Construction Accident Lawyers

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The Statistics Around Construction Zone Accidents and Fatalities

On-the-job injuries and work zone accidents happen much more often than they should, and both employers and workers can take steps to improve safety records at construction sites. In order to make construction sites safer, it is important to learn more about construction zone accidents and how they happen. The following are some relevant statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

  • Nearly 4,700 worker fatalities occur each year;
  • More than 20% of all worker deaths in the private industry occur in construction;
  • Construction industry’s “fatal four” are responsible for almost 60% of all construction worker deaths;
  • The “fatal four” include falls, struck-by injuries, electrocutions, and caught-in or between injuries;
  • Falls account for the highest number of construction zone accident fatalities at nearly 40%; and
  • Struck-by injuries account for the second-highest number of construction worker deaths (more than 8%).

If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a construction zone accident, you should learn more about filing a claim by speaking with a construction accident attorney.

Typical Construction Accident Injury Benefits

If you have suffered a construction site injury, you may be able to file one or more of the following legal claims:

  • Workers’ Compensation Claims - In most states, the Workers Compensation Act does not allow an employee who is injured on the job to sue his employer for work-related injuries. This is because employees receive workers’ compensation insurance provided by the employer’s insurance company. These benefits are available to an employee even if they are injured due to his or her own carelessness; all the worker must do is prove that the injury occurred. 

Injured employees may receive workers’ compensation benefits, which include weekly payments and money for medical expenses. Weekly payments are based on a percentage of the worker’s weekly earnings and on the severity of the disability. A  temporary total disability or a permanent partial disability status can impact the total amount of compensation received. 

Unfortunately, workers’ comp will limit your recovery money for medical bills, lost income, and disability. These benefits are often insufficient to cover the physical and emotional pain and suffering associated with an on-the-job construction injury. 

In addition, reimbursements for medical bills only cover treatments deemed necessary and related to the specific work injury. Therefore, injured employees may look into additional legal options to receive the benefits and compensation they deserve.

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  • Third-Party Liability -  A third party, such as a property owner or product manufacturer, could be liable for negligence when an injury occurs at a construction project site. 

New York City has enacted laws specifically designed to impose liability on parties who control safety on construction sites. Because you lose the right to sue your employer for compensation if you are hurt in an accident, workers’ comp steps in to provide benefits. Third parties who are not your employer remain liable for damages in a personal injury case. 

Wrongful Death Claims - If a third party, by either action or a failure to act (neglect), causes the death of an employee, the victim’s family or estate may bring a civil action to collect damages on the victim’s behalf.


Third-Party Liability in Construction Site Accidents

In many circumstances, it may be possible to sue a third party for job-site construction injuries. Property owners, architects, contractors, and equipment manufacturers can all be held liable for accidents if they did not provide required safety measures on a construction project. 

General contractors and subcontractors are responsible for providing appropriate safety provisions that ensure a construction site is reasonably safe. If they fail to do so, a construction worker may be able to bring a claim for negligence for his or her injuries.

Site contractors and subcontractors  are obligated to:

  • warn of possible hazards on the site
  • hire employees who will use caution while working
  • coordinate job safety
  • check that all safety specifications are followed

Manufacturers of construction equipment are responsible for designing and maintaining safe products. If proper safety measures are not employed in the production of this equipment, the possibility of injury or death greatly increases. Construction equipment manufacturers can be found liable when an accident occurs due to a defect in one of their products. 

Proving the cause of your accident can impact the types of compensation available in a potential construction accident lawsuit. Talk with an experienced construction injury lawyer today to see if third-party liability applies in your case. To make things easier for injured clients and their families, we offer free initial consultations and dedicate ourselves to making sure that every call is answered or returned. Our firm is not a “mill” that takes on a volume of cases to settle whatever we can at minimal effort and expense. If we take on a case, it is because we believe in it, and we invest the necessary effort and expense to seek justice for every injured client.

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    Types of Construction Accidents and Construction Work Hazards

    Construction is a hazardous industry. As such, the four top causes of construction fatalities are now commonly known as the “Fatal Four”: Falls, Struck-by, Electrocution and Caught-In/Between. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Fatal Four were responsible for more than half of construction worker deaths in 2018. As of October 31, 2020 worker falls account for the majority of construction related injuries in New York City

    Some of the most common causes of construction accidents include:

    • Lack of proper protective equipment 
    • Failure to properly secure or install scaffolding
    • Improperly maintained equipment, machinery, and tools
    • Defects in equipment and machinery on construction sites
    • Lack of proper supervision
    • Failure to communicate possible hazards on site
    • Lack of appropriate training for handling heavy machinery and complex equipment

    The root cause of many construction accidents is simply negligence. Consequently, negligent parties can be held liable for construction accidents involving: 

    Holding these parties accountable requires a showing of negligence. The experience of your lawyer is paramount to building a strong case. With over 52 years of experience handling personal injury lawsuits, the construction accident lawyers at The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP continue to obtain maximum compensation for construction accident victims and their families. 

    Compensation for Construction Accident Injuries

    As in most other personal injury and negligence cases, the compensation you are entitled to recover in a construction site accident will include economic and non-economic damages. In a small number of cases where a liable party is grossly negligent or exhibits willful misconduct, you might also have a claim for punitive damages. However, these damages are rarely a component of an injured party’s compensation in a construction accident lawsuit.

