New York Work Injury Attorneys
If you were hurt in an on-the-job accident, the work injury attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy understand the devastating effect a serious injury can have on your life, finances, and livelihood. We have successfully represented numerous laborers in New York who were injured as a result of another party’s negligence. Legally, injured workers may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and/or additional compensation via a third party personal injury lawsuit. Our attorneys handle various types of work-related injury cases, including but not limited to those involving:
- Construction accidents
- Falls from heights (ladders, scaffolding, roofs, etc.)
- Heavy machinery accidents (cranes, forklifts, etc.)
- Struck by falling objects or debris
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Ceiling or wall collapses
- Car or commercial vehicle accidents
On-the-job injuries can be very serious. A work accident can result in concussions, broken bones, spinal injuries, brain damage, crush injuries, and even death. That’s why injured workers need an experienced work accident lawyer to help them recover compensation for medical coverage, lost wages, and other damages. The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy can help you if you have been injured in a work accident; call 212-736-5300 or fill out our Contact Form to discuss your case with an attorney today.
Block O’Toole & Murphy has recovered compensation for clients in well over 100 work injury cases. Year after year, our attorneys achieve more results exceeding $1,000,000 than any other law firm in New York. Our work injury lawyers offer FREE consultations. Please call 212-736-5300 or fill out our Contact Form to speak with a qualified attorney about your case.
Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Claims
If you have been in a work accident, there are generally two types of work accident claims you may be able to file in order to obtain compensation for your injuries: workers’ compensation and personal injury lawsuits. The following is a brief explanation of both.
Workers’ compensation is a state-run program that helps workers who have been injured on the job obtain compensation for their medical bills and their loss of income while they are unable to work. In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, the injured worker has to be an official employee (independent contractors, freelance workers, and volunteers are not typically eligible for workers’ compensation), they must have been injured in the course of performing job-related tasks, and their employer has to have workers’ compensation insurance. Most employers are required to do this; in New York, it is the law that all employers provide this coverage. If all these requirements are met, the employee is likely eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits. However, it is important to note that these benefits can only go so far. As mentioned above, workers’ compensation only provides benefits for injured workers’ medical treatment and their loss of income while they are unable to work. If the worker is partially or fully disabled from work, workers’ compensation may sometimes also pay for rehabilitation costs, or they will continue to pay benefits to an employee who has been totally disabled from work. But generally, that is where workers’ compensation benefits stop. In some cases, an injured worker will be able to make a claim for additional damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Unlike workers’ compensation, not every employee who is injured on the job is eligible to file a personal injury claim. In order to do so, a third party’s negligence (work site contractor, property manager, equipment manufacturer, etc.) must have contributed to causing the accident. Additionally, the injured worker will have to have a valid claim for damages that exceed medical bills and loss of income, as workers’ compensation typically covers those. These additional damages could include pain and suffering, mental or emotional trauma, and loss of quality of life, to name a few.
State of Occupational Deaths and Injuries in New York
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 91 fatal work injuries in New York City alone in 2019. Notably, this number rose in comparison to the previous year, when 73 fatal work injuries were recorded. The data also shows that the private construction industry recorded the highest number of fatalities in New York City (24). Of the total worker deaths, the data shows that the highest number of workers died from falls, slips, and trips. The smallest amount died from transportation-related incidents.
Thousands more are seriously injured as a result of workplace accidents; in 2019, over 140,000 nonfatal work injuries and illnesses were reported in New York State. These numbers are unacceptable; no worker should have to fear for their safety while they are on the job.
