In 2015, over 5,500 construction workers in New York suffered an injury that either forced them to miss days of work or put them out of a job altogether.
Despite the high-risk nature of their job, construction workers in the Bronx, NY put their lives on the line every day in order to make a paycheck and support their families. Yes, these workers understand the risks involved when they sign up for their jobs, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have rights.
Are you a construction worker in the Bronx, NY who has sustained injuries on the job? Or, are you a family member of a construction worker who was injured or killed in a construction site accident? Read on to learn your rights and how we can help.
Hazards of Working in the Construction Industry in the Bronx, NY
The most common dangers related to construction work include:
- Struck by a heavy object
These causes are referred to as the “Fatal Four” and were responsible for approximately 87.1% of deaths in the construction industry in New York between the years 2011 and 2015.
It’s a well-known fact that a construction job comes with a relatively higher risk of injury. These injuries may occur due to a lot of reasons – some are quickly identifiable, while some are not.
That’s why it’s so important for the construction workers to be aware of the different kinds of common injuries; this allows them to reduce the risk and also identify any injury they might have sustained on the job in the past.
Injury by falling
Falls are one of the most common kinds of injury experienced by construction workers on work site. Falling from roofs, ladders, scaffolding, or cranes is the usual risk they face. If you’ve been injured in such a fall, pursuing a Workers’ Compensation claim might be an option for you.
You may also file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer, job contractor, or a third party.
Injury by electrocution
Sometimes electrical accidents can lead to fire and dangerous explosions on site. The workers may also get electrocuted when exposed to power lines or similar sources of energy. Depending on the severity of the accident and the voltage of current, an employee’s injuries can be life-threatening.
Injury by getting caught-in/between
Construction workers can also be caught between heavy machinery like forklifts or cranes, or even caved in trenches. The right protocol must be followed when undergoing excavation work or handling any kind of machinery.
Injury from getting struck by a heavy object
Construction workers are often exposed to the risk of injury from a heavy object falling on them from heights.
For example, tools, equipment, a piece of machinery, or construction materials being used at elevated heights may strike a worker operating underneath. These kinds of injuries can cause severe damage to the brain or the spine – even if the worker was wearing a hardhat at the time of injury.
Injury from getting run over by a vehicle
Large trucks are generally used for transportation of construction materials and these vehicles regularly pose a risk to the workers.
For example, workers can get run over by one of these trucks as it’s backing out. Sometimes, it’s the negligence of the supervisor that causes these horrific accidents on the work site.
Injury from equipment or machinery
Heavy machinery and equipment are generally present on the construction sites and sometimes, they simply break down or malfunction.
A forklift can go out of control, a dumpster could fall over, or a nail gun could be triggered accidentally – all of these are just a few instances of things that go wrong on a construction site almost every day.
The collapse of a building
One of the other dangerous risks faced by the construction workers is being crushed under a collapsing building.
When a structure is being demolished or under construction, it may collapse without warning and if any workers happen to be trapped inside, they might get severely injured or even killed.
While the above-mentioned causes are pretty straightforward, sometimes, the cause of an accident can be pretty difficult to figure out. However, the injured construction worker can still be able to file a claim for compensation – irrespective of who or what was responsible for the carelessness.
Injury by fires or explosions
Exposed electrical wires, leaky or corroded pipes, inflammable liquids, and other chemicals are serious hazards that often lead to fires or even explosions at the construction site. Even though these instances are relatively rarer compared to the other accidents listed above, these mishaps have the most catastrophic consequences for the victims.
Exposure to “lead”
Unsafe working conditions at the construction site may result in a higher risk of lead exposure, various studies show that construction workers account for the majority of lead exposure cases.
Injuries related to overexertion
Since construction work regularly involves intense physical labor, injuries due to overexertion are more common in this field than you may think. These injuries can be in the form of:
- Damage to the muscles or joint bone due to overuse
- Injuries due to repetitive motion
- Hypothermia or frostbite which may occur in extremely cold weather and may result in loss of body parts like fingers, toes, or nose.
- Heat stroke, severe damage to the vital organs, or even death due to working in an extremely hot environment.
Have you been injured on a construction site in the Bronx, NY?
If you or someone you know has sustained injuries while working on a construction site, you may be entitled to bring a lawsuit for substantial monetary damages for suffering, pain, personal injuries, and financial loss.
The state law provides strong protection to injured workers and you should know they are on your side.
- New York Workers Compensation Benefits provides two-thirds of a worker’s gross weekly wages to a maximum rate which is calculated on a yearly basis with alterations made for inflation each July. The medical treatment related to the worker’s accident is settled separately.
- Reimbursement for all out-of-pocket expenditure, including commuting expenses to-and-from the hospital.
- Potential monetary awards for permanent damages to extremities, irrespective of whether or not the worker lost any time from work.
- Extended weekly benefits for life (is many cases) if the worker is determined to be permanently disabled.
Employers in the US are required by law to follow The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards on workplace safety. If an employer is found in violation of these regulations, they can be held responsible for the injury sustained by the employee on the job.
Construction accidents in the Bronx: FAQ
Q: Should I report my accident immediately?
