NYC Construction Accident Attorney

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Construction site injuries happen, especially in busy places like New York City, which is why there are so many regulations in place to keep construction workers safe.

The consequences of an accident for a New York construction worker can include severe injuries, piling medical bills, and the uncertainty of when to return to work. Construction injuries can be life-altering events that leave victims feeling helpless and overwhelmed.

At Richman Law Firm PLLC, we understand the gravity of your situation. We’re here to help you navigate construction accident lawsuits in New York and fight for the compensation you deserve. You don’t have to face this alone. Contact us today for a free consultation.

NY Labor Laws

Labor Law Section 200

Labor Law Section 200 is a fundamental law in New York labor law that requires all job sites to provide reasonable and adequate protection for the health and safety of construction workers.

This law places a clear duty on employers and owners to ensure the safety of those involved in a New York City construction project. If you’re a construction worker injured on the job site due to negligence or lack of safety standards, you may be able to recover compensation under this law.

Labor Law Section 240 (Scaffold Law)

Labor Law Section 240, also known as the Scaffold Law, is a New York law that provides specific protections in cases where a worker falls or is hit by falling objects. This law places owners and contractors liable for any gravity-related injuries if they fail to protect workers with the required safety equipment.

Construction workers injured in a fall or by a falling object at a construction site may be entitled to compensation.

Labor Law Section 241(6)

Labor Law Section 241(6) mandates specific safety requirements for construction, excavation, and demolition work. It holds owners and contractors liable for injuries resulting from New York State Industrial Code violations.

If a construction worker sustains an injury due to violating these safety rules—such as inadequate guardrails, unsafe equipment, or lack of protective hiring—it’s advisable to hire New York construction accident attorneys to help you evaluate whether you have a valid claim.

NY Industrial Code

The New York State Industrial Code ensures safe working conditions across multiple industries, including construction. These regulations cover everything from the operation of machinery and equipment to the implementation of safety practices on construction sites.

When these regulations are not followed, construction accident cases increase significantly. If you’ve been injured on a construction site and can prove that a violation contributed to your accident, you may have grounds for a construction accident lawsuit.

Recoverable Damages in Construction Accident Claims

Injured workers deal with more than physical pain. They also often grapple with financial burdens such as medical bills and lost wages. Here are the damages that injured workers may recover from construction accidents in New York City:

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses can quickly add up for those injured in a New York construction accident. From emergency room visits and treatment to surgeries, these costs can add another layer of stress to victims. Yet, they may be entitled to compensation for past, present, and future medical expenses related to the accident. Contact a New York City construction accident lawyer.

Loss of Wages

When workers are injured on the job site, they may not be able to work for some time, leading to lost wages, which can put a heavy strain on themselves and their families. Under New York labor laws, these workers may be entitled to seek financial compensation.

Loss of Future Earnings

A construction accident case may include financial compensation for future earnings when a construction site accident is so severe that it permanently affects construction workers’ ability to stay in their jobs. In such cases, injured workers lose not just their current wages but also their future earning potential. Personal injury attorneys can assist with information and a case evaluation.

Pain and Suffering

Besides the financial losses, construction workers may also deal with significant physical pain and emotional suffering from a construction injury. These are valid damages for which they may seek compensation. This includes compensation for ongoing pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Wrongful Death

Fatal construction accidents are some of the most distressing for families. While no amount of money can ever replace your loved one, a wrongful death claim may help alleviate some of the financial burden. This recovery may provide some measure of justice by covering funeral costs and the loss of financial support. A wrongful death claim can also provide compensation for the emotional pain and suffering experienced by family members.

Common Causes of Construction Injury Accidents in NYC

Despite safety regulations and precautions, accidents still happen in New York City. Here are some common causes of construction accident cases:

Toxic Chemicals

Building sites commonly contain hazardous substances, from solvents and adhesives to paints and treatments.

Misuse of chemicals can cause skin burns, while the inhalation of fumes can trigger respiratory issues. Long-term exposure to these toxins can lead to chronic illnesses and debilitating syndromes.

Construction workers must be adequately trained to safely use, store, and dispose of these hazardous substances. Employers must also provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and strictly enforce safety protocols.

Ladder Accidents

Ladders are a common source of accidents in construction sites. Falls from ladders can lead to significant injuries, such as broken bones, spinal injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.

The causes of ladder accidents are often preventable, highlighting the importance of proper safety protocols and regulations. These accidents frequently occur due to faulty ladders, improper ladder use, a lack of safety equipment, or failure to meet safety standards, such as exceeding weight limits.

