Construction Accidents

Construction Accidents

New York Construction Accident Lawyer

Construction is widely recognized as one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. Construction injuries account for nearly one out of every five workplace accidents. While there are great opportunities in New York City for construction workers, it is also a dangerous place to work. Many construction workers in NYC operate on skyscrapers and other buildings, dealing with extreme heights or other safety hazards.

The Importance of Hiring an Experienced Construction Accident Attorney

It is important for a construction worker accident victim to work with an attorney for several reasons:

  • Legal expertise: An attorney who specializes in construction accident cases has the legal knowledge and experience necessary to navigate the complex legal system and obtain the compensation the victim deserves.
  • Investigation: If you hire an attorney they will conduct a thorough investigation into the accident, including interviewing witnesses, examining evidence, and reviewing relevant documents to build a strong case.
  • Advocacy: A construction accident attorney will advocate for the victim’s rights and fight for maximum compensation. They can negotiate with insurance companies and other parties to ensure that the victim receives fair compensation for their injuries and other losses.
  • Understanding of workers’ compensation laws: Construction accident attorneys can help victims understand their rights and options under workers’ compensation laws, which can be complex and difficult to navigate on their own.
  • Access to experts: Most attorneys often work with experts, such as medical professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, and economists, who can provide testimony and other evidence to support the victim’s case.

Overall, working with an experienced construction accident attorney can help victims obtain the compensation they need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from their injuries.

What Should I Do Immediately After a Construction Accident?

Right after a construction accident, there are some steps that you need to follow in order to protect your rights for compensation:

  1. Call 911: Workplace accidents are serious and frequently call for emergency medical care. This is particularly true for incidents involving construction workers because the injuries are frequently severe, if not life-threatening.
  2. Collect evidence: Make sure to write down your version of the events while your recall of them is still vivid. Any workplace accident can greatly benefit from photos and videos. Furthermore, ensure you have the names and contact details of any further witnesses to the accident who are prepared to talk.
  3. Make sure you are aware of who was present: By being aware of the companies that were there, you may aid your attorneys in ensuring that the entity in charge of your injuries is held accountable. Nobody anticipates getting wounded at work, but it’s always a good idea to be aware of who is there on any given day. Knowing the identity of the general contractor and the business that pays you and oversees your work is extremely important. 
  4. Contact a construction injury attorney: The sooner you contact an attorney, the better your chances are of collecting the compensation you deserve. 

When Do I Need a Lawyer for a Construction Accident?

If you are a construction worker who has been injured on the job, you may wonder when you need a lawyer for a construction accident. Here are some situations where it is recommended to seek legal representation:

  • Serious injuries: If you have sustained serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment and time off work, you should consult a lawyer. Your attorney can help you obtain the compensation you need to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
  • Workers’ compensation claims: If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied or disputed by your employer or their insurance company, an attorney can help you appeal the decision and obtain the benefits you are entitled to.
  • Third-party liability: If someone other than your employer or a co-worker was responsible for your accident, such as a contractor, equipment manufacturer, or property owner, you may be entitled to additional compensation through a third-party claim.
  • OSHA violations: If you have been the victim of an OSHA  (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) violation, it is highly recommended to consult with an experienced attorney that can help you obtain compensation, protect your legal rights, and promote workplace safety.

How Soon After My Construction Site Accident Should I Consult an Attorney?

The sooner you consult with an attorney after a construction site accident, the better. There are strict time limitations for filing a claim after a construction site accident. These time limits are known as statutes of limitations and vary depending on the state and the type of claim. Additionally, evidence can be lost or destroyed over time. An attorney can take immediate steps to preserve and document the evidence related to your case, including taking photos, collecting witness statements, and gathering other important information.

Finally, an experienced construction accident attorney will assess your case and develop a legal strategy to maximize your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries and other losses. This requires a thorough understanding of the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident, which is best achieved by consulting with an attorney as soon as possible.

How Long Do I Have to File a Construction Accident Lawsuit in NY?

The amount of time you have in New York to file a lawsuit for a construction accident varies according to the kind of claim you are making. Here are some frequent construction accident claims in New York and their applicable deadlines:

  • Personal injury: In New York, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within three years after the accident’s date to be considered valid. This implies that failing to submit your case within three years of the accident date might result in you losing the opportunity to bring a claim.
  • Wrongful death: In New York, the statute of limitations for bringing a wrongful death claim after a construction accident is two years from the date of the death.
  • Property damage: In New York, the time limit for initiating a property damage claim after having had property damaged in a construction accident is three years from the accident’s date.

New York Construction Accident Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in New York is three years from the date of the accident. This means that if you got injured in a construction accident in the state of New York you have to file your lawsuit within three years from the date of the accident. However, section 241 claims: Claims under New York Labor Law section 241 must be filed within three years from the date of the accident, but the law also requires that the injured worker give notice of the claim to the property owner and/or contractor within 90 days of the accident. The applicable statute of limitations for your particular case should be discussed with an experienced construction accident lawyer since it may vary depending on the details of your accident, the laws that apply to your claim, and other factors.

Who’s Liable For My Injuries After an NYC Construction Accident?

Determining liability for a construction accident in New York City can be complex, as there may be multiple parties involved in a construction project. Here are some of the parties who may be liable for your injuries after an NYC construction accident:

  • Property owner: The property owner may be liable for your injuries if they knew or should have known about a hazardous condition on the property and failed to take reasonable steps to remedy the situation.
  • General contractor: The general contractor may be liable if they were responsible for safety on the job site and failed to provide a safe working environment for workers.
  • Subcontractors: Subcontractors may be liable if they were responsible for a specific aspect of the construction project and their work caused or contributed to the accident.
  • Equipment manufacturers: If a defect in equipment or machinery caused the accident, the manufacturer of the equipment may be liable.
  • Architects and engineers: Architects and engineers may be liable if their design plans were flawed and caused or contributed to the accident.
  • Other parties: Depending on the circumstances of the accident, other parties such as suppliers, inspectors, and safety consultants may also be liable.

