Accidents are not easy, and at Cellino Law, we acknowledge that. We dedicate our knowledge and resources to acquiring worthwhile compensation for all your financial, physical, and emotional distress. Most accident victims are not aware of their rights. Some only think compensation should cater to their medical bills, while the majority are not even aware that they can seek compensation after accidents.
To get rightful compensation that exhaustively caters to medical bills, last wages, psychological distress, incapacitation, and any other losses, many have sought the help of an experienced Rochester, NY construction accident lawyer. Each case may have its own set of complications, but with the right information and experience, these are merely obstacles that can be overcome. We endeavor to provide the necessary information to construction accident victims through risk-free initial consultations. This way, you have free access to a proficient attorney at no out of pocket cost. This can help you learn more about New York laws, how these apply to your case, and how much compensation you can get for violated rights.
If you are a victim of a construction accident, we can help. Simply schedule a free consultation with our leading Rochester, NY injury firm. We guarantee proficiency, dedication, and commitment to getting all our clients their well-deserved maximum compensation. Even in the worst-case scenario which is losing a case, you pay nothing! Contact our office today to get in touch with attorneys in the game. Services you can trust.
Table of Contents
What Are Common Causes of Injuries at Work?
It is common for people to be reckless at worksites. This is the reason why there is a high risk of accidents. At Cellino Law we know that accidents during construction projects happen for a couple of reasons. If you have been involved in an accident, then it is important to know the law protects your rights. We can help people with construction cases such as:
It is common for materials and equipment to be used at heights in construction sites. The materials need to be secured because if they are not, they can end up falling on the ground, and can easily cause an injury to a person down there. Falling objects can cause severe head, back, and neck injuries even if the person has safety equipment like a hard hat.
Issues With Site Maintenance
If the worksite doesn’t get the upkeep it needs, then there is a higher risk of an accident happening. The workers need to be given safety equipment and the necessary training. If this is not done, the risk of injury at the site increases.
Scaffolding has to be installed correctly to ensure its safety. It is also important for it to get enough upkeep. If this is not done, it can easily lead to an accident. Accidents that involve scaffolds can result in very serious injuries or even deaths.
Accidents That Involve Vehicles
Most job sites will have vehicles such as trucks, bulldozers, and excavators. There are risks involved when working around or operating these vehicles. If a person is operating them with no proper training, or if they are reckless when operating the vehicles, severe accidents can happen.
It is important to have cranes installed, maintained, and operated properly. If it is not installed properly or is used improperly, it can result in the crane falling or collapsing, and this can result in a very serious accident or even death.
Falling off the leader on job sites is common throughout Rochester, New York. While most of them are not serious accidents, there are some that end up causing serious injury or even death. The worker surviving the fall might have to live with a disability preventing them from working in construction in the short term or long term.
Roofing or Ceiling Collapses
Falls from roofs are not the only risk that workers face in a construction site. The ceiling or roofing of a building can collapse, and cause the worker to fall. The falls can result in severe injuries or even death. Injury can also happen from the debris falling when the roofing or ceiling collapses.
Electrical accidents are common in construction sites. Some sites do not have finished electrical systems or are ungrounded sites. When a worker comes in contact with the power lines, incorrectly uses equipment, or walks in an area that doesn’t have proper ground-fault protection, there is the risk of electrocution. Electrocution cases are fatal, but there is a possibility of getting injured and getting burned, internal injuries, suffering cardiac arrest, or other types of serious injuries.
Being Trapped Between Items
A worker can be caught between two objects in a construction site. This is common in trench collapses, excavation accidents, and a worker getting trapped between heavy machinery. When such an accident happens, a worker can be crushed or have an amputation. There is also the risk of oxygen deprivation. Such accidents can happen when the job site has not been inspected properly, or the safety requirements are not being followed, or the job site not being safe for workers.
The above are some of the most common types of accidents involving job sites that we have dealt with. Many other factors can contribute to an accident. You should make an effort of contacting us if you have been involved in an accident in a worksite, even if the type of accident has not been listed above. You can talk to us because we offer a free consultation. We will help you understand your rights and advise you on the best course of action.
Construction Labor Laws in New York
It can be dangerous working in the construction industry, and these risks are higher if you work in New York. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics released data that showed 5% of the New York workforce was in the construction industry. 27% of fatal workplace injuries came from construction workers, which means they are at a higher risk of injury compared to other industries.
