NYC Construction Accident Lawyer
Did you suffer an injury in a construction accident in NYC? You can recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. An experienced New York construction accident lawyer at The Platta Law Firm helps you fight to maximize your financial recovery.
Our attorneys are the fiercest advocates for injured construction workers in New York City. We go toe-to-toe with insurance companies every day – and win big for our clients.
Whether you’re trying to get workers’ compensation benefits or file a lawsuit, The Platta Law Firm is here to help. Contact our law offices in NYC to learn more about your legal rights and options. We offer a free consultation, so do not hesitate to call us at 212-514-5100 to schedule yours today.
Our Recent Victories With Construction Accident Cases
With more than 130 years of combined experience, our legal team has helped clients who suffered on-the-job construction site injuries for years. Find some of our construction site cases below:
- $48,000,000 for a construction worker that fell on temporary wooden stairs that had not been properly placed and installed.
- $4,495,000 for a 34-year-old construction worker injured on a demolition job.
- $4,200,000 for a 62-year-old construction worker injured due to a fall from a scaffold.
- $4,000,000 for a 55-year-old roofer who fell off a ladder on a school renovation project.
- $3,250,000 for a 44-year-old plumber injured when working in unsafe conditions.
- $3,100,000 for a 51-year-old painter injured while working on an unsecured ladder.
What’s My Construction Accident Case Worth?
Many factors affect how much a case is worth. Some of the variables based on the specifics of your case are:
- What types of injuries do you have?
- Are you expected to make a full recovery?
- Are you going to pursue workers’ compensation benefits, file a lawsuit or both?
- How will your injuries affect your ability to work – now and in the future?
- What impact does the trauma of your construction accident have?
The value of your case can also depend on the attorney you choose to represent you. Construction accident cases can be incredibly complicated. You’ll want an attorney who knows New York Labor Laws inside and out.
NYC Construction Site Injury Statistics
Working at a construction site is one of the most dangerous careers in the United States. There are approximately 35,000 active construction projects across all five boroughs. That makes it the fourth-largest construction industry site in the nation.
Unfortunately, this means thousands of construction workers will be seriously injured or killed. Construction workers make up about 5 percent of the workforce in New York City. They also account for about 27 percent of all work-related deaths.
How Many Workers Are Injured or Killed in NYC Construction Accidents Every Year?
According to a report published by the NYC Department of Buildings, there were 959 construction-related accidents in New York City in 2019. Those accidents resulted in no fewer than 595 injuries and 12 deaths.
In 2020, during a year when construction and worksites across the city were essentially shut down because of the Coronavirus pandemic, there were 484 reported construction accidents in NYC. At least 502 workers were injured and another eight were killed in these work accidents. The total number of construction accidents declined, but the fatality rate increased.
What Are the Top Four Causes Of Fatal Accidents in Construction?
Four categories of workplace hazards cause most worker deaths. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calls them the “Four Fatal” hazards of the construction industry:
Caught in Between Objects
Being caught between objects, which is responsible for two percent of fatal construction accidents, occurs when a worker is trapped or compressed by equipment or other items.
Electrocution makes up more than 10 percent of construction fatalities. Exposed wires, faulty wiring and other electrical problems cause numerous deaths yearly. While electricians are at the greatest risk of being electrocuted, other laborers are also susceptible.
Falls cause about 36 percent of all fatal construction accidents nationwide. A small slip or trip on debris or equipment can spell danger for a construction worker, especially if working above the ground on a ladder or scaffolding. According to the New York City Health Department Bureau of Vital Statistics, falls caused 58 percent of construction accident deaths between 2007 and 2014. Data shows that 25 percent of these fatal accidents involved falls from scaffolding, 16 percent were ladder falls, and another 11 percent fell from roofs.
Struck by Objects
Construction workers are often struck by falling objects. Anytime gravity causes an object to move (particularly a heavy one), workers risk being struck and killed.
Objects Falling to the Ground From Above Can Hurt Workers and Pedestrians
Construction work often involves working at extreme heights or operating heavy equipment such as cranes and forklifts. If an object falls from a height to the ground, this endangers not only workers at ground level but also pedestrians.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires that any work above six feet on a construction site needs fall protection. This rule is not always adhered to whether it is six feet or higher. When this happens, the injured party has a right to claim compensation through workers’ comp or by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Why Do Construction Site Accidents Happen?
