How to Ensure That You Receive Full Compensation for Your Injury or a Family Member’s Construction Death Case
Attorneys For Construction Accident In Long Island. The attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP work hard to protect construction workers’ rights and stand up to an industry that values money above people. When workers are placed in unsafe situations on the job and sustain serious injuries, they can count on Parker Waichman LLP to fight for the compensation they deserve.
EXPERIENCED CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS ON LONG ISLAND
In a frightening span of several years, the Long Island construction industry has progressively become an unsafe environment for workers. Recent reports show New York state has very high rates of accidents and fatalities, and something needs to change. Parker Waichman LLP is dedicated to turning the tide through the civil justice system. We represent victims of construction accidents who desperately need relief, and we can help you and your family, too.
According to the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), the New York construction industry is “highly dangerous” for workers across the state. In NYCOSH’s most recent report, it indicated New York construction workers were at four times greater risk of being involved in fatal accidents than workers in any other industry. Startlingly, while construction workers account for just 3 percent of the state’s total workforce, they are involved in 34 percent of the state’s workplace fatalities. The number of construction accident injuries and fatalities in New York and Long Island has unfortunately been on the rise for years.
During the four-year span between 2011 and 2015, the number of construction fatality accidents in the state of New York climbed by an astonishing 40 percent. In 2015 alone, 435 construction injuries took place, and 55 workers died from their injuries. This figure leaped by 88 percent over the previous year. In 2014, 231 construction injuries occurred in New York. The majority of these accidents take place in areas of large population, like New York City and Long Island. Tragically, so many of these accidents, injuries, and fatalities occur because of negligence on job sites and unsafe practices perpetuated by owners and contractors on projects.
The stories and statistics do not lie; Project owners, managers, and contractors are not taking necessary steps to ensure their workers’ safety. They are in many cases not even doing the bare minimum, violating laws and exposing men and women to severe risks every day. When you work hard to provide a valuable service to the people of Long Island, you deserve adequate safety protections. You deserve not to be treated as a disposable cost of business. Parker Waichman LLP will take your injuries and concerns seriously, and we will do everything we can to hold the industry accountable. Contact our dedicated construction accident attorneys today to discuss your potential claim and to start the process of investigating your legal cause of action.
Dangers Facing Construction Workers
Construction workers are already placing themselves in dangerous situations just by the nature of their jobs, but when proper safety measures are not followed or implemented, workers are at risk for serious injury or death.
Most Common Long Island Construction Accidents
The following four accidents are the most common in New York and Long Island and account for the vast majority of injuries and fatalities. They have been named the “Fatal Four” because of their prevalence and propensity to cause deadly injuries. Combined, they account for almost 87 percent of all construction-related fatalities in the state of New York, including Long Island.
- Falls – Of all the accidents in the “Fatal Four,” falls account for the largest percentage. About 50 percent of all construction injuries and fatalities occur because of falls. Injuries often lead to death when the fall is from a height, like scaffolding, rafters, ladders, rooves, and elevator shafts. Workers can experience broken bones, spinal cord injuries and other serious injuries from falls.
- Electrocution – Unfinished wiring, which is common on construction sites, poses a risk for workers of being electrocuted. They can also encounter sparks or short-circuiting in the building or from running equipment. Burns, nerve damage, eye and ear injuries, cardiac events, and death can result from electric shock. Victims of electric shock can also experience vague, ongoing symptoms, like depression and insomnia.
- Caught in between equipment/machinery – Construction jobs almost always involve the use of major equipment and machinery. If appropriate care is not taken, workers can become trapped or pinned between, under, or inside a piece of equipment or machinery. Such an accident can result in loss of limbs or digits, broken bones, head injury, and death.
- Struck by an object – Construction workers are prone to be struck by objects when the job site is unsafe. Mishandled tools, equipment, and debris, for example, can strike workers nearby or below. If struck on the head, workers can suffer a concussion or other serious head injury, including traumatic brain injury. The effects of a brain injury can be devastating, and many workers struck by heavy objects will not survive.
While the Fatal Four account for a significant percentage of Long Island construction accidents, there are additional conditions that can lead to common accidents.
Additional Construction Accident Causes
When construction injuries cannot be attributed to one of the fatal four, they often occur from other common sources of hazardous conditions. In our experience representing injured workers, we have helped men and women injured by the following:
- Elevator or stair accidents
- Trench cave-ins or collapses
- Fires or explosions
- Struck by equipment or vehicles
- Slip and falls
Some of these unsafe conditions can be linked to one another. For instance, when workers are being forced or encouraged to work extended hours without breaks, the site they’re working on is also likely to contain other health and safety violations. Owners and contractors who commit working hours violations are statistically more likely to ignore or overlook other hazards on their job sites.
