Defined as “the remains of something broken down or destroyed,” debris is a natural byproduct of much of the construction work that occurs in NYC. Per the Department of Sanitation, each day more than 13,500 tons of debris are produced in the five boroughs. That’s nearly 9.9-billion pounds of material a year!
Sadly, when handled improperly — whether due to malfunctioning machines, human error, inadequate safety devices, or any number of other factors — construction workers’ lives and livelihoods are put at risk.
This is why if you or a loved one works in construction or has been injured in a debris-related accident on a NYC construction site, knowing your rights is incredibly important and can keep you and your family from losing the money and benefits you are entitled to.
So, please, don’t gamble with your future. If you are at risk, be proactive and prepare yourself.
You can do this by calling Schwartzapfel® Lawyers at 1-800–966-4999 and speaking with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today.
For more on debris accidents, NYC construction workers’ rights, and practical steps you can take to protect yourself and your family, please continue reading.
EXAMPLES OF DEBRIS ACCIDENTS ON CONSTRUCTION SITES
As the skyscraper capital of the world, with raised scaffolding signaling active job sites on many of its 120,000 city blocks, NYC is no stranger to construction and demolition. Accordingly, waste materials such as concrete, brick, wood, and glass are a common symptom of the building habits of the city that never sleeps. Unfortunately, their presence alone poses serious health hazards to the thousands of NYC construction workers dedicated to the maintenance and rejuvenation of one of America’s top cities.
As evidenced by the shocking number of debris-related accidents involving workers on NYC construction sites each year, examples of the perils associated with this kind of work include but are not limited to:
Whether debris is improperly secured or poorly handled by fellow workers, falling pieces of debris can injure, maim, and kill construction workers. Similarly, improperly stacked, stored, or placed materials can cause life-threatening falls for NYC workers from any height.
Exposure to hazardous materials
Whether through touch or inhalation, every year far too many NYC construction workers face bodily harm when exposed to potentially lethal substances such as toxic chemicals and asbestos.
Insufficiently guarded danger zones
Any area where workers should not set foot, or should only do so with caution, must be adequately designated via warning signs, caution tape, barricades, or other methods of notification. Failure to do so can result in serious injury as well as death.
If anything listed here sounds comparable to something your or your loved one has experienced while on the job, please know: You are protected by the law!
As stated in Labor Law § 240(1): “A person employing or directing another to perform labor of any kind… on a building or structure shall furnish… devices which shall be so constructed, placed, and operated as to give proper protection to a person so employed or directed.” Situationally, this can call for a variety of remedies, including but not limited to: construction workers being fashioned with better safety equipment, safer walkways, and more suitable lighting.
Accordingly, any violation of Labor Law § 240(1) that leads to an injury will result in the owner and contractor being absolutely liable for injuries and damages caused. Absolute liability means that the plaintiff (the injured employee) does not have to prove negligence on the part of the defendant (the owner or contractor).
Please note: Labor Law § 240(1) violations apply to any construction project where the injured worker falls from any elevation or is injured due to a falling object.
In short: If an injury occurs when it shouldn’t have, then the responsible party (i.e. the owner of the building and contractor) should be held completely liable. Worth noting, too, is that this holds true even if the injured worker may have been partially at fault.
POSSIBLE INJURIES AND LOSSES CAUSED BY DEBRIS ACCIDENTS
Falling drywall, clay tiles that trip, badly secured shingles — the list is endless when it comes to accidents caused by construction debris, with all scenarios capable of causing potentially devastating physical pain and suffering.
When working in such environmental conditions, possible injuries include but are not limited to:
1. Respiratory burns, asphyxiation from smoke inhalation caused by fire.
2. Broken bones from trips, slips, and falls caused by loose debris such as stacked plywood.
3. Damaged vision, permanent blindness from airborne particles such as dust.
4. Head trauma from falling objects such as cinder blocks.
5. External cuts, internal bleeding from debris-related objects like broken glass.
6. Full or partial paralysis from falls caused by improperly secured workloads containing such debris as asphalt.
7. Death from any number of manmade, machine-related, or environmental factors such as high-velocity winds and fluctuations in weather.
