At Cellino Law we are working to make victims of construction accidents aware of their rights. Some of these victims aren’t aware they’re eligible for compensation whenever losses occur. On the other hand, a few of them think compensation is only meant to cover their medical bills, however, that’s not the case. It’s obvious, the injuries and illnesses they sustain take some time before they can heal. As if that’s not enough, they’re very costly, resulting in losses from medical bills, lost wages, and much more. With all these ahead of them, they usually need assistance from a professional Queens construction accident lawyer, to make sure they get the rightful compensation.
Let’s admit that each case is unique, but the information is vital in any case. Through our risk-free initial consultations, we usually seek to provide the necessary information and guidance to the clients. Accidents victims have a free chance to communicate and consult with our experienced NY construction accident lawyers. Such sessions allow the victims to learn about New York laws as well as how they relate and apply to their individual case. Again, they can learn about their rights, the worth of their case, and how to approach the case.
Were you injured in a construction accident? We’re here to help. You just need to schedule a free consultation with our top Queens personal injury firm. We battle it out to ensure our clients secure maximum compensation for their claims. The best thing, in case we fail to win your case, we never ask for any payment from you! Call our office today to begin the process with one of our professional lawyers.
Table of Contents
Causes of Injuries At Construction Sites
More often than not, people tend to be reckless at work. This is why many worksites tend to have a high risk of accidents. Of course, there are many reasons that cause an accident to occur during a construction project. As such, if you are involved in a construction accident, you should know the law protects your rights. At Cellino Law, we provide the help you need when it comes to construction cases like:
Both equipment and materials commonly fall from heights they are used in a construction project. It is always important to take safety precautions by securing these tools, materials, and equipment to prevent them from falling and injuring a person. Falling objects do tend to cause severe back, neck, and head injuries, even when a person is wearing safety equipment such as hard hats.
Site Maintenance Issues
All construction sites must be well maintained to minimize the risk of damages and injuries. For example, all workers must be equipped with protective gear like work boots. Also, they must be well trained. The site should also include warning signs like truck turning signs, slippery floor, live-electrical wires, and more.
All scaffoldings must be installed correctly and safely. Furthermore, they also need proper maintenance. A majority of scaffolding accidents result in severe injuries and death.
Almost all construction projects will involve vehicles, often heavy vehicles like trucks, excavators, bulldozers, and others. Risks generally involve recklessness while operating them or when they are operated by a person without proper training.
A crane needs proper maintenance, installed, and operated properly. If these machines are not installed or used correctly, they most definitely result in injuries and property damage when they fall or collapse. Crane accidents result in life-threatening injuries and death.
Ladder Related Accidents
Ladder accidents are common, more especially in New York. The good news is that ladder accidents only cause minor injuries. However, there are cases where a ladder accident has resulted in both short and long-term disability and also death.
Work Area Without Protection
A worker should never work on areas of a building where there are holes on the wall or floor, and the area is not protected. Guardrail is an example of a protection that helps prevent falling. Otherwise, without such protection, one miss-step may result in falls.
Ceiling Or Roof Collapse
A collapsing roof or ceiling is another risk construction workers have to face. A building’s roof or ceiling can collapse and make a worker fall. In most cases, a collapsed roof or ceiling results in severe damages and injuries to a worker. It can also result in deaths. The main contributor to the injuries is falling debris.
Electrocutions are common in construction sites. That is because a majority of these sites do not have a finished electrical system or grounded wiring. Anytime a worker comes into contact with the power lines, incorrect use of equipment, or walk-in areas where there is faulty power line protection, a worker risks electrocution. Electrocution may cause serious injuries such as getting burned, forming holes, internal injuries, cardiac arrest, and others.
Trapped Between Items
A worker can easily be caught between two objects in a construction site. This can be in the form of trench collapse, excavation accidents, or being trapped between heavy machines. In such an accident, the results often tend to be fatal, leading to death due to deprivation of oxygen. In some cases, it can lead to amputations. This type of accident occurs when a site has not been inspected property or safety measures have not been applied.
Of course, there are many other factors that can result in an accident. It does not matter the cause of the accident. If you are injured in a construction-related accident, contact us as soon as possible. With our services, you do not have to worry about fees or costs. We offer a free consultation with no obligation. Our highly experienced Queens personal injury lawyers will take the time to listen to you and answer any question you may have. Through consultation, you will receive legal advice and the best way forward for you.
Construction Labor Laws In Queens, New York
Working in the construction industry can be dangerous, and the risks are high, especially to those working in and around New York. According to a statistic from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5% of New Yorkers are in the construction industry. It further shows that 27% of fatal work-related injuries come from the construction industry. This information clearly shows that construction workers are at a higher risk of getting injured while working compared to other industries.
