Frequently Asked Questions About Construction Accidents

What Every Worker Needs to Know

Even in these economically challenging times, New York City is a constant hotbed of construction activity. Whether it's new construction, renovation or demolition projects, not a day goes by that you don't see cranes up on high rise towers, trucks removing demolition materials from job sites, and construction paper taped up in glass storefronts under renovation.

An unfortunate consequence of all this abundant construction is frequent accidents and at times severe injuries to workers. On a daily basis ironworkers, carpenters, teamsters, electricians, operating engineers, plumbers, bricklayers, and laborers of all kinds are subjected to dangers unique to construction sites.

While most workers are all too familiar with these dangers, their remedies at law for job site accidents are not well known. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about construction accidents and some helpful insight for workers and their families.

1) If I'm hurt on the job, can I sue the company I work for?

In most instances a worker has a right to bring a workers compensation claim based on a job site accident. There are certain circumstances where a worker may recover against his or her employer. These circumstances may include when the worker's employer does not have workers' compensation insurance, or where the worker has suffered what the law describes as a "grave injury" - an injury so severe that it is considered exempt from the workers' compensation bar on personal injury claims. Examples of a grave injury include death, loss of an arm, leg or multiple fingers.

2) Who is responsible for safety on the job site?

As any worker who has attended OSHA training knows, all workers are expected to conduct themselves in the safest manner possible on the job site. However, the Labor Law of New York holds property owners and general contractors ultimately responsible for certain safety concerns on every job. For instance, the Labor Law section imposes on site owners and general contractors a non-delegable duty to provide a safe place for workers as well as safety devices that will protect those on the job. These devices include ladders, scaffolds, harnesses, helmets, hoists, and cranes, among others.

3) If I'm hurt on the job, who should I call?

Just as not every worker knows every trade on the work site, not every lawyer has the proper training to truly be considered a construction accident lawyer. A worker should do his or her homework before deciding to retain an attorney to help in what is often a life changing event. The internet can be a valuable resource for finding a truly qualified professional to assist with every aspect for a construction accident case. Asking fellow workers or family members may also present intelligent options. What every injured worker should be looking for is a lawyer or law firm that will fight to protect his or her rights, has a track record of success and focuses on construction injury cases.

4) Who will pay for my medical bills? What happens if I lose money if I am out of work?

These are the questions that leap out at every injured worker and their concerned families. In New York State, injured workers are entitled to have their medical bills paid if they are treating for a job related injury. In addition, when a worker is injured and is unable to perform his job, he is eligible to receive lost wage payments through workers compensation. This area is a difficult one that requires the knowledge and experience of a seasoned construction accident lawyer that can deliver on the promise of making sure you get everything you are entitled to under the law.

Block O'Toole & Murphy LLP is a law firm that focuses exclusively on helping serious personal injury and construction accident victims. One of the premier personal injury firms in New York, Block O'Toole & Murphy has recorded more than $600,000,000 in verdicts and settlements for our clients. The trial lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy are devoted to truly caring for and fighting for the rights of our clients. The lawyers here are different. To learn more about the firm, please see our website at www.blockotoole.com