If you have suffered an injury on a construction site in Brooklyn, NY, you should understand your legal rights before you settle for Workers’ Compensation or any other disbursement. You—or your loved one—should learn more about injury compensation for accidents that occur at Brooklyn construction sites and you should be sure to speak with our experienced Brooklyn construction accident lawyers who fully understand the complexities of the laws associated with job site accidents.
Whether you are an electrician, welder, carpenter, plumber or another type of construction worker, you have rights, and if you’ve been injured on the job, we can help.
Construction Site Accidents in Brooklyn Involve Complex Laws and Compensation Rules
Suffering a construction site injury is serious and can lead to significant, life-changing, or fatal injuries. Your legal options can be confusing and difficult to follow and interpret. In fact, the laws fall under the New York construction accident law, a law known for its complexity.
Brooklyn construction site injuries or deaths can leave families struggling through the legalities of financial compensation, long-term medical care, supporting families through an injury that reduced salaries, and other damages. There are legal rights that allow for compensation financially and for medical care if you are clear on how to receive that compensation.
Legalities for Construction Site Accidents
There are three key New York labor laws that impact injuries and deaths due to construction accident injuries. These laws intend to protect construction workers and provide legal relief for workers subject to the dangers that can be found at Brooklyn construction site locations.
- NY Labor Law 200: General duty to protect health and safety of employees; enforcement: The law makes owners, employers, and contractors ensure worksites are considered reasonably safe; that building codes are obeyed; that exits, elevators and fire extinguishers are operating safely; and that sites are “constructed, equipped, arranged, operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health and safety” for those on the site legally.
- NY Labor Law 240: Scaffolding and other devices for use of employees: This particular law is known as the “Scaffold Law,” and it protects workers from so-called “gravity” accidents. A gravity accident includes falls from ladders and scaffolding and falls from other elevated areas. Potential gravity dangers must be corrected to be appropriately constructed, placed, and working so that workers are protected against gravity-related risks. This law covers injuries from items that fall and hit a worker on an elevated surface, the ground level, and sub-grade levels in a trench, basement, or sub-basement.
- NY Labor Law 241: Construction, excavation and demolition work: Mandates safe procedures for building construction, excavations, and demolitions that those in charge must follow according to safety rules set forth in the New York State Industrial Code.
Brooklyn Construction Site Accident Injuries and Fatalities
When a construction worker is hurt because of a violation of the labor law due to an owner’s, general contractor’s, or employer’s neglect, the worker, or his/her survivors, can file a construction accident lawsuit that enables injured parties to receive some recovery for pain, suffering, and economic losses.
Some Brooklyn construction site injuries include:
- Brain, hearing, nerve, and visual damage
- Cardiac events
- Suffocation from cave-ins
- Amputation of digits and limbs
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Internal bleeding and internal injuries; organ injuries
- General physical trauma and head and nerve trauma
Statistics for Construction Site Accidents
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that about 150,000 injuries take place at construction sites each year and that 5,333 workers died in 2019 alone, which is the most recent year for statistics.
These figures mean that between three and four workers die in construction accidents for every 100,000 full-time workers in other trades. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a government agency that sets safety standards for construction sites) indicates falls are in the top ten most often cited death standards by Federal OSHA for fiscal year 2019.
Filing Construction Site Accident Lawsuit in Brooklyn
Owners, employers, and contractors are legally bound to take responsibility for worker safety. Brooklyn construction sites were among the many construction sites with unnoticed and dangerous situations that were intentionally ignored. This lack of care has led to a 33 percent increase in construction worksite deaths and a 221 percent increase in injuries over the prior five years. This is unacceptable. OSHA discovered that one-third of these accidents had not been listed on New York City logs and, one-quarter of 45,000 construction sites are not in compliance with safety regulations.
What Are My Rights If I Am Injured in a Brooklyn Construction Accident?
Workers should not go to a job site where they may be put in a position in which they have to worry about dangerous, deadly conditions because those in charge are negligent, irresponsible, or putting money before employer safety. Not only is this neglect unacceptable, Worker’s Compensation Laws may not provide appropriate compensation for a worker’s injuries.
