Every day, throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties, workers are injured in construction accidents. Given the inherent dangers associated with the performance of construction work, the injuries are often debilitating and sometimes deadly. If you or a loved one have been injured while working on a construction site, contact the Long Island construction accident attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. for a free initial consultation.
Construction work is a uniquely dangerous occupation because of the significant injury risks that are always present on the job. There are four types of alarmingly common types of accidents, known as the “Fatal Four”:
Falls accounted for 39 percent of construction accident-related deaths during 2017 alone, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Falls from ladders, scaffolding, or other equipment can result in long-lasting or permanent injuries.
Eight percent of construction worker fatalities in 2017 were due to being struck by an object, such as a forklift, falling equipment, or a construction vehicle.
Electrocution resulted in seven percent of the fatal construction accidents, often occurring from a lack of training, faulty equipment, or improper maintenance.
OSHA estimates five percent of workers to have been killed by being stuck or crushed by various types of construction site equipment.
Injuries also occur in slip and fall accidents, structure collapses, burn accidents, as well as from exposure to toxic chemicals. If not fatal, all of these dangers frequently lead to injuries that impact the ability to work and to carry out regular daily chores and activities. Sometimes these impacts are short-term, but often they are long-term or permanent.
Employers are generally required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees who cannot work due to job-related injury. If you were injured at work in a construction accident, you should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits will cover medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages.
Immediately after getting hurt, it is vital to report your injury to your employer, in order to maximize your chances of receiving the benefits you are entitled to.. When reporting the incident, you should provide specific information, including the date and time of the injury, names of witnesses, the location of the accident, and the events that caused your injury. Next, you may be required to submit to a medical examination by your employer. However, after that evaluation you are entitled to continue treatment with your physician of choice.
New York workers’ compensation laws state that your employer must be given notice of the injury within 30 days, then in most cases you will have two years to file a workers’ compensation claim. If a third party was responsible for the accident, you might be entitled to additional compensation through a personal injury claim in Long Island.
Fortunately, not all hope is lost when a claim is workers’ compensation claim denied. There is an appeal process with the Workers’ Compensation Board that an attorney can help you with. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier may deny your claim for a variety of reasons, such as disputing the fact that it happened at work or blaming your own workplace activities for the injury. Unfortunately, you will not receive temporary benefits while the appeal is pending. However, if you do win at the Workers’ Compensation Board hearing, you will be reimbursed for all back payments of weekly benefits and medical bills. Therefore, it is important to keep any and all documentation to help in the claim and appeals process.
When a construction worker is killed on the job, the victim’s family members may be able to receive workers’ compensation survivor benefits from the employer. Regardless of the number of survivors, the total amount of benefits allowed by the state is equal to two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage for the year before the accident.
There also may be the potential for surviving family members to obtain compensation through a third-party liability claim. New York law permits the decedent’s dependents to file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for loss of financial support, loss of household services and loss of parental guidance.
Liability is often difficult to determine in construction site accidents, as multiple parties may be involved in construction operations. A third party liability claim can be made concurrently with a workers’ compensation claim. A third party liability claim may involve the following parties:
Owners have control over the premises on which the work is being done and, thus, a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for workers. In some cases, even if the property owner was unaware of a dangerous condition, they may still be liable.
General contractors, construction managers and/or subcontractors, are legally obligated to ensure a construction site is safe and to warn workers of any hazards with or where the work is being performed. Since several contractors may work on a construction site, if one of their workers’ negligent actions caused or contributed to your injury, then they may be liable.
This includes engineers and architects, who have the responsibility of ensuring that their plans are not defective.
These parties may be held responsible for an injury that results from defective or malfunctioning machinery, equipment, or materials.
It is unlikely that you will be able to sue your employer, due to workers’ compensation laws that do not, except in limited circumstances, allow workers to sue their employers.
When investigating a construction accident that has caused an injury or death, an attorney can investigate to determine whether one or more New York labor laws were violated by any party. The following statutes provide health and safety protections for workers in Long Island:
This provision creates liability for those parties who are in control of the instrumentality or activity that causes harm as well for those parties who were on notice of a dangerous condition that caused the accident.
Also known as the “Scaffold Law,” as it outlines special protections for workers who may be hurt in gravity-related accidents involving either a falling worker or object.
This law creates liability when specific provisions of the New York State Industrial Code more specific regulations as to how an employer is responsible for employees on construction, demolition, and excavation sites, as well as details the equipment that must be provided.
If you or a loved one has been injured while working on a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation from a liable third party, in addition to your workers’ compensation. The best way to protect your interests is to secure the help of a law firm with proven expertise in construction site accident claims. With the assistance of an attorney, injured workers can collect other benefits, such as:
No matter the type of construction accident, the right attorney will have the resources needed to investigate and the skill to secure the maximum amount of compensation possible. As a result, you’ll have the ability to focus on recovering without worrying about legal matters.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a construction accident, our law firm can help. Contact a Long Island construction accident lawyer at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. so that we can help you and your family with the financial recovery process. We proudly represent clients in Nassau County, Suffolk County, and throughout the entire state of New York.
We care about our clients, and we will aggressively pursue your claim so that you receive the compensation that you deserve. The recovery process may not be easy, but it is much easier when you have an experienced legal advocate on your side. Contact our construction injury lawyers today at (212) 732-9000.