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New York Construction Accident Lawyer
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous and deadly industries in the United States. Tragically, thousands of construction workers suffer life-altering injuries, and even wrongful death, every single day. Those who survive a serious injury may never fully recover enough to get back to work. Many survivors also have to pay off overwhelming medical expenses associated with their injuries because workers compensation benefits only cover so much. The common theme in many situations like this is immense physical, emotional, and financial stress. That’s why every injured construction worker should hire a New York construction accident lawyer from Bailey, Johnson & Peck. We understand the legal and financial complexities surrounding construction accidents. We can make sure you recover the financial compensation that you deserve. Call 518-456-0082 today for a free consultation.
How Many Americans Die From Construction Accidents?
According to a 2021 news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 4,764 Americans died on the job in 2020. This statistic represents a 10.7% job death decrease since 2019. Americans who work in incredibly dangerous jobs – such as the construction industry and the transportation of large materials – accounted for almost 50% of all 2020 work deaths. Tragically, thousands more construction workers suffer catastrophic injuries on an annual basis.
New York City is one of the biggest cities in the U.S. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), New York City is also ranked fourth in the country for most injuries at deaths on the job. NYC construction accidents make up the majority of these injuries and deaths.
Types of Construction Accidents
It goes without saying that every construction site has a laundry list of life-threatening hazards. There’s heavy machinery, sharp objects, and tall structures everywhere which can be a perfect recipe for disaster. This means that a construction worker could suffer severe injuries or even death from almost any mishap. Listed below are some of the most common types of construction site accidents that our legal team handles regularly.
- Slipping and falling from heights
- Electrical accidents
- Falling objects
- Scaffolding accidents
- Heavy machinery mishaps
- Faulty safety equipment
- Collapsing structures
- Welding accidents
- Lack of safety training on construction sites
- Explosions and fires
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Malfunctions involving cranes, hoists, harnesses, etc.
- Excavation accidents
- Ladder accidents
A 2020 report from the Center for Construction Research and Training claims that the majority (33%) of construction site injuries in 2019 were caused by contacting dangerous equipment and objects. Meanwhile, 31% of construction injuries in 2019 occurred due to slipping and falling.
What Are Common Types of Construction Accident Injuries?
Construction workers are at risk for nearly any type of catastrophic injury due to the nature of their job sites. For example, injured construction workers could suffer:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and skull fractures
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries (SCI)
- Complete or partial paralysis
- Chemical exposure injuries and illnesses
- Broken bones
- Muscle sprains and strains from overexertion and repetitive motions
- Crush injuries
- Skin burns, lacerations, and scarring
- Facial disfigurement and scarring
- Electrocution injuries
- Hearing and vision loss
- Wrongful death
What is the New York Scaffold Law?
Because the construction industry is so dangerous, it’s important to protect construction workers through laws and safety regulations. Fortunately, the state of New York does that. The Scaffold Safety Law (New York State Labor Law § 240/241) holds construction site property owners and employers fully liable for construction accident cases where a worker falls from tall structures without adequate safety equipment. New York is the only state in the U.S. that has a law to protect workers from a construction site accident like this.
The Scaffold Safety Law also provides specific instructions for scaffold use on a construction site.
- Scaffolds taller than 20 feet are required to have safety rails that are at least 34 inches tall.
- This 34-inch-tall railing must cover all sides of the scaffold and the openings should only be large enough to receive the necessary materials.
- Scaffolds must be able to hold 4 times the maximum required weight.
- In order to prevent swaying away from buildings, scaffolds must be properly secured.
Strict liability applies to this New York law. In other words, an injured construction worker doesn’t have to prove that their scaffold accident occurred due to someone else’s negligence. An experienced construction accident attorney at Bailey, Johnson & Peck only needs to prove that the Scaffold Law was violated in order to recover fair compensation on your behalf.
Who Can Be Sued for a Construction Accident Injury?
Construction site accident litigation can be complex because there are so many different parties who could be held liable. Maybe you’re a construction worker who was recently injured and you truly don’t know who to blame for your accident. That’s why it’s so important to have a top-notch construction accident attorney from Bailey, Johnson & Peck on your side. We will thoroughly investigate your claim and help you figure out who to sue to recover compensation. For example, one or more of the following parties could be at fault.