As such, there are many laws that protect the rights of construction workers, including the safety of the worker. Truly, many of the accidents can be avoided by simply following the rules that have been put in place. If an employer or project manager decides to ignore or violate these laws, and an accident occurs, the employee has the right to file a lawsuit.
Lawsuits cover more than what a worker will get from the Worker’s Compensation benefits. Through a lawsuit, an employee has the power to request for more damage compensation from the time when the lawsuit is filed. This may include lost income, retirement benefits, medical expenses, pain, and suffering.
However, when it comes to construction labor laws in New York, it is important to note that there are different sections that govern the rights an employee has in seeking injury compensation. The sections are 200, 240, and 241. These sections protect construction workers and keep them safe through safety measures. As such, voiding any of these rules may lead to severe injuries. Therefore, any party found to violate these laws are going to be held accountable.
The New York Labor Law – Section 200
This section decrees that every employer or project manager must provide a safe working environment for construction workers. In other words, it specifies or directs the precautions an employer must take to ensure those working within that site are safe. It also includes precautions to be taken when installing or operating equipment.
The New York Labor Law – Section 240
This section dictates that a third-party can be held accountable for an accident in a construction site. Under this section, the Worker’s Compensation may not cover the losses after the accident. For example, it is very common for third parties to be held liable for scaffolding accidents.
This New York Labor Law focuses on the party liable for accidents involving scaffolding. For example, let us assume that a construction accident has occurred on a commercial building, multi-family home, or apartment building; under this section, the property owner, contractor, and even tenants may be held accountable for the losses and injuries caused to a worker. Accountability, in this case, is absolute. What does this mean? Well, when a worker makes a claim, the only thing that will be disputed is the amount to be compensated.
If the damage or injuries are severe or resulted in death, the compensation cost is definitely going to be higher. This is why, in most cases, a third-party is going to argue that the accident should not be covered by the statute. Also, consideration must be placed on the type of building the accident occurred. The structure plays a huge role in the case as well. Therefore, it does not matter if it is a garage building, water tower, tunnel, bridge, or any other; the structure plays a role in the lawsuit. For a worker to qualify for a claim, he/she must be doing one of the following:
- Pointing the building
- Basic maintenance like build change, salvage work, and others
You should contact an attorney immediately or as soon as you can if you have been injured in a construction site and covered under the Scaffold Law. In fact, if you have been injured in a construction site due to an accident, you should seek the services of a lawyer. We will help you recover the compensation you deserve from a third-party. Our highly trained, professional, and experienced team of attorneys will work on your case to get the right outcome.
The New York Labor Law – Section 241
Under this section of the N.Y. labor law, the contractor and owner have to ensure employees are well protected against hazards that may cause injuries. This section clearly specifies job site safety requirements. For example, under this section, it clearly states that a contractor has to place a barrier around a construction elevator. It also clearly mentions the kind of gear a worker is expected to wear. There are many precautions that must be taken by the employer or contractor to reduce the risks of accidents such as slip and fall. This law has been designed to ensure a worker is protected while they are at work.
The main goal of all the requirements described by law is to ensure the environment is safe for a worker to work on the site. Therefore, if an employer or contractor violates the requirements mentioned in this law and results in an accident, then they are liable for the injuries due to negligence.
New York Construction Accident Statistics
According to findings, New York has seen a dramatic decrease in accidents related to construction projects. However, accidents are still occurring frequently. According to a 2017 study, it showed that 5% of the workforce in Queens are in the construction industry. The same report also showed that construction accidents amount to 27% every year. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics, back in 2015, 3.4% of full-time construction workers were injured that year only. In the whole of New York, 46 construction accidents were reported in 2018, in which 12 of the number were life-threatening injuries. Clearly, construction workers in New York face high risks.
Who Is Accountable In A Queens Construction Accident?
When you walk around Queens, New York, you will begin to notice construction almost everywhere in the city. Within those constructions, you will see a lot of workers working in the sector. This is the reason there is a law that ensures construction workers are protected. According to the New York Labor Laws, it clearly mentions the parties who will be held accountable in case of an accident.
The General Contractor And Construction Owner
It is the duty of the construction owner or general contractor to ensure the employee is working under safe conditions. As such, the law demands contractors to provide employees with reasonable protection, according to the New York Labor law Section 200. This is a legal requirement that all site owners must fulfill. If, by chance, there is an issue that has resulted in an injury due to work-related accidents, they have to deal with the problem immediately. Also, the worker must have all the equipment needed to make their work safe.
