Due to the numerous hazards present in construction workplaces, construction accidents have become a common occurrence in NYC. These accidents not only pose risks to construction workers but also endanger pedestrians who might be in close proximity to construction sites.
Injuries from construction accidents can vary in severity and can sometimes be life-threatening.
Fortunately, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for your injuries if you have been injured due to a construction accident.
Regardless of the type of case you pursue, whether you are a construction worker or a member of the general public, you must prove liability for an accident. To this end, you must identify who was responsible for your injuries to file a claim to be eligible for any benefits.
The right legal team can walk you through what liability is and inform you of the steps you need to take to prove liability for an accident in order to secure your rights.
For help with your case, we at Schwartzapfel Lawyers can connect you with an experienced lawyer who fits your legal and personal needs. You can learn more by visiting us online or calling 1-516-342-2200 today.
How Do Construction Accidents Happen?
Construction accidents can happen for many reasons. They can occur due to negligence in safety procedures or they can be no-fault incidents.
To prove liability after a construction accident, you must examine how the accident happened and how you were injured as a result. This can help you determine if another party was at fault for the accident, and therefore help you gather information to file a claim.
Common Types of Construction Accidents and Injuries
To be able to prove liability for a construction accident, you should become familiar with how common construction accidents happen, and what types of injuries they may result in.
Here are a few common types of construction accidents and the injuries they may result in:
Slips, Trips and Falls
Slips, trips and falls are the most common types of construction accidents. They can occur in a variety of scenarios, including falling from an elevated height, tripping down a flight of stairs, or slipping on wet and/or icy surfaces.
Moreover, slips, trips and falls can lead to a wide range of injuries. A minor slip or fall can lead to light bruising or soreness, while others can cause broken bones or lead to head injuries. Depending on the height of a fall, permanent disability or even death may occur.
Note: Almost 60% of fatalities among construction and utility workers are caused by falls.
Struck by Objects or Hazards
Being struck by a falling object, worker, or an object that is not properly tethered is also a common way through which individuals can be injured on construction sites. These types of accidents can also occur if a worker or pedestrian is struck by moving equipment, such as a bulldozer or dump truck.
Note: The extent of an injury resulting from being struck by an object or hazard will likely depend on the weight and force of the object. For instance, a falling brick or untethered metal beam can cause severe head injury or bruising.
Construction and utility workers whose tasks involve electric work are susceptible to electrocution. This can occur due to contact with exposed electrical wires or cords, as well as the use of faulty equipment. Electrocutions can also happen in wet or rainy conditions or if workers are not provided with proper non-conducive equipment.
Electrocutions can cause both external and internal burns, as well as damage to nerve and muscle tissue. In some cases, they can lead to heart conditions, cardiac arrest, or even death. This depends on the length of time an individual is in contact with an electrical current as well as how strong the current is.
Collapses and Entrapments
Collapses and entrapments occur when an individual is caved in by a collapsed structure, or if they become stuck after falling in a narrow enclosure. This can happen while digging in an underground trench or cave, or if an individual falls between two structures.
These types of accidents can lead to injury from the impact of a fall or from getting crushed by materials or structures. An individual’s respiratory capacity can also be hindered by debris.
While many types of construction accidents can occur, these four (4) are the most common. They are also the leading causes of death among construction and utility workers.
Non-utility workers can be injured due to falling objects from overhead construction sites or slips and falls surrounding construction sites.
To learn more about other types of construction accidents and the types of injuries they may cause, you can ask an experienced member of our legal team at Schwartzapfel Lawyers when you call 1-516-342-2200 or visit us online now!
How Do You Prove Liability After a Construction Accident?
Proving liability after a construction accident consists of not only examining how an accident happened but also why it occurred. It requires a deep dive into what led to the accident and how it could have been prevented.
While some accidents are no-fault accidents and cannot be traced back to a responsible party, many are the result of negligence and lack of adherence to construction safety procedures.
What Is Liability?
