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Faulty Construction Equipment And Other Causes of Brooklyn, NY Construction Accidents And Injuries

Apr 12, 2019 | Construction Accidents

Did you know that construction workers in Brooklyn are nearly 4 times more likely to get severely injured than workers in other industries?

Over the last 10 years, around 500 workers have lost their lives and thousands have suffered serious injuries in the construction industry of New York alone.

If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury while working in the construction field in Brooklyn, NY, hiring a good construction accident attorney is crucial.

A knowledgeable and well-experienced attorney can help you understand your legal rights as well as laws that may impact your ability to recover a reasonable compensation.

In this comprehensive article, we are going to explain everything you need to know about laws regarding construction accidents that are caused by faulty equipment.

Types of compensations available for construction accident victims in Brooklyn, NY

Construction Accidents

If you have been injured while working on a construction site, a construction accident lawyer in Brooklyn may be able to help you pursue one or more of the following claims:

Workers’ Compensation Claim

According to the laws of New York, workers’ compensation claim allows the injured construction workers to receive benefits whether they are US citizens or immigrants.

In other words, even if you are an undocumented construction worker, you can claim workers’ comp benefits if you get injured on-the-job.

A straightforward formula is used to calculate the amount of maximum benefit to be paid to the worker every week – the worker who has been partially or completely disabled and cannot work for more than 7 days consecutively.

Personal Injury Claim

The injured worker or their family can file a personal injury lawsuit if the construction injury occurred due to the negligence of a third party. The victim can file this type of lawsuit to recover compensation for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other losses.

In order to file a successful personal injury lawsuit, it must be established that a third party failed to take proper care of the construction equipment, and their negligence resulted in the injury.

Product Liability Claim

A product liability claim can be filed by the victim or their family if the injury occurred due to a defect in the construction product/equipment. The claim must establish that the equipment was already hazardous when it left the manufacturer’s facility, and that the manufacturer did not issue any warning as to the hazard.

Wrongful Death Claim

In case the injury led to the loss of life of the worker, their family can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages for some expenses, such as lost wages, lost inheritance, pain and suffering, the value of parental care, etc.

Liability in construction accident lawsuits in Brooklyn, NY

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted a comprehensive analysis regarding all the construction site inspections in New York and found that safety violations were present at two out of every three inspections!

The analysis also found that 100% of construction sites had safety violations with fall-related deaths. It is clear that the majority of construction injuries occur due to poor safety measures for workers.

Even though OSHA has increased the penalties for employers who violate job-safety laws, a shocking amount of construction accidents continue to be reported in New York, including Brooklyn, every year.

If a construction accident has occurred on-site and you or someone you love has been injured, it is crucial to hire an experienced New York construction injury lawyer in order to hold the responsible parties liable.

If any third-party fails to apply adequate safety provisions to ensure the construction site remains safe, they may be held liable for job-site accidents and injuries. This includes site owners, contractors, sub-contractors, equipment manufacturers, and engineers.

Remember, the New York Labor Laws are in favor of the construction workers and offer specific legal protections under sections 200, 240, and 241 (6). These specific sections provide provisions for construction workers who get injured while working on-site.

The “fatal four” construction injuries in Brooklyn, NY

There are a variety of hazards that contribute to deaths and injuries to construction workers in New York each year such as, falling debris, defective equipment, explosions, trench collapse, toxic materials, and exposed power lines.

But generally speaking, out of all these causes, only 4 are responsible for nearly 90% of all construction worker injuries and deaths – that’s why they are known as the “fatal four”. Let’s see what they are:

Falling objects: Injuries due to falling debris, tools, construction material, etc.

Falls: Injuries due to unsafe ladders, scaffolding, sidewalk bridges, etc.

Caught-in/between: Injuries due to being caught-in/between construction equipment or situations like building collapse, trench collapse, and so forth.

Electrocution: Injuries due to faulty wiring, exposed wires, or other electrical issues.

In several cases, the New York law holds multiple parties responsible – from the negligent construction company to the site owner as well as the contractor. These negligent parties can be held responsible and legally liable for the construction accident and injuries.

In other words, there may be more than one party to sue. A knowledgeable construction accident lawyer will properly investigate the accident to determine all the defendants in order to bring claims against all of them.

Are there any special laws in New York to help injured construction workers?

It is a sad fact that severe injuries on construction sites are far too common. Considering how dangerous the working conditions are for construction workers, New York’s legislature has passed special laws to protect the interest of construction workers in the state.

Laws like “scaffold law” (under section 240), and other laws (under section 200 and 241) were legislated by New York State to give construction workers added protection.

These laws also make it easy for the victims to bring claims for accidents that occurred on-site.

Regardless of all these special laws, construction workers in Brooklyn continue to be seriously injured, maimed, and killed every day. Why? Because parties like site owner and contractors – among others –continue to violate the safety rules and regulations.

As the personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff law firm have represented many construction accident victims (and their families), we have a thorough understanding of the special construction laws in Brooklyn.

