The Big Apple is never finished building. Even with millions of people living in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs, construction continues on new buildings, renovations, and other developments in areas like business structures, private housing, and more.
All that construction work requires skilled laborers to carry out the hard task of putting buildings together. Unfortunately, while construction safety laws have been in place for some time, New York City remains a leading site for construction accident injuries.
When injured, many construction workers find it difficult to acquire the compensation they deserve and need to pay for their medical expenses, lost wages, and more. In such circumstances, construction injury lawyers can be of great assistance when filing and winning construction injury lawsuits.
Schwartzapfel Lawyers P. C. has served injured construction workers in New York City and beyond for many years, and we have a history of excellent case outcomes. We can help with your construction injury case – all you have to do is give us a call at 1-800-966-4999.
Construction Work Laws for New York Workers
New York State labor law includes three distinct sections focusing on construction workers who become injured on the job. These include:
- Section 200, which requires that all construction site managers offer adequate protection from reasonable hazards to all construction workers under their employ. For example, a contractor or contracting company is required to provide hardhats and other protective gear to individuals expected to be on a legal worksite with hazardous materials.
- Section 240, which is also called the “Scaffold Law.” This section includes regulations related to ladders, scaffolding, and any other materials used to work off the ground. It protects construction workers in circumstances where they may fall from unsafe structures or be injured due to an item falling on them from above.
- Section 241(6), which provides legal protections for situations that include demolition, excavation, or other general construction work. Under Section 241(6), construction workers can sue contractors for specific workplace safety violations.
While these labor laws are always relevant, they are not always followed or even known by those filing construction injury lawsuits. Legal professionals with construction injury experience may help ensure that you aren’t taken advantage of by your employer, product manufacturers, and other parties during your lawsuit.
Construction Injuries Defined
Construction as an industry is among the most dangerous in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and construction sites have many hazards workers must watch out for. These include building or demolishing structures, working alongside or directly with heavy equipment, and even being exposed to toxic substances or chemicals. Then there are fall risks, traffic risks, and chronic injuries that may develop from repetitive movements or machinery use.
A construction injury is one that occurs on a worksite or as a direct result of carrying out construction-related duties. Some of the most common construction injuries include but are not limited to:
- TBIs or traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
Because construction injuries often occur around or because of heavy equipment, they are also often severe. Such severe injuries may incur exorbitant medical expenses for accident victims. That’s why hiring a construction injury lawyer – who can help you secure maximum compensation to pay for your bills – is so vital.
Causes of Construction Injuries
Construction site injuries may occur from several potential causes. These include but are not limited to:
- Negligence from workplace managers or companies. A contractor who skimps on protective equipment, for example, is being willfully negligent and putting their workers at risk.
- Poor tool or material quality. For instance, a broken tool may be used on the job, leading to an injury for the worker who uses it.
- Pure accidents, which can occur if one worker accidentally knocks a hazardous material off one floor to the ground level, for example.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration indicates that the majority of fatal construction accidents are comprised of four accident types:
- Falls, which account for approximately 40% of all construction deaths while on the job. Construction workers may fall from scaffolding, stacked materials, or open high-level floors.
- Electrocution. Many construction workers spend time around open electrical wiring. This leads to about 8% of construction fatalities annually.
- Being caught in or between equipment and materials. Construction workers may become trapped between heavy objects, such as a moving machine and a wall.
- Being struck by objects while on a worksite. Falling tools, materials, and other objects due to accidents account for approximately 10% of all fatal construction accidents in New York City alone.
Each of these accident types may also contribute to nonfatal construction injuries.
Liability for Construction Accidents and Injuries
A construction injury lawsuit requires a party to be deemed at fault for compensation to be awarded to the victim. Depending on the circumstances of the case, liability can be attributed to several different parties.
In many cases, construction accidents and injuries are caused by the negligence of an employer or contractor. This is often the first place a victim looks when considering filing a lawsuit. However, employers may not always be sued for injuries, particularly if the victim in question successfully receives workers’ compensation. Section 240 does offer an exception if the victim was injured from falling or being struck by a falling object.
Although employers are the most common negligent parties in construction accidents, other parties may also be at fault. Product manufacturers, for instance, may be deemed responsible for injuries if the tools or materials involved in the accident are found to be improperly made or maintained.
Furthermore, an unrelated third party could be responsible for a construction site injury. For example, a pedestrian passing through a construction site while willfully ignoring warning signs could cause a distraction that leads to an injury for a worker or others. In such a circumstance, the pedestrian would ultimately be at fault for the injury.
Construction injury lawyers can help victims determine who, if anyone, is ultimately responsible for their injuries and medical bills.
