When you file a construction accident lawsuit, you’ll have the burden of proving that someone else was negligent (or is strictly liable) and, therefore, responsible for your injuries. You’ll need facts and evidence to support this claim. The following evidence can be helpful in supporting your lawsuit (and your claim for workers’ comp benefits, too):
- Pictures, security footage, and recordings are raw evidence that provides the foundational base for any accident claim.
- Written statements recorded right after an accident have the most impact in a case. You should cooperate with the authorities but stay true and consistent in your story.
- Pieces of equipment from a construction site or any other object tied to your accident will be valuable to the case. Moreover, having possession of a physical piece of evidence has always been historically helpful.
- Police or accident reports provide a level of legitimacy for any accident case. Often, they contain important details that are likely to be lost or forgotten over time.
- Medical records are essential to your well-being and the timeline of any construction accident case. You’ll need to prove your injuries are related to your construction accident. Your medical records can help establish that critical causal link.
- Worker information: including the names, occupations, and responsibilities of everyone on the jobsite.
- Witness statements and affidavits.
- Depositions can also be incredibly helpful during a construction accident lawsuit. If you bring a construction injury claim under Labor Law 240 (New York’s Scaffolding Law) or another civil code, our attorneys will depose witnesses, co-workers, supervisors, and other relevant parties.
- Evidence of pain and suffering brings the humanity of a case to light. Therefore, presenting your sudden inability to perform daily tasks or make a proper living is always taken into consideration.
- Government and agency reports: including NYPD accident reports, NYC Department of Buildings records, violations, and citations, and OSHA investigations (current and prior citations).
- Employer job documents: including work permits, daily logs, safety meeting records and minutes, safety memos, inspection reports, safety equipment inspection and maintenance records, photographs of the jobsite and construction progress.
- Workers’ Compensation records: including ambulance reports, hospitalization records and information, rehabilitation records, your workers’ compensation file, and prior claims submitted.
- Your tax and employment records: including Union records, job file, and tax returns showing your income history.
- Insurance policies and endorsements that cover the worksite and property.
- A death certificate and autopsy reports if a construction worker was killed in a fatal jobsite accident.
The Importance of Depositions in a New York Construction Accident Lawsuit
A deposition is essentially a witness’s sworn statement that’s provided out of court before a trial begins. These depositions can help to shed light on your construction accident and allow us to gain insight into how your jobsite was operated by your employer – potentially highlighting errors, mistakes, or even blatant violations of NYC construction safety laws.
Our New York City construction accident lawyers have decades of experience handling lawsuits like yours – we know which pieces of evidence will be most helpful as we fight for damages. Let us handle your legal battle. You take the time you need to recover. Contact our law offices in Manhattan to discuss your case now.
How Many Workers Are Injured or Killed on NYC Construction Accidents Every Year?
According to a report published by the NYC Department of Buildings, there were a total of 959 construction-related accidents in New York City in 2019. Those accidents resulted in no fewer than 595 injuries and 12 deaths. That’s roughly 2.6 job-site accidents, injuring anywhere between one and two laborers every single day. 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 8 were killed in these tragic work accidents. Even though the total number of construction accidents declined during this period of time, the fatality rate increased.
Why Do Construction Accidents Happen?
Construction sites are dangerous places to work. When safety regulations are followed – by both employers and workers – accidents shouldn’t happen.
Unfortunately, all it takes is a simple act of negligence to put workers at serious risk of harm. And, unfortunately, OSHA fatality investigations reveal that there’s typically at least 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 construction site injuries in New York City include:
- Defective machinery
- Failure to provide adequate or necessary safety equipment
- Failure to provide adequate training and supervision
- Defective or unsafe work equipment
- Failure to properly secure or otherwise safeguard equipment
- Working from heights on unsecured platforms or structures
Fortunately, New York has many labor laws in place that can be used to hold those responsible for worksite safety accountable if and when accidents happen.
What if I am an Undocumented Worker? What are My Rights?
It’s well established that 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 The Platta Law Firm. 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.