Options For Financial Compensation After A Carpenter Work Injury

Options For Financial Compensation After A Carpenter Work Injury 2018-01-22T14:14:25+00:00

Have you recently been injured in an accident while working as a carpenter? You may have several questions:

  • Is my injury eligible for workers’ comp?
  • Why was my workers’ comp claim denied?
  • How can I get compensation if I’m self-employed?
  • Can I sue another construction worker for causing my injury?
  • Can property owners be sued for a hazardous condition?

Banville Law’s dedicated work injury lawyers can help you explore your options.

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Carpentry is a rewarding, but sometimes dangerous craft. Carpenters are capable of creating beautiful structures and ornate objects through their woodworking skills, but these projects often involve the use of potentially dangerous tools and equipment. Rough carpenters are typically working on construction sites, which means the risk of an accidental injury is always present. Even finish carpenters who specialize in crafting furniture or musical instruments suffer serious injuries while working.

New York’s Workers’ Compensation Law requires employers to provide all employees with workers’ compensation, which covers medical bills and a portion of lost wages when they get hurt on the job.  However, many injured New York workers struggle to receive these benefits. Employers and insurance companies routinely find reasons to deny claims, and carpenters working as independent contractors are not eligible to receive workers’ compensation.

Independent Contractors & Workers’ Comp

Anyone who is legally classified as an employee is eligible to receive workers’ compensation. As noted above, these benefits are not available to independent contractors. However, many workers are misclassified as independent contractors, even though their work relationship is that of an employee. This is illegal, but some employers use this tactic to avoid paying for worker benefits.

Carpenters who do work independently may choose to purchase their own workers’ compensation insurance. But in any situation, injured carpenters often have the option to seek additional compensation against negligent third parties in a personal injury lawsuit.

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Employee Carpenters & Applying For Workers’ Compcarpenter marking wood block

Employee carpenters may seek financial compensation for work-related injuries in a workers’ comp claim. However, sometimes employers may argue that your injury is not work-related. For example, you may have slowly developed a lower back condition due to repetitive movements at work, which your employer argues had nothing to do with your job duties. Insurance companies will also look for any reason to deny a claim, as this is how they increase their profits.

Workers’ compensation sounds good in theory, but when insurance and liability concerns become involved, the process can get complicated. Injured workers are made to face large insurance conglomerates and their attorneys. Because of these complexities, it’s often necessary to have your own experienced carpenter work injury lawyer who understands how the system works.

Personal Injury Claims For Carpenter Injuries

A carpenter’s work environment frequently involves working with a variety of third parties. Construction carpenters are regularly interacting with independent contractors, subcontractors, architects, property owners, etc. Finish carpenters often take on private clients and may conduct work in or around their homes. When one of these third parties causes an injury through negligence, they could be held financially liable in a personal injury lawsuit.

Examples of negligence which could lead to a carpenter work injury include:

  • An independent contractor drops debris, which a carpenter then trips and falls on.
  • A homeowner fails to clear ice and snow from outside of his home, and a carpenter slips and falls when he leaves after a project.
  • A construction site manager provides faulty scaffolding which leads to a fall
  • Defective protective gear leads to an eye injury by flying sawdust

Regardless of your employment status, if anyone other than a co-worker or employer caused your work injury through negligence, you could have a strong case for a lawsuit.

Injury Risks In Carpentry

Carpenter work injuries can be broken down into three main categories:

  • Accidental injuries – An accidental injury occurs due to an isolated mishap at work. For example, you may have cut your finger while buzzing a piece of wood because the saw malfunctioned. This type of injury would be eligible for workers’ compensation (if you’re an employee), and you would potentially have a product liability case against the saw manufacturer.
  • Ergonomic injuries – Certain physical activities can lead to injuries if they’re repeated throughout the day, every day, for a long period of time. Working in awkward positions, in the same position for a long time, or with vibrating equipment can also lead to chronic pain and discomfort. Even though these injuries develop slowly, they are also eligible for workers’ comp.
  • Occupational illnesses – Some construction sites involve the use of toxic chemicals which can cause exposure-related illnesses. In projects which take place in older buildings, there is also the risk of being exposed to lead and asbestos, which can lead to poisoning and mesothelioma. Any illness which was caused by hazardous work conditions qualifies for workers’ comp.

Remember that for workers’ compensation, it doesn’t matter if you were at fault for your injury. As long as you’re classified as an employee, you are entitled to benefits.

How Do I Know Which Compensation Option Is For Me?

Work injury claims are generally complicated, and this is even more true for carpenters, as so many of them work independently or primarily on construction sites. It often takes a careful review by a knowledgeable lawyer to determine your best option for financial compensation.

At Banville Law, we have lawyers who specialize in both personal injury and workers’ compensation claims. We understand what it takes to identify liable parties and we know how to hold them accountable. If you’re looking for answers after suffering a carpenter work injury, we’ll gladly help you find answers in a free consultation.

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