We at Cellino Law have come to learn that not everyone who sustains injuries in construction accidents are fully aware of their legal rights. There are those who are unaware that they have the ability to pursue financial compensation for the harm suffered. Other individuals may be under the assumption that they can only receive payment for medical costs incurred. Injuries of this nature often necessitate long recovery periods and produce substantial losses that include hospital expenses, lost wages, and much more. It is not uncommon for people who find themselves in this situation to need assistance from a skilled Long Island construction accident lawyer who can fight hard to maximize available monetary recovery.
Every case is different, and that is why the facts of each matter are critical. As such, we believe in offering prospective clients the opportunity to have a no-cost initial consultation. This allows victims the ability to talk with an experienced construction accident lawyer who can review the specifics of what occurred and explain the legal options that exist. An attorney will also assist in determining the likely monetary value of each client’s case and will formulate a strategy designed to achieve the most favorable possible outcome.
If you are among those unfortunate enough to sustain injuries in a construction accident in New York, our team of professionals stands ready to help. Simply schedule your no-obligation case review, and as can begin the process of fighting for your rights. Remember, if we are unable to secure financial recovery in your case, you will owe no legal fees whatsoever. Call our Long Island personal injury firm today to learn more about what our firm has to offer.
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What Construction Accidents can a Lawyer Help With?
You can trust our law firm to help with construction accident cases such as:
Equipment and materials are regularly used at heights in construction sites. The materials must be secured since if they aren’t, they might easily fall on the ground thus causing injury to persons down there. Falling objects may cause serious head, neck, and back injuries even if the victim is wearing safety gear such as a hard hat.
Site Maintenance Issues
If the construction site fails to get the necessary upkeep, then the chances of an accident occurring are much higher. Workers require safety equipment and necessary training and when that isn’t done, there will be a higher risk of injury at the construction site.
Scaffolding must be properly installed to make sure that it is safe. It also requires sufficient upkeep since when that isn’t done, accidents may easily occur. Accidents involving scaffolding may result in very serious injuries or even fatalities.
Accidents Involving Vehicles
Construction sites typically have vehicles such as excavators, bulldozers, and trucks. Risks are always involved when operating or working around such vehicles. If the individual operating the vehicle lacks proper training, or if they are reckless when operating them, it may result in very serious accidents or even fatalities.
It is of great importance to ensure that cranes are installed, operated, and maintained properly. If a crane isn’t properly installed or it is used improperly, it can fall or collapse and this may lead to a very serious accident or even a fatality.
Falling off ladders on job sites is quite common. While most such falls aren’t usually serious accidents, some end up causing serious injury and sometimes even death. A worker that survives the fall might find himself/herself living with a disability that prevents them from working in construction sites in the short or long term.
Workers regularly sustain injuries after falling from roofs. The roofs can be at high heights, and such falls may result in serious injuries or even fatalities in some instances.
Collapsing Roof or Ceiling
Falling from roofs isn’t the only risk faced by workers in a construction site. The roofing or ceiling of the building may collapse causing the worker to fall. Such falls may result in serious injuries or even fatalities. Injury may also result from the falling of debris after the collapse of the ceiling or roof.
Electrical accidents tend to be rather common in construction sites. Some sites either don’t have finished electrical systems or the electrical systems there are ungrounded. If a worker comes into contact with the power lines, uses equipment incorrectly, or walks in an area lacking in proper ground-fault protection, there’s a very real risk of electrocution. Electrocution cases are usually fatal, but there’s also a possibility of getting burned and getting injured, suffering internal injuries, cardiac arrest, or other types of serious injuries.
Being Trapped Between items
Workers can find themselves caught between two objects in construction sites. It is common in excavation accidents, trench collapses, and workers getting trapped between heavy machinery. If such an accident happens, the worker can either be crushed or forced to have an amputation. Oxygen deprivation is also a real risk. Such accidents usually happen if the job site hasn’t been properly inspected, or the safety requirements aren’t being followed, or the job site is not safe for workers.
The accidents listed above are some of the most common involving construction sites that our law firm has handled. Numerous other factors may also contribute to accidents. If you have been involved in a worksite accident, you should get in touch with us, even if your type of accident hasn’t been listed here. You should talk to us since we offer a free consultation. We can help you understand your rights and advise you on the best course of action.
New York Construction Labor Laws
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous to work in and the risks are considerably higher for those working in New York. According to data released by the Federal Bureau of Labor, the construction industry accounts for 5 percent of New York’s workforce. 27 percent of fatal workplace injuries involved people working at construction sites, which means that they are at a higher risk of sustaining injuries compared to those in other industries.
