The construction industry in the US has some of the most dedicated and hardworking people who risk their lives every day in a hazardous profession to contribute to the building of the nation’s economy.
From commercial buildings to residential projects to large infrastructure projects, such as bridges, roads, tunnels, highways and airports, construction workers are vital to the growth and development of the local economy in Brooklyn, NY and the rest of the state.
Construction workers such as laborers, masons, carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, plumbers, sheet metal workers and painters operate in this high-risk industry to support their families.
New York has put in place a number of workers’ compensation laws to protect the rights of construction workers. In the event of an on-the-job injury, the worker can expect to receive compensation for their medical costs, potential loss of income, and pain and suffering.
In some of the construction injury cases, the victim could possibly have two claims for a single accident, by way of a workers’ comp claim as well as a lawsuit.
Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff law firm in Brooklyn, NY handles various legal aspects of the construction injury claims, including worker’s compensation, lawsuits for personal injury, social security for disability, and appeals.
The skilled and reputable Brooklyn construction accident attorneys at RMFW law firm will provide the best possible legal support to an injured construction worker and their family, right from pursuing their workers’ comp claim to negotiating a settlement or filing a lawsuit, as necessary.
Construction Accidents in Brooklyn are on the Rise
Between 2011 and 2012, the construction site accidents in NYC grew by 31 percent. City records show that the jump in the number of severe injuries was as high as 46 percent.
Another alarming trend during this period was a significant rise in construction job-site related fatalities in the NY metro area.
An OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) report revealed that the leading cause of fatalities at construction sites is building collapses and falls. Dangerous construction equipment and falling objects constituted the second major cause of construction site deaths.
Clearly, these grim figures highlight the serious risks that construction workers in Brooklyn, NY face every day. Aggressive legal support and guidance from experienced Brooklyn construction attorneys can help these workers recover compensation in the event of serious injuries or death.
Is it Possible to File a Lawsuit for a Brooklyn Construction Accident and Injury?
As a Brooklyn construction worker, if you or a family member suffered personal injury in a construction site accident, you might be able to file a lawsuit to claim damages from the site owner, general contractor, and/or other companies or contractors.
You have a right to bring such a lawsuit under the New York labor laws. It is important for every construction worker in Brooklyn to be aware of their right to file a lawsuit for job-related personal injury.
Many times, the injured worker may not be able to receive their rightful or adequate compensation under the Workers’ Compensation laws. That is when filing a lawsuit may be considered as a key option for the recovery of damages.
In New York, workers are not permitted to file a lawsuit against their employer for a workplace injury. The law restricts the workers to only pursue a workers’ comp claim against the employer (provided they have a workers’ comp insurance).
But under Section 240(1) of the New York Labor Law, contractors as well as their agents (or sub-contractors) are required to provide protection to construction workers involved in the erection, repairing, demolition, altering, cleaning or painting of structures or buildings.
These workers may be using pulleys, ropes, braces, irons, hangers, blocks, ladders, slings, hoists, scaffolds, stays, and other equipment.
These accidents are usually “gravity related” where a worker might fall from a height and sustain an injury, or a heavy object may fall on the worker causing them injury. However, there could also be other forms of construction accidents that may occur due to the gravitational forces.
Under Section 241(6) of the New York Labor Law, workers have a right to file a lawsuit for the violation of a particular regulation of the NY Industrial Code against owners, general contractors and agents or sub-contractors.
Under Section 200 of the NY Labor Law, workers are able to file lawsuits against companies for failing to offer adequate or reasonable protection to a worker on a job site.
It is important to note that not all types of construction accidents will make an injured Brooklyn construction eligible to file a lawsuit.
However, injured workers should speak to a knowledgeable and results-oriented Brooklyn construction accident lawyer to determine whether they are in a position to pursue further legal action.
Common Types of Construction Accidents in Brooklyn, NY
It ranks among the most common accidents occurring on Brooklyn construction sites. This may involve falling down from a crane, scaffold, ladder, or roof.
Struck by an Object
According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), hundreds of construction injuries and deaths occur every year due to severe contact with a heavy object or equipment. These are also called struck-by accidents.