Fatality investigations by OSHA reveal that there’s typically one “serious safety violation” cited in more than 90 percent of New York City cases. Willful violations – where an employer knew about the issue but didn’t take action to fix it – were present in 12 percent of all OSHA fatal NYC construction accident investigations. As a result, some of the most common causes of construction accidents and site injuries in New York City were due to the following:
- Defective machinery
- Failure to provide adequate or necessary safety equipment such as with trenching accidents
- Failure to provide adequate training and supervision
- Defective or unsafe work equipment seen in welding accidents and others
- Failure to properly secure or otherwise safeguard equipment
- Working from heights on unsecured platforms or faulty ladders.
Fortunately, New York has many labor laws in place that can be used to hold those responsible for worksite safety accountable.
What New York State Labor Laws Protect Construction Workers?
New York has some of the most comprehensive legal protections for construction workers. They are:
Labor Law 240
The Scaffolding Law: Under Labor Law 240, workers must be provided with specific safety devices such as scaffolds or ladders that protect them from falling from a height. The same law protects workers when struck by falling objects such as construction materials or debris. When these accidents happen, the law renders the property owner and general contractor liable for the workers’ injuries. A violation of this law allows a construction worker to recover monetary damages from the property owner and/or the general contractor.
Labor Law 241
Under New York Labor Law Section 241, an owner or general contractor is responsible for failing to comply with the specific regulations of the State’s Industrial Code, Rule 23. This deals with protections required in construction, demolition and excavation operations such as material and personnel hoisting, power-operated equipment, cranes and derricks, scaffolding and exhaust gases from internal combustion engines.
Labor Law 200
New York Labor Law Section 200 protects you when a contractor fails to provide “reasonable and adequate protection” for your “health and safety” at a construction site. Section 200 offers broad protections for workers and violations can warrant civil actions for damages. Liability could attach if a worker falls into an uncovered hole, slips or trips on construction debris on the floor or is injured when a trench wall collapses.
Can I Sue My Employer After I Get Hurt in a Construction Accident?
In New York, you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer with several exceptions. In most cases, this inability applies even if your employer was directly responsible for the injury. That’s because almost all employers in New York are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Under this no-fault system, injured workers are entitled to benefits, regardless of who’s at fault. In exchange for benefits, the worker waives the right to file a lawsuit against their employer. There are, however, exceptions to this rule:
- Suppose the employer does not provide workers’ compensation insurance. In that case, you are entitled to file a civil lawsuit against your employer. They will then be held responsible for payment of your injury compensation.
- The worker is employed by the NY Sanitation Department, NY Fire Department or the NYC Police. These employers are not required to have workers’ comp.
- The employer injures the worker intentionally.
- If a third party causes the accident, this is considered an exception and includes negligence caused by a contractor, owner or another worker. Such claims are then filed as a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. An example is an elevator accident where a third party operates and maintains the machinery.
- The cause of the accident is a defective tool, scaffold or another item. In this case, a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor and designer can be filed. In addition, a lack of warning about dangers associated with the item can be a source of product liability.
What if I Am an Undocumented NYC Construction Worker? What Are My Rights?
A significant number of New York City construction workers are immigrants – including many who are undocumented. Will being an undocumented worker prevent you from recovering compensation if you suffer injuries on a dangerous construction site in New York? The short answer is no. Under New York State Labor Law, everyone – regardless of immigration status – has the right to seek compensation for work-related injuries.
Additionally, your status as an undocumented immigrant can’t be used against you. Your employer can’t deny benefits or threaten to report your immigration status to the police or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if you attempt to exercise your rights.
If your employer or their insurance company engages in any of this behavior, or if you have a reasonable fear that your immigration status will be unlawfully disclosed, do not hesitate to contact us. Our New York construction accident attorneys will help you hold your employer accountable and work to get you the benefits you deserve under the law.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you file a claim for workers’ compensation, the following benefits can be awarded:
- Medical Expenses: Reasonable and necessary medical costs.
- Temporary Total Disability: Two-thirds of your average weekly wage before your injury (multiplied by your percentage of disability).
- Temporary Partial Disability: The difference between your earnings before the accident and your current salary.
- Permanent Disability: Benefits awarded to compensate for your reduced earning ability if your construction accident injury is permanent.
- Death Benefits: Families who lose a loved one in a fatal NYC construction accident receive death benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits have many limits. Many are subject to caps – meaning that there are maximum amounts you can recover for your lost wages.
Damages in a Third-Party Personal Injury Lawsuit in a Construction Accident Case
Often, it’s possible to also secure compensation by filing a third-party lawsuit. Damages in civil lawsuits are more expansive and can even include compensation for your pain and suffering. Review the following damages below:
- Medical expenses, including hospitalization and surgery
- Medical equipment
- Medical devices, including prosthetics
- Loss of income and wages
- Nursing care
- Chronic pain and mental anguish
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
NYC Construction Accidents Can Cause Debilitating Injuries
Any injury suffered on a job site in New York City can have long-lasting effects. Some common injuries are:
- Broken bones
- Electrical injuries
- Eye injury and loss of vision or hearing
- Traumatic brain injury, including concussions
- Spinal cord injury with or without paralysis
- Neck, back, chest or degloving injuries
- Crush injury
- Wrongful death
Can I Recover Compensation if I’m Partly at Fault for My Construction Accident?
