New York City construction accident attorneys that are on your side!
While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has reported a decline in injury rates among most professions within the last two decades, one in ten construction workers are still injured every year. OSHA also reported that 20.2% of all private industry fatalities were in construction, so clearly, construction is a high-risk profession and injuries can be life changing.
As a construction worker, you know how physically challenging your job can be, requiring the highest level of physical stamina and health. Since your livelihood depends upon your body being in top-notch condition, if you are the victim of a construction accident, it’s in your best interests to talk to an experienced New York City construction accident attorney today.
Types of Accidents
Construction work carries with it a multitude of accident risks. Some of the more common accidents involve:
- Falls – Falls accounted for over 36% of the construction fatalities in 2013. Falls are often caused from the failure to provide safety harnesses, fall arrest systems, netting, scaffolds, or other safety devices.
- Falling Objects – Construction work usually involves the constant risk of workers being struck by falling objects and debris that has not been properly hoisted or secured. Over 10% of construction fatalities in 2013 were attributed to employees being struck by objects.
- Excavation and Trenching – Trenching operations can turn deadly if a cave-in occurs, burying a construction worker under tons of collapsing earth. When this type of accident happens, workers can be injured by inhalation of toxic fumes, explosions, or electrocution when underground utilities are struck, or even die of asphyxiation.
- Electrocution – Electricity is another danger construction workers face on the job site when working with “live” wires or failing to tag or lock out circuits. Over 8% of construction workers killed in on-the-job accidents were electrocuted.
- Burns – Construction workers often use welding and other types of equipment that can result in painful and debilitating burn injuries.
- Heavy Machinery – Construction work involves the use of a variety of different types of heavy, and often dangerous, machinery. Workers are sometimes injured or killed by being run over by heavy machinery weighing tons.
New York Labor Law Provides Special Protections To Construction Workers
While the general rule in New York is that employees cannot sue their employers, New York State has special legal protections to workers who have been victims of construction site accidents.
- Section 200. This section of New York labor law requires owners and contractors to take reasonable care to protect workers on the job site by providing safe workplaces under their control.
- Section 240. This section of New York Labor law requires building owners and contractors to provide scaffolds, ladders, and other devices to give their workers proper and adequate protection when involved in erecting, demolishing, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning, or pointing a structure or building. The owner and general contractor is absolutely liable, even if they had no notice, when a construction worker is injured due to the force of gravity (i.e. falling or being struck by a falling object).
- Section 241 This statute outlines the specific actions as well as specific equipment required on a construction site to ensure the safety of construction workers in the state of New York.
If employers and contractors fail to uphold their duties under these special construction statutes, they can be held liable for injuries that result. If you’ve been injured in a construction accident and feel that your employer may be held directly liable, the experienced NYC construction injury attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. can walk you through the legal issues that may be involved in your case.
In addition to these special construction statutes, you may also be entitled to benefits under the New York workers’ compensation laws.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The most common route that victims of construction accidents take is making a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation provides much-needed benefits to injured employees. However, it’s important to realize that there are some limitations. For example, workers’ compensation will not reimburse for all lost earnings associated with:
- Vacation funds
- Social Security Disability
- Loss of household services
Fortunately, even if you are receiving worker’s compensation you still may be able to sue the party responsible for your injuries. Not many people understand that they may not have to settle for just workers’ compensation benefits. Depending on the accident, multiple third parties could be held liable, including:
- The general contractor
- The construction manager
- Other contractors and subcontractors
- Equipment manufacturers
- The owner of the building or structure
The New York construction accident attorneys of Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. have extensive experience in identifying all liable parties in order to help you get the maximum possible recovery.
Types of Damages Recoverable In Construction Accidents
The advantage of a third-party lawsuit as opposed to worker’s compensation is that the victim of a construction accident can recover additional money. By filing a third-party lawsuit, an injured construction worker may be able to be compensated for both past and future damages, including:
- Lost wages
- Lost income
- Loss of income from Social Security
- Loss of annuity/pension
- Loss of healthcare benefits
- Loss of value of household services
- Medical benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium if a spouse, parent or child has been negatively affected by the worker’s injury
Construction Accident Claims Have Strict Deadlines
There is a limited amount of time you have to file a construction accident lawsuit in the state of New York. This time limit, also known as the Statute of Limitations, is three years from the date of injury. Since there is a limited duration of time to file a lawsuit related to your construction accident and injuries, it is essential that you contact an experienced construction accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured
If you have been injured in a construction accident, there are a few things you can do to protect your rights:
- Get immediate medical attention for your injuries.
- Report the accident to your employer within 24 hours.
- Preserve any evidence pertaining to the accident that you can.
- Take pictures or ask others to take them for you.
- Don’t make any statements to insurance companies or investigators until you’ve consulted with a reputable construction injury attorney.
We’re Fighting For YOU
Don’t settle for just worker’s compensation benefits. If you have been injured in a construction accident and have a claim, you will need an experienced New York construction accident attorney to make sure you get the compensation you need and deserve. With more than 150 years of combined experience and a proven track record of success, the construction injury attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. are well-prepared to handle all your legal needs. Contact us today at 1-888-575-6410 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation. We will fight for you!