The Statute of Limitations for Construction Accidents, Explained

Mark Scott 

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With a law degree under his belt, Mark Scott understood very early that law communication was a relatively neglected area. He decided to help people by “translating” the language and offering information and advice in a clear, useful, and actionable manner. For this reason, instead of finding him in court, you will most likely find his name online, where he is very active and thriving as a legal columnist. His part of making the world a better place is to make the law a less convoluted maze. He aims to make it easier for people to understand when and how to seek legal counsel, how to proceed in a significant number of legal matters, and to find the proper resources so they can stand up for their rights.

The Statute of Limitations for Construction Accidents, Explained

The statute of limitations is a law that sets a time limit on how long you have to file a lawsuit. The deadline for construction accident cases is typically three years in New York.

This means that if you were injured while on the job, you would have three years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. However, the statute of limitations can be extended in some circumstances.

Common Construction Accidents That Can Lead to Personal Injury Lawsuits

Construction accidents can occur for many different reasons. It could be due to defective equipment, dangerous working conditions, or human error.

To win a personal injury lawsuit, you must identify the liable party and prove they were at fault for the harm you suffered. This means that they acted negligently or recklessly and their actions directly led to your injuries. 

To do this, you will need to gather evidence from the accident site, including any photos or videos taken at the time of the incident. You will also need to get witness statements from anyone who saw the event unfold.

Some of the most common construction accidents that can lead to personal injury lawsuits include:

Falling From a Height

This type of accident can occur when working at great heights. While heights above two stories are the most dangerous, even a fall from a ladder can cause serious injuries. This accident could result from defective scaffolding, lack of fall protection, or slippery surfaces.

Being Struck by an Object

This type of accident can occur when workers are struck by falling objects or debris. Other common causes include being hit by moving vehicles such as forklifts or cranes.


Electrocution is most common among electricians, but it can happen to any construction worker who comes in contact with live wires. Accidents can also occur if workers are using defective power tools or if the proper safety procedures are not met.

Trench Collapse

Trench collapse accidents often occur during excavation work. Common causes include heavy rains and poor soil conditions. The workers who are inside the trench during the collapse can be buried alive or crushed by the collapsing dirt and debris.

Fires and Explosions

Fires and explosions are a risk in any construction setting, but they are more common in welding and demolition work. They can be caused by defective equipment, flammable materials, or human error.

The Statute of Limitations Exceptions

In some cases, the standard three-year statute of limitations does not apply. For example, if you were injured due to someone’s intentional actions, such as assault or battery, you may have a longer time to file your lawsuit.

Additionally, if the person who caused your injuries is a public authority, you may have a shorter time frame to file your case. You typically have to meet a 90-day deadline to file for compensation.

The construction accidents caused by toxic exposure have different statutes of limitations. If you were exposed to a poisonous substance, you might have more time to file your lawsuit. However, you may also use the discovery rule to gain more time. Consult your lawyer to learn more.

If you’re not sure what statute of limitations applies to your case, you should speak to a construction accident lawyer in Westbury to get professional guidance.

What to Do After a Construction Accident

If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, there are several steps you can take to protect your legal rights. These include:

  • Understand the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in your state
  • Gather evidence from the accident site
  • Get witness statements from anyone who saw the accident occur
  • Consult with a construction accident lawyer to discuss your case and determine the best course of action
  • File your lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations
  • Negotiate a settlement out of court if the statute of limitations has expired

If you have been injured in a construction accident, you should speak to a construction accident lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you understand your legal rights and options. A legal expert can also help you gather evidence and build a strong case.