Furthermore, the construction worker must have proper training. According to the New York law, Section 240 (which is also known as ‘The Scaffolding Law’) mentions that all equipment, including scaffoldings used in a construction site, must be well secured. That is because a property owner or contractor may be held responsible if a worker is injured as a result of failed:
- Irons and any other device
This law applies when the worker is actually doing some work like painting the building, cleaning, demolishing, repairing, or erecting a structure. Furthermore, with such a chase, the victim or worker does not have to provide proof of negligence because the contractor or owner is strictly liable.
Many construction sites have other small moving parts, which are often awarded to subcontractors. For example, when a contractor wins a project bid, they can outsource some of the work to subcontractors. Just like a contractor, all subcontractors have the responsibility of providing their workers with a safe working environment. If an employee is injured, they are responsible.
The Engineer And Architect
A site engineer and architect can be held accountable for any injury a worker sustains from a construction work-related accident in New York. Of course, it is the work of the engineer and architect to design the building and its structures. As such, every building must meet a specific standard. For example, in Queens, there is a requirement that demands a construction site to be regularly inspected. Therefore, if the injuries are due to structural issues or building structure, the engineer and architect may be held liable for the accident.
Remember, this will only apply if there is a flaw in the design of the building, or if it has structural issues.
It is common to find different kinds of machines on a construction site. These machines are task dedicated, which are designed to aid in construction. As such, defective machines may cause injuries, even when the worker operating them is highly trained. As such, if your injuries have been caused by such a machine, then the machine manufacturer or vendor may be held accountable.
The Common Construction Injuries In Queens
It does not matter the kind of injury you have sustained or the severity of the injury; we are ready to give you the help you need. We will first start by knowing what happened, then consider the best action to take, and then get you the compensation you deserve. We have helped many satisfied clients around New York and worked on different construction injuries. Below is a list of the most common type of injuries a construction worker may get after an accident:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Knee and shoulder injuries
- Crush injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Bone fractures and breaks
- Eye injuries (vision loss)
- Hearing loss
- Lacerations and abrasions
Construction Injuries Costs
The cost of the injuries associated with construction-related accidents differs from one to the other. However, a majority of the injuries tend to be expensive. This is because they are also associated with other unseen factors. A construction injury cost will involve:
Whenever a person is injured, surely medical bills will follow, and often these medical bills are expensive. This is because seeking medical attention is the first step to take when a person is injured. As such, the cost of the ambulance, trauma care, surgery, hospitalization, medication prescription, rehabilitation, and regular ongoing care will most definitely increase the total medical cost. Furthermore, when these bills are allowed to pile up, it increases a victim’s stress levels. Many victims will go into debt when paying for medical bills.
Loss Of Wages
When a person is injured severely, the chances are that they will not be able to go back to work. As such, that worker will lose his/her wages, which can add up to thousands per week. Furthermore, the longer a person spends receiving treatment, the longer they are unable to get income. On the other hand, some injuries may be permanent, which may render a person unable to work for the rest of their life or work in other fields that pay less. The person may also be forced to apply and live off disability benefits.
After an accident, the injured worker may apply for a Workers’ Compensation Claim. After being awarded the claim, the insurance premium for the company is going to increase. This simply means that the company is going to have a higher operating cost. As such, construction-related accidents may end up being expensive and have serious financial backlash.
If a construction company does not have the proper insurance or they are simply facing a third-party lawsuit because of an accident (personal injury lawsuit), then they will have to deal with litigation costs. This simply means that the company will have to hire legal representation, and if the company loses the lawsuit, they will have to pay all judgment related costs.
By taking all the factors into consideration, it is clear that the total cost can really add up, and this is why it is wise to prevent accidents from occurring. Of course, there are companies that will prefer to ignore safety requirements with the reasoning that they are expensive and time-consuming. These measures are there for a reason, even if they seem to be costly and extreme because they help a company to prevent unnecessary injuries, loss of life, and a huge sum of money when things go wrong. Accidents are extremely expensive for both workers and companies, and precaution is better than cure.
The Rights To Workers’ Compensation Benefits
According to New York Law, companies have to carry a reasonable amount when it comes to Workers’ Compensation Coverage. However, there are a few exceptions when it comes to this. Workers’ compensation covers physical injuries, toxic exposure, occupational illnesses, and other health conditions related to the job. It is important to note that this benefit does not cover mental illness. This cover will benefit those suffering from long-term disabilities.
Also, a worker should never assume that just because they are injured, they will receive the benefit automatically. When it comes to Workers’ Compensation benefits, a worker must file the claim as soon as possible to prevent deadlines. Also, the worker must know the right process of filing a claim. In other words, one must follow the correct procedure when reporting injuries and making claims. Otherwise, without all these, a construction worker may miss out.
