New York City Construction Accident Attorney
New York City is a tremendously busy place, with thousands of miles of road and a consistent need for extensive infrastructure maintenance. Construction is common in NYC, and it’s vital for citizens of The Big Apple to understand the risks involved in the construction industry including the potential for injury to both construction workers and citizens who must pass by construction sites.
Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP helps injured New Yorkers recover their losses after suffering injuries and property damage due to the negligence of others. Construction workers in New York City have a dangerous job, often contending with both the inherent dangers of construction work and the congestion of traffic and pedestrians in the city. When construction site accidents happen, injured victims need to know where to turn for help. Contact a qualified New York City construction accident attorney at our firm today.
New York City’s Construction Efforts
New York City has been in the midst of a massive construction effort for several years. In 2015, the City of New York approved 67% more construction permits than during the previous construction boom in 2008. The residential building boom not only means more housing for New Yorkers, but also more construction jobs, and a higher risk of construction site injuries. Construction in New York City increased 180% between 2014 and 2015. 2015 construction numbers also reflect a 749% increase since the post-recession data from 2010.
There are more than 1,000 active capital construction projects in New York City at this time, meaning there is a very high likelihood of construction site injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported 4,379 fatalities in private sector jobs for calendar year 2015. Of those deaths, 937 happened in the construction industry. One in every five workplace deaths happened on a construction site. If you or someone you love was injured in New York, reach out to an NYC personal injury lawyer experienced in handling construction accident claims to learn more about your legal options.
Construction Accident Statistics
OSHA workplace accident statistics indicate the four leading causes of workplace fatalities, known as “the Big Four,” as the following:
- Falls accounted for nearly 40% of all workplace fatalities in 2015.
- Struck-by object accounted for almost 10% of 2015 fatalities.
- Electrocutions caused nearly 9% of workplace deaths in 2015.
- Caught by/in-between accidents comprised more than 7% of all fatalities.
OSHA records indicate that workplace safety violations reflect these trends in fatalities, including fall protection violations, poor hazard communication, scaffolding requirement violations, ladder violations, and more. OSHA investigates workplace accident claims as well as claims from employees concerning negligent employers. Injured construction workers may need to file personal injury claims against employers when negligence causes their injuries and workers’ compensation benefits do not completely cover their damages.
Between 2007 and 2013, the City of New York invested more than $6 billion in infrastructure construction, and the massive housing boom has led to an increased demand for inspections. Faulty inspections and huge demand for construction may be paving the way for more serious injuries and workplace fatalities. Since construction projects have expanded in recent years, this means that construction workers face a statistically higher probability of facing dangerous workplace conditions and suffering serious injuries.
As of December 31, 2016, construction accidents caused 599 injuries and 12 fatalities. This is an increase in injuries from 2015 statistics which reported 472 injuries and the same number of fatalities. As New York City construction accident lawyers, we’ve seen firsthand how the construction boom and the pressing need to redesign many of New York City’s dangerous streets have contributed to a rising number of injuries in accidents.
Who Is Liable for Construction Accidents in NYC?
When a construction worker suffers an injury on the job, it’s vital to ascertain the exact cause of the incident. Workers’ compensation exists to help injured workers handle the immediate financial strain an injury can cause, but more often than not workers’ compensation benefits do not cover the total costs of an injury. In some cases, construction workers may need to file personal injury lawsuits against negligent employers, product liability claims against manufacturers of defective products or third-party lawsuits against others who cause injuries to construction workers but who are not involved in the actual construction.
New York City construction workers also have protection under New York’s Labor Law 240, which requires any construction workers who work at high elevations to have access to the appropriate scaffolding, safety equipment, and other necessary provisions. When inspectors fail to provide such equipment, they can recover compensation from the third party responsible for supervising the safety conditions of the worksite. For more information regarding determining liability, speak with a knowledgeable New York City construction accident attorney.
Filing an Injury Claim for NYC Constructions Accidents
When construction workers’ employers do not take adequate steps to ensure workplace safety or allow known hazards to remain unaddressed for any period of time, they will likely incur liability for any resulting accidents. For example, suppose a construction worker notifies his or her supervisor of a scaffold that appears to need repairs. The employer notes the worker’s concerns but does nothing to address the issue. A few days later, another worker suffers an injury after the scaffold breaks and collapses. In this situation, the employer is liable for the injury because he or she received proper notice of the hazard and had time to correct it, but did not, and this failure caused an injury.
Proving negligence in personal injury claims for construction site accidents follows the same path as any other personal injury lawsuit. The injured plaintiff and his or her New York City construction accident attorney must show the court that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, violated this duty in some way and that the plaintiff’s injuries are the direct result of the defendant’s negligence. While many construction site injuries lead to personal injury claims, hazardous equipment and other defective products are also a major cause for concern.
Product Liability and Third-Party Claims
If a defective product such as a tool or piece of construction equipment causes an injury, the injured person must file a product liability claim against the product’s manufacturer. Unlike personal injury claims, a plaintiff in a product liability lawsuit does not need to prove that the manufacturer was negligent, only that the product in question was defective and that the defect caused his or her injuries. Products qualify as defective if they have an inherent design flaw, incurred some flaw during the production or assembly process, or did not include adequate safety warnings and instructions for use.
In cases where a third party unrelated to the construction worker’s job causes an injury, the injured party would file a third-party claim for compensation. For example, imagine a construction worker is transporting materials between job sites. On the way to his or her destination, a motorist crashes into the construction worker’s vehicle and causes an injury. In this situation, the injured worker can file a claim for workers’ compensation since the injury occurred while he or she was performing job-related duties and the injured worker may also file a third-party claim against the negligent driver.
Maximize Your Claim With the Help of an NYC Construction Accident Lawyer
Injured construction workers should address their medical needs immediately following a workplace accident. After an injured person has received medical attention, he or she should then start the process of building a lawsuit. An attorney can help an injured construction worker handle his or her workers’ compensation claim, insurance concerns, and help gather the evidence necessary for a product liability claim, personal injury claim, or third-party claim.
The right New York City construction accident attorney can help injured construction workers recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages from missed time at work, pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, and more. The legal team at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP is committed to helping every one of our clients maximize their recoveries and secure as much compensation as possible following a workplace injury. Contact us if you have questions about a recent construction site injury or if you would like to schedule a free case evaluation. We will meet with you and review the details of your situation so we can advise you how best to proceed.