NYC Construction Accident Lawyers on Your Side
Top Results in New York Construction Accident Lawsuits
If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, you need an attorney on your side who will fight aggressively for every dollar that you are entitled to legally. Construction accidents can be very serious. Because of the risky nature of construction work, accidents can leave laborers temporarily or permanently disabled, seriously impacting their health, well-being, and livelihoods. Since a large amount of construction occurs in urban areas frequented by pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists, passersby can also be seriously harmed in construction accidents.
We know what’s at stake when someone asks us to represent them legally after a serious construction accident. That’s why our lawyers have dedicated their careers to fighting for the rights of hardworking women and men who suffered an injury while they were simply doing their job – and it shows in our results. Since 2012, no other law firm achieved more top results exceeding one million dollars than Block O’Toole & Murphy. We attained well over 100 results exceeding $1,000,000 for those injured in construction site accidents, including a record-breaking $110 million jury verdict – the number one construction accident verdict in the United States in 2019. In told, we’ve recovered well over $1.5 billion for accident victims.
If you’ve been hurt in a construction accident, please call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form for a FREE legal consultation. We serve all New York State, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester County and upstate New York.
Laws Protecting Construction Workers in New York State
New York has various protections in place for construction workers. In addition to New York labor laws, the New York Division of Health and Safety (within the Department of Labor) has jurisdiction over various Industrial Code Rules. Both are meant to help protect workers and minimize accidents. If you are injured in a construction accident, these rules can demonstrate that you have a valid claim. Below is some general information on the New York industrial codes and labor laws that protect construction workers.
New York Labor Law Section 200
This section of New York Labor Law stipulates that a safe work environment must be provided for employees. It states that all applicable work sites must “be so constructed, equipped, arranged, operated, and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health and safety of all persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places.” The same applies to all machinery or equipment used on the site; it must be placed and operated so that anyone operating it or near it is safe from harm. Note that this section also applies to those “frequenting” the site; even if you are not a construction worker, if you have been injured on a construction site, it is possible for you to bring a negligence case.
New York Labor Law Section 240 (the Scaffold Law)
Labor Law Section 240, commonly known as the Scaffold Law, is meant to protect workers who work in construction at heights. The law intends to hold specific parties responsible for failing to provide these construction workers with a safe place to do their job. The law also generally protects workers from falling objects at a construction site. Contractors or owners are required by law to provide adequate protection for workers who are exposed to a falling object.
New York Labor Law Section 241
Labor Law Section 241 requires contractors and others in charge of a work site to ensure workers are protected from all potential hazards. It states that all areas in which construction, excavation, or demolition is being done must be equipped and guarded to provide “reasonable and adequate protection and safety” to the employees or others in the area. New York State requires that property owners, developers, and general contractors adhere to the Industrial Code, a codification of safety rules designed to keep construction workers safe and healthy.
Part 23 of the Division of Safety and Health Industrial Code Rules
Part 23 of the code covers Protection in Construction, Demolition, and Excavation Operations. The code covers requirements for all aspects of construction work, including protection from general hazards, flooring requirements during construction, and provisions for scaffolding, in addition to much more. The codes lay out standards for running a safe construction site in New York; if they are not followed, accidents may occur, and the responsible party may be held accountable under the law.
Construction Work Hazards
Construction is a hazardous industry; so much so that the top four causes of construction fatalities have become commonly known as the “Fatal Four”: Falls, Struck-By, Electrocution, and Caught-In/Between. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Fatal Four were responsible for more than half of construction worker deaths in 2018. If the Fatal Four were eliminated, it would save close to 600 workers’ lives in America every year. More information on these hazards is below:
The most frequent hazard of the Fatal Four, falls accounted for 33.5% of all construction-related deaths in 2018. Workers can fall from ladders, roofs, and scaffolding, or through temporary flooring, which is why proper safety procedures must be strictly adhered to. Unfortunately, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2019, the safety standard that was most frequently violated was fall protection. Employers need to provide fall protection for workers and ensure proper equipment condition and use.
When a worker is struck by an object, whether the object is a flying rock from a construction site blast or a falling piece of debris from above, the accident can have serious long-term effects. The speed and weight with which a falling, flying, swinging, or rolling object strikes a worker can result in catastrophic and lifelong injuries or death. OSHA recommends that workers take care to never position themselves between moving and fixed objects and to wear highly visible clothing to avoid being struck by an object.