What Benefits Will A Construction Worker Receive After An Injury?
The kind of benefits a worker will receive differs greatly and often depend on the injury they sustained. Below are a few potential benefits a worker can receive:
- Short-term or permanent disability benefits
- Reasonable medical expenses coverage
- Almost a 2/3 of weekly pay
Although a worker might assume that they are going to receive all the above compensations after an injury; however, the reality is that the insurance company is going to try as much as possible to minimize the benefits they will get. This is the reason why workers who have been injured find it hard to receive the benefits they are entitled to.
People tend to forget that insurance companies are like any other business, and their main goal is to maximize profit. This is why they will try to limit compensation benefits as much as possible. They achieve this through several approaches, which includes:
- Arguing that medical treatment is not necessary
- Arguing that a worker is capable of returning to work
- Disputing whether the worker had to miss that much work
- Denying the injuries are work-related
- Disputing the rigidity of the injuries
If you do not get the benefits you deserve, or it is denied, then your best option is to dispute that decision. This means taking the case to an administrative law judge for a hearing. However, it is wise to work together with a construction accident lawyer if you wish to take this route. Through the experience of the lawyer, you will get to learn more about the Workers’ Compensation System in New York, which gives you a better opportunity to understand the law and ensure you get what you deserve.
What To Do After A Construction Accident?
There is no guarantee that you will receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits or Third-Party compensation after an accident. There are chances where you can be denied benefits if you made an error while filing for the claim. On the other hand, you may not get the compensation you are supposed to get. However, in order to protect your rights, it is wise to follow the following steps:
Seeking Immediate Medical Attention
Your health is paramount, and it should come first before everything else. In fact, you should not waste time after an accident applying the other steps, Go and Seek Immediate Medical Attention. If you are unable to go to the emergency room, call an ambulance. Getting immediate medical attention benefits recovery. After this, the physician is going to recommend treatment that best fits your case and injuries. This step is going to strengthen your case and claim.
Report The Accident Immediately
If you want to receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits, then you have to inform your employer about the injury. It is important to do this as soon as possible. If your injuries are too serious, start by seeking medical treatment and then later report the accident to your employer. You also have to update your employer regularly, especially when you get new information from your doctors.
Ensure Your Employer Has Filed The Report
The moment you have informed your employer, it is important to ensure that they have written the report. Remember, you are entitled to the report. Also, it is wise to go through the report and ensure it is accurate. Do not forget to have a copy of the report because you may need it later.
It is wise to speak to anyone who witnessed what happened and get a statement from them. These statements play a huge role when it comes to making a claim. They are important when there is a dispute about the accident and the injuries you sustained.
The chances are that you are going to be told to describe the accident more than once. As such, it is wise to ensure the statements you take are correct with no discrepancies. As such, you should write your statement immediately, because you can use it to refer to.
Contact A Queens Construction Accident Lawyer
It is wise to work with an attorney who has experience with construction accidents and filing for claims. With the help of a lawyer, you will not only receive guidance but ensure your rights are protected. Another benefit is that you do not have to worry about the delays or denials. Your attorney will deal with everything, and let you recover peacefully.
Facts You Need To Know About Fatal Accidents
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, every year, there are over 4,000 fatal work-related accidents. Out of all industries, the construction industry has the highest number of fatal accidents of over 1,000 every year. If your family member has suffered a fatal accident, you may get compensation from the Workers’ Compensation policy. The policy also covers death benefits, like paying the cost of the funeral and burial. Also, you may get paid in installments for temporary disability benefits.
You also have the ability to seek more compensation when there is wrongful death. What is wrongful death in construction accidents? This is death caused by negligence, wrongful action, or carelessness of a third-party. Nonetheless, for wrongful death compensation to be awarded, the family members have to prove:
- The death was as a result of the third-party’s negligence or carelessness
- There are losses gained by close family members of the victim
- The third-party is at-fault for the negligence
In the state of New York, there are more financial compensations that one can claim when it comes to wrongful death, which is not covered by the Workers’ Compensation. This may include compensations such as pain and suffering, financial support, and companionships. By contacting our lawyers in New York, you will get to know other ways to receive compensation for your loss.
Therefore, if your loved one lost his/her life in a construction site, then it is wise to communicate with a construction accident attorney in New York before signing or accepting any form of settlement. By contacting us, you will have your claim reviewed by a skilled Queens wrongful death lawyer. Get in touch with as at Cellino Law and get to know your legal options. Do not worry about the cost because we offer a free consultation service with no obligation. Your time with our attorney during the consultation is not limited, and we will get to listen to your story and advise you on the best way forward. Do not hesitate to contact us today.