All of these accidents and the subsequent injuries have severe effects on the lives of workers and their families. In addition to the physical injuries, they deal with post-traumatic stress, high medical costs, and lost income for their households. In response to the dangers facing New York construction workers, the state has adopted several laws that seek to maintain safety measures on job sites and allow workers to pursue legal claims when they have not been adequately protected at work.
New York Construction Accident Cases
Injuries on the job usually make people think of worker’s compensation claims. People often mistakenly think a worker’s compensation claim is their only option for relief if they have been injured at work. While these claims do provide opportunities for compensation, many times, they are not adequate based on the injuries and the facts of the case. Injured construction workers may have the option to pursue claims against the owners or supervisors on their job sites under New York laws that specifically protect people working in the construction industry.
Construction project owners and contractors on Long Island have a legal obligation to maintain safe work sites for their workers. New York Labor Laws §200, §240 (1), and §241 (6) detail the various obligations owners, managers, and contractors are under when they hire workers for a project. The statutes also provide legal relief for victims of dangerous construction accidents.
Labor Law Section 200
Section 200 of New York’s Labor Laws gives workers an official statutory cause of action for negligence on their job sites. This law places specific duties upon the owners and managers at every construction site in the state and mandates that they use reasonable care to adequately protect the lives, health, and safety of everyone working on their sites.
To be successful on this kind of claim, you must be able to show that the owner or manager had some kind of notice of the dangerous condition that caused your injury and also had the authority to do something to correct it. In addition, if it can be shown that the owner or general contractor exercised control over the “means and methods” over the injured worker’s activity, then labor law section 200 can be invoked. In addition, the law will allow the owner or manager you’re suing to present any relevant evident of your own fault. In a theory called “comparative fault,” the defendant can show the ways you were to blame for your own injuries, and your award can be reduced by whatever percentage of fault belongs to you.
Labor Law Section 240 (1)
Section 240 (1) is commonly referred to as the “Scaffolding Law” because it requires construction sites to have certain tools and equipment that will prevent worker falls and falling objects, including scaffolding, hoists, ladders, ropes, and braces. These must be provided by the owner, contractor, or manager of the project and appropriately maintained to ensure safety.
In pursuing a claim under Section 240 (1), you have the opportunity to prove strict or absolute liability on the part of the owner or general contractor. This means if you are able to prove that the defendant violated, section 240 (1), you will have successfully proved that the defendant was legally liable. In this way, you do not have as many elements of your case to meet as in a general negligence accident claim. Under a Section 240 (1) strict liability cause of action, your own fault cannot be considered, so the defense cannot introduce evidence of it in an attempt to reduce your recovery.
That said, you succeed in a lawsuit under Section 240 (1) if you were provided appropriate tools and equipment and refused to use them. This statute is reserved for workers who did not receive the tools or training they needed to keep them safe or when the tools or training proved to be faulty or inadequate for the job.
Labor Law Section 241 (6)
Section 241 (6) of New York’s Labor Laws applies to activities on construction site like construction, demolition, renovation, and excavation of building or job sitesv.
Like under Section 240 (1), you can bring an action by using Section 241 (6) if you are able to prove a violation of an Industrial Code. But unlike Section 240 (1), your own fault will be allowed as evidence under a Section 241 (6) claim. This is something to keep in mind when considering this type of lawsuit.
Long Island Construction Accident Statute of Limitations
Before filing your Long Island accident claim, you need to be sure that you still have time to file under New York’s statutes of limitations laws. Statutes of limitations are essentially deadlines for filing claims imposed by state law. If you miss the deadline, you will never be able to file your claim, regardless of its merit.
These might sound like unfair laws, but they have the effect of preserving accurate and reliable evidence for your case. For instance, if you file quickly after your accident, your witnesses will be able to provide more accurate testimony because their memories will naturally be stronger than if you waited many years.
Generally, in New York, you have three years from the date of your construction accident to file your claim. However, this deadline is subject to change based on the facts and circumstances of your own case, including the injuries you’re claiming. This is why it is so important to work with a skilled construction accident attorney to make sure your rights are protected.
The Long Island lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP have the skills and knowledge to need to ensure you file a timely case. We will investigate your case and provide you with the answers you need to move forward. Contact us today to ask about your statute of limitations and the process of signing up a case with our firm.