Employers can be sued if an injury or death was due to a scaffold fall, a dangerous or defective ladder, being struck by something that fell from a height, a trench collapse, a trip and fall on construction equipment, debris, improperly maintained or a dangerously altered piece of equipment, by negligence or actions of a sub-contractor who is not the employer, and if the employer does not carry Workers’ Compensation insurance.
To determine your rights if you are involved in a Brooklyn construction accident, consult an attorney who can help evaluate your case and get you compensated for your legally covered injuries, including how to help support your family if you are unable to work.
Statutes of Limitations for Brooklyn Construction Accident
Compliance with statutes of limitations involves advising your employer that you have been involved in a Workers’ Compensation injury. You have 30 days to contact your employer. There are cases in which you have three years to file a personal injury claim. Two examples are if you were hurt due because a safety device failed or due to third-party negligence.
Covered Injuries due to Brooklyn Construction Site Accidents
The most common accidents that take place at Brooklyn Construction sites include falls from scaffolding, ladders, equipment, stairs, walkways, roofs, and other heights, as well as unguarded openings, unsafe passageways, and unsafe walkways. Other common covered accidents involve cave-ins, slips or trips, unguarded power machinery, heatstroke, or electrocution.
When it comes to common construction accidents, there are some that fall into what is commonly known as the “The Fatal Four,” which are named this because they represent the four leading causes of deaths at construction sites, comprising some 77 percent of construction-related deaths, which involves 87 percent of construction site accidents in the state of New York, which includes Brooklyn.
The fatal four include electrocution, entrapment by equipment, entrapment by machinery, and being hit by an object. Other types of accidents that are covered but not part of the fatal four include elevator or stair accidents, trench cave-Ins or collapse, fires and explosions, being struck by equipment or vehicles, slips and falls, and exhaustion and overextension.
Exhaustion on a Construction Site Can Also Play a Role in Job Site Accidents
Exhaustion and overextension occur when workers are forced to work long hours in outside heat or are forced to work through assigned and legal break times. Naturally, these situations may lead to employee exhaustion and overextension, which can, in turn, lead to self-harm or harm to others because they are likelier to make errors.
Studies indicate that violators of wage and hour issues are generally violators of health and safety laws. Also, project owners and contractor known to overwork and underpay their staff are also likelier to commit violations against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. OSHA is a government agency that sets safety standards for construction sites.
Third-Party Lawsuits – Against Companies Other than Your Employer
Third-party personal injury lawsuits enable injured workers to seek compensation for pain and suffering, as well as medical and wage benefits. Your attorney may be able to obtain increased recovery beyond what may be recovered through Workers’ Compensation.
In a case in which there is a likelihood that coverage outside of Workers’ Compensation is possible, your Brooklyn construction site injury attorney would file what is known as a third-party lawsuit and will work to show the defendant is responsible due to violation of the labor law or negligence. In addition to recovery for pain suffering, your lawyer may be able to arrange recovery for future medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, such as physical therapy; and lost earnings, as well as loss of enjoyment of life and companionship.
A construction accident is generally an extremely chaotic situation. Stay as calm as you are able. If you are able, call 911. Do not move unless you are in an unsafe location. Bystanders should move to a safe place.
If co-workers can, they should gather and preserve evidence, obtain statements from witnesses, and take pictures. Preserve all evidence possible. Use your cell phone camera. If you have reached out to an attorney, he/she will gather emails, security videos, witness lists, and photographs. Your attorney will also file a report to OSHA. Insurers, manufacturers, and suppliers will need to be advised. Employees present at the accident will likely be interviewed.
Call Our Brooklyn Construction Accident Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured on a construction site, it is critical you protect your rights as quickly as possible. The law can work against you, with statutes of limitations that limit your time to bring a lawsuit. If a government municipality is involved, for example, you need to file a notice of claim within 90 days or risk losing your right to file a claim against the municipality.
Contact our Brooklyn construction accident lawyers today at Law Office of Irene H. Gabo, P.C., call us at 800-560-0214 or complete the form on this page, or complete the form on this page, and we will provide you a free case review and help determine the potential value of your case.