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NYC Construction Accident Lawyer

When you work in construction, job-related injuries can often lead to expensive medical bills, lost wages and, in some cases, permanent disability. Those who can return to work might fear losing their jobs, should they seek compensation. Although certain laws ensure workplace safety, work-related injuries are not uncommon, particularly in the construction industry.

If you have been injured in a work-related incident, you have two possible avenues of payment: receiving workers’ compensation and/or winning a personal injury lawsuit. In all cases, you should pursue workers’ compensation. In most cases, you should pursue both. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced NYC construction accident lawyer.

Steps to Take After a Construction Accident

In order to preserve your legal rights, you should take the following actions immediately after a construction accident or work-related injury, with the help of an injury lawyer:

  • Report the injury to your employer
  • Complete and file a workers’ compensation claim form
  • Obtain the names and contact information of any and all potential witnesses
  • Take photos of the scene of the accident and any injuries
  • Seek medical attention for your injuries
  • Contact an experienced New York City construction accident lawyer

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. When you file a workers’ compensation claim with a New York construction accident attorney, you are not suing your employer. You are simply filing an insurance claim. Workers’ compensation benefits include the following:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Temporary disability
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Permanent disability

Personal Injury Lawsuit

In addition to workers’ compensation, it may be appropriate to pursue a personal injury lawsuit with the help of an experienced construction accident lawyer. Lawsuits involving work-related injuries can be very complex. Determining responsibility can depend on many factors including hazardous practices, work-site dangers, faulty design, malfunctioning equipment, poor hiring practices, and inadequate supervision. Responsible parties can include one or more of the following:

  • General contractors
  • Sub-contractors
  • Prime contractors
  • Construction site owners
  • Engineers
  • Architects
  • Equipment manufacturers

Workers’ Compensation Claims vs. Personal Injury Claims

Too often, injured construction workers believe they should file a workers’ compensation claim. New York has a no-fault system, so the injured worker does not have to prove fault. However, personal injury claims have a number of benefits over workers’ compensation claims.

One of the biggest advantages is that you may be able to claim more in compensation through a personal injury claim. While workers’ compensation will only provide for medical expenses, a portion of your lost income, and disability, a successful personal injury claim can help you secure compensation for:

  • The full amount of your lost income
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Nursing care
  • Emotional distress
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Post-traumatic stress syndrome, including depression and anxiety
  • Rehabilitation
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

Although there are many different types of compensation available through personal injury claims, it is important to work with an attorney experienced in this area of law. The insurance company may offer a settlement amount, but in most cases, these offers are too low to fully cover your expenses and losses. A knowledgeable construction accident attorney will hold insurers and negligent parties accountable for paying the full amount you deserve.

Types of Construction Accidents

Unfortunately, there are a number of ways a person could become hurt on a construction site. The most common construction accidents include:

  • Building collapse
  • Brazing accidents while cutting and welding
  • Crane accidents
  • Compressor accidents
  • Accidents due to defective equipment
  • Dumpster accidents
  • Elevator accidents
  • Electrical accidents
  • Falling objects
  • Slip and falls
  • Forklift accidents
  • Explosions, mainly from gas
  • Logging accidents
  • Ladder accidents
  • Nail gun accidents
  • Scaffolding accidents
  • Structure failing
  • Wrongful death

Any time someone is injured in any type of construction accident, they should speak to a knowledgeable New York City construction accident lawyer who can help them secure the compensation they need and deserve.

Common Injuries After a Construction Accident

Construction accidents result in a number of injuries, from the most minor to life-changing catastrophic injuries. The most common injuries sustained after a construction accident include:

  • Amputations, both accidental and surgical amputations that occur when a limb cannot be saved
  • Back injuries, including sprained and torn ligaments, tendons, and muscles
  • Broken bones that require multiple surgeries
  • Burns that may result in permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Chest injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Severe cuts and lacerations
  • Eye injuries, including temporary or permanent blindness
  • Traumatic head injuries
  • Neck injuries, such as whiplash
  • Spinal cord damage, including full or partial paralysis

These injuries are not only extremely painful with long recovery times, they are also very expensive to treat. If you have suffered from one of these injuries, or any other on a construction site, it is important that you speak with a New York construction accident lawyer today.

Scaffolding Accidents

Scaffolding accidents are so prevalent on construction sites that New York has a distinct area of law surrounding them. Known simply as the “Scaffolding Law,” Section 240 of New York’s Labor Law, this statute outlines the manner in which dangerous equipment, such as scaffolds, within a construction site must be secured, erected, and fastened on a site. The statute also provides injured workers with the right to hold general contractors or property owners liable when they become injured by or on:

  • Scaffolding
  • Stays
  • Hoists
  • Slings
  • Ladders
  • Blocks
  • Hangers
  • Pulleys
  • Iron
  • Braces
  • Ropes

Anyone who is injured on these types of equipment while erecting, demolishing, repairing, altering, painting, or cleaning a structure or building likely has a valid claim. The statute also states that general contractors and property owners can be held strictly liable in these instances. Strict liability means you do not have the burden of proof to establish that a property owner or general contractor was negligent, or careless. You must simply prove that you were injured while working on any of the above equipment.

Legal Duties of General Contractors and Construction Site Owners

Prior to filing a claim, particularly a personal injury claim, you must first establish that the negligent party owed you a legal duty of care. General contractors and construction site owners in particular, have a very high duty of care to anyone on the construction site, including their workers.

Property owners who decide they want to change or build a structure in the city must ensure that the construction workers and all other employees will have a safe place to work. Under Section 200 of the New York Labor Law, property owners have a legal obligation to provide adequate and reasonable protection to any person they employ or who may lawfully frequent the site.

Under this law, general contractors and property owners must take all necessary steps to ensure that their construction site is safe. When potential dangers are present on the site that could cause harm to workers, property owners and general contractors are responsible for correcting the situation. Property owners and general contractors also have a legal obligation to provide proper safety equipment so workers can carry out their duties.

On a construction site, there are many different moving parts. General contractors make bids on the project, and if their bid wins, they typically contract at least a portion of the work out to subcontractors. Subcontractors have the same legal duties as the general contractors who hire them.

Subcontractors must ensure that they provide a safe work environment and that they only use safe equipment to protect the workers and anyone else on the site. If you are injured due to the negligence of a subcontractor, you can hold them liable for paying the compensation you deserve.

Engineers and architects are responsible for designing buildings and other structures. It is crucial that architects and engineers adhere to strict professional standards when they are designing buildings. Engineers and architects must also ensure that the site of the buildings they design or change are also regularly inspected. Again, when engineers or architects fail in these duties, they can be held liable.

Machinery and equipment are very important aspects of construction sites. Unfortunately, not all of this equipment is safe. Manufacturers of construction equipment, like all manufacturers, are responsible for ensuring that their products are safe so no one is harmed. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers meet these legal obligations. When that is the case, anyone injured can hold them liable for the injuries and losses they sustained.

Get Legal Help Today

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a construction accident, contact an experienced New York City construction accident lawyer at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos (SAM). Our firm proudly serves clients throughout the area, and we always provide free case evaluations.