Electrical accidents can result in dangerous site explosions, fires, and blasts. Employees may also be electrocuted or shocked when exposed to power lines and other types of energized sources. Depending on the voltage and severity of the accident, a worker’s injuries can be life-threatening.
If the proper safety precautions are not taken, workers can quickly become victims of collapsed trenches or caught between heavy machinery such as cranes or forklifts. Proper protocol must be followed when handling machinery or when undergoing excavation work to avoid these terrible accidents.
Both New York labor laws and OSHA’s safety guidelines are meant to ensure workplace safety for construction laborers. Site contractors and subcontractors are required to follow these guidelines. If they do not, preventable accidents may occur, causing needless tragedies.
Construction Accident Case FAQ
If you have been injured in a construction accident or know someone who has, you likely have many questions. Below are answers to the most common questions we hear from plaintiffs and their loved ones in the aftermath of a construction accident. If your question is not answered below, our construction accident attorneys are available to speak with you further; call 212-736-5300.
What should I do if I have been in a construction accident?
In the aftermath of a construction accident, the first step is always to get medical attention if you feel like you have been injured. Even if you do not feel like you are severely injured, it is best to play it safe and have a doctor examine you. This is because some injuries, such as concussions or spine injuries, may take longer to show symptoms, so you will not feel their effects immediately after the accident. Additionally, having a doctor examine you will start a record of your injuries and subsequent care, which can be useful in some contexts.
You should report the accident to your employer, so they can have it on record (and also as a first step in filing a workers’ compensation claim). It may also be helpful, if you are able, to take pictures of the accident site, especially if there is debris or remnants of a broken part that contributed to the accident and would be relevant to a case.
Once you have seen a doctor and established a plan of care, you will likely want to consider filing a workers’ compensation claim and/or a third-party negligence claim, if applicable to your case. A workers’ compensation claim can be filed regardless of whether or not negligence contributed to your accident; if you have been injured in the course of performing your job duties, then you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation. Although you can file the claim yourself, a workers’ compensation attorney can also help you submit a claim. It is important to remember that you only have 30 days post-accident to notify your employer of the accident, which is a necessary step in filing your claim.
Regardless of whether or not you receive workers’ compensation benefits, it is possible you can also bring a personal injury claim, depending on the details of your case. If someone else’s negligence, such as the general contractor of the construction site, contributed to causing your accident, you may be able to bring a negligence claim against him. In this case, it would be in your best interest to retain a construction accident lawyer who can consider all the details of your case and determine the best course of action.
What kinds of construction accident cases does your firm handle?
The law firm of Block O’Toole & Murphy handles all kinds of construction accident cases, including construction site falls, ladder accidents, demolition accidents, falling object accidents, scaffolding accidents, and accidents caused by defective equipment, to name just a few. If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence on a construction site, we are ready to discuss your case with you.
What kinds of injuries would allow me to bring a lawsuit?
Almost any injury that occurs on a construction site in the course of your employment would likely allow you to at least file a workers’ compensation claim. Injuries resulting from construction site accidents can range from minor to catastrophic, due to the amount of risk working in construction entails. Injuries from construction sites can include, but are not limited to:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Paralysis or other spinal cord injuries
- Crush injuries
- Internal injuries
- Blindness or hearing loss
- Broken bones
- Skin injuries
- Back injuries
- Joint damage
- Emotional trauma, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Who is responsible for my accident?
Multiple parties can be held liable for a construction accident, including the contractor, subcontractor, construction site owner, property developer, engineers, equipment manufacturer, or another party involved in the construction project. For example, if you were working on a scaffold that collapsed and became injured, it is possible both the manufacturer of the scaffold and the contractor in charge of the site could be found liable.
When filing a construction accident lawsuit, it’s important to work with an experienced attorney who understands the nuances of New York labor laws and the complexities of the construction industry, as it ultimately impacts how much you may receive for your injuries.
What kind of compensation is available to me?
