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Unions are a hot topic in the construction industry in New York. Unionized workers believe that this collective group helps to keep them safe, but non-unionized workers seem to think that the record of unions isn't all that others make it out to be. While it is true that union job sites have been involved in fewer injuries in the past, there are many other things that can have a direct impact on worker safety in this industry.

When a construction worker is injured, it is necessary to take a look at the big picture so that the worker can make a plan for what to do next. Many people believe that all injuries in this industry are handled through the workers' compensation program, but this isn't always the case. Here are some points that might come into the picture when a worker is trying to decide how to proceed with a third party claim:

Scope of workers' compensation

In many cases, workers' compensation is the place to turn for compensation, but you should remember that there are limits to what this program can offer. Your medical bills would be covered by the insurance coverage provided. Ideally, workers who are injured will get medical care right away to ensure that the injury isn't left to worsen for a prolonged period.

Some individuals might qualify for lost wages replacement if they are unable to return to work right away. This coverage is determined by the type, location, and effects of the injury. Specific limits apply to how long this wage replacement can last so workers should know this.

Cause of the injury

Workers' compensation policies are meant to protect employers from costly lawsuits related to injuries that happen on the job site. If the injury was due to an accident that stemmed from any condition other than a third-party issue, you will likely have to file your claim through workers' compensation. You can't sue your employer for a work-related injury.

The exception to having to file for workers' compensation is seeking out compensation from a third party claim. This is the course of action you might take if you are injured due to a manufacturing defect in an item used when the injury occurred. For example, if you used a defective saw and suffered a finger amputation, you can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the saw. If you were run over by a piece of heavy equipment due to faulty brakes, you might file a claim against the brake manufacturer.

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