What Is The Process For Filing A Maritime Construction Accident Claim?
The first step would be to file the longshore forms, which would usually be the initial forms to get a claim set up with the office of worker’s compensation.
It would also depend on what kind of project it is, because if it was a public project for the city of New York, then a notice of claim would have to be submitted within 90 days to Corporation Council.
If it involved the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority or some of the other public authorities or the Port Authority, then a notice of claim would have to be filed within 90 days just to preserve the worker’s rights to sue.
These are main filing requirements that have to be taken care of right away, although with the Tappan Zee project, the claim would have to be filed with both the New York State Authority, which is actually located in Albany, as well as the Attorney General’s office.
Is There A State Of Limitations On Maritime Construction Accident Claims?
The statute of limitations varies somewhat. The statute of limitation is 3 years under the general maritime law and most New York state laws, although those can be shortened, for example, if there was a case against a lot of the public authorities or the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, Port Authority or the City of New York.
In this case the notice of claim would usually have to be filed within 90 days. In case the injury happened at the Tappan Zee bridge, a notice of intent to make claim would need to be filed and then the person would have to sue within a year and 90 days in the state court and then the court of claims, although that would depend on a couple of different things.
Certainly with the OWCP or U.S. Department of Labor, it would actually be the employer’s obligation to report the accident. The statute of limitation would begin to run after the accident report had been submitted or after they had submitted the claim.
What Kind Of Evidence Is Critical In These Types Of Cases?
The best evidence in these types of cases would almost always be photographs. It would be helpful to have photographs of whatever condition caused the accident along with the names of other witnesses who may have seen what happened. The best thing to do would be to just preserve as much evidence as possible, if at all possible.
Typically, workers need to be careful about what they sign because unscrupulous contractors have often been known to write up an accident report that is very unfavorable and they tell the worker to sign the paper just to get coverage or to go to the hospital.
The injured worker would often not realize they should have read the paper before signing, because it may contain a version of the accident that protected the employer or the contractor. This is why workers need to be very careful about what they sign especially right after an injury.
Can You Handle A Maritime Construction Accident Case For Someone Who Does Not Live In New York But Was Injured There?
Absolutely. We regularly take cases for people who were injured in New York state, but live in other states, especially on the bigger projects because they bring in union members and workers from all over because there is a big need for skilled labor.
We regularly represent people who live outside of New York but who were injured in New York. Typically, if someone had an accident here in New York, then since New York would have a jurisdiction over the case, this would be the best place to bring it. Even if you live far away, our New York accident attorneys are adept at communicating and exchanging documents through email, so distance is no longer a barrier.
Are Workers Nervous To File A Claim Because They Are Afraid It Would Affect Their Job?
Thankfully, most constructions workers nowadays are unionized, meaning they have unions to protect them from these types of retaliation claims. That being said though, it is the employer’s obligation to report an accident and this is why they have the insurance.
Workers really should not worry about filing a claim because it would go to the employer’s insurance, not the employer directly. Additionally, the New York state labor laws provide that a worker cannot sue their employer if they have a proper coverage.
They would only be able to sue the general contractor or land owner, so in that case the worker would not be bringing a case against their employer anyway.
For more information on Filing A Maritime Construction Accident Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (877) 580- 6636 today.