New York Is an Injury Zone for Construction Workers
It is a well-known fact that construction site accidents are becoming commonplace in New York. The number of fatal construction accidents is on the rise, as reported in a New York Times article about a 12-ton heating and air-conditioning unit that fell from a crane 30 stories to the pavement below. Five months into 2015, 8 people had already been killed in construction site accidents. The previous year saw a total of 231 construction-related accidents, up 24% from the year before.
A recent criminal case playing out in the courts of NYC demonstrates that construction safety continues to be a huge problem in the city. After construction worker Carlos Moncayo died in 2015, crushed by a collapsing wall, two employees of the construction firm employing Carlos were actually charged with homicide in his death by allowing the unsafe working conditions that led to his death. One of the men on trial in fact blamed the other defendant for not letting him fire the foreman on the construction site whose actions he alleged were the cause of the man’s death.
That sad case and the overall increasing number of construction site accidents can be attributed to the fact that more construction is occurring. According to the president of the New York Building Congress, $36 billion was spent on construction in 2014, with 98,000 new building permits issued by New York City. The current construction boom has led to more injuries and accidents, with construction workers, in some cases, paying the ultimate price.
Construction Site Accident Risks
Workers in the construction industry face the risk of serious injury on a daily basis. OSHA reports that of the 4,251 fatal work-related accidents in a recent year, 20.5% occurred in construction. Common types of construction site accidents include:
- Falls from heights
- Falling objects
- Crane accidents
- Forklift accidents
- Fires and explosions
Fortunately, many accidents can be prevented when contractors take the necessary (and required) safety measures that are proven to minimize risks. When they fail to do so, they may be held liable for injuries sustained by workers when something goes terribly wrong.
Why You Need Legal Representation After Construction Site Accidents
Construction workers have protection under state law. New York Labor Law Section 240 requires contractors, owners, and their agents to provide specific safety gear to employees working at higher elevations.
Third-party contractors (general contractors and subcontractors) are involved at most construction sites. When proper protective gear is not provided as required by law, injured workers may be entitled to recover compensation from the responsible third party if they can show that the third party knew or should have known about the safety violations occurring on the site.
Employees injured in construction site accidents are entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits, but the amount of compensation can be sadly inadequate. It is important to have your case evaluated by a knowledgeable New York construction accident lawyer. If a responsible third party can be identified, you may be entitled to claim compensation well beyond your workers’ compensation benefits.
Construction Accident Lawyer in New York
If you have been hurt in a construction site accident, it is in your best interests to speak with an experienced construction accident attorney as soon as possible. At The Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel, we offer a free consultation with no obligation. Contact us to find out if you have a case against a third-party contractor, and what damages you may be entitled to claim.