If you or someone else has been injured on a construction site due to any reason, our dedicated construction injury lawyers may be able to get you fair and reasonable compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

The Statute of Limitations in construction accident claims in Brooklyn, NY

In most cases, it is three years from the date you suffered the injury. But there are exceptions. For example, if the victim (worker) is under 18 years of age, then their statute of limitations starts to run after they turn 18 i.e., it would expire on the day victim turns 21.

It also depends on the defendant or the party responsible for the injuries. For example, if you decide to sue the State of New York, the statute of limitations runs for 2 years.

If you decide to sue a government agency such as a public corporation or a municipality, the statutes could be 90 days or 1 year or shorter, depending on the agency.

When you sue the government agencies, you generally need to serve a “notice of intention of claim” or “notice of claim” within 90 days or shorter from the date of injury.

You also need to know that there are other statutes and exceptions that may apply to your specific case.

That’s why it is so important to have an experienced construction accident lawyer by your side. At RMFW law firm, our attorneys investigate every construction injury case in-depth to determine all the relevant statutes of limitations for your accident.

What steps should be taken when the accident occurred due to faulty machinery or equipment?

Construction Equipment

In many construction accident cases, the equipment or machinery is to be blamed. To be more precise, people in charge of designing, manufacturing, and maintaining the equipment are responsible for the construction accident in most cases.

Here are just some of the equipment-related accidents that cause serious injury and death in Brooklyn every year:

  • Backhoe accidents
  • Forklift accidents
  • Scissor lift accidents
  • Crane accidents
  • Masonry accidents
  • Front-end loader accidents
  • Hydraulic jack accidents

In fact, calling these situations “accidents” is not completely true since they occur due to the negligence and carelessness of someone.

In order to make sure all the equipment, tools, and machinery is safe on the construction site, it should be ensured that:

  • It is designed and manufactured under the appropriate safest regulations
  • It is maintained properly by experienced and qualified personnel
  • It should come with proper warnings
  • The workers in charge of using it are properly trained and supervised at all times

When construction equipment fails, it can fall into any of the following categories:

  • In case the equipment was not properly designed or manufactured or lacked the proper warnings, the victim may have a “defective products” or “product liability” case. In these situations, the seller of the equipment, as well as the manufacturer, must be sued.
  • In case the equipment led to injury because it was used or maintained in a negligent manner, then it becomes a “labor law” case. In these situations, the site owner and/or the contractor must be sued.

Almost any piece of equipment, tool or machinery can fail – or be misused – leading to serious injury to the workers.

For example, a faulty compressed air line, a failed hydraulic pump, defective cables, flawed bulldozers, poorly designed saws, rotten wooden pallets, misuse of a backhoe, or million other defects can cause serious injury or even death on a construction site.

Even things that may appear to be quite minor, such as bolts, nails, blades, and screws can fly off and result in a serious accident.

There is a lot that can go wrong on a construction site at any given moment and it does. It’s no wonder Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff law firm handles numerous construction accident cases every year!

The construction equipment accident attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff have been representing Brooklyn construction workers since 1922 and thus, are well-familiar with all the relevant New York and OSHA regulations.

We can help you determine what kind of case you have depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident.

In addition to the violation of safety regulations on a site, there are other types of accidents where the worker gets injured.

When the construction workers are not instructed about or provided with proper safety devices like helmets, goggles, nets, breathing masks, lanyards, safety harnesses, and so on, accidents are bound to happen.

For example, if a worker has to breathe without a mask while sandblasting old bricks, the dangerous dust and other particles will lead to irreparable damage to their lungs.

Unfortunately, they may not even notice any issue with their lungs for several years. Similarly, if a worker is not instructed to use safety goggles while hammering nails, there is a chance they may lose an eye when a nail springs back at them.

Get Maximum Compensation with RMFW Construction Accident Lawyers in Brooklyn, NY

We know how damaging an injury can be to not only the worker but their family as well. In our nearly century-long experience, we have seen almost every kind of construction injury case and know that the insurance companies only care about their filling their pockets.

At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff law firm, our personal injury lawyers have obtained over $1 billion in settlements on behalf of the injured victims and their families. We know exactly what steps to take in order to make sure you receive the best possible compensation to get your life back on track.

No matter what kind of construction accident in Brooklyn you were injured in –involving scaffolding, ladders, cranes, elevators, etc. – be assured that we have experience with it. How? We have represented over 30,000 victims in all kinds of construction injury cases throughout the state of New York.

If you want to maximize your compensation in your case, it is imperative that you know the full extent of your rights. We not only make sure you are well-informed of your rights; we also spend all available resources as well as expertise to handle your case in the best way possible.

Our top-rated construction injury attorneys at RMFW law in Brooklyn have helped thousands of blue-collar workers and their families receive millions of dollars in settlement – and you can be next.

Get in touch with us for a free consultation of your case by calling us at (212) 697-9280 or completing this online contact form here.