To prove liability, you must first understand what liability is. Per legal definitions, liability refers to a situation where a party is held responsible for an incident and any resulting damages or injuries caused by said incident.
To determine whether or not a party is responsible for an accident, we must examine the following:
- Whether or not the party had a duty to prevent the incident or maintain legally mandated precautions and procedures
- Whether or not the incident occurred because a liable party neglected that duty, therefore failing to uphold legally mandated precautions and procedures
If a party’s neglect of their duties and responsibilities leads to the occurrence of an accident, then they are liable for it and any damages or injuries that result from it.
In New York State, employers of construction companies as well as supervisors of construction sites are required to uphold certain standards for the protection of their workers as well as others who may be subject to hazards.
Note: Infractions of those standards can lead to them being held liable for an accident.
What Are Construction Safety Standards?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides strict legal guidelines for safety procedures that must be maintained in all construction sites. It is the responsibility of employers and workplace supervisors to ensure that guidelines are upheld and safety procedures are put in place to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring.
What Legal Guidelines Must Employers and Supervisors Follow?
On this front, employers and supervisors must:
- Provide all workers with adequate safety training about workplace hazards so they can exercise caution while performing tasks.
- Provide workers with all necessary safety equipment such as hard hats, goggles, gas masks, and gloves to minimize physical damage from any type of accident.
- Run regular maintenance checks on all equipment and vehicles to ensure that they are not faulty and will not injure a worker that uses them.
- Closely manage the use of chemicals or harmful materials, and provide adequate equipment for dealing with them.
- Install safety rails for scaffolding, elevated platforms, and stairwells and ensure they are strong enough to prevent falls.
- Ensure that electrical cords and power lines are properly insulated to avoid electrocution accidents.
- Ensure that heavy objects such as bricks or steel beams are properly tied down or tethered to avoid struck-by accidents.
- Provide accommodations for injured or disabled workers that cannot perform certain tasks so they are not injured performing a task they are not able to perform.
- Plan for severe weather conditions and put a pause on work if necessary.
- Ensure that caves and trenches are properly supported and will not collapse on workers while they are digging.
Understanding employer responsibilities can help you prove that they are liable for an accident. For example, if you were injured due to electrocution, you can hold your employer liable for not doing maintenance checks on electrical wires and lines.
For more about safety guidelines on construction sites and employer responsibilities, you can call 1-516-342-2200 or visit us online now. At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, we can help you understand your rights as a worker and take action against a negligent employer.
What Should You Do If You Have Been Injured in a Construction Accident?
If you have been injured in an electric accident, there are steps you can take to ensure you can prove liability for the accident as well as receive the money and benefits you are entitled to.
To wit, here are the two (2) most important steps you need to take:
Once you have determined how a construction accident happened, as well as have an idea why it happened, you must gather all the evidence you can. This will further help demonstrate the circumstances surrounding an accident and provide strong proof of liability.
Evidence can include medical documents detailing your injury, witness statements from the accident, any footage of the accident, as well as your own detailed recollection of what happened.
Hire a Lawyer
Proving liability for an accident is not easy. The responsible party will do everything in its power to deny responsibility for an accident and may refuse to provide you with benefits or adequate financial compensation.
Moreover, construction companies often have entire legal teams to help deny blame for accidents and injuries caused.
As such, regardless of how much knowledge you may have about the law, chances are you do not have the resources or experience to stand up against a team of lawyers enlisted by a large company.
To that end, a skilled construction accident lawyer can help you gather evidence to prove liability as well as fight for your rights against a liable party. To speak with a proficient construction lawyer about your case today, please reach out to Schwartzapfel Lawyers by calling 1-516-342-2200 or visiting us online today.
One free call may save you miles of headache, heartache, and financial strain down the road. So, please, don’t wait. Instead, act now and protect your financial future. Dial 1-516-342-2200 to recover all the money and benefits you deserve!
DISCLAIMER: None of the information above is legal advice from a lawyer. You can get in contact with a legal professional by calling 1-516-342-2200 today!