Although construction can be a highly rewarding and well-compensated line of work, it is also inherently dangerous. Employers must take extreme care to set up job sites correctly and ensure that workers have access to the proper safety gear and tools. Employers are sometimes negligent in this duty, which can cause serious injuries and even death among construction workers.
Unfortunately, construction site accidents are far too common in New York. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 21 construction workers from New York City lost their lives in 2016. Thousands more suffered significant and sometimes life-altering injuries. If you are a construction worker injured on the job, it is in your best interest to speak with a construction site accident lawyer as soon as possible.
The most common type of compensation that people receive for construction injuries is workers’ compensation. In most circumstances, New York law does not allow injured workers to sue their employers because claims go through the state’s workers’ compensation system. It is a no-fault program, which means that you only need to prove that you sustained an injury, you do not have to prove that your employer was at fault for causing it.
If you are approved to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you are entitled to receive a percentage of your weekly wages and payment of all medical expenses related to the incident. If a third party caused your injuries, such as a driver who struck your car while you were making a work-related delivery, you may bring a personal injury lawsuit against that party while filing for workers’ compensation benefits at the same time. You may also wish to seek the assistance of a workers’ compensation lawyer if the insurance company for your employer denied your original claim or you have other problems collecting your rightful benefits.
Should you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party, the burden of proof lies with you to prove how the negligent actions of that person or organization directly caused your injuries. A New York City construction site accident lawyer can help you gather evidence and file a lawsuit against the negligent third party.
A claim for product liability is the third category that you might wish to consider when you sustain a serious injury on a construction site. These claims typically involve manufacturing companies that created faulty equipment, such as a ladder or a piece of heavy equipment that malfunctioned and caused an injury. Product liability claims can be challenging to pursue because it can be difficult to determine which parties bear responsibility for your injuries. In addition to product manufacturers, it could be the wholesaler, retailer, or another organization in the chain of product development and distribution.
If a construction site accident claimed the life of your spouse or another close family member, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against his or her employer or a third party, or you could file a product liability lawsuit. However, you must first go to court to become a personal representative of the estate of your loved one.
Although the Occupational Health and Safety Administration has strict rules in place about workplace safety and training, construction site accidents still occur at an alarming rate. This is despite the fact that OSHA conducts frequent inspections and levies large fines against construction company owners who disregard these standards. Some of the most common reasons for accidents on a construction site include:
New York law typically prohibits employees from suing their employers for construction site injuries. The one exception to this is when the employer’s negligence was especially egregious and likely to result in an injury. In terms of liability for NYC construction accidents, the blame often falls to owners of construction sites, however, liability also depends on how much personal control the owners had over the circumstances that led to the injury. Other parties who may have partial or full liability include:
Engineers And Architects: People in this role sometimes have the obligation to make sure that construction workers remain compliant with plans as well as code regulations applying to their job site. The liability of an engineer or architect depends on the precise wording in the contract with the construction site owner.
General Contractors And Subcontractors: OSHA requires both contractor types to provide safety equipment, ensure the construction site is reasonably safe, ensure that everyone follows safety regulations, and warn of any known dangers. If they fail in even one of these duties, they may be liable for the subsequent construction injury.
Manufacturers: A manufacturer at any stage of the chain of distribution may be liable for designing, creating or selling a defective product.
Prime Contractors: A prime contractor only bears responsibility for the duties outlined in his or her contractor for those assigned to a subcontractor. He or she may bear responsibility if an accident occurs due to not meeting these obligations.
A serious construction site injury can have a significant impact on your life and future wellbeing. After seeking the proper medical attention, it is critical to contact a skilled New York City construction site accident lawyer to understand your legal rights and options for recovering compensation.
The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm offers free legal consultations to all injured construction workers throughout New York. As a third-generation law firm with decades of experience, we helped hundreds of injured workers recover the financial resources they need after a serious on-the-job accident.
Please call 212-869-3500 to request a free lawyer consultation today.