- Construction site owners
- Maintenance crews
- The general contractor
- Defective equipment manufacturers
- Other negligent construction workers
New York Workers Compensation for Construction Accident Injuries
Construction accident cases are also complex because of the overlap with workers compensation benefits. How does workers compensation come into play with construction accidents? Is filing a workers compensation claim enough to recover damages for construction injuries? Our construction accident attorneys explain below.
Yes, all employers in New York must provide workers comp insurance for their employees. Additionally, employers must notify all employees that they carry this insurance.
If your employer has workers comp insurance, you generally can’t sue them for your construction injuries. But if New York construction workers become injured and discover that their employers don’t provide workers comp benefits, then they could sue.
New York workers comp benefits are limited. For example, most injured workers only receive compensation for medical bills and lost wages. It’s important to note, though, that the types of benefits available generally depend on how disabled the construction worker is from their accident.
Total Temporary Disability
If you’re completely disabled but only temporarily, you will only receive two-thirds of your average weekly wages. The cap for these wages depends on when your accident happened. You can check the corresponding dates and wage caps on New York’s Workers Compensation Board.
Partial Temporary Disability
If you can still work during your recovery but you can’t fulfill all the job duties that you could do before your accident, you can receive partial temporary disability benefits through workers comp. Most of the time, an injured worker can receive two-thirds the difference between their average weekly income and their current earning capacity.
Permanent Total Disability
If your doctor says that you’re permanently, completely disabled, you’ll receive two-thirds of your average weekly income for the rest of your “working life” through workers compensation benefits.
Permanent Partial Disability
If you’re permanently, partially disabled, you’ll receive one of three types of workers compensation benefits depending on which of your body parts are still functioning. These awards under New York labor laws are: Scheduled Loss-of-Use awards, Nonscheduled Awards, and Disfigurement Awards. An experienced construction accident lawyer can ensure that you receive a just payment depending on your type of permanent partial disability.
While you generally can’t sue your boss for your construction-related injuries, you certainly can sue a third party especially if they are responsible for your injuries. For example, let’s say an auto accident occurred at your job site and caused your injuries. In a construction accident case like this, you could just file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver instead.
It’s important to have an experienced legal team on your side even if you’re getting taken care of through a workers comp insurance company. Sometimes, a construction worker may not receive enough money through workers comp benefits. Other times, an employer will put up a fight about filing for workers compensation and make it as difficult as possible for an injured victim to receive the money that they need. The Workers Compensation Board may even try to give you a settlement that’s way too low in response to your injury claim. In situations like this, it’s helpful to have our Albany law firm on your side. A New York construction accident attorney will make sure your rights aren’t violated and that you receive the justice you deserve following your accident.
Damages for a Construction Accident Lawsuit
Sometimes, workers comp isn’t enough or isn’t available for a construction worker injured on their job site. In situations like this, a lawsuit may be necessary. A New York construction accident lawyer can help victims recover a variety of damages in construction accident lawsuits, including:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future physical therapy bills
- Caregiving expenses, especially if the construction worker is permanently disabled in some way
- Expenses associated with necessary medical equipment such as wheelchairs, prosthetics, walkers, etc.
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of daily life
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial expenses, but only for fatal construction accidents
Call a New York Construction Accident Lawyer at Bailey, Johnson & PeckAlbany construction accident lawyers at our law firm have extensive knowledge of New York labor law. We will carefully investigate your claim and help you determine the best course of legal action. Our team knows how important it is to provide reasonable and adequate protection to all those involved in construction work. We want to ensure that all our hardworking construction workers receive fair financial compensation for their injuries. Call a New York construction accident lawyer at 518-456-0082 for a free consultation.
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Our attorneys have extensive experience in personal injury law, including car accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. If you have questions about insurance coverage and how to get the financial compensation you need, contact us today to see how we can help.
We have represented many clients on both sides of personal injury and insurance disputes. Let us use our depth of knowledge and experience to help you and your family get the medical care and financial compensation you need and deserve.