A: Absolutely yes! Report the accident to your supervisor or foreman as soon as possible, and also, write down their name and position in the company. Make sure you don’t say anything that can be used against you later like “this was my fault.”
Why? Because even though you may think it was your fault, the Bronx, NY law is extremely supportive of the construction workers here. The law clearly states that contractors and owners may be completely responsible for your injuries sustained on the job – regardless of your actions.
Here’s an example: let’s say you get injured on site since you were not provided with the right safety equipment like secure ladders, safe scaffolds, or safety harnesses to prevent you from falling. In this case, the contractor or owner can be found accountable for your accident.
Q: How can I protect my rights after a construction accident in the Bronx?
A: It’s important to remember that your actions after the accident can impact the rest of your life. If anyone tries to convince you against seeking necessary medical care or force you to give false information about your accident on the job –steer clear of them.
It’s crucial that you record your correct name, address, and the facts related to your accident; otherwise, you may end up losing your rights to a well-deserved claim.
Providing false information can later be used against you and also prevent you from receiving your Workers’ Compensation benefits. It may also get in your way of receiving any monetary award in a personal injury lawsuit.
Q: How should I document my accident?
A: Even though your very first priority should be to seek appropriate medical care, you should also try to preserve the evidence of your accident at the site where it occurred. If you are left incapacitated, make sure a co-worker or a bystander comes to your aid in preserving the evidence.
Q: How should I preserve the evidence?
A: The best way to do this is to take photographs of the machinery/equipment that contributed to your injuries.
Also, take pictures of the exact spot where you sustained injuries. We also recommend keeping the equipment or tool in question with you since it can play a significant role in your personal injury lawsuit later.
Q: How can I use the witnesses to my benefit?
A: Find out if there were any coworkers or bystanders who witnessed your accident and seek them out. It’s important to obtain their contact information.
Q: When should I seek medical treatment?
A: After your accident, please go straight to the hospital so you can receive the necessary medical care immediately.
In case you’re not able to go to the hospital and need an ambulance, call for one. It’s better to call 911 and tell them you need an ambulance right away.
Also, it’s imperative to document all the injured areas of your body that were affected in the accident. This enables the medical personnel to treat the said areas and avoid any disputes later regarding the areas of your body that sustained injuries.
Q: My employer has suggested a personal injury law firm. Should I go with them?
A:In many cases, the supervisor or some other higher-up in the employer’s organization tries to steer the injured worker to a particular law firm.
More often than not, these “well-wishers” are getting paid for directing you to that law firm. This is not only illegal but can also seriously hamper your claim for any compensation.
Q: Who should I notify if I get injured in a construction-related accident in the Bronx, NY?
A: If you are a worker, notify your employer as soon as you get injured on the job in the Bronx. If you a bystander who witnessed a construction worker get injured on the job, you can contact OSHA but maybe calling the police would be much easier for you. They would make sure your complaint reaches the right agency.
After that, get in touch with us. Our dedicated the Bronx construction accident lawyers are relentless and they know how to protect your rights. We will leave no stone unturned in making sure you receive the best financial compensation.
Q: I am an undocumented worker and I was injured while working on a construction site. Do I still have rights?
A: The city of Bronx, NY has many illegal immigrant workers who work hard to support themselves and when they get injured while doing their jobs, they get scared of bringing up claims due to their immigration status.
Understand this – even if your immigration status is not legal, it will never be considered in determining whether you’re entitled to workers’ comp benefits or not.
Your illegal immigrant status doesn’t automatically cancel out your right to bring a personal injury lawsuit either. Your rights are protected and you cannot be reported the authorities.
RMFW Law: The Trusted Construction Accident Lawyers in the Bronx, NY for 96+ Years
We see construction workers put their hardhats on and go to work every day despite the fact how insanely dangerous their jobs can be.
That’s why we take constructions accidents so seriously at RMFW Law. We have seen firsthand how a construction accident can turn a hard-working person’s life upside down in a matter of minutes.
Some lose their ability to work for weeks or months, while some can never work again. Insurance companies prove to be uncooperative. Unpaid bills add up fast. It’s even harder if you’ve lost a loved one in a deadly construction accident.
Knowing what steps to take after such a disastrous construction accident in the Bronx, NY can be really overwhelming.
From understanding your rights to seeking the appropriate medical attention, everything can be confusing. That’s why it is so vital to contact a law firm that can explain to you all the available legal options and help you determine the best strategy to receive the rightful compensation.
At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff Law firm, we firmly believe that every client who trusts us enough to come to us for legal aid deserves our best. We know how to get results and how to make sure our clients are not just satisfied but happy.
Here’s what we will do for you:
- Review the official report of your construction accident
- Review all your medical records
- Consult with some of the country’s top experts on your case
- Interview any/all people who witnessed the accident
- Investigate the employer/construction company to see if they have a history of construction accidents
- File a construction accident lawsuit (if needed), on your behalf
If you’ve been injured in a construction accident or lost a loved one to it, the emotional pain itself can take a lifetime to heal.
Get in touch with the construction accident attorneys at RMFW Law Firm and we will make sure you get the best monetary compensation to help you heal in peace and comfort. Call us at (212) 697-9280 or drop us a line here for a free consultation today.