Have You Been Injured in a Coney Island Construction Accident?
Have you or someone you know been injured in a Coney Island construction accident? Before you rely on Worker’s Compensation, we suggest you learn about your rights and the laws related to construction sites. You need to know your rights and how you may recover the maximum compensation while you focus on your recovery.
New York Laws Related to Construction Accidents are Complex; We Make Them Easy
Understanding legal options can be a daunting and confusing process. New York construction accident law is complex. You may find it difficult to determine how to navigate these laws and receive appropriate compensation. Know that you are not alone.
Every year Coney Island construction accidents cause serious injuries and death to construction workers. Workers and their families may have legal rights, including financial compensation and long-term medical care, to help pay for items not covered by Workers’ Compensation.
Before you take any action, we recommend that you speak with a Coney Island Construction Accident lawyer who has specific knowledge of construction site accidents to answer your questions and discuss your legal options.
What Are My Rights if I Suffer an Injury in a Coney Island Construction Accident?
Workers should not be exposed to dangerous conditions due to someone else’s negligence and irresponsibility. When injuries happen, Worker’s Compensation may not be enough. If an employer does not have Worker’s Compensation insurance coverage (which is a legal requirement), then the employer can be sued for the injury.
Can Employers Be Sued for Construction Accidents?
The law becomes a bit tricky with lawsuits for construction injuries when there is Worker’s Compensation coverage. If you wish to start a lawsuit in addition to a Worker’s Compensation claim, the circumstances of the accident are important.
Employers may not be sued except under specific instances. A lawsuit may be brought if the injury was: the result of a fall from a scaffold; a dangerous or defective ladder; being struck by something that fell from a height; a trench collapse; a trip and fall on construction equipment; a trip or fall on debris that should not have been where it was; improperly maintained or a dangerously altered piece of equipment; or if the injuries were caused by negligence or actions of a sub-contractor who is not the employer.
Additionally, if a third-party bears liability (partial or whole) in connection with your accident, they may be sued and held liable. Was a ladder defective? Did another vendor do work on the site and create a dangerous condition? Were you injured by the negligence of another party? These and other factors may establish liability in a third party, regardless of Worker’s Compensation.
Worker’s Compensation and Disability
Regardless of fault, an injured employee is entitled to file a Workers’ Compensation claim for benefits; however, you are only covered for medical bills related to your injury, a percentage of your average weekly wage, and pay related to medical bills until you reach “maximum medical improvement,” a determination that further care will not improve your condition.
You can recover disability payments for lost wages up to a certain time, which is generally 10 years or less, and this depends on injury extent. The New York’s Schedule Loss of Use award chart lists the timeframes and compensation amounts for various injuries. Our Coney Island Construction Accident lawyers will have access to this information.
What Are the Legal Standards for Construction Site Accidents?
Several New York labor laws relate to construction accident injuries and are meant to protect workers from the various dangerous conditions that exist at Coney Island construction locations.
NY Labor Law 200: General duty to protect health and safety of employees; enforcement
This law mandates owners, employers, and contractors ensure that work sites are reasonably safe and that building codes are obeyed. The law also requires the safe operation of exits, elevators, and fire extinguishers and specifically states that workplaces are “constructed, equipped, arranged, operated, and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health, and safety” for those individuals who are legally present on the site. This law states that equipment and other machinery should be operated safely and “placed, operated, guarded, and lighted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection.”
NY Labor Law 240: Scaffolding and other devices for use of employees
This law protects workers from gravity-related risks, including falls from ladders, scaffolding, and other elevated sites that present a potential hazard. Known a the “Scaffold Law,” scaffolds, ladders, and elevation-risk safety devices must be appropriately constructed, located, and operated to provide workers with protection from gravity-related risks. The law provides legal relief for workers hurt by objects that fall and hit a worker on an elevated surface; the ground level; and sub-grade in a trench, basement, or sub-basement.
NY Labor Law 241: Construction, excavation and demolition work
This law mandates that safe procedures be in place for building construction, excavations, and demolitions and states that individuals in charge adhere to safety rules set forth in the New York State Industrial Code, a law is meant to protect workers from various types of accidents on Coney Island construction sites.
Construction Site Accident Injuries and Deaths
When a construction worker becomes harmed due to an owner’s, general contractor’s, or employer’s violation of the Labor Law, the injured worker or his/her survivors can bring a lawsuit. Filing a Coney Island construction accident lawsuit enables the injured worker or his/her survivors to receive at least some recovery from pain, suffering, and economic losses that may not be covered under the Workers’ Compensation Law.
Some of the injuries covered by Workers’ Compensation include: Broken and dislocated bones, head and neck trauma, internal bleeding injuries, burns, nerve damage, visual damage, hearing damage, amputation of digits or limbs, brain damage, concussion, general physical trauma, depression, anxiety, insomnia, cardiac events, paralysis, organ injury, suffocation from cave-ins, or death.
Construction Accident Statistics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 150,000 construction site accident injuries occur each year. The Bureau indicates that 5,333 workers died on the job in 2019, the most recent year for these statistics. These numbers break down to 3.5 workers for every 100,000 full-time workers, which is more than 100 a week or 15 deaths daily. Some 1,061, or 20 percent of these workers, were in construction – totaling one in five worker deaths for the year.
OSHA confirms that, of the top ten most frequently cited death standards by Federal OSHA in fiscal year 2019, falls were the leading cause of death.
