirds of the statewide average weekly wage, which in 2011 was $1,188.10-currently the most you could possibly receive would be $784.14 per week. Workers’ comp will additionally pay up to $6,000 in funeral expenses.
Article 1, Section 16 of the New York State Constitution secures your right to take action to “recover damages for injuries resulting in death,” and by doing so you could recover comprehensive financial compensation for your losses. While there is no amount of money which will ever replace your tragic loss, you can at least demand a settlement to offset the economic impact of your family member’s death and to help you move on in life.
According to New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law § 5-4.3, you can claim pecuniary damages, which can include the income your family has lost since the date of death and which you could reasonably have expected to receive in the future. You can additionally recover compensation for all the medical care and treatment which was provided for the injury that caused your loved one’s death, as well as punitive damages in cases of gross negligence. Note that the value of your settlement can include interest from the date of death.
Don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin working on your case before the statute of limitations runs out. Our team has more than 50 years of combined litigation experience, and one of our attorneys is even a member of the prestigious Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®, an honor bestowed on less than 1% of attorneys across the country.