New York Construction
Results Matter • Over $2 billion Recovered • Experienced Attorneys
Defective Scaffolding - Laborer Falls - Verdict
In favor of our client, a laborer, and against the building owner and contractors involved in a construction project. Our client was in the process of assisting in the dismantling of a scaffold when the scaffold began to collapse causing him to jump and to suffer serious head injuries. We proved that our client was…
Construction Worker Run Over By Reverse-Moving Excavator - Settlement
$24 Million Settlement – for construction worker run over by reverse-moving excavator resulting in the loss of one leg and multiple internal injuries. The operator could not see behind the machine and there was no spotter in position to guide the operator rearward or to ensure that no one was in its path of travel….
General Negligence - Buried By Compost/Death - Recovery
A 38-year-old husband and father of three was killed when he was cleaning the back of his truck at a landfill and was buried alive by hot compost which was dumped on him by a careless town employee.
Construction Bridge Collapse - Recovery
37 year-old crane operator was dismantling a construction bridge 25 feet above sidewalk when it collapsed causing him to fall to street, resulting in disabling fractures of L1 vertebrae, left elbow, left ankle, left wrist and of the right ankle, requiring surgery.
Demolition Accident - Recovery
57 year-old was injured during demolition work when a beam fell on both his legs resulting in an above-the-knee amputation of the right leg and a below-the-knee amputation of the left leg.
Worker Falls to His Death - Recovery
A 42-year-old construction worker was walking along a 2-foot wide foundation wall carrying materials to the back of a construction site when he lost his balance and fell through an unguarded opening. He fell approximately 15 feet striking his head. The case settled at a mediation for $3,800,000.00.
* Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome
Construction Accident Attorneys
At Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C., our New York construction accident attorneys are committed to helping workers who have been seriously injured on a work site. We have an excellent and proven track record in these types of cases, having recovered more than 40 individual verdicts and settlements over one million dollars for injured construction workers.
We represent clients in New York City and throughout the states of New York and New Jersey in construction site accident claims, which have included roof, ladder and scaffold falls, exposure to harmful and toxic substances, falling objects and debris, defects on the work site, crane accidents, forklift accidents, electrocution accidents, injuries caused by machinery, injuries caused by lack of personal protective equipment and various other accidents.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a New York construction accident, Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. can help. Our goal is to assist our clients from the inception of the case to the end to make the process easier for the injured worker and their families. With our firm on your side, you can maximize your chances of recovering awards for your injuries. Call today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
- We have represented injured construction workers for over 80 years and have a special understanding and respect for hardworking men and women.
- We have helped clients throughout the state of New York, including Long Island and New York City and the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island
- Over the past 10 years, we have recovered over 2 billion dollars for our clients, including more than $160 million in construction accident cases.
- There are no out of pocket fees. We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid until we secure compensation on your behalf.
- We spare no expense investigating and preparing our clients’ cases for trial.
- Our attorneys are well versed in New York law and understand now to properly handle construction accident and personal injury cases.
Dangers of Construction Sites
Construction is widely considered the most dangerous industry in the United States and many other parts of the world. We know that work accidents can occur during all different phases of construction, from demolition to painting and even from walking around the construction site. Construction is inherently dangerous because it involves:
- Unfinished structures. Construction involves demolition as well as building new structures, and an unfinished or partially destroyed structure can be extremely dangerous.
- Heavy equipment. Construction work often requires the use of heavy machinery, complex equipment, and specialized vehicles that may cause severe injuries.
- Toxic exposure. Some chemicals and substances used in construction can be harmful to workers’ health. Demolishing older buildings can potentially expose workers to harmful substances like lead and asbestos.
- Falling risks. Many partially finished buildings do not have typical safety features installed yet or may have exposed ledges, shafts, and other falling risks that may lead to serious or fatal injuries.
- Construction Zones. Roadside construction can be very dangerous if passing motorists do not exercise care when traveling on unfinished roads or navigating adjusted traffic patterns. Some construction workers may suffer injuries while delivering supplies to job sites due to negligent third-party drivers.
