Construction Accidents: Finding A Lawyer

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Construction accidents impact both construction workers and pedestrians surrounding a construction site. Construction jobs are one of the most dangerous jobs you can have in New York City, which puts construction workers at risk everyday.

Construction accidents are a widespread occurrence in New York City, which is why everyone should become acquainted with the proper steps to take after an incident occurs. If you have been a victim of a construction accident, you are entitled to certain rights under the law. 

Personal injury and construction accident lawyers have experience dealing with such incidents and can help you understand what money and benefits you are eligible for. 

Our firm has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for hard working men and women injured due to safety hazards at work. Recently, our law firm was able to win $5.75 million for a worker who injured his head, neck, and shoulder in an accident on a Suffolk County construction site. Learn more about what we can do for you. 

Finding the right lawyer can make a difference in ensuring that you receive financial compensation for your injuries and that all your rights are secured. If you are looking to build a case after a construction accident, reach out to Schwartzapfel® Lawyers, P.C. at 1-800-966-4999.

Construction Accidents in New York City

With all its tall buildings, New York City is always under construction. While construction accidents are common in the city, some can cause serious injury or even death to their victims. 

Construction workers are especially susceptible to construction accidents. Deaths caused by construction accidents accounted for 26 percent of all worker deaths in New York City, in comparison with 19 percent nationwide in 2019. 

You should become familiar with the different types of construction accidents and try your best to prevent them. This is especially true for managers or employers on construction sites. Here are some of the most common: 

Falls

  • Falls can occur in unprotected workspaces where scaffolding is not sturdy, and ladders are misused or broken. 
  • It is important to ensure that ladders and metal beams are sturdy and that safety measures and structures, such as handrails, are installed. 
  • Falls can lead to broken bones, torn muscles, paralysis, or damage to the head and brain. 

Electrocutions

  • Electrocutions can occur when there is contact with exposed powerlines or while using electric construction equipment.
  • It is important to ensure that power lines are not exposed and that equipment is not faulty or malfunctioning. 
  • Electrocutions can cause damage to the nerves and heart. Depending on their intensity, they may even lead to death. 

Struck-by Falling Object/Hazard

  • This type of accident occurs when an individual, whether a worker or pedestrian, is struck with a loose or falling object on a construction site. These objects could include metal beams, bricks, and other equipment. 
  • It is important to ensure that all equipment or material is stored safely so that it does not fall on or hurt anyone. This is especially true for elevated construction sites. It is also important that elevated structures are tightly fastened, so they do not become loose and hit anyone. 
  • Depending on the weight and size of a falling or swinging object, an incident of being struck may cause broken bones, torn muscles, damage to the brain and head, or even death. 

Caught-in/Between

  • This occurs when workers are caved in or stuck by collapsing construction structures. An example would be a poorly built brick wall that collapses and traps a worker underneath the rubble. 
  • To prevent such incidents, practice evacuation measures and prepare for worst-case scenario situations. 
  • Being trapped or caught in a structure or construction materials can cause death on impact or suffocation the longer an individual is trapped. 

Welding Burns

  • Welding burns occur when the heat or fire used to weld together metals injurers a worker. 
  • They can be prevented by the use of proper safety equipment while welding materials and by making sure welding equipment is not faulty. 
  • Welding burns can cause infection, disfigurement, or even death in some cases. 

Injuries and death are hard to deal with on their own, but they are especially difficult when individuals and families are left without consolation or financial support after the fact. 

Because of this, everyone must understand their rights if such an incident occurs, as well as the proper steps to take to redeem these rights. 

Understanding Your Rights

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a construction accident in New York City, you have rights. These rights are upheld by state and city law, no matter who tells you otherwise. 

It is important that you are aware of them and the benefits they may have for you. However, awareness is not enough. You must take immediate action to access these rights, or you may not be able to redeem them. 

While you may be able to access these rights on your own, a lawyer or attorney that has experience in construction accidents may be able to help you more efficiently redeem these rights. To learn more about what you may be entitled to, call Schwartzapfel® Lawyers, P.C. at 1-800-966-4999. 

Steps To Take After an Incident

If you are a victim of a construction accident, follow these steps immediately following an incident: 

  • Do not give any statements and do not speak with any insurance company or their representatives.
  • Get immediate medical attention, even if you do not think you were badly hurt. 
  • Inform your supervisor or manager about the incident and how it occurred. 
  • Write down the names of witnesses/people who saw the incident and make note of the surrounding environment when it occurred. 
  • File a claim to receive workers’ compensation, even if an employer advises you against doing so. 
  • Find a lawyer or legal counsel that has experience with construction accident cases. 

Your rights may differ based on the nature of your injuries and the surrounding circumstances in which they occurred. 

For example:

  • Whether there is a statute of limitations on the incident, which means you have to submit a claim within a set period of time to receive compensation. 