For example, after gathering evidence from your accident and from eyewitness testimonies, Schwartzapfel Lawyers P. C. will explain which party is most likely liable for the accident’s injuries and damages. We can then advise you about the best course of action moving forward, including when to file, whether to file alongside other victims, and more. Call us now at 1-800-966-4999 to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.
The Types of Construction Injury Lawsuits
There is no single “construction injury lawsuit.” Instead, construction site accident victims may file one of four different lawsuits or file several of the below lawsuits simultaneously. Legitimate lawsuits depend on the facts of the case, which may be determined during investigations and with the assistance of an attorney.
Workers’ Compensation Lawsuits
Workers’ compensation lawsuits are appropriate when a victim’s employer refuses to pay workers’ compensation as agreed per their employee guidelines. Most contractors (and companies in general) include workers’ compensation insurance for just this circumstance. However, greedy managers may attempt to get out of paying workers’ compensation if they think they can get away with it.
Workers can file for workers’ compensation and additional damages if they were injured on the job and while performing their normal job duties.
Product Liability Lawsuits
Tool or material manufacturers may be liable for a lawsuit if their products are found to be partially or fully responsible for an injury. For instance, a company that sells scaffolding could be held liable for construction injuries if the scaffolding was improperly examined or checked for flaws before being sold.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
If a third-party (i.e., someone aside from the victim and an employer or product manufacturer related to the construction site) causes the construction injury, they may be liable for a lawsuit. This lawsuit takes on a form similar to other “typical” personal injury lawsuits, such as automobile accident lawsuits, assault lawsuits, and so on.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In some cases, a construction injury may be severe enough that it leads to the death of the victim. If this occurs, the executor for the deceased’s estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit to acquire compensation to pay for funeral expenses, pain and suffering for the deceased, and more.
However, New York State law does not allow any family member to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Only the individual in charge of the deceased’s estate is eligible to file this claim type.
Furthermore, the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits can vary depending on the circumstances of the case – for instance, some wrongful death lawsuits have a statute of limitations for two years, while others only have a statute of limitations of up to one year.
Compensation for Construction Injury Lawsuits
Successful construction injury lawsuits may allow victims to receive compensation for a variety of needs, including but not limited to:
- Past and future medical bills
- The victim’s pain and suffering
- Loss of income to compensate the worker for any lost wages. Such awards only qualify for lost wages as a direct result of injuries or medical treatments.
- Loss of ability if the construction injury was severe enough to cause paralysis or permanent loss of motion
Depending on the case specifics, compensation awards may add up to the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. However, these highly successful cases are only possible with the assistance of experienced construction injury lawyers.
Hiring the Right Construction Injury Lawyer
Construction injury lawyers are everywhere, which can make it tough for victims to know who to choose when the time comes to file their lawsuits. The best construction injury lawyers will:
- Have experience in the areas of workers compensation, personal injury, and product liability. These legal teams have the knowledge necessary to help you see success with your case.
- Not make outlandish promises, such as 100% success guarantees.
- Offer testimonials and reviews of past case outcomes.
That’s why law firms like Schwartzapfel Lawyers P. C. are excellent choices when you’re looking for construction injury legal assistance. You aren’t alone in your need for significant compensation, and we’ve handled cases like yours in the past.
For instance, we helped one construction worker to recover $2.77 million after they fell from a ladder on a construction site. That’s just one example of how we provide maximum value and success for our clients. Many more stories back up the truth: Schwartzapfel Lawyers P. C. is the right legal team if you want your construction injury lawsuit to win.
Why? Simply put, we commit ourselves fully to every case we take on. You aren’t just another customer – you’re family, and we devote ourselves to your construction injury case the same as we would to our own. We fully understand the trials and tribulations associated with the high medical bills that come with many construction injury accidents.
That’s why we won’t rest until your case is heard, until you get the compensation you deserve, and until you are fully satisfied with our services.
Contact Construction Injury Lawyers ASAP
Overall, construction injury lawyers can provide invaluable assistance to those injured while on the job. When it comes to getting the maximum amount of compensation to pay for your medical bills, you can’t afford to go it alone. Contacting experienced construction injury attorneys is your best bet to see your case succeed.
Schwartzapfel Lawyers P. C. is well equipped and ready to hear the details about your construction injury case today. Not only are we experienced in this practice area, but we also offer a free case evaluation as soon as you give us a call with no contract necessary.
Here’s the truth – you deserve all the compensation you can get for your construction injury, whether it’s due to unpaid workers’ compensation or pure negligence. No matter the specifics of your case, we can help. Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers P. C. today at 1-800-966-4999.