Labor Law Injury Attorneys In Long Island
Working in the construction industry is dangerous. Individuals who work on construction sites are regularly placed in situations in which they can be easily injured if the proper safety precautions are not implemented. At Parker Waichman LLP, our Long Island construction accident attorneys are here to answer any questions you may have about filing a construction injury lawsuit. Our firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations.
The Long Island labor law attorneys have decades of experience successfully representing clients injured in various accidents. Compensation from a lawsuit can help pay for medical bills and lost wages. Common construction injuries include falls from high elevations, such as ladder falls, or scaffold falls. Under New York state law, injured construction workers have certain legal rights. For more information, contact one of our construction injury lawyers today.
Construction Accidents and Injuries
There are many things that can go wrong on a construction site. An injured construction worker may file a lawsuit if they were injured due to negligence.
Examples of construction injuries include:
- Falls from scaffolding
- Falls from roofs or ladders
- Injuries from falling debris
- Injuries involving heavy machinery or equipment such as cranes, forklifts or bulldozers
By nature, working on a construction site carries risks. Workers often perform jobs at elevated heights and need to use high-powered equipment. Due to the dangers of construction work, the law requires sites to provide a baseline level of safety to protect workers. Defective equipment, inadequate training, lack of safety gear, failure to comply with safety laws and overall negligence can cause injuries and death.
An injured construction employee may pursue litigation if they were hurt due to negligence. The lawsuit must show that the employer did not provide the required standard of care. A construction injury claim may involve strict liability, where the employer is shown to be automatically negligent for failing to comply with safety regulations.
Although workers’ compensation provides benefits for occupational injuries, the award may not be enough to cover a construction injury, which can easily be severe or debilitating. Filing a personal injury lawsuit may be the best way to maximize compensation for your construction accident. For more information about whether you qualify for a construction accident lawsuit, contact one of our attorneys today.
New York Labor Law 200: Common Law Negligence
Construction workers in Long Island are protected by New York labor laws, which ensure a basic level of safety. Labor laws 200, 240 and 241 provide specific protections for construction workers.
According to section 200, “All places … shall 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. All machinery, equipment and devices in such places shall be so placed, operated, guarded and lighted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to all such persons.”
Labor Law 200, which discusses common law negligence, essentially states that owners and contractors must take a reasonable amount of care to protect construction employees from harm. An injured worker may sue if they were injured due to unsafe conditions at the job site.
New York Labor Law 240: The Scaffold Law
New York Labor Law 240 commonly known as “scaffold law”, is so-called because it was enacted to address scaffold falls and scaffold injuries. Section 240 concerns injuries occurring at high elevations when a building is being erected or repaired. This labor law is specific to work being done on an elevated platform. It also involves injuries due to falling debris.
New York Labor Law 241: Safety Requirements During Construction, Excavation, Demolition
While section 240 involves work being done on an elevated platform, section 241 provides more general protections for all types of construction injuries that can occur during construction, excavation or demolition.
New York labor law 241 outlines specific requirements and actions that must be taken to ensure safety. For example, construction employers must provide the appropriate protective gear to all their employees. If they fail to do this and the worker is injured as a result, they have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Under section 241, an employer is automatically negligent if their failure to comply with safety regulations caused injury. This is known as strict liability. When a lawsuit is filed over strict liability, the plaintiff does not need to show fault outside of a specific action. The safety violation itself proves negligence. For example, a construction worker may file a personal injury claim because his employer failed to provide a hardhat; as a result, he was injured when hit in the head by a piece of equipment.
Construction Fatalities Rising in New York, NYCOSH Report Shows
New York City and its surrounding areas are frequently being developed, repaired and expanded. As such, construction work occurs frequently in the New York area. Recent statistics show that work is needed to improve construction safety. According to a January 2017 report released by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), construction deaths are increasing in New York State.
The report, titled, “Deadly Skyline: An Annual Report on Construction Fatalities in New York State”, found that a higher proportion of construction deaths among Latino workers and non-union construction sites.
Furthermore, fatalities mostly occurred at sites with safety violations. NYCOSH noted that employers face only light penalties for safety failures, and called for legislative change.
“We need to take action now to end the crisis of rising construction fatalities in New York State,” said Charlene Obernauer, Executive Director of NYCOSH in a Jan. 18, 2017 press release. “These deaths are almost always preventable and occur on non-union job sites 80% of the time. Latino workers compose the majority of fall fatalities—57% in 2015; and there is a strong correlation between employers who steal workers’ wages and who force workers to work under unsafe conditions,”
Statewide, a total of 464 construction employees died due to occupational accidents from 2006 through 2015. NYCOSH said the rate of deaths is “trending upward”. Falls were the most common cause of deaths, accounting for 49 percent of fatalities in New York state and 59 percent of deaths in New York City.
About two-thirds of construction sites inspected by OSHA in 2014 had safety violations, the report found. Furthermore, these sites were more likely to have construction deaths. Among sites with fatalities that year, a whopping 87 percent had safety violations. This figure rose to 90 percent in 2015.
Filing a Long Island Construction Accident Lawsuit
If you or someone you know is interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit involving an accident that occurred on Long Island, contact one of our Long Island accident attorneys today. Parker Waichman offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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