If you are filing a workers’ compensation claim, the benefits you can receive are limited to:
- Coverage for your medical care
- Rehabilitation benefits if you require physical therapy or a similar service to be able to return to work
- Potential disability benefits if the injury has left you disabled or unable to return to work
- Death benefits for the surviving family if the work-related injury leads to death
A construction accident can affect your life in many ways, aside from your injuries and medical care. If you choose to bring a third-party claim as well, damages you may be able to make a claim for include:
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses, if it is a wrongful death case
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of income, from being unable to return to work because of your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
Compensation in personal injury cases is meant to make the injured person “whole” again, or return them, as closely as possible, to their normal state from before the accident. This is what will be considered when evaluating what damages you can claim and potentially receive compensation for.
Am I still able to bring a claim if I am receiving workers’ compensation?
Yes. Although every case varies, it is possible to bring a third-party claim against someone other than your employer who may be partially responsible for your accident, such as the contractor or owner of the site.
If I was injured on a construction site but am not a worker, do I still have a case?
Yes. Anyone injured on a construction site due to someone else’s negligence, regardless of whether or not they are a worker, may be able to bring a claim against the negligent parties.
How long do I have to bring my case?
Typically, construction accident cases fall under the category of personal injury, which means you have three years to file your claim.
If, however, you are filing a workers’ compensation claim, you only have 30 days to do so.
Top Case Results for Those Injured in Construction Accidents
All workers have a right to safe working conditions; if workers are not provided with this basic right and an accident occurs, the negligent party must compensate them.
Put an experienced lawyer on your side to protect your rights and get help now for your work injuries. Notable construction accident verdicts and settlements include:
- $110,174,972 jury verdict for a cyclist who sustained serious injuries, including paralysis, after he was hit by a falling object at a Brooklyn renovation site
- $15,000,000 settlement for the family of an HVAC technician who was killed in an on-the-job accident at a hospital
- $12,000,000 settlement for a tunnel worker hurt during the number 7 train subway extension project in Manhattan
- $11,500,000 settlement for a construction worker who suffered a severe wrist injury after a defective saw accident in the Bronx
- $11,000,000 settlement for a worker who suffered multiple fractures to his pelvis and spine after falling three stories during a new construction project in Brooklyn
- $10,875,000 settlement for a worker who fell from the rooftop of the building in Brooklyn
- $10,500,000 settlement for the surviving family of a union laborer who was tragically killed when a defective saw kicked back, striking his neck
- $9,750,000 settlement for a construction worker who suffered serious injuries requiring multiple surgeries, including a three-level cervical fusion and four-level lumbar fusion
- $7,400,000 recovery for a sheet worker injured while working on a HVAC unit at a Brooklyn store undergoing renovation
- $7,300,000 settlement for a laborer who sustained an arm amputation while performing steel demolition
- $7,200,000 settlement for the surviving wife and young children of a 25-year-old man who lost his life after falling 50 feet from a misleveled elevator shaft
- $7,000,000 award for a carpenter who was struck in the face by a metal clamp in Astoria, Queens
- $6,793,881 jury verdict for union worker who was injured during an accident at a water treatment plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
- $6,500,000 settlement for a union mechanic who fell 18-20 feet after the catwalk he was walking on collapsed
- $6,500,000 verdict for a Local 731 worker who suffered a traumatic lower back injury after he was struck by a beam that fell 16 feet
- $6,400,000 settlement for ironworker who fell approximately 30 feet during a construction project in the Bronx
- $6,250,000 settlement in Putnam County case for a worker who became quadriplegic after a fall during a new home construction project
- $6,000,000 settlement for worker who fell off an exterior scaffold
- $5,900,000 settlement for Bronx worker with fractures, nerve, and spinal injuries after a ladder fall
- $5,885,000 jury verdict for an undocumented worker who fell while painting a ceiling beam during a Queens construction project
- $5,500,000 settlement in Nassau County case for worker struck by machinery
- $5,500,000 settlement for worker with head injuries and fractures after a construction accident in East Williamsburg
- $5,030,572 recovery for construction laborer who fell approximately 25 feet when the scaffold tipped over
- $5,000,000 settlement for a laborer who sustained multiple injuries after he suffered an electric shock during an excavation project
- $5,000,000 jury verdict for worker with ankle, foot, and back injuries after falling 12 feet to the ground during a warehouse renovation project
To learn more, please visit the Construction Accident Verdicts and Settlements section of our website. To discuss your case with a Block O’Toole & Murphy attorney, please call 212-736-5300 today.
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