Many laws are there to protect workers in the construction industry and reducing the risk of getting injured when working. Many of the accidents can be avoided by following the laws that have been put in place. If there was a violation of a law when the accident occurred, then the employee injured can file a lawsuit. A lawsuit is going to cover more than what a worker gets from the worker’s compensation benefits. There is a lot you can request damages from when you file a lawsuit. Some of them include retirement benefits, lost income, pain and suffering, and medical expenses.
There are three different sections of the labor laws in New York specifying that a worker has the right to seeking damages when they get injured at work. These sections are 200, 240, and 241. Breaking these laws result in accidents that lead to severe injuries. The parties that violated the laws are going to be held liable.
New York Labor Law 200
This law dictates that every employer needs to provide a safe working environment for their construction workers. It has specified the precautions that have to be taken to make sure the people working on the site are safe. When operating equipment or installing, there are precautions that have to be taken to make sure everyone is reasonably protected.
New York Labor Law 240
This states that a third-party can be held liable for an accident occurring in a construction site. The worker’s compensation might not cover the losses after the accident, and this is why this law is very important. It is common for third parties to be held liable in scaffolding accidents.
N.Y. Labor Law 240 focuses on the party liable for accidents that involve scaffolds. If there is an accident when there is work being done on a multi-family home, commercial building, or an apartment building, the contractor, property owner, and even the tenant can be held liable for the losses and injuries sustained by a worker. Liability in such cases is absolute because of this law. When a worker makes a claim in such cases, the only thing that will be in dispute is the amount of damages they are seeking.
If the accident results in severe injury or death, the cost of liability becomes even higher. This is the reason why a third-party will be arguing that the accident should not be covered by the statute. The type of building that the accident happened needs to be put into consideration. It is also important to have a look at the structure being worked on by the injured party. This can be a building, a garage, a bridge, a tunnel, a water tower, or any other type of structure. For it to qualify, the worker has to be doing one of the following:
- Pointing a building
- Erection of a structure or devices like scaffolds, ladders, braces, slings, irons, pulleys, stays, or ropes
- Basic maintenance such as interior cleaning, inspections, light bulb changes, and salvage work is not covered.
If you have been involved in an accident in a construction site and may be covered under the Scaffold Law, then it is important to talk to an attorney as soon as you can. Talking to a Rochester, NY personal injury lawyer is important because they will make sure your rights are protected. We can help in recovering the compensation you deserve from third-parties. We will try our best to get you the right compensation.
New York Labor Law 241
The law states that owners and contractors have to make sure that their workers are properly protected against hazards that can cause injury. This is where the safety requirements at the job sites are specified. An example is that a contract has to place a barrier around a construction elevator. Workers have to be given protective equipment. There must be precautions taken by the owner and contractors to reduce the risk of things such as slips and falls. The law has been designed to make sure workers are protected when at their job sites.
The main goal of the requirements outlined by the law is making it safer for workers to work on the job site. If the contractor violates a requirement, then it can result in serious injury. The violators are going to be held liable for the injuries that came up as a result of neglecting those requirements.
Statistics on New York Construction Accidents
New York has seen a decrease in the number of accidents and deaths at construction sites. Unfortunately, there are accidents still happening frequently. There was a study done in 2017 showing that 5% of the Rochester workforce was in construction. When it came to on-the-job fatalities in New York, 27% were in construction sites. Data from The Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in 2015, 3.4% of full-time workers in construction were injured when working. In New York City, there were 46 construction accidents in 2018 which 12 ended up being fatal. A worker in construction in New York has to face high risks.
Who Is Liable After I Get Injuries From a Buffalo Construction Accident?
When walking through New York, you will notice there are construction projects everywhere you go. There are a lot of workers working in the construction sector. This is why there are laws that ensure the workers are safe when working on construction sites. The laws also specify the parties held liable if accidents happen.
Construction Site Owners and General Contractors
If an owner of a property decides that they want to make changes to a structure or build a new structure, they must make sure that the workers working on their site have been protected. The law requires owners and general contractors to provide reasonable protection to workers they have employed, and this is in New York Labor Law Section 200.
It is a legal requirement to have the construction site safe. If there are issues that can cause injury, then they have to be dealt with fast. The workers need to have the equipment needed to make their work safe.
It is also a must for construction workers to get proper training. Contractors and property owners have to make sure the site is safe for their workers.
