Construction workers rely on many types of dangerous equipment to complete their work. Every tool on a construction site, from handheld tools to heavy-duty vehicles, has the potential to cause serious or fatal injuries. When construction accidents involving unsafe equipment happen, injured workers need to know their options for legal recourse. It’s possible that one or more parties bear responsibility for the employee’s injuries and economic losses, and an experienced attorney can help employees in these situations make sense of their legal options after a workplace injury.
The attorneys at Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath & Cannavo, P.C. have decades of experience handling civil claims in all areas of personal injury law. Our attorneys have even represented 9/11 first responders and helped them secure more than $600 million for firefighters and emergency personnel who suffered from toxic exposure at Ground Zero. Our teams understand how dangerous construction equipment can be and the risks facing construction workers in New York. Our team has helped clients secure more than $2 billion in damages for their claims. When construction accidents happen due to unsafe or defective equipment, we can help injured workers recover.
Construction site workers utilize a wide range of equipment for projects. Power tools such as hand saws, heavy machinery such as cranes and other types of work equipment can cause a wide range of injuries if an accident occurs. Work equipment can be considered unsafe if it is defective or it has not been properly maintained. Other situations can make a construction site unsafe for workers, such as situations where not enough equipment is provided for the job or the right type of work equipment is not provided by your employer. Our New York unsafe construction site lawyers frequently handle accident claims involving unsafe work equipment, including accidents involving scaffolding, cranes, power tools, ladders, heavy machinery and more. We take a proactive approach to representing our clients and make certain that we hold the appropriate parties accountable for their negligent actions. Our lawyers are very familiar with the construction industry, which gives us additional insight when representing injured workers. We will work to maximize the number of benefits and compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Read our case results with construction site accidents.
Product manufacturers have a legal obligation to ensure their products pose no unreasonable risks to users through normal, intended use. Manufacturers must ensure products include thorough instructions for use and all required safety warnings. Many products must meet government regulations and compliance standards when it comes to construction, assembly, labeling, and sale. When a defective product causes a construction work injury, any entity in the chain of distribution could potentially absorb liability for the resulting damages.
To succeed with a product liability lawsuit, the plaintiff does not necessarily need to prove the defendant was negligent in the production of the defective product, only that the product is indeed defective and the defect caused the plaintiff’s damages. There are three main ways a product can be defective, including:
Anyone who suffers an injury on the job in New York has the right to file for workers’ compensation. Once an employee sustains an injury, he or she should report it immediately to his or her supervisor and start the claims process. The employer must provide the employee with the paperwork necessary for filing a claim and may not interfere with the claims process or take punitive action against the employee for filing for workers’ compensation.
The State Workers’ Compensation Board will review an employee’s claim and determine whether the employee should receive benefits. Workers’ compensation can help pay for an injured employee’s medical expenses and provide some relief for lost income during recovery, but it is unlikely that workers’ compensation benefits alone will completely cover the total cost of a serious injury from unsafe construction work equipment.
If workers’ compensation isn’t enough to cover an injured employee’s losses, he or she should meet with an experienced attorney to discuss alternative options for recovery. If an employer or supervisor neglected to address a known unsafe working condition or piece of equipment that causes an injury, the employer may be liable for a personal injury claim from the injured employee. If a defective product causes an injury, the manufacturer could bear liability from a defective product liability lawsuit.
If workers’ compensation does not cover your injuries, you may have the ability to file a third party claim.
Employers have a responsibility to provide their workers with a reasonably safe working environment. Construction work often entails working on unfinished or damaged buildings that may be inherently unsafe. There is a measure of assumed risk involved in working on a construction site, but employers must address known safety issues promptly. If an employee reports a hazard but the employer fails to take adequate or appropriate action in a timely manner to address the problem and it causes an injury to an employee, the employer may be liable for a personal injury claim from the injured employee.
It is also possible for an employer to absorb liability for unacceptable hiring and training practices. Many types of construction equipment require special certifications or licenses to operate. If an employer or supervisor allowed an unqualified or untrained employee to operate potentially dangerous equipment without the proper certification or training, the employer would likely absorb liability for any resulting damages. It’s also possible for the employer to face additional legal penalties from government oversight agencies like the Department of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Like any other injury claim, the plaintiff in a construction work equipment lawsuit must prove that the defendant was negligent to succeed with the claim. This means proving that the defendant knew about the dangerous condition but failed to address it, and this failure directly led to the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff must also be able to provide proof of the extent of his or her injuries. Damages in a personal injury lawsuit can include:
Many types of construction equipment can cause catastrophic injuries. Heavy equipment can cause bone fractures and crushing injuries. Some tools may cause severe burns, or defective products may explode and cause life-threatening harm. It’s also possible for construction workers to suffer toxic exposure from different chemicals used in the workplace. When construction equipment accidents happen, injured employees need to know their rights and how an attorney might help.
If you need to speak with one of our experienced New York construction equipment lawyers, we are pleased to offer a free consultation.