Often, profits are prioritized over job site safety at the workers’ expense. In New York, construction involves heavy equipment such as cranes, hoists, scaffolds and ladders. Construction is dangerous and a contractor’s failure to follow proper safety procedures may result in accidents causing broken bones, spinal cord damage, brain trauma, paralysis, and amputations.
It is extremely important to hire an experienced construction accident lawyer who understands the law and exactly what a New York worker is entitled to. Contact us today to engage an experienced New York construction accident attorney to protect your rights.
If you have been hurt on a job site, Oresky & Associates, PLLC is a construction accident lawyer in NYC that is ready to help. In addition to collecting Workers’ Compensation from your employer, you may be able to collect damages for pain and suffering, household services, and additional items of loss from other responsible entities under the law. Our staff is fluent in Spanish and can arrange for transportation to and from our office if you are suffering from a disability. If you are unable to travel we will even come to you at home or hospital. Our attorneys also represent victims in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, in addition to Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties. Contact us online or at (718) 993-9999 for a free appointment with an injury lawyer.
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In 2019, twenty percent of work-related deaths were in construction, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In comparison to all other industries, construction ranks highest in most preventable accidents and fatalities, beating out hunting, fishing, mining, and others.
At Oresky & Associates, PLLC, our New York City construction accident lawyers provide compassionate, knowledgeable legal representation to help accident victims obtain the financial compensation they are entitled to receive. In New York, Workers’ Compensation benefits only provide one part of the compensation that a construction worker may be entitled to receive. In addition to Workers’ Compensation, a construction accident victim may also be entitled to start a lawsuit for pain and suffering and other money damages caused due to an accident.
Despite the significant improvements the construction industry has made to working conditions and job site safety education, construction accidents are still an inevitable part of construction projects. Some of the most common construction site accidents include height-related falls, demolition accidents, slips and trips, fires and explosions, forklift, crane, and machinery accidents, as well as exposure to chemicals and toxins.
Height-related accidents and falls remain the number one cause of construction accidents and fatalities in the United States. The injuries sustained from height-related accidents are typically more severe than other accidents due to the full-body impact of the injuries and the potential for internal damage.
Depending on how the person lands, a fall can damage vulnerable areas like the spine, head, and neck, leaving the victim with a traumatic brain injury and/or permanent disability. These falls can occur from a ladder, scaffold, roof, etc., and can be fatal from as low as four to six feet high.
The New York scaffolding laws attempt to minimize these risks by holding project owners and contractors liable for gravity-related deaths and injuries caused by working at high elevations.
Demolition is essentially construction in reverse and, as such, has its own set of challenges and risks. There are many unknowns when performing a demolition job. Therefore, construction workers have to be especially cautious and aware when performing demolition.
Things like unstable building structures, sharp or heavy debris, failure to perform proper risk assessments, and negligence can cause workers to sustain severe injuries during demolition.
According to the CDC, between twenty and thirty percent of individuals who slip and fall at work will sustain moderate to severe injuries. These odds increase when coupled with high-risk work environments like construction sites.
It should come as no surprise that construction workers work in dangerous conditions. Things like mud, uneven surfaces, loose flooring, and ice are just a few culprits that can cause a devastating slip and fall accident on construction sites.
Exposed nails, concrete slabs, and metal surfaces can make these falls even more detrimental, resulting in broken bones, head injuries, or worse.
Fires and explosions are causes of construction accidents that many workers and companies do not immediately recognize. Fires can be caused by the sparks of welding or cutting machinery when heating equipment is left unattended, when electrical wires short-circuit, or simply when workers smoke near combustible materials.
Explosions can happen during demolition and when dealing with pressurized containers or live electrical wires. These types of accidents are hazardous since they can affect many workers in a short amount of time.
In New York, all crane and forklift operators should have the proper training to operate such machinery. The presence of heavy machinery on a construction site makes it much more possible for a person to sustain an injury.
Improper use of these machines could cause crush injuries or fatalities. Workers can be hurt when hit by an item that’s being transported via crane or forklift. Additionally, operators can be ejected or injured if the machine collapses.
Crane collapses and other failures have the potential to injure or kill construction workers and pedestrians.
The construction industry is synonymous with heavy machinery. When used correctly, it can make the process faster and more efficient. At times, however, this machinery fails. Common causes of machine-related accidents include collapses and breakdowns.
The New York Labor Law requires that both owners and contractors ensure that equipment is operated safely, and if not, they can be held accountable.
Many construction-related accidents can be prevented by maintaining safe working conditions. However, ensuring proper safety conditions can sometimes be neglected due to high demand and the pressure to complete projects quickly. Here are several factors that can contribute to unsafe construction site conditions.