Additionally, injuries that are not readily apparent at the time of the accident can include: sprains, strains and tears, post-traumatic arthritis, and nerve damage — all of which can worsen over time until surgery is required.
Beyond physical injuries, emotional suffering is a stark reality many construction workers face — often alone — in the days, weeks, and even years following a weather-related accident.
These conditions can include but are not limited to:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Specific phobias
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Acute stress disorder (ASD)
- Substance abuse disorder (SAD)
Of consequential significance for many construction workers is that accident-related losses rarely stop with the physical and mental aspects of their injuries, as economic losses commonly take the forms of:
- Loss of wages
- Loss of pension, annuity, and other retirement benefits
- Loss of health and social security benefits
Whether you have been injured in a debris accident as a roofer, building inspector, glazier, or something else, you should treat your injury as a serious matter that requires serious attention. Trust us when we say: Your health is worth it.
Moreover, after any accident, the last thing you need is bills piling up. So, please, don’t wait until it’s too late. Protect your financial future right away by calling Schwartzapfel® Lawyers at 1-800–966-4999 or texting us at 1-917-909-5900.
WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF A DEBRIS ACCIDENT ON A NYC CONSTRUCTION SITE
At the outset of any accident, receiving proper medical care should be the first stop on your road to physical and mental recovery. If you can, seek immediate medical attention at the emergency room, urgent care clinic, or your primary doctor. We say this, because regardless of whether or not you believe medical assistance is needed, when it comes to construction accidents and job-related injuries, it is always best to err on the side of caution.
Next, one of the best ways to protect you and your family’s financial future is by securing expert legal representation. Additionally, please do not give statements to anyone — including insurance agents — without first speaking to your lawyer. Why? Because anything you say will be misconstrued and used against you.
Remember: No matter how convincing they may sound, these men and women are not your allies. The truth is their jobs are to make profits for their company’s shareholders. Accordingly, what is best for them is to pay you as little as possible. But you can stop this from happening by politely but firmly stating that you have retained a personal injury attorney who they can speak to.
To better understand your options as they relate to debris-related construction accidents, call (516) 342-2200 and speak with an experienced personal injury attorney today. Alternatively, if you prefer texting to speaking over the phone, you can send a message to 1-917-909-5900 and a member of our staff will be in touch with you shortly.
NYC CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS AND WORKERS’ RIGHTS
Did you know construction workers have special rights and protections provided to them by the law? That’s right, they do — especially in NYC!
Pursuant to New York’s labor laws, building owners and contractors are responsible for providing “safe working conditions and safe places to work,” (New York State Department of Labor: § 23-1.3). Furthermore, construction workers in New York and NYC must be provided with sufficient safety devices to perform their jobs, including, but not limited to, work materials and a controlled working environment. Failure to comply on any level, and the responsible party is liable for the construction worker’s sustained losses and harms.
In essence, what this means is: If you are injured in a construction-related accident in New York State and the accident was caused in any way by the building owners’, contractors’, or your employers’ failure to provide a safe work environment, then they are at fault and you may be legally entitled to compensation.
FINDING THE ATTORNEY THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU
However unique your case, you will want someone who is experienced in NYC construction law, has a proven track record of getting results, and who will fight for you every step of the way. In short: You’ll want the best personal injury representation available.
For more than thirty-five years, Schwartzapfel® Lawyers has successfully helped thousands of clients get the money and benefits they are entitled to. We are proud of our hundreds of 5-star Google Reviews and 99% client satisfaction record. Moreover, we have every incentive to get you the largest settlement or verdict possible as quickly as possible. Why? Because if we don’t win your case, you owe us nothing.
So, if you live in NYC, work in construction, or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving construction debris, take action today!
To learn more about workers’ rights and how you can protect yours, please visit our website, call us at (516) 342-2200, or text 1-917-909-5900. We will be in touch shortly and on your side always.
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