While construction is a dangerous industry, property owners and construction company supervisors in New York City still have a responsibility to create the safest environment possible for both workers and passersby. Unfortunately, safety standards aren’t always met, and protocols aren’t always followed, leading to severe injuries and even fatal accidents.
Were you recently injured in a New York City construction site accident caused by negligence? You may be entitled to financial compensation to cover your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
The New York construction accident lawyers at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon understand the challenges you might be facing in the aftermath of an accident. We’ve helped people just like you seek justice and secure fair compensation, whether you were a worker or a passerby.
To learn more, contact us to schedule a free consultation with our New York construction accident lawyers.
What to Know If You Were Injured in a Construction Site Accident
If you were recently injured in a New York construction site accident, you should seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as you can. The sooner you get medical attention, the better chance you have of making a full recovery. Also, having a medical record created will be crucial to your injury claim.
If possible, you should also take photos of the scene of the accident. If you are unable to due to your injuries, ask someone else to take pictures. These could be used as evidence in the future.
After seeking medical treatment, be sure to keep any hospital bills or other documents proving your out-of-pocket expenses. This can be used when determining how much compensation you’re entitled to.
If you were injured at a construction site as an employee, you should also notify your employer as soon as possible. This is needed if you intend to file a claim for workers’ compensation.
After taking these initial steps, you might be wondering what your legal options are. This depends on how the accident occurred and whether you were an employee or passerby.
- Employees Injured at New York Construction Sites – Workers hurt on construction sites could be entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits. New York state law requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect employees who are hurt on the job. If you’ve been hurt, you may receive benefits for medical coverage, disability, and rehabilitation related to the incident. New York’s “scaffold law” also allows injured construction workers to bring personal injury lawsuits in many situations. A personal injury lawsuit could provide significantly more compensation than just a workers’ compensation claim.
- Passersby Injured at New York Construction Sites – Passersby who were harmed in a New York construction site accident can file a lawsuit in court. If you were not adequately warned of the hazards or protected from injury, you could be owed compensation for your medical care, future care related to your injuries, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering and more.
Whether you suffered harm as a worker or passerby, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your rights and your legal options.
How Common Are Construction Site Accidents in New York?
Construction is happening constantly in New York City. Construction workers comprise only 5% of the workforce in New York, but almost 30% of work-related deaths in the area involve construction workers, according to available data. These rates have declined over the past couple decades, but NYC construction site deaths are still five times higher than workplace death rates in other industries.
Unfortunately, deaths and injuries on construction sites aren’t limited to workers. The Wall Street Journal recently analyzed data from the New York City Department of Buildings. Their review of six-years of data found:
- Pedestrians were involved in almost 100 construction site accidents in NYC.
- These accidents resulted in 155 injuries.
- Most of these accidents occurred in Manhattan.
Among the New York construction site claims we handle these are some of the most common accidents we see:
- Scaffolding failures and floor collapses
- Collapse of cranes and other equipment
- Falls and ladder accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Accidents involving forklifts and heavy machinery
Common Injuries from Construction Site Accidents
Injuries suffered due to construction site accidents can range from minor to catastrophic. Some accidents may even lead to death.
These are some of the most common injuries that occur on construction sites in the city:
- Broken Bones and Fractures – These injuries are common among victims of slip-and-fall accidents, scaffolding failures, and collapsing floors.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries – TBIs can be some of the most devastating injuries suffered by construction accident victims. These serious injuries can be caused by slip-and-fall accidents, unsecured equipment falling on workers or passersby, scaffolding failures, and heavy machinery accidents.
- Loss of Limbs – Catastrophic injuries, such as loss of limbs, are often the result of crane collapse, forklift accidents, saw accidents, and incidents involving heavy machinery.
- Electrocution and Chemical Burns – Faulty equipment, improper training, and unsafe conditions can lead to electrocution or chemical burns.
- Asbestos Related Injuries – Construction workers and others who were exposed to asbestos may develop severe health conditions including asbestosis and mesothelioma.
How Long Do I Have to File an Injury Claim?
The deadline to file a claim for a construction site accident depends on the type of claim you intend to file.
In New York, these are the deadlines for filing various types of construction accident claims:
- Three years from the date of the incident to file a civil lawsuit for a construction site accident.
- If the accident caused death, the decedent’s family has two years from the date of death to file a civil lawsuit for wrongful death.
- If you’re filing a workers’ compensation claim related to the construction site accident, you must report your injuries within 30 days of the incident. You then have up to two years to file a corresponding claim for workers’ compensation.
- If you’re filing a claim against a government entity, typically the claim must be filed with the appropriate agency within 90 days.
However, other factors may affect these deadlines, and the exact timeline can vary. To avoid missing the deadline for filing a claim, you should speak to a New York construction accident lawyer as soon as you can.
Do Temp Employees Qualify for Recovery If Injured?
In the state of New York, temporary employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In most cases, the employer and the temporary agency have “joint employer” status over the worker. This means that a temporary employee who is injured on a construction site can still file a workers’ compensation claim.
Temp employees may also be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit under New York’s scaffold law.
Determining Liability for a Construction Accident
Determining liability for a construction accident case is essential. This will establish who you can hold accountable for your injuries, and it will allow you to maximize your potential compensation.
When determining liability, your construction site accident lawyer will consider the following:
- Were you injured on the construction site accident as an employee? Even though you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you could also be eligible to seek compensation in a personal injury lawsuit under the scaffold law.
- If you were injured by defective tools or machinery, is the manufacturer responsible? If so, you could be eligible to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, or any other responsible entity along the distribution chain.
- If you were injured as a passerby, who was responsible for protecting you or warning you of the hazards you might encounter? In this case, there might have been negligence on behalf of the construction company, property owners, public agencies, or government entities.
There could be many different responsible parties who could be liable for your injuries. Examples include:
- Construction company or site owner
- General contractors and subcontractors
- Manufacturers of tools, equipment, or machinery
- Public agencies or government entities
How Can I Afford a Personal Injury Lawyer after a Construction Accident?
At Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, we know that you never planned on being hurt in a construction accident. The unexpected expenses associated with medical treatment and rehabilitation can be financially crippling, especially if you are unable to work for some time.
We understand that paying for legal services during this difficult time might be impossible. That’s why our case evaluations are always free of charge, and when we take your case, we’ll represent you with zero upfront costs. We represent clients on a contingency basis, meaning we won’t charge you unless and until we obtain a settlement or judgment in your favor.
Whether your case is big or small, we’re committed to securing the compensation you and your family deserve. To take the next step, contact us today. Our New York construction accident lawyers are standing by to speak with you about your case.