Unsafe Equipment

Construction sites are covered with heavy machinery and equipment, which pose unique risks to workers. These professionals can be severely injured when equipment isn’t properly maintained or misused. From power tools to cranes, forklifts, and bulldozers, unsafe equipment can cause injuries ranging from cuts and fractures to crushing injuries and amputations.

NYC construction sites should protect workers by ensuring all equipment is safe, well-maintained, and used correctly. This includes providing workers with training on how to operate each piece of machinery.

Falling Debris

The law requires construction sites to have safety measures to prevent such accidents. These can include netting, toe boards, and hard hats. Work being done at various heights increases the risk of falling debris, which can cause serious injuries to workers below.

Whether it’s tools, materials, or parts of the structure itself, falling debris can lead to fractures, concussions, and even fatalities.

Demo Accidents

Demolition involves planning, precise execution, and strict safety protocols. Yet, despite these requirements, construction accident injuries continue to occur. These can take many forms, from unexpected building collapses to explosions and exposure to hazardous materials like lead and silica.

Construction workers may suffer traumatic injuries and severe burns. In the most severe cases, these accidents can be deadly, claiming the lives of dedicated professionals simply doing their jobs. If you’ve been injured in a demolition accident, contact our New York construction accident lawyers at your earliest convenience.

Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos was once widely used in construction. When airborne, asbestos fibers can be inhaled and lead to serious health problems and respiratory diseases.

Despite the regulations to reduce exposure, asbestos remains a significant risk on many construction sites, particularly during the demolition or renovation of older buildings.

If you’ve been exposed to asbestos on a construction site and later developed health problems, you may be entitled to compensation. A New York construction accident lawyer can review your case and help you seek fair compensation.

Slip and Falls

Slip-and-fall accidents are common on construction sites in New York City. They often occur due to uneven surfaces, wet or slippery conditions, poor lighting, cluttered work areas, and a lack of proper safety equipment. These accidents can result in contusions, broken bones, head injuries, and even spinal cord damage.

The construction company responsible for the job site must maintain a safe work environment, run regular inspections to identify potential hazards and take appropriate proactive steps to mitigate them. You may have a valid compensation claim if you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident on a construction site due to negligence or hazardous conditions.

Excavation Failure

Excavation failures can occur due to improper soil analysis, inadequate protective systems, lack of training, or failure to follow safety regulations. These failures can lead to cave-ins, falls into excavation sites, and exposure to hazardous substances.

Injured construction workers may have to deal with broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, suffocation, or even death. If you’ve been injured in an excavation failure due to a violation of safety regulations, contact our construction accident attorneys to evaluate your case.

Structural Failure

Structural failures are catastrophic events that can occur during the construction process. These failures can be caused by design errors, faulty materials, poor workmanship, or failure to adhere to safety regulations.

Different parties may be liable for the accident in such cases, including construction companies, architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, or material suppliers. If you’re a construction worker injured due to a structural failure on a construction site, our NYC construction accident attorneys may help you navigate a compensation claim.

Determining Liability in Construction Accidents

In the aftermath of a construction accident, determining who is liable for the accident is one of the most crucial steps. In many cases, more than one party may be responsible. Here are some potentially liable parties in a construction accident:

Construction Company

The construction company must ensure the safety of its workers. This includes providing proper training, maintaining safe equipment, and adhering to all safety regulations. If the company fails in these duties and an accident occurs, it may be held liable.

Property Owners

Property owners must provide a safe environment on their property. If they were aware of hazards on the property and failed to address them or provide adequate safety measures for workers, they could be held liable for any resulting injuries.

Contractors and Subcontractors

Contractors and subcontractors must ensure that the work they oversee is performed safely. This includes training and safety equipment for workers. If a contractor or subcontractor fails in these duties and an accident occurs, they may be liable.

Equipment Manufacturers

Construction equipment manufacturers must ensure that their products are safe for use. If a piece of equipment is faulty or fails to meet safety standards, leading to an accident, the manufacturer could be liable for any resulting injuries.

Engineers and Architects

Engineers and architects are responsible for creating designs and plans that meet all safety standards. If an accident happens due to a design flaw or failure to adhere to safety regulations in the plans, the engineer or architect could be held liable.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Injured construction workers are protected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This Department of Labor agency is responsible for safe working conditions for workers and is tasked with setting and enforcing standards.

OSHA’s regulations and guidelines are critical in the construction industry, which is known for its high-risk environments and potential for accidents in New York City and beyond.