Determining liability in a construction accident can be complex, and it may require a thorough investigation to determine all parties who may be liable for your injuries. It is important to consult with an experienced construction accident attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options for pursuing compensation.

Can I Sue My Employer After I Get Hurt on a New York Construction Site?

Under New York workers’ compensation laws, you cannot sue your employer if you got injured while working on a construction site. You are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from your employer regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Nonetheless, there are some cases in which you may be able to sue your employer. For example, if your employer did not carry workers’ compensation insurance as required by law, you may be able to sue your employer for damages. Additionally, if your employer’s actions were intentional or grossly negligent and caused your injury, you may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.

What Types of Compensation Can I Recover in a Construction Accident?

  • Medical expenses: Medical expenses are the costs associated with medical treatment, including diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of an injury or illness.
  • Lost wages: Lost wages refer to the income that an individual loses due to their inability to work as a result of an injury or illness. 
  • Loss of earning capacity: This refers to the reduction in a person’s ability to earn income as a result of a permanent or long-term injury sustained in a construction accident or any other type of accident. It represents the difference between the person’s pre-injury earning capacity and their reduced earning capacity after the injury.
  • Pain and suffering: This legal term refers to the physical and emotional distress that a person may experience as a result of an injury or illness. It is a type of non-economic damages that can be awarded to an injured person in a personal injury lawsuit.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: Loss of enjoyment of life is the negative impact that an injury or illness may have on a person’s ability to enjoy the activities and experiences that they once enjoyed.
  • Wrongful death: The damages that may be sought in a wrongful death lawsuit can include compensation for the deceased person’s medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost income and financial support, and the emotional pain and suffering of the surviving family members.

What Are My Rights After a Construction Accident in NY?

After a construction accident, you are entitled to the following benefits:

  • Workers’ Compensation

If you are an employee who is injured on a construction site, you have the right to workers’ compensation benefits. This includes medical treatment, wage replacement, and other benefits to help you recover from your injuries and get back to work.

  • Personal Injury Claim

In some cases, you may be able to sue third parties who are responsible for your injuries, such as equipment manufacturers or subcontractors. 

  • New York Labor Law Protections

An employer cannot legally fire you for being injured in a construction accident. Under New York law, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who file workers’ compensation claims or who exercise their rights under the state’s labor laws.

  • Union Representation

If you are a union member and are injured in a construction accident, you have the right to union representation. Most construction workers in New York City are unionized, and their collective bargaining agreements typically provide for union representation in the event of workplace injuries.

  • Medical Treatment

Workers’ compensation benefits include medical treatment. Additionally, if you are able to sue a third party you could also recover medical expenses.

  • OSHA Complaint

If you believe that your workplace is unsafe you have the right to file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

  • Right to Legal Representation

You have the right to hire a personal injury attorney to represent you in any legal action related to your construction accident. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and can fight to help you recover the compensation you deserve.

What are the Most Common Construction Accidents in New York?

New York City has an unprecedented number of construction workers (recent estimates are well over 110,000) yet also tragically high death rates. In 2018, the number of construction workplace accidents in NYC surged to 761, a 13 percent increase from 2017. Furthermore, while New York City construction workers only represent five percent of the city’s total workforce, it accounts for 27 percent of work-related deaths. It is a sad trend considering NYC construction accidents were on a twenty-year decline prior to 2014.

These are some of the most common construction accidents in New York:

  • Slips and falls: Construction sites can be hazardous, with debris, uneven surfaces, and other hazards that can lead to slip and fall accidents. These accidents can result in serious injuries, such as broken bones, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
  • Forklift accidents: Forklifts are commonly used on construction sites to move heavy materials and equipment. However, forklift accidents can occur due to operator error, improper training, or defective equipment. 
  • Defective equipment: Construction workers rely on equipment such as power tools, scaffolding, and cranes to perform their job duties. When this equipment is defective or malfunctioning, it can cause serious injuries or even fatalities. Defective equipment can result from manufacturing defects, design flaws, or inadequate maintenance.
  • Caught in between accidents: Construction workers can become caught in between heavy machinery or materials, leading to serious injuries such as broken bones, amputations, and spinal cord injuries.
  • Welding accidents: Welding can be a dangerous activity, with the potential for burns, eye injuries, and respiratory damage. Welding accidents can occur due to lack of proper training, inadequate protective gear, or defective equipment.
  • Wrongful death: Construction site accidents can result in fatalities, leaving the families of victims with devastating emotional and financial consequences.
  • Struck by accident: Construction workers are at risk of being struck by falling objects, swinging machinery, or vehicles. These accidents can result in serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and internal injuries.
  • Gas explosion: Gas explosions can occur on construction sites due to leaks, improper handling, or equipment malfunctions. These explosions can cause severe burns, traumatic brain injuries, and fatalities.
  • Scaffolding accidents: Scaffolding is commonly used on construction sites, but accidents can occur due to improper installation, lack of maintenance, or defective equipment. 
  • Crane accidents: Cranes are used on construction sites to move heavy materials and equipment, but accidents can occur due to operator error, equipment failure, or inadequate training. 
  • Electrical injuries: Construction workers are at risk of electrical injuries due to exposed wires, faulty equipment, or inadequate training. These injuries can cause burns, electrocution, and other serious health consequences.
  • Employer negligence: In some cases, construction site accidents occur due to employer negligence, such as failure to provide proper safety training, inadequate protective gear, or failure to follow safety regulations. 


Related Resources:

What to do after a construction accident

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