New York City: Never sleeping, always under construction. But before building can occur, many construction sites must undergo extensive excavation and trenching. And what does that entail?
As defined by the City of New York, excavation is “earthwork.” This can mean digging in muck, removing rock, dredging a body of water, or something similar. As for trenching, this practice includes any “narrow excavation made below the surface of the ground.”
Unfortunately, even the most basic trenching and excavation operations present serious hazards to construction workers and can injure, kill, and cause physical pain and emotional suffering. This is why if you or a loved one has been injured at an excavation or trenching site in New York State, it is important to first speak with an experienced construction accident attorney.
Please, don’t gamble with your financial future. Protect yourself and your family. Don’t lose the money and benefits you’re entitled to.
For more on excavation and trenching-related accidents, please continue reading or call 1-800-966-4999 and allow Schwartzapfel Lawyers the privilege and honor of helping you today.
EXCAVATION AND TRENCHING CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS IN NEW YORK
Each year, thousands of fatalities are caused by trenching and excavation-related accidents. Common causes for these include but are not limited to:
Malfunctioning, or inadequate, equipment
Insufficient safety training
Improperly secured trenches
To protect New York construction workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has put into place strict and informative guidelines on how to prevent these kinds of accidents. As such, state employers must abide by several trenching and excavation rules, such as:
- Keeping heavy equipment away from trench edges
- Frequent testing for low oxygen, hazardous fumes, and toxic gases
- Knowing where underground utilities are located
- Inspecting before, during, and after each shift (especially following a rainstorm)
Moreover, per 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.”
Why does this matter? Because any violation that leads to injury means that the owner and contractor would be held absolutely liable for injuries and damages caused. That is to say that the plaintiff (i.e. the injured employee) would not have to prove negligence on the part of the defendant (i.e. the owner or contractor). In short: In the eyes of the law, what matters is that an injury occurred when it shouldn’t have, and so — even if the injured worker may have been at fault — the responsible party (i.e. the owner of the building and contractor) would still be held 100% liable.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN INJURED IN AN EXCAVATION OR TRENCHING-RELATED ACCIDENT
If you or a loved one has been injured, maimed, disabled, or killed as a result of an excavation or trenching-related accident, securing legal representation is one of the first things you must do to protect yourself and your financial future.
What you should not do is give statements to anyone — especially 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, insurance agents are not your ally. They are there to make profits for their shareholders. What is best for them is to pay for as little as possible. You can prevent this from happening by politely, but firmly, telling them that you have retained an attorney and cannot speak to them.
FINDING THE ATTORNEY THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU
You will want someone with a stellar track record, someone who knows NYC construction law and who specializes in excavation and trenching-related injuries. More simply put: You will want someone who will fight for you every step of the way.
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, and we have every incentive to get you the largest settlement or verdict possible, as quickly as possible, because if we don’t win your case you owe us nothing.
Take action today. If you or a loved one has been injured in an excavation or trenching-related accident, call us now at 1-800-966-4999.