Numerous laws are in place for protecting workers in the construction industry and reducing the risk of sustaining injuries when working. By simply following the laws that are already in place, many of these accidents can be avoided. The injured worker can file a lawsuit if the law was violated when the accident happened. A lawsuit typically covers more than what workers get from worker’s compensation benefits. When you file a lawsuit, you can ask for all kinds of damages including lost income, retirement benefits, medical expenses, pain, and suffering, etc.
Three separate sections of the New York labor laws specify that workers have the right to seek damages if they are ever injured while at work. The sections are 200, 240, and 241. Breaking these laws may result in accidents that cause serious injuries. The parties responsible for violating the laws will be held liable.
New York Labor Law 200
According to this law, all employers are required to provide their construction workers with a safe working environment. It provides specific precautions that should be taken to ensure the safety of those working on the job site. When installing or operating equipment, certain precautions must be taken to ensure that everybody is reasonably protected.
New York Labor Law 240
According to this law, a third -party may be held liable for a construction site accident. Worker’s compensation may not cover the losses after the accident, which is why the law is so important. Third parties are commonly held liable in scaffolding accidents.
The New York Labor Law 240 focuses on liable parties in case of accidents involving scaffolds. If an accident occurs when work is being done on a commercial building, multi-family home, or even an apartment building, the owner of the property, contractor, or even the tenant may be held liable for the injuries and losses a worker sustains. The law makes liability in such cases absolute. If a worker makes a claim in such cases, the amount of damages they are seeking will be the only thing in dispute.
If the accident leads to serious injuries or even a fatality, the cost of liability is even higher. That’s why a third-party will often try to argue that the statute should not cover the accident. The type of building where the accident occurred should be put into consideration. You also need to look at the structure that the injured party was working on. It can be a building, bridge, garage, water tower, tunnel, or a different kind of structure. The work has to be doing one of the following for it to qualify:
- Pointing a Building
- Erection of a Structure or Devices such as Slings, Braces, Ladders, Scaffolds, Stays, Pulleys, Irons, Braces, or Ropes
- Basic Maintenance such as Inspections, Interior Cleaning, Changing Light Bulbs and Salvage Work Are Typically Not Covered
If you have been the victim of a construction site accident that’s covered under Scaffold Law, you need to talk to a Long Island personal injury lawyer within the shortest time possible. Talking to an attorney is important for ensuring that your rights are protected. Our law firm can help you recover the compensation you deserve from third parties. We will do everything possible to ensure that you get the maximum compensation possible.
New York Labor Laws 241
According to this law, contractors and owners must always ensure that workers are adequately protected against hazards that may lead to injury. It is where the job site safety requirements are specified. A good example is that a contractor must always place a barrier around a construction elevator. Workers must be provided with protective gear. The owner and contractor should also take precautions that reduce the risk of things such as slips and falls. The law is designed to ensure that workers are protected at job sites.
The main aim of the requirements outlined in the law is to ensure the safety of workers on job sites. If a requirement has been violated by the contractor then it may lead to serious injuries. Violators will be held liable for injuries associated with neglecting those requirements.
New York Construction Accident Statistics
New York has witnessed a reduction in the number of construction site accidents and fatalities. Unfortunately, accidents still happen frequently. A study conducted in 2017 showed that construction accounts for 5 percent of the Long Island workforce. In terms of New York’s on-the-job fatalities, construction sites accounted for 27 percent of those. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 3.4 percent of full-time workers in construction sustained injuries when working in 2015. In 2018, New York City reported 46 construction accidents with 12 of those being fatal. Construction workers in New York are exposed to numerous high risks.
Who can be Held Liable for Injuries Sustained in a Construction Accident?
If you walk through New York, you will quickly notice that construction projects are ever-present wherever you go. Many workers are in the construction sector. It is why laws are in place to ensure the safety of workers on construction sites. The laws even specify the parties to be held liable in case an accident happens.
General Constructors and Construction Site Owners
If a property owner decided to make changes to an already existing structure or build a new structure, they must ensure that workers on their site are adequately protected. Owners and general contractors are required by law to offer reasonable protection to workers they employ according to New York Labor Law 200.
Ensuring the safety of a construction site is a requirement under the law. If there are issues that may lead to injury, they have to be dealt with quickly. Workers must have the necessary equipment to ensure the safety of their work. Construction workers must also receive proper training. Property owners and contractors must also ensure that the site is actually safe for workers.
New York Labor Law 240, which is often referred to as “The Scaffolding Law” states that scaffolding and other equipment used in the site must be properly installed and secured. A general contractor and property owner may be held liable if a worker sustains injuries because of:
- Iron or Other Types of Devices
The law is applicable when the worker is repairing, erecting, painting, cleaning, or demolishing a structure or building.