N.Y. Labor Law Section 240 commonly known as “The Scaffolding Law” states that scaffolding and other equipment used in the site have to be properly installed and secured well. A property owner or general contractor can he help liable if the worker is injured because of;
- Iron or other types of devices
The law applies when the worker is erecting, repairing, demolishing, cleaning, or painting a building or structure. There is no need for proving negligence in such cases because the contractor and property owners are considered strictly liable.
If you visit a construction site, you will see small moving parts. When the contractor wins a bid for a project, they can outsource some of the work to subcontractors. Just like contractors, subcontractors have the responsibility of providing their workers with a safe working environment. If you get injured and the subcontractor is responsible, then you can get compensation for the injuries.
Architects and Engineers
The site engineers or architects can be held liable for the injuries a worker sustains from an accident in a construction site in New York. Professionals design buildings and structures. There are standards they have to follow when doing their work. In Rochester, there is a requirement that the construction site has to be inspected regularly. Was the injury a result of a structural issue that caused the collapse of the building? Was there a flaw in the design of the building? If this is the case, the architect or engineer is going to be held liable for the injuries.
There are different machinery and equipment on a site. Defective equipment can cause injuries, even if the worker operating them is trained. If defective equipment has caused your injury, the manufacturer or the vendor who sold it can be held liable.
Common Rochester Construction Injuries
We are ready to help you, no matter the type of injury you have sustained or how severe the injuries are. We are going to start by determining your rights and work to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Construction workers involved in accidents can get injuries such as:
- Broken bones
- Bone fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Injuries to the back or neck
- Soft tissue injuries
- Crush injuries
- Shoulder and knee injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Abrasions and lacerations
- Hearing loss
- Eyes injuries, including the ones that cause loss of vision
The Costs of Construction Injuries
There are many costs associated with construction injuries. It is not hard to see why injuries are costly. There are some factors that many people don’t know about. There are expenses that you have to deal with when you are injured.
if someone is injured, they will be taken to the emergency room. The cots of the ambulance, surgery, trauma care, intensive care, hospitalization, rehabilitation, prescriptions, and ongoing care are some that an injured person has to cover.
Loss of Wages
If someone gets injured severely, it is hard for them to work for some time. This can easily add up to a loss of thousands of dollars in just a week. The longer the injured person isn’t able to go back to work, the more income they lose. Some injuries can permanently stop the person from working again. This might force them to work in another field where the pay is less. The person might also be forced to live off disability benefits. Lost wages add up very fast.
Delays to a Project
While the injury is going to cause the worker to suffer, the construction company might also be affected. If the worker is not able to get back to work, the project will end up delaying the project. This tends to happen when the worker who was injured was a specialist. When there is an accident in a construction site, all the work has to stop so that the injured can get medical help. OSHA may also decide to start an investigation after the accident. This will end up delaying the project, and there are instances when the project is going to be shut down.
The Cost of Insurance
The worker can make a worker’s compensation claim after they sustain an injury. When a worker makes this claim, the insurance premiums for the company is going to increase. This means that the company is going to have higher operating costs. A construction site accident can end up having serious financial consequences for the company.
The Cost of Litigation
If a company doesn’t have proper insurance, or if they are facing a third-party liability lawsuit because of the accident, then they have to deal with a personal injury lawsuit. The company has to hire legal representation. It is common for injured workers to win such lawsuits, and the companies have to pay for expensive judgments.
The costs of such accidents really add up, and this is why the best thing to do is preventing them from occurring. Some companies see meeting the safety requirements as expensive and time-consuming. While the measures that have been put in place by OSH can seem extreme and costly, it will be nothing compared to the costs of when things go wrong because safety requirements were not adhered to. Companies need to do their best when it comes to making sure their workers are safe when working in construction sites. Accidents are expensive for the workers and company, and choosing precautions will prove very effective in saving money.
Right to Worker’s Compensation Benefits
Companies need to carry a reasonable amount when it comes to worker’s compensation coverage, and this is according to the New York law. There are a couple of exceptions to this. Some of the things covered include toxic exposure, physical injuries, occupational illnesses, and other health conditions related to the job. It does not cover mental illness. For people dealing with long-term disability, the coverage benefits them.
Workers should not assume just because they are injured, they are going to get the benefits automatically. Workers need to file the claim as soon as possible to avoid the deadline. Workers need to know the right process to follow after getting injured. The correct procedures need to be followed when reporting injuries and making claims. If a person doesn’t do this, they might miss out on the coverage they were supposed to get.
