Labor Law Injury Attorneys In New York
The New York construction accident attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have decades of experience successfully representing clients in personal injury lawsuits. Men and women working in the construction industry are exposed to many different hazards that can lead to serious, sometimes fatal injuries if the proper safety precautions are not taken.
Construction injuries and deaths are especially relevant in New York, where work is constantly being done to construct new buildings and repair existing structures.
Given the inherent risks of working in construction, the law offers special protections in construction workers. If you were injured due to a construction injury, such as ladder or scaffold falls, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, contact one of our construction injury lawyers today.
Construction Accidents and Injuries
The construction industry is inherently challenging and dangerous. Workers often do jobs at elevated heights, use high-powered equipment, and are exposed to many different, potentially hazardous materials and situations. Negligence, faulty equipment, poor training, and failure to comply with safety laws can easily lead to a serious injury or fatality on a construction site.
If you were injured in a construction accident, contact one of our attorneys today to determine if you have a case. Our firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations.
Falls are one of the most common construction accidents. Construction workers may be injured by falling off a roof, scaffold, ladder, or other heights. Accidents may also involve the use of heavy machinery, such as cranes, forklifts, wood chippers or power drills.
Other injuries may include electrocution or electrical injuries, or injuries from falling debris. A construction injury lawsuit may allege that the employer was negligent and failed to provide the required standard of care. A construction accident lawsuit may also involve strict liability, such as when an employer violates a specific safety requirement.
Workers’ compensation, which covers on-the-job injuries, may be inadequate for damages sustained due to a construction injury. Filing a construction accident lawsuit can obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
New York Labor Law 200: Common Law Negligence
New York labor laws offer special protections to construction professionals. Section 200 involves common law negligence, and states that “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.”
In other words, owners and contractors must take a reasonable amount of care to prevent their workers from being injured. A worker can sue if they were injured due to unreasonably dangerous conditions at the workplace.
New York Labor Law 240: The Scaffold Law
New York Labor Law 240 is often referred to the “scaffold law” because it involves injuries at high elevations, such as high falls or being struck with a falling object. A lawsuit may be filed against a construction firm for failing to provide protective equipment. Labor 240 applies when a building is being erected or repaired.
New York Labor Law 241: Safety Requirements During Construction, Excavation, Demolition
Section 241 of New York labor law dictates that specific actions must be performed and certain equipment must be provided to maintain safety. Under New York Labor Law 241, construction employers must provide safety equipment to all workers. Unlike section 240, which only involves work being done on an elevated platform, 241 encompasses all types of construction injuries that can occur during construction, excavation or demolition.
Labor Law 241 is an overall law ensuring the safety of all construction workers. It dictates specific requirements that must be followed to prevent injuries and deaths.
Section 241 involves strict liability. This means that violating one of these safety laws inherently constitutes negligence. The plaintiff does not need to show proof of negligence outside of this. For example, a construction worker may be able to sue his employer if he was injured because the company failed to provide a piece of safety equipment.
NYCOSH Report Shows Construction Deaths are Increasing in New York
Unfortunately, recent statistics indicate that construction deaths are increasing in both New York state and New York City. In January 2017, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) released a report titled “Deadly Skyline: An Annual Report on Construction Fatalities in New York State.” NYCOSH reported that construction deaths were increasing; fatalities were higher among Latino workers, non-union construction sites, and at sites with safety violations.
According to the NYCOSH report, there were 464 construction deaths in New York state from 2006 through 2015. This figure is “trending upward”, the report said. The most common cause of death is falls; 49 percent of construction deaths in New York state were caused by falling. In New York City, falls accounted for 59 percent of deaths.
Not surprisingly, construction deaths were more common at sites with safety violations. Furthermore, the report found safety violations to be highly prevalent and carrying small penalties. NYCOSH reported that two-thirds of construction sites inspected by OSHA in 2014 had safety violations; 87 percent of construction deaths occurred on sites with safety violations that same year. In 2015, 90 percent of construction fatalities occurred on sites with safety violations.
“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.”
Filing a New York Accident
If you or someone you know is interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit involving an accident that occurred in New York, contact one of our New York 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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