Proving negligence in such cases is usually not necessary since the property owner and contractor are considered strictly liable.
If you ever visit a construction site, you will quickly see small moving parts. After the contractor has won the bid for a particular project, they may outsource some of the work to subcontractors. Just as is the case with contractors, subcontractors also have the responsibility to provide workers with a safe working environment. If you sustain injuries and the subcontractor is responsible, you can be compensated for your injuries.
Engineers and Architects
Architects or site engineers may be held liable for injuries sustained by workers in Long Island, New York, construction sites. Professionals are responsible for designing structures and buildings and have to follow certain standards when doing their work. In Long Island, one of the requirements is that construction sites must be regularly inspected. Was the injury the result of a structural problem that led to the collapse of the building? Did the building’s design have a flaw? If that’s the case, the engineer or architect will be held liable for the injuries.
Different equipment and machinery are used on construction sites. Defective equipment may lead to injuries even when workers operating it have received relevant training. If defective equipment is responsible for your injuries, the manufacturer or vendor that sold it may be held liable.
Common Construction Injuries in Long Island
No matter what type of injuries you have sustained or the severity of those injuries we are ready to help. We will start by determining your rights and fight hard to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Construction workers involved in accidents may sustain injuries such as:
- Eye Injuries, including those that Cause Vision Loss
- Hearing Loss
- Lacerations and Abrasions
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Knee and Shoulder Injuries
- Crush Injuries
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Injuries to the Neck or Back
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Bone Fractures
- Broken Bones
The Costs of Construction Injuries
The costs associated with construction site injuries are numerous and it is not that difficult to understand why such injuries tend to be costly. There are some factors that many people are simply not aware of. There are expenses that you must deal with if you ever sustain injuries. Here are the most common costs associated with construction site accidents:
If someone sustains injuries, he or she will be taken to the emergency room. The cost of the ambulance, hospitalization, intensive care, trauma care, surgery, prescriptions, rehabilitation, and ongoing care are just some that the person injured will have to cover.
Loss of Wages
If a person sustains severe injuries, it can be difficult for him/her to work for some time. It can easily add up to a loss amounting to thousands of dollars in just 1 week. The longer the injured individual is unable to go back to work, the more income he/she loses. Some injuries can actually prevent the individual from ever working again. That might force such an individual to work in a different field where the pay is considerably lower. The individual might even be forced to live off disability benefits. Lost wages tend to add up incredibly quickly.
The injury will obviously cause the worker to suffer, but the construction company too may be affected. If the worker is unable to get back to work, this may end up delaying the project’s completion. It usually happens if the employee that sustained the injury was a specialist. If there’s a construction site accident, all the work must stop to allow the injured to receive medical help. OSHA may even launch an investigation after the accident. Unfortunately, this ends up delaying the project and, in some instances, the projects may even be shut down.
The injured worker can choose to make a worker’s compensation claim after sustaining the injury. If a worker makes such a claim, the company’s insurance premiums will definitely increase. It means that the company will find itself having higher operating costs. A construction site accident may actually end up having serious financial repercussions for the company.
If the company does not have the proper insurance or if it is facing a third-party liability lawsuit due to the accident, it will need to deal with the personal injury lawsuit. The company will be forced to hire legal representation. It is common for the injured workers to actually win such lawsuits and companies are often forced to pay for expensive judgments.
The costs of construction site accidents do add up, which is why it is always better to prevent them from occurring. Some companies view meeting the recommended safety expenses as being time-consuming and expensive. While the measures that OSHA has put in place might seem costly and extreme, such costs are nothing when compared to the costs when things go wrong because of the failure to adhere to safety requirements.
Companies must always strive to do everything within their power to ensure the safety of workers in their construction sites. Accidents can be very expensive not only for the workers but also for the company, and choosing precautions will prove incredibly effective as a way to save money.
Right to Worker’s Compensation Benefits
According to the law in New York, companies are required to carry a reasonable amount when it comes to worker’s compensation coverage. However, there are certain exceptions to this. Some of the things covered include occupational illnesses, physical injuries, toxic exposure, as well as other health conditions related to the job. Mental illness is not covered. The coverage also benefits people dealing with long-term disability.
Workers must never assume that simply because they are injured, they will automatically get the benefits. Workers should file the claim within the shortest time possible to meet the deadline. Workers should know the proper process that they should follow after being injured. The proper procedures must be followed when it comes to reporting injuries and making claims. If a person fails to do this, he/she is likely to miss out on the coverage that they were supposed to get.