Types of Work Injuries and Damages
As seen above, the causes of work accidents are numerous. Unfortunately, this means that the injuries sustained from work accidents can be numerous as well. Work accident injuries range in severity, and can include:
- Head injuries, such as concussions
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal or back injuries like herniated discs
- Fractures or other broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Nerve damage
- Crush injuries from falling objects
Any of these injuries can severely affect your life, in more ways than one. The ways in which your injuries and their resulting complications cost you, both financially and emotionally, are commonly known as damages. These damages are what you can make a claim to obtain compensation for in a personal injury case. Common damages in work accident cases include:
- Cost of medical bills
- Funeral and burial costs, if the accident victim’s injuries are fatal
- Pain and suffering experienced during the accident and in the immediate aftermath
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of companionship with spouse and/or family members
- Loss of income due to reduced work capacity, or being completely unable to return to work
- Mental trauma or emotional pain, such as PTSD or depression
If you file a personal injury claim as a result of your work accident, you will be asking for compensation for any number of these damages, since the primary purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is to restore the accident victim as closely as possible to the state they were in before the accident occurred.
Experts in New York Labor Laws
New York has certain Labor Laws in place that are meant to protect workers when they’ve been harmed as a result of another party’s negligence. The following laws (New York Labor Laws 200, 240, and 241) provide protections for workers in various industries.
- Labor Law 200 stipulates that the general health and safety of construction site employees must be protected. The law states that workers must be provided with “reasonable and adequate protection” to their “lives, health, and safety,” specifically meaning that the work site and all machinery or equipment being used within that work site must be arranged, maintained, and operated so as not to harm any employee.
- Labor Law 240 is one of the most important New York labor laws. Although it was originally implemented with the purpose of protecting construction workers from falls or fall-related accidents, it has slowly been interpreted over time to require contractors or property owners to provide the necessary equipment and training to workers who could be at risk of gravity-related accidents. This law is nicknamed the “Scaffold Law,” but its coverage extends beyond falls from scaffolds and includes many other structures, such as ladders or roofs. Additionally, our attorneys have applied this law to cases in which clients have been struck by falling objects.
- Labor Law 241 lays down requirements for contractors and building owners regarding construction, demolition, or excavation of a property. The law provides some specifics, such as elevator safety precautions for workers moving materials on the site, but like Labor Law 200, it generally requires that all employees and people who frequent a work site in which construction, demolition, or excavation is occurring are provided with “reasonable and adequate protection and safety.”
The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy are experts in New York’s labor laws. If you have been injured in a work accident in New York City or New York State, contact our offices at 212-736-5300 to speak to a knowledgeable attorney who can help you.
Strong Advocates for Worker Rights in New York
Our attorneys are fierce advocates for worker rights. Many of them are active participants in the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) Labor Law Committee, a group that fights for laws that promote worker safety. Partner Daniel O’Toole is the Co-Chairman of the committee.
In addition to work accident litigation and advocacy, several of our lawyers are considered thought leaders in New York Labor Law. Partner David Scher has shared his knowledge with the legal community by teaching Continuing Legal Education courses on New York labor laws. Our partners also participate in speaking engagements about worker rights and publish articles on the particulars of labor laws in New York. Select published works include:
- “A Look Back At Runner v. New York Stock Exchange: What Did It Mean For Labor Law Section 240?,” Bill of Particulars
- “Still Debating What ‘Falls’ Within Labor Law Section 240(1),” New York Law Journal
- “Court of Appeals Refuses to Limit Scope of Labor Law Section 240(1),” New York Law Journal
- “Recent Section 240(1) Decisions Offer Guidance,” New York Law Journal
- “Can Injured, Undocumented Construction Workers Recover Lost Wages?,” New York Law Journal
Staying up to date on the latest legislative changes in New York is crucial when handling important legal cases, and our team is recognized by other lawyers for their preparation and expertise in work injury litigation.
Top Verdicts and Settlements in Work Injury Lawsuits
We believe that every laborer has the right to a safe workplace and our attorneys are extremely dedicated to ensuring clients who have had that right taken away are fully compensated. We are proud to have served both union and non-union clients. We limit the number of cases we take so that we can provide every client with the best legal representation.
