New York Construction Accident Lawsuits
Construction accident lawsuits are the way that society can hold companies accountable when they act negligently and put profits over worker safety. These lawsuits also give injured workers a critical opportunity to receive fair compensation so they can pay their medical bills and recover lost wages. If you or somebody you love have been injured in a work accident on a construction site and are seeking compensation for your damages, call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form to receive a free legal consultation.
Since 2012, Block O’Toole & Murphy has secured more results exceeding $1,000,000 than any other New York law firm. Our attorneys aggressively pursue the maximum compensation available to our clients, leading to results such as:
- $12,000,000 settlement for a tunnel worker who was seriously injured in a fall
- $11,500,000 settlement for a worker who suffered wrist injuries due to a defective saw
- $10,875,000 settlement after a worker was injured in a fall while installing rebar
What Damages Can I Recover?
Any construction worker can tell you how dangerous work can be if workers are not given the training and equipment they need to do their job safely. Construction accidents can cause severe injuries such as:
- Back injuries, such as a herniated disc
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Brain injuries, such as a concussion
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Nerve damage
Medical bills are a frequent and important area that workers can recover if they have been injured in a construction accident. Medical bills include more than a hospital visit, doctor appointment or surgery. They also include follow-up appointments, physical therapy, occupational rehab, medical devices and any revision surgeries that are required.
Lost wages are another common form of damages paid after a construction accident. Because construction accident injuries can be so severe, usually injured workers are forced to miss at least some time from work. Losing out on valuable income right when medical bills are mounting is a stressful situation, and past lost wages can be recovered to make up for that.
If you have been injured badly enough that you can’t return to construction work, it’s possible to recover money to make up for your future loss of earnings. To recover these damages, medical experts will need to find that you are physically incapable of doing the job you used to have, thus limiting your future earning potential. These damages are meant to compensate you when skills that you have spent time learning are no longer useful because of the physical limitations your injuries have caused.
Pain and suffering is another claim that can be made in a lawsuit. Because pain is subjective, the amount paid for this damage will depend on a variety of factors such as the changes in your life, the nature of your medical treatment and to some degree the cost of your medical bills, any limitations which have been placed on your daily routine, and if your relationships with family members have been affected.
Other non-economic damages include loss of enjoyment of life and loss of consortium, each of which are related to pain and suffering. If you are a runner who can no longer go jogging because of the injuries you suffered, for example, it could be claimed that your enjoyment of life has diminished. Similarly, if your injuries have negatively impacted your relationship with your spouse and/or children, it could be claimed that you have suffered a loss of consortium.
New York Labor Laws That Protect Construction Workers
In New York, personal injury lawsuits can be filed against third-parties whose negligence caused you to be injured. Because construction work is especially dangerous compared to other types of work, there are New York laws which specifically protect construction workers: Labor Law 240(1), popularly known as the Scaffold Law, and Labor Law 241.
The Scaffold Law is designed to protect construction workers from gravity-related hazards. This can include a fall or a falling object accident. While the scope of the Scaffold Law is up for debate, it is generally held that an employer should be able to pre-emptively avoid gravity-related accidents through proper safety training and equipment. If gravity played a role in your injury, that alone may constitute a violation of the Scaffold Law, and you may be eligible to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit.
Labor Law 241 also protects construction workers from the other, less specific hazards which may be present on jobsites. For example, if a jobsite is littered with excessive debris, and a worker carrying heavy building materials trips and injures his back, this may constitute a violation of Labor Law 241.
Construction work naturally involves heavy machinery, high-powered tools and high elevations, but that doesn’t mean workers need to be seriously injured or even killed while they earn their paycheck. If a third-party fails to account for these predictable hazards, and you are injured as a result of this negligence, a lawsuit may allow you to be compensated for the injuries and damages you suffered.
Frequently Asked Questions About Construction Accident Lawsuits
Q: Can I still file a lawsuit if I’m receiving workers compensation?
A: Yes. A workers’ compensation claim is separate from a personal injury lawsuit. Note, however, that you cannot sue your employer directly if you’ve been hurt in a work accident. Instead, the lawsuit will need to be filed against a liable third-party, such as a contractor, subcontractor, equipment manufacturer, or property owner.
Q: I was only walking by a construction site when I was injured. Can I still sue?
A: As long as you were legally on or near the property and not trespassing, then yes you can. New York Labor Law specifies that construction sites need to be made safe not just for workers but for pedestrians as well.
Q: How much is my case worth?
A: It’s impossible to speculate about the potential worth of a case without speaking to a qualified attorney. Generally, however, the value of a personal injury lawsuit will be greatly affected by the cost of the medical bills you’ve been left with.
Q: What if I can’t afford to hire an attorney?
A: Don’t worry. Personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee, which means we don’t get paid until you do.
If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, you may be facing costly medical bills, time away from work, and a lot of unanswered questions. Call 212-736-5300 to receive a free, no-obligation legal consultation from an experienced attorney at Block O’Toole & Murphy.