Construction workers rely on OSHA’s strict safety standards to mitigate risks associated with daily tasks. OSHA’s oversight extends to many areas, including fall protection, scaffolding safety, electrical safety, and the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The agency also runs regular job site inspections and can impose fines for non-compliance with safety standards.

Common Types of Injuries in Construction Accidents

Below are common types of injuries documented in construction accidents:

Broken Bones

Broken bones are common on the job site, particularly in heavy machinery incidents. Falls from scaffolding, ladders, or roofs can result in severe fractures, while being caught in equipment can cause crushing injuries that break multiple bones.

Spinal Injuries

Spinal injuries can result from falls or accidents involving heavy machinery. They can lead to intense pain, loss of mobility, and, in the most severe cases, paralysis. These injuries often require extensive medical treatment, surgery, and long-term physical therapy.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are unfortunately common in the construction industry. Symptoms of TBIs can include headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory loss, and behavior changes. Severe TBIs can lead to permanent cognitive impairment and physical disabilities.

Back Injuries

Lifting heavy objects, falls, and machinery or equipment accidents are all common causes of back injuries, which can lead to long-term issues such as chronic pain, herniated discs, and spinal cord damage that requires medical treatment.

Head Injuries

New York City construction accidents frequently result in head injuries. They can range from minor cuts and bruises to severe traumatic brain injuries. Even minor head injuries can lead to complications such as concussions or more serious conditions.

Amputations

Amputations are a life-altering consequence of some job site accidents. The sudden and traumatic nature of an amputation can be devastating for victims and their families, requiring extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. Amputations also often involve significant psychological trauma and require major lifestyle adjustments.

Burns

Burn injuries can occur on construction sites due to various hazards, including fires, explosions, electrical accidents, or exposure to hot surfaces or substances. Burns can range from minor first-degree to severe third-degree that damage deeper tissues and may require skin grafts or other extensive treatments.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been injured in a New York City construction accident, you need an experienced attorney on your side. At Richman Law Firm PLLC, we understand the complexities of construction accident law and have the skill to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Led by Scott Richman, a NYC construction accident attorney, we can guide you through this difficult time with compassion and dedication. We investigate each case, determine who might be held liable, and aggressively pursue all available avenues of compensation. Don’t navigate this complex process alone. Contact us today for a free consultation.

FAQ

What injured construction workers should do?

If you’ve been involved in a construction accident, seek prompt medical attention, even if you feel okay, as some injuries may lead to later complications. Following medical evaluation, report the accident to your supervisor or employer. Document every detail about the accident and your injuries. Contact an experienced New York construction accident attorney to discuss your legal options and ensure your claim is handled properly.

Can you recover damages even if you were partially at fault for a construction accident?

Yes, New York follows a rule known as “pure comparative negligence.” This means that even if an injured construction worker was partially at fault for the accident, they may still recover damages. However, this compensation might be reduced by their percentage of fault.

How long do I have to file a claim after a construction accident?

In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally three years from the date of the accident. However, this rule has exceptions and nuances, so it’s crucial to consult a New York construction accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident.

How do you choose the right construction accident lawyer?

Finding New York construction accident lawyers can feel like a mountain to climb. Still, it’s important to remember that personal injury attorneys should have overall positive reviews and work on a contingency basis, where they only get paid if your claim is successful. Choose a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable. You should feel confident in their abilities and trust them to handle your case with care and dedication.

Who is responsible for construction site accidents?

Depending on the context, various parties may be responsible for construction site accidents. These may include the construction company, property owners, contractors and subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, engineers, and architects. In many cases, more than one party may be held liable for a construction site accident in New York.

What is the difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury lawsuits?

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that protects workers injured on the job, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Workers compensation benefits can include medical expenses, a portion of lost wages, and disability benefits.

A personal injury lawsuit, on the other hand, is a legal action taken against the party or parties responsible for causing an injury. In construction accident litigation, you can seek compensation for all lost wages, pain and suffering, and damages not covered by workers’ compensation benefits.

In some cases, you may be able to simultaneously pursue a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit. Experienced construction accident lawyers can help you understand your options and guide you through the process.

Should I accept the insurance company settlement in personal injury cases?

Before accepting any settlement, it’s advisable to consult a construction accident attorney who can assess the legality of the offer and negotiate on your behalf if necessary. A construction lawyer can help you evaluate your claim, ensuring you make an informed decision that meets your best interests.

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    SCOTT B. RICHMAN, ESQ.

    Mr. Richman is the Managing Member and Founder of Richman Law Firm PLLC. In his role as Managing Member, Mr. Richman oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm and handles the litigation of the most complex legal matters across a vast array of practice areas and disciplines. ​

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