- Stress and repetitive injuries. Many types of construction work involve heavy lifting and repetitive motions that may cause chronic medical conditions like arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
These are just a few examples of how the construction industry is inherently dangerous. In addition to those listed above, smaller dangers such as trip or slip hazards, falling objects and many other hazards can make a construction site extremely dangerous.
The Fatal Four
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the majority of fatal construction industry injuries occur due to four main causes dubbed “The Fatal Four,” which include:
- Falls, which were responsible for more than 38% of all construction injury deaths in 2016.
- “Struck by” object injuries, which led to 9.4% of construction industry deaths in 2016. These incidents describe a worker suffering a blow from an object, such as a tool falling from an upper level on to an employee below.
- Electrocutions, which accounted for 8.3% of all construction fatalities in 2016.
- “Caught in/between” injuries, such as crushing accidents or other accidents involving a worker becoming trapped by objects on a construction site. These injuries accounted for 7.3% of construction industry fatalities in 2016.
While the fatal four are the most common causes, serious injury can result from a wide range of construction accidents at the job site including:
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NY Labor Laws That Impact Construction Accidents
New York has special labor laws that allow construction workers to file a lawsuit if they suffer an injury on the job. These laws allow workers to seek compensation for lost wages and benefits, medical bills and expenses and compensation for pain and suffering. In particular, the three code sections of the New York labor law that pertain most to construction include:
- Labor Law Section 200, which addresses employers’ general duty to protect the safety and health of their employees. Section 200 holds that construction sites must provide reasonable and adequate protections to construction workers from work site hazards. This law allows workers to hold contractors and work site owners liable, if their injury was caused an unsafe condition and the employer knew or should have known about the condition before the injury.
- Labor Law Section 240, also called the “Scaffold Law”, which includes regulations for scaffolding and other devices employees must use on the job and imposes strict liability upon contractors and job site owners to protect construction workers from falls from heights, falling objects and any other “gravity-related” injuries.
- Labor Law Section 241(6), which pertains to construction, demolition, and excavation work. Section 241(6) of New York Labor Law allows workers to sue contractors for violations of certain parts of New York Industrial Code, specifically Rule 23.
While these and other laws are in place to protect workers in the construction industry, they include broad and expansive rules and must be applied and interpreted correctly. It is highly recommended that you speak with an attorney if you were hurt in a construction accident.
Who is protected by New York Labor Laws?
Construction sites are notoriously dangerous places. For this reason, the law protects both workers who traverse and work on construction sites, as well as firefighters and police officers who are there for a job. The property owner and contractors working on a site have a responsibility to maintain the site in a safe condition — including both the work areas and the passageways. Thus, if a firefighter or police officer responds to a job at a construction site and is injured, he or she may be entitled to compensation if the owner and contractors violate their duty.
What Compensation Can I Recover?
There are several types of compensation available to those injured in construction accidents. Employees will have the opportunity to file a workers’ compensation claim if their injuries occur within the scope of their job duties, but other individuals, such as pedestrians and passersby near construction sites, could suffer injuries as well. In any event, a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit for a construction accident can secure several types of compensation, including:
- Medical expenses. When a negligent party causes illness or injury to another party, the at-fault party has a legal obligation to make the injured party “whole” again, and this typically requires paying for the injured party’s hospital bills and other treatment costs resulting from negligence.
- Property damage. If a defendant’s negligence damaged or destroyed the plaintiff’s personal property, the plaintiff can claim these losses as damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
- Lost income. A construction injury may force a plaintiff to miss work or prevent the victim from working in the future. Plaintiffs can secure compensation for lost past and future wages resulting from negligence.
- Pain and suffering. The jury reviewing a construction accident lawsuit will consider expert witness testimony and the facts of the case to determine a fair amount of compensation for a plaintiff’s physical pain and emotional suffering.
- Punitive damages. In the event a defendant’s behavior was grossly negligent, an intentional tort, or otherwise fell outside the scope of “typical” negligence, the court may award punitive damages to the plaintiff to further punish the defendant and discourage similar behavior in the future.
