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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

What Are My Legal Options if Injured as an Independent Contractor?

June 10, 2024 in

New York City has no shortage of construction jobs. With so many opportunities to work in the industry, it is common for job sites to hire independent contractors and subcontractors to perform the work. Unlike employees, independent contractors often lack the same protections and benefits as full-time employees. If you find yourself injured on the job, you may wonder what legal options are available.

Below, the experienced NYC construction accident attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo discuss some common injuries construction subcontractors face and what to do if you are injured as an independent contractor.

Common Construction Subcontractor Injuries

Independent contractors, including subcontractors, play a necessary role in the construction industry. These professionals are hired to perform specific tasks or projects and do not work directly for a single employer. This independence offers flexibility but also presents unique challenges, particularly significant challenges in securing compensation for injuries compared to regular employees. This is due to the classification differences that impact eligibility for workers’ compensation and other benefits typically available to employees. 

Some of the most common injuries include:

  • Falls from Heights: Subcontractors often work on scaffolding, ladders, or roofs, making falls a frequent and severe hazard.
  • Struck by Objects: Heavy machinery and materials are moved around, and the risk of being struck by falling or swinging objects is significant.
  • Electrocutions: Construction sites are rife with electrical hazards, posing electrocution risks, especially during installations and repairs.
  • Machinery Accidents: Operating heavy machinery like cranes, forklifts, and bulldozers can lead to severe injuries if improperly handled.
  • Repetitive Stress Injuries: Continuous use of tools and machinery can lead to musculoskeletal injuries over time.


These injuries can lead to substantial medical bills, lost income, and long-term disability. Therefore, seeking a New York construction accident attorney who understands your contractor rights is critical to securing compensation. 

What Legal Options Do Injured Construction Subcontractors Have?

While independent contractors might not have access to traditional workers’ compensation benefits, several legal avenues can still provide financial relief and justice. Consulting a knowledgeable New York construction accident attorney can help you explore these options:

Like anyone else, independent contractors can file personal injury lawsuits against negligent parties responsible for their injuries. This could include property owners, general contractors, or other subcontractors. If a third party’s actions (not your direct employer) led to your injury, you might be eligible to file a third-party claim. For example, if a machinery defect caused your accident, you could file a claim against the manufacturer.

An experienced NYC construction accident attorney will help you review your contract thoroughly. Some contracts may include clauses that stipulate certain protections or insurance coverages in case of an injury. A construction accident lawyer can help interpret these clauses and determine if any contractual obligations have been violated or if a liability insurance claim is possible.

The Importance of a NYC Construction Accident Lawyer

If you’re an independent contractor injured on a construction site, understanding your legal options is the first step to securing compensation. Various avenues can provide financial relief, from personal injury lawsuits to third-party claims. Engaging a construction accident lawyer in NYC ensures you have guidance to navigate your options.

Don’t let the complexities of the legal system deter you from seeking compensation. Contact SPBMCC today for a thorough analysis of your case. Your rights as a contractor are essential, and we are here to protect them.

Contact an Experienced NYC Construction Accident Lawyer at SPBMCC Today

Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. is a reputable, full-service personal injury law firm specializing in various areas. Our dedicated litigation support teams are committed to vigorously representing clients in personal injury cases, 9/11-related illnesses, firefighter accidents, car accidents, construction accidents, premises liability, and medical malpractice across New York City, Long Island, Nassau, Suffolk counties, and New Jersey. Contact us today to learn more about our firm or schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

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