What benefits can a worker receive after an injury? This varies depending on the injuries. Some potential benefits a worker can get include:
- Reasonable coverage for medical expenses
- Short-term or permanent disability benefits
- Up to two-thirds of weekly pay
While you might be assuming that you will get the above benefits after getting injured in a construction site, the reality is insurance companies are going to fight the workers to minimize the benefits they are owed. This is why is it common to find a worker having a hard time getting benefits that they are entitled to.
Insurance companies are there to make a profit, just like any other business, and this is why they try their best to pay out as little as possible. There are a number of approaches insurance companies will take when challenging the claim so as to avoid paying the claim. Insurance companies can:
- Dispute the seriousness of injuries
- Deny that the injury is related to the job
- Dispute whether or not the worker had to miss that much work
- Argue that the worker is eligible to return to work
- Argue that medical treatment is not necessary
If your claim is denied by the insurance company, or you don’t get the benefits you deserve, then the best option is to dispute the decision. This can mean having an administrative law judge hearing the case. If you are going to do this, then it is a good idea to work with a Rochester workers’ compensation attorney experienced in handling such cases. You will be able to learn more about the worker’s compensation system in New York, look at the law, and ensuring that you get the benefits you deserve.
What to Do After a Construction Accident
After an injury, you need to keep in mind that there is no guarantee of receiving third-party compensation or worker’s compensation benefits. You could be denied benefits if there is an error you made when filing the claim, or you might not receive all the compensation you were supposed to get. If you want to protect your rights, then make sure to follow these steps.
Immediately Seek Medical Treatment
Your health should be the number priority when you are involved in an accident. If you are going to need medical attention, then go get it as soon as possible. You can go to the emergency room or visit your doctor when it is not necessary to call an ambulance. If you get medical treatment right away, you will have an easier time recovering from the injury. When you visit the doctor, there will be a medical report on your injury. The medical professional is going to recommend treatment, which will be needed during the case. This is going to help in strengthening your claim.
Report the Accident
If you want to receive your worker’s compensation benefits, you will need to let your employer know about the injury. Do this as soon as possible. If your injuries as too serious, start by getting treatment first. Report the accident after getting medical help. You need to update your employer from time to time, especially when you get new information from your doctor.
Make Sure Your Employer Filed a Report
Once your employer is aware of the injury and accident, hey will need to write a report. You are entitled to the report. It is important to go through this report and make sure the information is accurate. You need to have a copy of the report because you might need it later.
Talk With Potential Witnesses
It is a good idea to speak with anyone who witnessed the accident. Get a statement from them. These statements will come in handy when making the claim. If any disputes about the injury come up, you will have something to help you.
Documenting Your Statement
There is a good chance you will be asked to describe the accident more than once. It is important to make sure the statements you make are correct and no discrepancies in your statement. Writing your own statement right away will prove to be a good idea. When you are asked about the accident, you will refer to your statement.
Contact a Rochester Construction Accident Lawyer
Working with a construction accident attorney is very important because they bring in a lot of experience. The lawyer will be there to help you by protecting your rights. You don’t have to stress with delays or denials when working with an attorney. The attorney can see whether there are any other parties in your case that can be held liable. They can help in filing a claim if there is a third-party liable.
What You Need to Know After a Fatal Accident
There are over 4,000 fatal workplace accidents occurring every year, and this is according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. The construction industry accounts for 1,000 of the fatal accidents. This means one out of every five accidents happening is from construction.
If a family member has suffered a fatal accident, you can get compensated by the worker’s compensation policy. There are death benefits covered by worker’s compensation, such as the costs of funeral and burial. You can get installment payments for temporary disability benefits.
If there is wrongful death because of the accident, then you might have to seek more compensation. What is considered wrongful death? It is a type of death where death was the result of negligent behavior or wrongful action by another party. If the family of the deceased decide to file wrongful death, then they will have to prove a number of things like;
- The death was the result of negligent or wrongful behavior
- The negligent behavior was from the at-fault party
- There were losses sustained by close members of the victim after the accident
In New York, there are more financial compensations that can be claimed in cases involving wrongful death that are not covered by worker’s compensation. This is going to include compensation for loss of financial support, pain and suffering, and compensation for the reduced quality of life.
If a loved one died as a result of an accident in a construction site, then the best thing to do is talk to a construction accident lawyer in New York before accepting an offer for settlement. You will be able to work with an experienced team of Rochester, NY wrongful death attorneys from Cellino Law, and here you will know someone will help you get the settlement you deserve.