Construction Accident Attorneys In Long Island
If you were injured in a Long Island construction site accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and obtain compensation for your injuries and damages. The Long Island construction accident attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have decades of experience successfully representing clients injured in various accidents. Our attorneys are here to answer any questions you may have about filing a construction injury lawsuit. Our firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations.
New York state law offers special protections to injured construction employees. Working in the construction industry is inherently challenging and dangerous, and these issues are especially prevalent in Long Island and areas of New York with a lot of development and construction. In certain cases, you may be able to file a lawsuit on top of workers’ compensation. For more information, contact one of our construction injury lawyers today.
Legal Rights for Long Island Construction Workers
With respect to Long Island construction accident lawsuits, it is crucial to examine and discuss New York labor laws designed to provide a safe working environment for construction employees. These laws are New York labor laws 200, 240 and 241.
Section 200 covers common law negligence; it is essentially a catch-all statute that says contractors and employers must provide a reasonably safe work environment. In other words, employers must take a reasonable amount of care not to harm their employees on the job site.
Section 240, known as “the scaffold law”, was enacted to ensure the safety of employees performing jobs at high elevations. This includes falls from ladders and scaffolds. Under New York labor law 240, owners and contractors must implement specific safety devices to prevent elevation-related injuries.
Section 241 outlines specific safety requirements that owners and contractors must follow during construction, excavation and demolition. New York labor law invokes strict liability, meaning injured workers do not have to prove negligence when certain safety codes are violated. If the owner or contractor fails to comply with certain rules, they are automatically liable for worker injuries.
Bayer’s Types of Construction Site Injuries
The construction industry has high rates of occupational injuries and deaths. If the proper safety measures are not implemented by all parties, a construction site accident can easily occur. Examples of construction site injuries include:
- Scaffold falls
- Falls from roofs or ladders
- Injuries from falling debris
- Injuries involving heavy machinery or equipment such as cranes, forklifts or bulldozers
New York state laws offer legal protections for construction workers because they face a significant risk of occupational injury. Many jobs on a construction site are performed at high elevations, and require the use of tall ladders and scaffolding. Additionally, employees and their co-workers use heavy machinery and high-powered equipment regularly. These individuals must be given adequate training to avoid injury.
Contractors and owners must also provide the appropriate safety gear, such as hardhats and harnesses, to reduce the risk of construction accidents. A number of safety requirements are outlined in New York labor law 241.
Construction fatalities in New York are on the rise, according to a January 2017 report issued by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH). The report found a disproportionate number of deaths with Latino construction workers, at non-union sites, and sites with safety violations. Additionally, the report highlighted that penalties for violations are often small.
From 2006 through 2015, there were 464 construction fatalities in New York state. The most common cause of death was falls. Nearly half of construction deaths in the state were caused by falls.
Safety violations were common, the report found. In 2014, two-thirds of OSHA-inspected sites had safety violations and 87 percent of fatalities cites had safety violations that year.
Suing for a Construction Site Injury
Most occupational injuries will simply result in workers’ compensation, an insurance policy through your employer that offers medical benefits and compensation if you were injured on the job. In most cases, receiving workers’ compensation bars injured employees from filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. An exception to this law is if the worker suffers a “grave injury”, such as death, amputation, or paraplegia. You may also be filed to file a lawsuit against a third-party.
Generally, construction accidents can allege general negligence, failing to follow industrial code safety standards and violating worker safety statutes.
When filing a construction injury lawsuit over negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant was able to exert control over the site. Defendants may include owners, contractors, subcontractors, or lessees. The injured plaintiff must also show that the defendant knew or should have known about the dangerous condition on the site but failed to address the problem. Again, keep in mind that workers’ compensation bars many claims.
These above requirements do not apply if the plaintiff is suing over industrial code violations outlined in labor law 241. The worker can bring a claim for an injury that resulted from said industrial code violation. In this type of lawsuit, the plaintiff only needs to show that the defendant knew or should have known about the violation.
The final category holds a defendant absolutely liable for violating labor law 240, which involves elevation risks. If safety devices such as scaffolding, pulleys or ladders fail and cause injury, the defendant is responsible for worker injuries.
Construction injuries can easily be serious and life-threatening. Injured workers can obtain damages for medical bills, including doctors’ visits, hospital bills, surgery, prescriptions and physical rehabilitation. Lawsuits can also be filed for lost wages, both past and future. Serious construction accidents may leave some individuals permanently disabled and unable to earn an income. Construction accident injuries can also lead to damages for pain and suffering, including mental anguish and loss of enjoyment in life.
For more information about whether you qualify for a construction accident lawsuit, contact one of our attorneys today.
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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