This makes immediate action very important, regardless of the incident that occurred. 

  • Whether or not you are eligible for workers’ compensation may depend on the nature of your injury and how it occurred. 
  • Whether there is proof of negligence, which means the incident occurred due to malpractice by managers on a construction site. 

Consult with a lawyer to help you make sense of rights and limitations as they apply to your specific situation. Employers may not help you receive the compensation and rights that you deserve. 

Receiving Workers’ Compensation

If you are a construction worker who was injured in a construction accident, you may be eligible to receive worker’s compensation. Worker’s compensation is one of the rights you are entitled to after a workplace accident occurs due to malpractice or a workplace accident. 

Because employers are responsible for the safety of their workers on construction sites, in most cases, they should be held responsible for any incidents that occur. 

Most employers in New York City are required to have worker’s compensation insurance. While employers may try to avoid paying workers’ compensation, there should be no reason that an employer denies a worker their worker’s compensation rights. 

According to New York City law, workers must file for worker’s compensation within 30 days of a workplace incident that caused an injury. For this reason, it is important you file workers’ compensation as soon as you can following an incident. 

What Worker’s Compensation Covers

Worker’s compensation only covers after-care for afflicted individuals and may differ based on the nature and extent of the injuries that occurred. 

  • Wages if an employee cannot return to work after their injury. 
  • Medical expenses for procedures, treatments, and rehabilitation. This also includes any travel expenses if treatment requires the afflicted worker to travel. 
  • Payments as income replacement if wages are not paid to the individual normally. 
  • Payments to compensate for permanent impairment if any occurs due to an injury. 
  • Funeral costs if death occurs due to a workplace construction accident. 

What Worker’s Compensation Does Not Cover

Workers’ compensation cannot cover incidents that occurred outside of the workplace or the employee’s scheduled work hours. It also does not cover incidents in which the afflicted individual or other workers were directly at fault. The following injuries do not fall under worker’s compensation.

  • Injuries that occur as a result of a fight or horseplay with another employee, which are then a result of the employee’s actions. 
  • Injuries while intoxicated or inebriated in the workplace, which are the responsibility of the employee. 
  • Injuries while commuting to or from work. Such injuries did not occur as a result of workplace malpractice. 
  • Intentional injuries that are afflicted by one worker onto another. 

While individuals may be able to file for worker’s compensation on their own, especially if they only suffered minor injuries, it is best to consult an attorney for help when filing for compensation after a workplace incident occurs. 

This is especially true if your employer has denied other workers rights in the past or if there is an ongoing dispute between you and an employer. 

You should also hire an attorney if the accident has left you with serious injuries that have long-term effects on your health and quality of life. 

Finding a Lawyer

A lawyer that focuses in construction accidents or personal injuries may help you better understand and gain access to your rights after an incident occurs. 

When looking for a lawyer, consider the following: 

  • Feedback and reviews from prior clients
  • Whether or not they have experience with personal injuries and workplace accidents. 
  • Their experience dealing with construction and workplace accidents. 
  • Track record of results on their cases. 
  • Success rates with past workplace accidents and personal injury cases. 
  • Their reputation and the reputation of the law firm they work for.

At Schwartzapfel® Lawyers, P.C., our mission is to fight for you and your rights. 

Our lawyers have dealt with all different types of construction accidents, from building collapses to eye injuries. We can help you file your workers’ compensation claim as well as take necessary action against third parties involved with the worksite in which you were injured. 

We have secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients throughout the years and can do the same for you. 

If you have suffered injuries from a construction accident, we encourage you to speak with one of our many experienced lawyers to learn more about what we can do for you and your case. 

Takeaways

Construction accidents are common in New York City, as construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the city. While anyone can become a victim of a construction accident, construction workers are especially susceptible to injury while in the workplace. 

There are many different types of construction accidents. While most can be prevented if employers ensure the construction site is safe and secure, they still occur regularly. Such accidents can lead to serious injury, disability, or even death. 

Make sure that you know your rights and can access them if you are injured due to a construction accident. 

After a construction accident takes place, there are a few key steps you should take to ensure your rights. One of the most important of these steps is finding and hiring a lawyer with experience in construction accidents. 

While you may be able to file claims on your own, an attorney can help ensure that you receive all of the compensation that you are eligible for. 

If you are unsure where to begin, talk to one of our lawyers today at 1-800-966-4999 for an explanation of all the rights you are entitled to and how you can proceed with your case for maximum compensation. 

Sources: 

NYCOSH REPORT REVEALS ALARMING TREND AS NEW YORK CITY CONSTRUCTION DEATHS CONTINUE TO SPIRAL UPWARDS | NYCOSH 

Fatal Injuries among New York City Construction Workers | NYC Health  

Electrocution – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics 

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