    Compensation for Economic Damages in Construction Site Accident Cases

    The compensation you can recover for your economic damages includes reimbursement for the hard costs you incurred on account of your injuries, including:

    • Your hospital and medical bills and expenses associated with the treatment you require to recuperate from your injuries.
    • Transportation and commuting expenses to get you to and from medical and therapy appointments.
    • Replacement of lost wages that you were not able to earn because of injuries that kept you from performing your regular job tasks.
    • Money you spent to modify your house to accommodate mobility limitations caused by your injuries.
    • Invoices from physical and occupational therapy services.

    Make sure that you keep all of the bills, invoices, and receipts for money you spent on these expenses. They will be used as evidence of your economic damages to support your reimbursement demands.

    Compensation for Non-Economic Damages in Construction Site Accident Cases

    Your demand for non-economic damages will reimburse you for the costs and expenses that do not have hard dollar amounts and are not represented by invoices or receipts for payments.

    This component of your construction accident injury compensation includes:

    • Reimbursement for the pain and suffering you experienced during your injuries and any required medical treatments.
    • Payments for permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disabilities.
    • Recognition of the value of the loss of enjoyment of your regular daily activities.
    • Impairment of your relationships with your spouse, family, and friends due to your injuries.
    • The lingering psychological effects of trauma resulting from your construction accident.

    Your construction accident lawyer will use your direct testimony and statements from your spouse, family, treating physicians, and other parties to paint a vivid picture of how your injuries caused the pain and suffering that entitles you to recover a significant award for your non-economic damages.

    Punitive Damages Are Rarely Awarded in Construction Site Accident Cases

    Unlike economic and non-economic damages, which reimburse an injured party’s losses, punitive damages punish a liable party for egregious conduct or behavior. Construction site accidents are often caused by careless behavior, but that behavior rarely rises to the level of willfulness that merits a punitive damages award.

    Nonetheless, an experienced and knowledgeable construction accident attorney can often recover a substantial award to fully compensate a party for their combined economic and non-economic damages.

    Protect your OSHA Rights

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) protects your Federal right to a safe work site. Your employer is required to follow safety precautions and keep your workplace free of known health and safety hazards. Employers must provide safety equipment, such as gloves or a harness and lifeline for falls. If they do not fulfill these basic obligations, you have the right to speak up without fear of retaliation. 

    Laws Protecting Construction Workers in New York State

    In addition, New York has various protections in place for construction workers. New York Labor Laws and Industrial Code Rules help protect workers and minimize accidents. New York State requires that property owners, developers, and general contractors adhere to the Industrial Code, a codification of safety rules designed to keep construction workers safe and healthy.

    If you or a loved one are injured in a construction accident, these rules can demonstrate that you have a valid claim. You may find general information on the New York industrial codes and labor laws that protect construction workers below.

    New York Labor Law Section 200

    This section of the New York Labor Law establishes that a safe work environment must be provided for employees. It states that all applicable work sites must “be so constructed, equipped, arranged, operated, and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health and safety of all persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places.” It also applies to those who are not construction workers but frequent the construction site. If you have been injured on a construction site as a passerby, it is possible for you to bring a negligence case.

    New York Labor Law Section 240 (the Scaffold Law)

    Commonly known as the Scaffold Law, Labor Law Section 240 is meant to protect workers who work in construction at heights. These workers require a safe place to do their job. Contractors or owners are required by law to provide adequate protection for workers who are exposed to a falling object. The law generally holds specific parties responsible for failing to protect these construction workers from falling objects at a construction site. 

    New York Labor Law Section 241

    This section requires contractors and others in charge of a worksite to ensure workers are protected from all potential hazards. It establishes that all areas in which construction, excavation, or demolition is being done must be equipped and guarded to provide “reasonable and adequate protection and safety” to the employees or others in the area. 

    Part 23 of the Division of Safety and Health Industrial Code Rules

    Part 23 of the code covers Protection in Construction, Demolition, and Excavation Operations. The code covers requirements for all aspects of construction work. The codes outline standards for running a safe construction site in NYC. If they are not adhered to, accidents may occur, and the responsible party may be held accountable under the law. 

    Both New York labor laws and OSHA’s safety guidelines are meant to ensure workplace safety for construction workers. Site contractors and subcontractors are required to follow these guidelines. If they do not, preventable accidents may occur, causing needless tragedies.

    As always, a personal injury lawyer at The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP can assist you in filing an OSHA claim to protect your legal rights. 

    Do You have a Construction Accident Case? Call a Construction Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation

    Serious injury cases are not just business for us – they’re personal. When we take on a new client, we adopt them as part of our family, and we fight for them in every way possible.

    The construction accident lawyers at The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP can help you or a loved one who has suffered an injury due to a construction accident. Contact us at 1-800-624-8888 or submit an free online case evaluation.

    The initial consultation is FREE of charge. We work on a contingency fee basis. Meaning, if we agree to handle your construction injury case, there are no legal fees unless we are successful in getting you money.

    Some personal injury lawsuits must be filed before an impending expiration date, known as the Statute of Limitations. Therefore, call or contact us right away to ensure that you do not waive your rights to money damages or other benefits.

    It is impossible to make generalizations about the value of any construction accident case without knowing the details of the injuries and how the accident took place. The law allows recovery for a wide range of situations, many of which may not be readily apparent to the injured party. This includes past medical bills, future medical and rehabilitation costs, therapy, lost past wages, lost future income, pain and suffering, and more. An experienced personal injury attorney will fight to obtain money for you to compensate you for all of your damages, past, and future. 

    The Rothenberg Law Firm services clients in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania with co-counsel throughout the United States.

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