Understanding Your Rights After NYC Construction Site Accidents: Bronx NY Construction Accident Lawyer Explains
Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. It is also one of the most important occupations because construction workers are the backbone and key to building new infrastructure like condominiums, office buildings, retail stores, high rises and more, especially in New York City. According to statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), approximately 20% of all workplace fatalities in The United States involve construction workers.
The majority of construction worker fatalities are caused by the “fatal four:”
- Falls from heights and elevations;
- Being struck by falling objects or flying debris;
- Electrocutions or dangerous/faulty equipment, and
- Being caught-in/between heavy materials or crush accidents.
These types of accidents can be avoided or mitigated with proper workplace safety equipment, protocols, training and adequate supervision by experienced professionals. The safety of constructions workers who work in these trades must be the number one priority. Negligent conduct by property owners, general contractors or construction contractors is all too common, but New York Labor Law in the workplace (New York City, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island) has prioritized construction workplace safety. The Stern Law Firm has recovered millions of dollars in construction related accidents and have helped injured construction workers in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and the Metropolitan area. We know that far too many innocent workers are seriously injured or wrongfully killed in NYC construction site accidents.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured, or if a loved one was wrongfully killed, in any type of construction accident, call our dedicated and experienced personal injury lawyers at the Stern Law Firm. We have a proven track record of success handling some of the most catastrophic types of construction accidents and personal injury cases, including those where workers were forced to work in unsafe and hazardous conditions—forced to choose between their safety or earning money to provide for their family—or not provided with adequate or proper safety equipment. That is generally statutory or regulatory violation and to force workers to perform work exposed to unreasonable risks and dangers is not fair. Call our Bronx NY construction accident lawyers to schedule a FREE consultation to learn your rights and how we may help you and your family recover.
How New York Law Protects Workers and Their Families
Since construction is so dangerous, the New York Legislature has enacted stringent protections for workers injured during the course of construction under the New York Labor Law. This body of law ensures that owners, general contractors, and other construction owners do not take advantage of hard-working laborers by putting them in dangerous positions or assigning them dangerous tasks without the proper protection or safety equipment.
Many of the protections under the Labor Law do not require fault to be proven, only that the injuries occurred in the course of employment. These are known as “strict liability” statutes and they hold owners and contractors automatically liable in certain instances for any harm that occurs to a worker during his job. The most popular strict liability section is Labor Law section 240(1), which requires all owners and contractors to provide workers with safety equipment and protections from elevation-related, gravity-based injuries (falls, falling debris, dropped tools).
Other Labor Law sections include section 241(6), which requires all owners and contractors to keep the premises and workers reasonably and adequately protected for their safety in accordance with specific code regulations, and section 200, a common law codification, which guards against general negligence on the construction site.
Common Types of NYC Construction Accidents
Unfortunately, there are many ways that a construction worker may be injured while working on the job. While many of these injuries could be avoided with the exercise of proper care, by providing proper safety equipment, or by offering safety training, some risks are too dangerous and owners or contractors do not do enough to protect workers as required by the law. As a result, many workers are unnecessarily injured in workplace accidents.
Some of the most common causes of NYC construction accidents include the following:
- Falls from a height – whether from a ladder, scaffolding, or off a roof, down an open elevator shaft, or from a higher level, a fall is one of the most common causes of worker injuries and can often result in permanently disabling injuries or death;
- Scaffolding tip overs – while scaffolding is a temporary structure, it is meant to be a strong and stable structure to protect workers with a place to safely work. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Improperly built scaffolding, poorly maintained scaffolding, or unsecured scaffolding can result in serious injuries when they tip over, break or fall;
- Falling debris or tools – not only do laborers working from a height need to be protected, but all other individuals below also need to be protected from harm too—and providing a hardhat is not enough. Owners and contractors must ensure there are adequate safety protections, such as nets, tethers, or other protections to keep falling debris, materials, or tools from harming individuals below;
- Electrocutions – electricity can be very dangerous on a job site, but it is necessary to get the work done properly because many tools still rely on corded electricity to work or to charge batteries. At other times, construction is performed in established areas, such as doing additions or in established business or residential neighborhoods, some with the risks of hitting buried power lines or overhead wires. Owners and contractors must guard against these risks as well;
- Explosions – even construction sites that do not need blasting are still dangerous and carry a risk for explosions because of the use of combustibles, fuel, the potential for gas leaks in established lines or newly connected lines, or other risks for explosions; and
- Construction vehicle accidents – large machinery can be very dangerous even when operated with reasonable care, which is why all construction vehicle operators must be properly trained, licensed, and extraordinarily careful when operating these vehicles.
Other causes of construction accidents include the following:
- Defective tools
- Material delivery errors
- Third-party negligence
- Inadequate training
- Criminal activity (theft of materials)
- Acts of God (storms, landfalls, lightning, etc.) and
- Many other common causes of NYC construction accidents in Bronx, NY.
Common Injuries in Construction Accidents in New York
- Brain injuries, including TBIs, concussions, and other brain damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Amputations of loss of a digit or limb
- Burn injuries caused by fires, explosions, or electrocutions
- Broken bones or fractures, especially those needing surgery
- Paralysis, such as paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Shoulder injuries, including SLAP tears, torn rotator cuffs, and other shoulder injuries
- Knee injuries, including torn meniscus or ligament tears (ACL, MCL, LCL, PCL)
- Back and neck injuries, including annular tears, disc herniations, compression fractures, and other spinal cord injuries
- Organ injuries or damage
- Blindness or loss of vision or hearing
- RSD or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Significant disfigurement or scarring, and
- Many other serious and catastrophic injuries that may be permanently disabling or result in the wrongful death of an innocent worker.
Were You Injured in a Construction Site Accident? Call Our Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
If you or a loved one were injured in any type of work accident in New York City, know that our knowledgeable and experienced personal injury team at Stern Law Firm can help you and your family recover the adequate compensation that you need. We have a no-win/no fee guarantee and offer FREE consultations so you can learn what your rights are by dialing (718) 416-1500, (516) 294-2664 or by sending us a private message through our contact us box available here.