Workers’ compensation may provide some relief from the economic impact of a construction accident, but injured workers need to know when they have options for additional legal action. The right New York construction accident attorney can help an injured construction worker or other plaintiff in a construction accident case maximize his or her compensation.
Determining Liability in a New York Construction Accident Case
The first step in recovering compensation after a New York construction accident is determining who is liable for the damages. In some cases, the liable party is another employee, a supervisor, or an employer. For example, an employee notifies his supervisor of a damaged electrical wire that could cause an injury. The supervisor neglects to address this issue and a few days later another worker suffers an electrocution injury. In this situation the supervisor was negligent for failing to address a known safety issue in a timely manner.
Not all construction injuries allow workers to hold employer’s liable. Section 200 only allows injured workers in specific circumstances as outlined above. Outside of those circumstances, construction workers can recover compensation through the workers’ compensation system. The workers’ compensation benefits system exists to help injured workers recover after on-the-job injuries. The goal of workers’ compensation is to help an injured employee return to work after recovery and minimize the economic impact of missing time from work after an injury. Workers’ compensation can provide weekly benefits that amount to a portion of the injured employee’s average weekly wage as well as long-term benefits if he or she requires extensive recovery time or cannot return to the same position after recovery.
While workers’ compensation may also cover some of an injured employee’s immediate medical expenses, these benefits may not fully compensate an injured construction worker after a severe injury. In some cases, an injured employee may have the option of filing a lawsuit against an at-fault party that caused his or her injury.
If a worker’s injury are caused by a defective piece of equipment or tool, he or she may have the option of filing a product liability claim. Typically claimants must show that the tool or equipment was unreasonably dangerous (whether by faulty design or poor manufacturing), they were using said tool or equipment in the manner it was intended and that the dangerous defect caused the injury. If these conditions were present, the injured worker may have a claim against the manufacturer or distributor of the equipment.
Fall From Truck – $4 Million Recovered – A 26 year old truck driver sustained numerous fractures when he fell from his truck because construction site personnel negligently misdirected him.
Demolition Accident – $4 Million Recovered – 57 year-old was injured during demolition work when a beam fell on both his legs resulting in an above-the-knee amputation of the right leg and a below-the-knee amputation of the left leg.
Construction Accident – Roof Collapse Man Lift Tips Over $3.75 Million Recovered – 38 year-old bridge painter fell 25 feet from a man-lift when it rolled into an unguarded trench causing it to tip over, resulting in permanently disabling bilateral leg fractures, wrist fracture and herniated lumbar disc, requiring multiple surgeries.
Laborer Fell Through Hole – $3.6 Million Settlement – Reached during trial for our client, a steamfitter who was rendered a paraplegic when he fell through a hole at a construction site which, we contended, was neither properly covered nor barricaded.
Worker Falls from Roof – $3.5 Million Verdict – A maintenance worker, who suffered brain damage and a badly fractured elbow when he fell some 20 feet off the roof of a supermarket. At the time, he was trying to replace a large piece of roofing that had been blown off by the wind when he himself was blown off the roof by a gust of wind. We proved that the building owner’s failure to furnish a safety harness to our client and was in violation of New York’s Labor Law.
Shoulder and Brain Injuries – $3 Million Recovered – Worker injured by an industrial roll of cable, sustaining shoulder and brain injuries.
Man Struck by Construction Vehicle – Death $3 Million Recovered – 37 year-old landscaper, husband and father of a 6-year-old, was at landfill construction site when he was struck by a payloader that backed up into him crushing him in between two trucks, causing his death.
Contact our Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one were injured on a construction site, Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannoav, P.C. are here to help. You can call our office at (212) 732-9000 or, you can contact one of our construction accident attorneys by filling this form. If you are in the hospital or immobile in your home, our firm will also make arrangements to come visit you and talk about your case, at no charge to you. When handling legal matters, time is of the essence and the earlier you contact us the better we can assist you with your construction accident and ensure your rights are protected.
“Thank you for always giving us your time, expertise, and most importantly your honesty.” – Manny and Kathy