What about the benefits that workers can receive after sustaining injuries while working at a construction site? Well, this usually varies depending on the injuries. Some of the potential benefits that workers can get include:
- Up to Two-Thirds of Weekly Pay
- Permanent or Short-term Disability Benefits
- Reasonable Coverage for Medical Expenses
While you might assume that you will automatically receive the benefits listed above if you are ever injured while working in a construction site, but the reality is that insurance providers typically fight workers in court to minimize the benefits they are owed. That’s why you will often find workers having a difficult time getting the benefits that they are rightfully entitled to.
Insurance companies are in business to make a profit, just like any other business in the world. That’s why they often try their best to pay out the least amount of money possible. Insurance companies usually take a number of approaches when it comes to challenging your claim so that they may avoid having to pay. Insurance companies can:
- Deny that your injury is related to the job
- Dispute the severity of the injuries
- Argue that medical treatment isn’t required
- Argue that the worker is eligible to return to work
- Dispute whether or not the worker had to miss that much work
If the insurance company denies your claim, or you fail to get the benefits that you are entitled to, then disputing the decision is the next best option. It can mean getting the case heard by an administrative law judge. If you plan to do that, then it can be advisable to work with a Long Island workers’ compensation lawyer that’s experienced in handling similar cases. You will have the opportunity to learn more about New York’s worker’s compensation system, look at the law, and make sure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
What Should You do After a Construction Site Accident?
If you have been injured in a construction site accident, you need to remember that there’s actually no guarantee that you will receive third-party compensation or worker’s compensation benefits. You may even be denied benefits if you made a mistake when filing your claim, or you might not receive all the compensation that you were supposed to receive. If you want to ensure that your rights are protected, you must make sure that you follow the steps below.
Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
Your health should always be the top priority when you are involved in an accident. If you require medical attention, you need to get it without delay. You can visit the emergency room or visit the doctor if it isn’t necessary for you to call an ambulance. If you receive medical treatment immediately, you will have a much easier time recovering from the injuries. When you visit the doctor, there will be a medical report on your injury. The medical professional will recommend treatment that will be required during the case. It will go a long way towards strengthening the claim.
Report the Accident
If you ever wish to receive your worker’s compensation benefits, you will need to let your employer know that you have suffered an injury. You must do this within the shortest time possible. If you have sustained very serious injuries, you should seek treatment first. Report the accident after you have received medical care. You should update your employer from time to time, especially when you receive new information from the doctor.
Make Sure that Your Employer Files a Report
After informing your employer about the accident and the resultant injuries, they will need to write a report. You are legally entitled to a copy of that report. You need to go through this report to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within it. You require a copy of the report since you may need it later.
Talk to Potential Witnesses
It can be a good idea to speak to any person that might have witnessed the accident and get a statement from them. The statements will come in handy when it comes to making your claim. If any disputes about the injury ever arise, you will have something to back you up.
Document Your Own Statement
It is highly likely that you will be asked to describe the accident several times. You need to make sure that the statements you make are correct and that there aren’t any discrepancies in your statement. Writing your own statement immediately can be an excellent idea. Whenever you are asked about your accident, you can always refer to your statement.
Call a Long Island Construction Accident Lawyer
It is always advisable to work with a construction accident lawyer since they bring in a lot of experience. The lawyer will be there to help by ensuring that your rights are protected. When you work with a lawyer, you never have to worry about delays or denials. The lawyer can see whether there are any other parties in the case that can be held liable and can help you file a claim if there’s a liable third-party.
What You Should Know About Fatal Construction Accidents
Over 4,000 fatal accidents are reported each year according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The construction industry accounts for 1,000 fatal accidents annually, which means that 1 out of every 5 fatal work accidents that happen is in the construction industry.
If a family member suffers a fatal accident, the worker’s compensation policy can offer compensation. Worker’s compensation covers some death benefits, such as the funeral and burial costs. You can also receive installment payments for temporary disability benefits.
If the accident results in wrongful death, then you might consider seeking additional compensation. What is regarded as a wrongful death? It is a type of death that was the result of another party’s wrongful action or negligent behavior. If the family of the deceased choose to file a wrongful death suit, they will be required to prove several things such as:
- The negligent behavior was from the at-fault party
- The death was caused by wrongful or negligent behavior
- The victim’s close family members sustained losses after the accident
In New York, it is possible to claim additional financial compensation in cases involving wrongful death not covered by worker’s compensation. It includes compensation for the loss of financial support, compensation for pain and suffering, as well as compensation for the reduced quality of life.
If a loved one lost his/her life after being involved in a construction site accident, the next course of action would be to hire a Long Island wrongful death attorney before you accept an offer for settlement. If you choose Cellino Law, you will have the opportunity to work with an experienced team of attorneys and here you can be sure that someone will fight hard to ensure that you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.