In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listed the construction industry as the third-largest business sector in the United States. Both residential and commercial property owners hire construction workers to complete tasks such as installing electricity, installing heating and cooling systems, and erecting new developments. The BLS has also projected annual construction industry growth of 11 percent through at least 2026.
While this is good news for construction workers, construction is also one of the most dangerous occupations in America according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In 2019, nearly 20 percent of all on-the-job fatalities occurred in the construction industry. Our New York City law firm Raphaelson & Levine is available to assist you or a loved one dealing with the aftermath of a construction injury. Raphaelson & Levine has a reputation for aggressive representation of personal injury victims and would like to offer you a free case evaluation. Please contact us at 212-268-3222 to request an appointment with an experienced construction accident attorney from our law office.
Construction workers can sustain serious injury in a variety of ways. However, some types of construction site injuries are so common and severe that OSHA refers to them as the Fatal Four. Here are the Fatal Four in order of severity:
Nearly 40 percent of injured construction workers suffer some type of fall. Typical examples include falling into an uncovered hole or falling off a ladder, scaffolding, roof, or bridge.
Approximately eight percent of construction worker injuries occur when an object strikes them. Falling, misplaced, shifting, and swinging objects are common causes of this type of personal injury as are heavy equipment malfunctions such as a forklift accident.
Electrocution injuries happen only about half a percent less than personal injury caused by an object striking a construction worker. A construction worker can receive a serious injury from contact with overhead power lines, exposed wiring, or outlets containing moisture. Construction workers can also be the victim of inadequate maintenance and repair of electrical lines.
This type of accident, which happens when a construction worker becomes trapped between collapsing structures or construction equipment, accounts for around five percent of fatalities in the construction industry.
Employers must ensure that general contractors wear personal protective equipment on the job and provide ongoing safety training. They must also provide a safe working environment to avoid construction site accidents. Employers, property owners, and other parties responsible for worker safety can face liability in the event of serious injury or wrongful death.
New York State recognizes the inherent danger of the construction industry and has enacted legislation to prevent injuries and fatalities. This is the reason the state-authorized passage of New York Labor Law 200, 240, and 241. We highlight each of these below.
Under the mandates of this law, contractors and property owners must take extra precautions to ensure the safety of construction workers and visitors to a construction site. All equipment, machinery, and other devices must be safe for everyday use. To promote safety, an employer or property owner should provide adequate lighting and place equipment and machinery in a guarded location. Construction industry employees must receive training prior to using heavy equipment and machinery and should receive frequent training updates to avoid a serious construction site injury.
The Scaffold Law, legally referred to as New York Labor Law 240, is specific to the prevention of construction site injuries caused by a fall or an object striking a worker. Business owners, general contractors, and property owners must provide construction workers with equipment and training to prevent these types of serious injuries. In addition to scaffolding, equipment could include blocks, braces, hangers, hoists, ladders, pulleys, ropes, slings, and/or stays. All scaffolding must have the ability to withstand four times the maximum weight recommendation.
This law pertains specifically to demolition and excavation work. Employers, general contractors, and property owners must implement reasonable safety precautions to avoid construction site accidents related to demolition and excavation such as installing new flooring and elevators. For example, construction workers putting in or repairing an elevator must use a hoisting apparatus that can support more than their body weight. When construction workers are off duty, the team responsible for managing the project must store equipment to eliminate the risk of injury. They also have the obligation to prevent injury to construction site visitors.
Unfortunately, some employers and property owners still try to get around the law to increase profit at the expense of construction worker safety. Your employer may state that you don't have the right to file a workers' compensation claim or that none of the labor laws in New York apply to you.
As you can see from this list, construction site accidents caused by the employer, general contractor, or property owner’s negligence can be quite severe. These are the types of serious injury that construction workers suffer the most:
Seeking immediate medical attention should always be the priority after a work injury. You can always work with one of our personal injury lawyers online or by phone directly from the hospital if necessary. Your construction accident lawyer is happy to meet wherever and however it's the most convenient for you.
The best thing you can do if you sustain injuries in a construction accident or suffer the wrongful death of a family member is to meet with a Raphaelson & Levin construction accident attorney to receive factual information about your rights. We will identify the responsible parties and present them with a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. Although injured New York workers typically don't have the right to sue their employers due to the Workers' Compensation system, exceptions exist in the construction industry when workers sustain serious injury or death due to the negligent actions of others.
A successful personal injury lawsuit could provide you with several categories of compensation. From our experience with construction accident cases, these are the most common types of compensation for workers who suffered broken bones, a brain injury, or another serious injury:
Receiving the maximum amount of compensation in a personal injury case requires the help of an experienced Brooklyn construction accident lawyer from our law office. You can expect outright denial of negligence that caused your serious injury by the attorney and insurance company representing the other party. The defendant may even claim that you caused your own construction site accident or that your injury existed prior to the date you claim it occurred.
Your construction accident attorney will aggressively challenge these claims with proof secured before attempting to negotiate with the other party's insurance company. You can also depend on experienced, aggressive, and reliable court representation if negotiations with the insurance company break down.
If you or a close family member have suffered a forklift accident, crane accident, or other types of New York construction accidents, we invite you to schedule a no-obligation legal consultation. You may reserve your time with a personal injury attorney by calling Raphaelson & Levine directly at 212-268-3222 or complete an online appointment request form. Located in NYC, Raphaelson & Levine serves injured workers in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, and all surrounding communities. We look forward to hearing more about your personal injury claim.
If you need Workers' Compensation representation we’re here to develop a strong legal strategy to pursue maximum compensation.