Select verdicts and settlements* for clients harmed in work accidents include:
- $15,000,000 settlement for the family of a worker who was tragically crushed by a falling object in a work accident
- $12,000,000 settlement for a Manhattan worker who fell during the number 7 subway extension project and suffered serious injuries, including blindness in one eye
- $11,500,000 settlement in a Bronx case for a union construction worker who suffered serious wrist injuries, including CRPS, after a work-related accident
- $11,000,000 settlement for a worker who fell three stories to the basement of a building after he stepped on an unsecured cover placed over a hole in the ground
- $10,875,000 settlement for a worker who required multiple surgeries after he fell at a construction site in Brooklyn, New York
- $10,500,000 settlement for the wife and three adult children of a union laborer who sustained a 12-centimeter laceration to his neck from a defective saw and tragically died from his injury
- $7,400,000 recovery for a worker who lost his balance and fell from a beam during a Brooklyn construction project
- $7,300,000 settlement for a 56-year-old worker who had to sustain a below-the-elbow amputation of his right arm after a serious work accident
- $7,000,000 settlement in a Queens case for a 25-year-old carpenter who was hit by an object that fell from above
- $7,000,000 settlement for a worker with serious crush injuries after he fell 30 feet down an elevator shaft at an iconic Manhattan building
- $6,793,881 jury verdict for a worker with severe injuries after an on-the-job fall in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
- $6,400,000 settlement for an ironworker who fell approximately 30 feet at a Bronx work site and sustained bulging discs and multiple fractures
- $6,250,000 settlement despite a $2,000,000 insurance limit in a Putnam County case for a worker who suffered a cervical fracture leading to complete quadriplegia
- $6,000,000 settlement for a waterproofer who fell through a gap in a scaffold during a Brooklyn construction project
- $5,900,000 settlement in a Bronx case for a 46-year-old man with post-concussion syndrome and spinal injuries after he fell off a ladder
- $5,885,000 jury verdict in a Supreme Queens case for a 35-year-old undocumented worker with wrist and spinal injuries after falling on the job
- $5,500,000 settlement in a Long Island case for an excavation worker who was struck by heavy machinery
- $5,500,000 recovery for a delivery worker who was hurt in a freight elevator accident at a commercial Manhattan building
- $5,500,000 settlement for an electrician who suffered a head injury after he fell 14 to 16 feet from an extension ladder
- $5,000,000 verdict for a carpenter who required multiple surgeries after he fell off a scaffold during a renovation project in Brooklyn
- $4,995,000 settlement in a Supreme Bronx case for a 37-year-old worker injured in a floor collapse
- $4,900,000 settlement for an electrician who developed CRPS/RSD after a work accident in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
- $4,750,000 settlement for a foreman at a Bronx construction site who was hit by a flying rock and suffered shoulder tears, bulging discs, and other serious injuries
- $4,650,000 settlement for worker who fell on the job at a Queens warehouse and sustained fractured ribs and spinal injuries
- $4,475,000 settlement in a wrongful death case for children of a worker tragically killed in an on-the-job accident in the West Village
- $4,000,000 settlement for a Long Island worker who sustained a serious back injury after falling from the roof on the job
- $4,000,000 settlement for an elevator erector hurt at a Midtown East hotel project who suffered multiple injuries, including lateral meniscus tear and chondromalacia to his left knee
- $4,000,000 settlement for a 32-year-old man injured while working in a Bronx hospital
- $3,750,000 recovery for a laborer who suffered multiple fractures after a work accident in the Bronx
- $3,750,000 settlement for violations against New York Labor Law sections 240(1) and 241(6) after a worker fell from an unsecured ladder
- $3,720,000 settlement for commercial glass installation worker who suffered ankle and foot injuries, including a severe calcaneus fracture
- $3,700,000 settlement for a 33-year-old worker who fell from an elevated scaffold in Brownsville, Brooklyn
- $3,500,000 settlement for a 48-year-old plumber’s helper who sustained a head injury after a workplace accident in Lower Manhattan
- $3,500,000 settlement for a New York City Transit Authority bus driver who was injured when the bus was rear-ended by another vehicle
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*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.