In most situations where you’ve been injured at work by a falling object, your lawsuit involves one filing. In that filing, you name all those entities liable to you and you file in the correct New York Supreme Court. Some situations are different, though. For example, if you attempted to sue the state government in a Supreme Court for your construction injuries, your lawsuit would not succeed. You must file that lawsuit in a special court, but you must still pursue all other liable entities in a regular civil court case. Confused? Don’t be discouraged. There are a lot of mandatory procedural technicalities that exist in New York court procedure, and that’s one reason among countless others why you should rely on a knowledgeable New York City construction injury attorney to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.
C.P. was a worker who found himself in that kind of procedural situation. He worked on a demolition project where his duties involved removing windows. One of those windows tipped and struck C.P. in the face. What made C.P.’s case less than typical was that he was working on a project at the state prison in Attica. The owner of his job site was the State of New York, but the general contractor on the project was a private firm.
New York law says that, if you have a claim for damages against the state government like C.P. had, you must sue the state in a special court called the Court of Claims. That’s very noteworthy because the Court of Claims has its own rules about many procedural things. Those rules, for example, say that you only have 90 days to file your lawsuit against the state and also to serve notice of that lawsuit on the state Attorney General.
Obviously, that’s not a lot of time. What this should tell you is just how important it is to reach to the right attorney right away so that they can promptly get to work on your case. C.P.’s Court of Claims lawsuit, for example, was filed on day 92, two days too late.
However, even if you miss that 90-day deadline, it is possible that you may still have options. The Appellate Division court concluded that C.P. was allowed to continue pursuing his case, in part, because he gave the court sufficient evidence to demonstrate that his claims had merit. C.P.’s lawsuit said that his “injuries were the direct consequence of a failure to provide adequate protection against a risk arising from a physically significant elevation differential,” and his evidence appeared to back his assertion that the window fell on him. Based on that proof, he was entitled to go forward.
Your case may require two separate lawsuits in two separate courts
Of course, if you have a situation like C.P., your Court of Claims lawsuit isn’t the only step involved in getting a complete recovery. You still have your lawsuit against the private entities involved. In C.P.’s case, that meant a Supreme Court lawsuit against the general contractor on the Attica project.
What should you take from all of those legal technicalities? Know that any construction injury case requires prompt attention but, if you are injured while working at a job site owned by the state, your case may need especially speedy action in order for you to get the full recovery you deserve. Whether you are suing the state in the Court of Claims, suing private entities in regular civil court or doing both, your case needs legal representation that is skilled and experienced at handling all of these things. Rely on the knowledgeable New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates for that kind of effective legal advice and advocacy. Our attorneys have spent many years helping a wide array of workers involved in many kinds of construction activities to get the compensation they deserve.
Contact us at (718) 651-4363 today.