One of the most preventable causes of job site accidents is the absence of personal protective equipment (PPE). Due to construction being high-risk work, OSHA requires construction companies to practice proper occupational safety by providing equipment and training to laborers.
Typical PPE for construction workers includes:
Without this essential equipment, workers are much more likely to sustain serious injuries. However, it’s always important to check with the job supervisor to ensure you have all of the necessary protective equipment required for the job at hand.
Construction workers can suffer significant harm when property conditions are dangerous. Unstable roofs, shaky stairways, unsafe scaffolding, worn ladders, and unsafe flooring are just a few of the many circumstances that can all lead to construction injuries for workers.
Construction site job managers can reduce these risks by taking a detailed property assessment before breaking ground on a construction project. Additionally, all potential issues and hazards should be made known to construction workers before work begins. Worn and unsafe equipment should be replaced.
Another often overlooked cause of accidents on construction sites is a failure to properly train new workers. A failure to properly train workers in job safety can have devastating consequences.
If you have suffered a construction injury, you should seek medical attention immediately. In the immediate wake of an accident, your adrenaline or shock can mask symptoms of a more significant issue, so it’s essential to be checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible.
Doctors will run tests and perform a thorough exam to account for any and all injuries you may have suffered. After seeing a doctor and receiving any necessary treatment, your next step is to report it to your employer.
It would be extremely helpful to:
Unfortunately, some employers and insurance companies do not fight fair and can take advantage of workers who don’t know their rights. Your next step should be to partner with a construction accident lawyer.
Construction is dangerous work, and the majority of injuries sustained on a job site are not insignificant. In most cases, the workers’ compensation benefits that you may receive will hardly cover the medical bills and lost wages.
If you are injured in a construction accident, a construction accident lawyer will be able to tell you whether you have a claim against a responsible party. Under New York law, you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer and are limited to Workers’ Compensation. A construction accident lawyer will tell you if you can file a suit against a responsible third party such as an owner or contractor for any unsafe working conditions that caused your accident. These parties are companies other than your employer.
When you hire a construction accident lawyer, they can investigate the claim and talk to witnesses on your behalf, as well as estimate your damages and advocate for a fair settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, the attorney can then take your case to court.
An important part of investigating personal injury claims is determining liability between the parties involved. Here are few examples of the involved parties and why they may be liable:
Although owners may not have physical involvement with a construction project, they may be held liable for injuries sustained by construction workers on their sites. For instance, the New York scaffolding law holds project owners responsible for fall-related injuries or deaths at high elevations where proper protection was not provided.
In many cases, the general contractor will be found liable for injuries sustained by construction workers on site. This is because they have the unique responsibility of ensuring that working conditions are safe, hazards are addressed, and proper protection is provided.
Since the general contractor oversees all construction activity, they assume responsibility for the safety of workers on the job site.
Subcontractors can also be held liable in personal injury claims. However, their scope is much more limited than that of the general contractor. Typically, subcontractors are specialists that only perform a specific function like drywall and roofing.
They can also hire subcontractors of their own which makes them responsible for those workers’ safety and the safety of that particular area of construction.
Unlike workers’ compensation claims, personal injury claims allow for a greater degree of compensation for your accident. Here are a few of the damages that you can claim:
When you are badly injured in a construction accident, you can be out of work for a long time. This can cause you to lose money and valuable benefits like sick pay, vacation time, union benefits, etc. A lawsuit for personal injuries will seek to recover your economic damages.
Time spent in the hospital, surgeries, and potentially ongoing care can create significant medical bills that you may struggle to handle on your own. These can also be claimed on your construction injury case to ensure that this burden doesn’t fall on you.
Construction-related injuries can forever alter a person mentally and physically. If you are experiencing constant pain and/ or have sustained a permanent disability, you can also seek compensation for past and future pain and suffering.
The construction accident attorneys at Oresky and Associates, PLLC, have fought for the rights of injury victims in New York City for more than 30 years. We proudly serve the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Westchester areas, and we want to help you get your case started today.
Our clients trust us because we are passionate about what we do, and we stand behind every case that we pursue. If you are ready to start your construction accident claim, schedule a free consultation today. Call us now at (718) 993-9999.
Retain a compassionate New York construction accident attorney, focused on the details, that will strive to develop a strategy tailored to your needs. Our team understands the difficulties that an injured worker and their family will often face after an accident, and we are committed to treating you the way you would like to be treated in this challenging situation. Contact an NYC construction accident lawyer online, or call us at (718) 993-9999 to schedule an appointment.