If you’re one of the 373,800+ construction workers in New York City and its environs, you know how lucrative your job can be. Unfortunately, however, construction is an inherently dangerous industry, regardless of your particular occupation.
Nationwide Construction Accident Statistics
Nationwide construction accident statistics reveal the following:
- 1,008 construction workers received fatal injuries in 2020 while on the job.
- 174,100 others received nonfatal injuries.
- Construction fatalities account for 20% of all workplace deaths, although construction workers account for only 6% of the nation’s labor force.
- Construction workers age 25-34 sustain the most injuries.
Construction’s “Fatal Four”
Construction is so dangerous that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration compiled a list of the top four types of accidents that result in the greatest number of deaths (63.7%) throughout the industry each year. Known as the “Fatal Four,” this list is made up of the following:
- Struck by objects
- Caught in or caught between objects
Falls by far outrank the other three accident categories combined when it comes to causing fatal injuries. While disturbing, perhaps the 38.7% figure for construction fatalities attributable to falls is not so surprising when you consider that you must perform a substantial number of your tasks from roofs, scaffolding or tall ladders.
Struck by Objects
Second on the “Fatal Four” list are the 9.4% of fatalities caused by an object striking a construction worker. Common objects include:
- Flying debris
- Falling tools
- Falling crane loads
- Improperly secured vehicles, machinery or other heavy equipment
Ranking third on the “Fatal Four” list are the 8.3% of construction fatalities caused by electrocution. The most common way in which such accidents happen is that the metal ladder you’re working from contacts an overhead power line or other source of high-voltage electricity.
Caught In or Caught Between Objects
Finally, accidents where part of your body becomes caught in or caught between objects account for 7.3% of all construction fatalities. The most common types of accidents in this category include:
- Your hand or foot becomes caught in an elevator’s mechanisms or between its closing doors.
- Your body becomes trapped in a collapsing ditch or trench.
- Your torso or one of your limbs becomes crushed between a piece of heavy equipment and a wall, the floor, or the ground.
Nonfatal Construction Accidents
Again, falling is your number one risk for sustaining a nonfatal construction injury. In 2019 alone, slips, trips and falls accounted for 25,460 (32%) of the nation’s 79,660 nonfatal construction injuries.
It goes without saying that the higher up from which you fall, the greater your risk of sustaining a truly catastrophic injury, such as:
- A traumatic brain injury
- A spinal cord injury
- Multiple broken or fractured bones
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury occurs when your head violently impacts a hard object, causing your brain to “slosh around” inside your skull. You may or may not experience one or more of the following symptoms after such an impact:
- Seizures or convulsions
- Loss of consciousness
- Numbness or weakness in your fingers and toes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Uncoordinated movements
- Blurry, distorted vision
A TBI can disable you for life due to such lingering effects as the following:
- Vision or hearing impairment
- Speech impediments
- Mobility, balance or coordination disorders
- Cognitive disorders
- Emotional and mental disorders associated with PTSD
Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury results from an injury to your neck or back that damages your spinal cord or the vertebrae that surround it, thereby disrupting the information highway of nerves that connect your brain to the rest of your body. Such a disconnect causes paralysis, defined as the loss of sensation and voluntary motion below your point of injury.
An SCI to your lower back generally results in paraplegia, the loss of sensation and voluntary movement in your legs, feet and possibly your hips and pelvis. As a paraplegic, you will need to use a wheelchair to get around because you will be unable to walk. You may also lose control over your bladder and bowel functions.
An SCI to your neck or upper back constitutes a catastrophic injury known as quadriplegia or tetraplegia. As a quadriplegic, you not only cannot walk, but also cannot feel or move virtually any part of your body. Consequently, you will require 24/7 care since you will be unable to any of the normal functions of daily life, such as eating, drinking, bathing, dressing or moving back and forth between your bed and your wheelchair.
Multiple Broken or Fractured Bones
Broken bones are a common result of construction accidents. Depending on which bones you break, and the severity of those fractures, your doctors may have no choice but to amputate your affected limb or limbs. Amputation, of course, is a catastrophic injury result that will require you to exchange your amputated limb for a prosthesis.
Financial Costs of Construction Accidents
As you might expect, the financial costs arising from a construction accident can be almost as catastrophic as the injury or injuries themselves. Not only may your injuries require you to spend considerable time in the hospital, but you may also face the need for ongoing rehabilitation, physical therapy and in-home care after your release. In other words, your costs continue to escalate at precisely the time that you are off work and losing income.
Obtaining Legal Help
That is why your wisest course of action is to contact Cellino Law as soon as possible after your accident. As one of New York’s premier personal injury law firms, we have helped our injured clients get the compensation they deserve after sustaining injuries in all types of accidents, including construction accidents.
Founded in 1958, personal injury law is the only type of law we practice here at Cellino Law, and we’re proud to say that our team of deeply experienced lawyers have recovered over $2 billion for our injured clients. You can rest assured that we know what we’re doing and we do it exceptionally well. In terms of construction injuries, our track record includes:
- $5 million for a construction worker who suffered serious injuries in an electrocution accident
- $3.5 million for a construction worker struck by debris that a subcontractor dropped on him
- $2 million for a construction worker who fell from a scissors lift
- $1.675 million for a construction worker who slipped on the ice at his construction site
- $1.125 million for a construction worker who fell at an unguarded construction site
- $1.1 million for a construction worker who fell from a ladder
We realize, however, that as important as a record of favorable settlements and jury awards are, they tell only part of the story. You also want a lawyer who will treat you with the respect, dignity and empathy you deserve as an injured individual. That is exactly who we are and what we do at Cellino Law. We see it as our duty and our privilege to provide you with personalized service second to none. To this end, we give you a free case review, charge you no upfront fees, and are available 24/7 to answer your questions and update you on the progress and status of your case. Furthermore, we don’t get paid unless and until we successfully resolve your case, at which point we take our attorneys’ fees from your settlement or jury award, not from your pocket.
So contact Cellino Law today. Our main goal is to take the stress and worry of financial difficulties off your shoulders so you can focus on recovering from your injuries to the greatest extent possible.