Construction work is physically demanding and carries an ever-present risk of injury. Building sites are inherently dangerous places, due to their unfinished conditions and constant, diverse activity. Construction work in urban environments like New York can be especially perilous due to confined spaces, traffic congestion and other unique factors.
Here are the most common types of construction accidents that occur in New York City:
- Falls — Improperly built scaffolding, cluttered pathways, open excavations and exposed elevator shafts can create extreme risks. Construction in NYC often extends vertically to great heights, making falls even more perilous.
- Being struck by an object — Tools, material or debris falling from above, especially from heights, become projectiles that can cause injury to people below.
- Vehicle accidents — Jobsites typically require specialized vehicles, many of which are operating simultaneously. The resulting noise, dust and constant activity create risks for those onsite.
- Caught in/caught between accidents — Construction workers can be caught in moving machinery or pinned between vehicles and/or fixtures on site. Collapsing trenches are another place where “caught in” injuries occur.
- Construction defects — Materials, tools or vehicles can be defective or inadequately maintained. Additional dangers are present if the buildings or structures under construction violate building codes.
Whatever the reason that a construction accident occurs, the injured worker is in need of medical treatment, reimbursement for missed pay and rehabilitation to permit getting back to work as soon as possible. Construction workers employed by businesses or contractors are covered by workers’ compensation, which is a form of no-fault insurance. This is the only source of compensation that employees can obtain from their employers. In fact, employees are barred from suing their employers in court over work-related injuries.
However, a construction accident may be caused in part by the conduct or negligence of a third party that does not employ the injured worker. Such a party may be one of the following:
- The owner of the site
- Independent contractors working onsite
- Manufacturers of tools or products used on the job
- Anyone responsible for maintaining a safe working environment
A third-party lawsuit is separate and apart from a workers’ comp claim. It requires proving the other party was at fault for the accident. However, unlike a workers’ comp claim, a third-party suit can seek damages for noneconomic injuries like pain and suffering, emotional trauma, bodily disfigurement and loss of quality of life.
If you’re injured in a construction accident in New York City, you need an advocate on your side to pursue all the compensation that you are legally entitled to. Goldberg Sager & Associates in Brooklyn has the knowledge and experience to maximize your workers’ comp benefits and any other recovery possible based on the facts of your case. Contact us online or call 718-514-9516 to schedule an initial consultation.