Frequently Asked Questions About Construction Accident Lawsuits in New York
When our clients call us about their potential construction accident claims, they often have questions for us about these types of cases. Below you will find a list of some of the questions we tend to hear frequently, along with out answers.
What are the most common types of construction accidents?
The most common types of construction accidents on Long Island include:
- Caught in between equipment/machinery
- Struck by an object
- Elevator or stair accidents
- Trench cave-ins or collapses
- Fires or explosions
- Struck by equipment or vehicles
- Slip and falls
These often occur because appropriate care has not been taken to protect workers on site. When workers are involved in these accidents, they can suffer broken bones, dislocations, burns, head and neck trauma, internal injury, organ damage, limb and digit amputation, spinal injury, and even death. Our firm fights for men and women injured because of safety violations and negligence on job sites, and we can help you recover for your construction injuries.
How do I bring a Long Island construction accident claim?
In pursuing a Long Island construction accident claim, you will generally file a cause of action under New York negligence law. This will require you to prove four things:
- The defendant owed you a duty to use reasonable care;
- The defendant did not use reasonable care;
- You were injured in some way; and
- Your injury was caused by the defendant’s conduct.
Your attorney will conduct discovery and depositions to build your case and meet these elements throughout the course of litigation. In proving these case elements, you can present evidence of violations of New York’s Labor Laws, sections 200, 240 (1), and 241 (6), as explained above.
How is a construction accident lawsuit different from a worker’s compensation claim?
Under worker’s compensation laws, you can pursue a claim through your employer’s insurance carrier. After seeing a health care provider, you will complete paperwork and file a claim, meaning you will submit your claim to the insurance carrier. If successful, you can receive compensation for your medical expenses and sometimes lost wages.
In a construction accident lawsuit, you are suing the project owner, manager, or general contractor, and you actually file your claim in a court of law. This type of lawsuit allows you to pursue damages that can reach beyond what you might recover via worker’s compensation, like compensation for your physical and mental pain and suffering. Many of our clients decide this is the right choice for them and trust us to pursue litigation on their behalf. To find out more about the differences between these two claims and which is right for you, contact our firm today.
What kind of settlement can I receive?
It is very important to remember that settlements cannot be guaranteed, but we will work tirelessly to achieve the results you need. When you hire our firm, your attorney will pursue the following damages on your behalf:
- Medical bills costs
- Lost wages
- Compensation for pain and suffering
We will fully investigate your claim to make sure we have captured every possible area for compensation.
What Are the Next Steps?
To begin the process of investigating your potential construction accident claim, all you need to do is contact our office. You can either call us at the number listed below, or you can send us a message through the form on our website. We check these every day and will contact you for more information as soon as we review your message. Our firm will guide you through the rest of the process to make sure you always feel comfortable and prepared.
Why Choose Parker Waichman LLP?
Our construction accident law firm on Long Island, New York has a long history of advocating for victims of personal injury, including the hardworking men and women who build Long Island’s infrastructure. Our attorneys have earned a reputation of steadfast commitment to victims’ rights and fierce representation in the face of adversity. Fellow lawyers, judges, and our clients have given us numerous honors, including:
- 8 (out of a perfect 10) Rating by AVVO (a service that rates every attorney in the United States)
- “Preeminent Lawyers” AV Peer Review Rating (Martindale-Hubbell®
- Highest Ranking of “5 Dragons,” based on peer review by Lawdragon
- Listing in Best Lawyers Publication, determined by Extensive Peer Review
You and your family deserve compassionate, experienced representation following a harrowing accident and Parker Waichman LLP will deliver. If you or a loved one was injured in a construction accident, contact our law firm now to find out how we can help you secure results.
TALK WITH ONE OF OUR LONG ISLAND CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS TODAY
Our Long Island construction accident lawyers offer free, confidential consultations and will review your potential claim with no money down. Our construction accident cases use contingency fees, meaning we will only recover if you do. We are committed to easing your stress and not adding to your financial worry, and we understand the average person cannot keep up with the costs of litigating in a construction case. We will take on the financial aspect of your case so that you can focus on what matters most: your family and your health.
Parker Waichman LLP has secured more than $2 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients, and we approach every new case with the same vigor. When you work with us, you and your accident claims are important and will receive the attention they deserve. Call our firm today to set up your consultation and begin the process of achieving the answers and the outcome you and your family need.
Contact Parker Waichman LLP For Your Free Case Review Today
Parker Waichman LLP has extensive construction law experience, and we are prepared to advocate for your legal rights. If you were or a loved one was injured in a construction, contact Parker Waichman LLP today by filling out our online form or by calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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