Typically, yes. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so benefits are available regardless of who’s responsible. Sharing fault will, however, affect your ability to recover damages in a third-party lawsuit. New York operates under a pure comparative negligence system. Your contribution to the accident changes your financial award. Your financial award reduces by your percentage of liability.
What Evidence Can Help My Attorney Win My Construction Accident Lawsuit?
When you file a third-party construction accident lawsuit, you’ll have the burden of proving that someone else was negligent (or strictly liable) and responsible for your injuries. You’ll need facts and evidence to support this claim. Here are some examples:
- Pictures and video camera footage are raw evidence that provides the basis for any accident claim.
- Written statements recorded right after an accident have the most impact in a case. Obtaining witness or worker statements will help your case later on.
- Pieces of equipment from a construction site or any other object tied to your accident will be valuable to your case.
- Police or accident reports provide a level of legitimacy for any claim. Often, they contain important details that are likely to be lost or forgotten over time. Also, it is important to be mindful of mistakes or intentional errors in the report.
- Worker information, including the names, occupations and responsibilities of everyone on the construction accident jobsite is helpful in proving negligence.
- Depositions are written or verbal statements taken under oath that provide evidence during a construction accident lawsuit. Depositions are taken before or during a trial. If you bring a construction injury claim, our attorneys will depose witnesses, co-workers, supervisors and other relevant parties.
Calculating Financial and Physical Damages in a Construction Accident
Next, you will need to prove the physical trauma and wage loss caused by the construction accident. Some ways to do that are:
- Medical records are essential to document injuries in a construction accident case. You’ll need to prove your injuries are related to the construction accident. Your medical records help establish that critical causal link.
- Evidence of pain and suffering is vital for a construction site accident claim. Showing your sudden inability to perform daily tasks or make a proper living is important to your case.
- Government and agency reports, including those from the NYPD, NYC Department of Buildings records, violations, citations and OSHA investigations can help provide documented evidence.
- Employer job documents, including work permits, daily logs and worker safety inspections among others are all essential to proving your claim.
- Workers’ compensation records are helpful when dealing with a construction accident.
- Employment records to calculate wage loss are essential. If you are self-employed, tax records or client contracts suffice.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim After a New York Construction Accident?
For workers’ compensation, notify your employer within 30 days of suffering an injury on a job site in New York City for workers’ compensation. Then, you’ll have a maximum of two years to file a formal request for workers’ comp benefits. If you have the ability to file a personal injury lawsuit, the statute of limitations is three years. For wrongful death claims arising from a fatal construction injury, families have just two years to take action.
There are some exceptions to these rules, but they’re few and far between. It is essential to know that you will forfeit your right to secure benefits or win damages if you miss the deadline that applies to your case. Contact our New York City construction accident lawyers for immediate assistance. We are ready to help you fight to win your case and maximize your recovery.
Why You Should Hire an NYC Construction Accident Lawyer
Whether you’re trying to get workers’ compensation benefits or file a lawsuit, it can be challenging to get the money you deserve. Insurance companies will fight you every step of the way and your employer, property owners and other negligent parties will too.
Don’t underestimate your injuries – physical or otherwise. Our experienced construction accident attorneys in NYC will carefully evaluate your circumstances to identify your damages. We’ll consult with experts, when necessary, to help us better understand how your injuries and trauma affect you – now and in the future.
With this detailed and comprehensive approach, we can be confident that we enter negotiations (or trial) armed with the strongest arguments to get the compensation you deserve.
Why Choosing The Platta Law Firm Is Right for Your Construction Accident
The construction accident lawyers at The Platta Law Firm can help you after an accident. We’re the award-winning trial attorneys you’ll want standing beside you as you go up against tough insurance companies and defendants with seemingly endless resources. Here’s why:
- You’ll benefit from our attorneys’ 130 years of combined litigation experience.
- We’ve won hundreds of millions of dollars for injured workers and accident victims throughout NYC.
- We’re nationally recognized by respected legal organizations – including Super Lawyers, the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, and Lawyers of Distinction.
When you suffer injuries, call The Platta Law Firm right away. We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis. Contingency means you risk nothing in asking for our help since we are paid only if we win your case. Our law firm represents injured workers in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the greater New York City metro area. Call us at 212-514-5100 to get started now or contact us online.