Filing a Coney Island Construction Site Accident Lawsuit
Because so many of these tragic accidents and deaths take place due to improper safety and job site management, New York enacted laws to keep workers safe. These laws hold owners and contractors responsible for worker safety and give workers a legal cause of action when they are injured.
Coney Island construction sites are often determined to have dangerous situations that are either unnoticed or intentionally ignored. The Bureau states that the construction industry has more deaths than any other industry in New York City. Also, New York City data indicates deaths occurring on construction worksites are up 33 percent, and injuries are up 221 percent compared to five years prior.
Reports indicate that as many as one-third of the accidents discovered by OSHA are not listed on New York City logs and estimate that one-quarter of 45,000 construction sites do not comply with safety regulations.
Construction Accident Statutes of Limitations
To comply with time limitations, you must notify your employer that you have an injury eligible for Workers’ Compensation within 30 days of your accident. After advising your employer, you have two years from the date of the Coney Island construction accident injury to file a claim.
Your employer cannot fire you for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim for an on-the-job injury that would, if proven, open up the potential for an employment discrimination case.
In many cases, you have up to three years to file a personal injury claim. If you were injured as a result of the failure of an intended safety device or through the negligence of a third party, you might be able to file a lawsuit even if you did not act immediately. Don’t wait any longer to find out if you have a case; speak to our Coney Island construction attorneys today.
90 Day Notice of Claim with Municipalities
If you are injured, and a municipality is involved, such as the state, the city, or a village, there is a 90-day notice of claim requirement. If that notice is not timely filed, you are prevented from filing a claim against the municipality. It is important you contact us as soon as possible to review your case to avoid losing a potential claim against a municipality.
Covered Coney Island Construction Accident Injuries
Provisions are in place to protect construction workers who are injured in Coney Island construction accidents. The most common types of Coney Island construction accidents may involve, for example:
- Falls: such as scaffolding injuries or injuries involving a ladder, equipment, stairs, walkways, roofs, and other heights, including through unguarded openings, unsafe passageways, and unsafe walkways
- Slips or trips
- Injury by unguarded power machinery
- Heat stroke
The four most prevalent types of construction accidents are known as “The Fatal Four.” These four types of accidents represent the leading causes of death in construction and involve approximately 77 percent of all construction-related deaths, with these causing 87% percent of construction site accidents in the state of New York, including Coney Island.
Falls: Falls are the number one common cause of construction site accidents and comprise about half of all construction-related deaths.
Electrocution: Many construction sites are outfitted with electrical wiring. If wiring is unfinished and exposed, the risk of electrocution is presented and workers may become injured and may die.
Entrapment Involving Equipment/Machinery: These injuries involve construction workers becoming pinned in or under equipment or heavy machinery or caught in the machinery in some way (being entrapped in the machinery or equipment).
Struck by an Object: With the various machines and equipment running in a building site and with various workers using any of an array of devices, and debris might fly, striking workers with falling materials, scraps, tools, or beams.
Other types of accidents include:
- Elevator or stair accidents
- Trench cave-Ins or collapse
- Fires and explosions
- Being struck by equipment or vehicles
- Slips and falls
- Exhaustion and overexertion
Workers forced to work too long outside in heat, or to work through breaks may suffer from exhaustion and are likelier to make errors. This can lead to self-harm or harm to others, In fact, according to studies, wage and hour violators are often violators of health and safety laws. Project owners and contracts found to overwork and underpay their workers are likelier to commit violations against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA is a government agency that sets safety standards for construction sites.
Additional Claims May Be Available Under Third-Party Lawsuits
While Workers’ Compensation does provide some medical and wage loss benefits, a third-party personal injury lawsuit would enable you to seek an award for pain and suffering in addition to the medical and wage benefits available under Workers’ Compensation insurance. This type of lawsuit will help your attorney gain access to increased recovery beyond the limited benefits available through workers’ compensation. This is important because pain and suffering is not an automatically recovered benefit as it is under Workers’ Compensation.
Your attorney would file a third-party lawsuit and show that the defendant is responsible due to either a violation of the labor law or defendant negligence. You may receive coverage for compensation for:
- Pain and Suffering
- Future medical bills
- Future rehabilitation expenses, such as physical therapy
- Future Lost Earnings
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Loss of Companionship
Proving Liability in a Construction Accident
A construction accident is generally extremely chaotic. If you can, stay calm and, if you are able, call 911. While you wait for medical attention, do not move unless you remain in a dangerous location. Bystanders should move to a safe place.
If someone is able, he/she should gather and preserve evidence, get statements from witnesses, and take pictures. Preserve whatever evidence you can. If you have a camera, photograph the scene. Gather emails, security videos, witness lists, and photographs. Find out who will be the investigation’s spokesperson. These are some of the tasks your lawyer can do.
You or your lawyer should file a report to the proper organizations such as OSHA. Insurers, manufacturers, and suppliers may need to be advised. Interview employees present at the accident as these individuals will likely be a part of the claims process.
Take Action and Call Our Coney Island Construction Accident Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured, it is critical you protect your rights as quickly as possible. Statutes of limitations do not work in your favor, and if a municipality is involved, your window of opportunity to file a claim is very thin. Contact our lawyers today at Law Office of Irene H. Gabo, P.C., call us at 800-560-0214 or complete the form on this page. We will provide you a free case review and help determine the potential value of your case.