Accidents in Confined Spaces
Workers who may have to enter tunnels, manholes, trenches, pipelines, septic tanks, storm drains, and shafts for cleaning, repair or construction could be exposed to poisonous gases and various other hazards.
Shoulder and Back Injuries
Shoulder and back related injuries commonly occur in construction jobs because of the heavy lifting activity and other physical actions involved in this occupation.
Power and Hand Tool Injuries
Construction work often involves operating with a hammer, knife, digging tools, grinder, drill, nail gun and power saw. These tools are inherently risky to operate and may cause injuries on a construction site in Brooklyn.
Defective Construction Equipment
Faulty, ill-maintained, or malfunctioning heavy construction equipment, vehicles, cranes or even simple tools could result in serious injuries, fractures, and amputations.
Construction Vehicle Accidents
Operating heavy construction equipment, cranes, machinery, and heavy vehicles can cause injuries to the operator as well as other workers in that area.
Unstable Surfaces and Collapses
Unstable or shifting surfaces can pose a serious risk on construction sites. Workers could be severely injured due to collapsing walls, buildings, trenches, and other uneven or unsecured structures.
Workers who are loading or unloading construction equipment and materials could be injured, crushed or struck by the shifting heavy load.
Toxic chemicals are often used in construction sites in Brooklyn. Any direct or excessive exposure to these hazardous substances can result in serious injuries and burns.
Electrocution of the construction site workers is a serious possibility. Contact with high-tension electrical wires may occur due to a defective piece of construction equipment or the negligence of the contractor or another party.
Dangers at construction sites can be minimized, but not entirely eliminated. If you are a Brooklyn construction worker who has suffered injuries on the job site, or someone in your family has been killed in a fatal construction accident, speak to an experienced construction injury attorney in Brooklyn, NY for legal advice.
Liability in a Brooklyn Construction Accident
Falling from an elevated height or scaffolding is one of the common causes of construction accidents in Brooklyn, NY.
Under the New York Labor Code Section 240(1) and Section 240(6), the “Scaffold Law” clearly states that a contractor or a construction site owner could be held liable for the injuries of a construction worker who falls from scaffolding.
Under Section 240, the construction injury victims in Brooklyn may be able to claim wider compensation that what is available through the workers’ comp law. The injured worker could bring a personal injury lawsuit against the construction site owner or a contractor to recover damages.
Strict liability is imposed under the NY labor code. This means that the injured workers in Brooklyn are not required to establish fault that they were injured by falling from a defective scaffold or ladder.
Construction injury victims in Brooklyn can potentially win settlements worth millions of dollars if they sustain severe injuries with no fault of their own.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries while working on a Brooklyn construction site, the accomplished Brooklyn construction accident attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff will explain you about all the legal avenues of claim recovery, in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.
You could have grounds for claiming compensation from a third party if your construction injuries in Brooklyn occurred due to the negligence or wrongdoing of a non-employer. Speak to an experienced Brooklyn construction injury lawyer at RMFW law firm today.
2017 Construction Safety Law in NYC Continues to be ignored
Tragedy almost struck at the 57th floor of a building in New York City. An electrician stepped on a plywood piece while working on the construction of a luxury condominium (15 Hudson Yards) 910 feet above Manhattan.
A 2018 construction accident report by the NYC Department of Buildings revealed that the piece of plywood was covering a gaping hole in the floor (to be used for ductwork). The wood cracked under the worker’s weight, and his leg slipped through it.
A piece of rebar jutting out from the floor pierced into the worker’s leg, and he had to be taken to the hospital. This was clearly an accident that could be easily avoided if the basic safety rules had been followed.
The New York City Council aimed to minimize precisely these types of construction injuries through the Local Law 196, which came into force in October 2017.
The law significantly increased the requirements of safety training for construction workers in New York City.
However, even now when sufficient time has passed since the law was passed many construction workers in NYC do not have the necessary safety skills that could potentially save lives.
According to construction industry observers in NY, the entire intent of the law is compromised due to weak implementation. Many construction workers in Brooklyn and other parts of the city still do not know even simple safety practices such as how to put on a harness.
According to a Management Report released by the Mayor, injuries at construction sites in NYC continue to occur at a high rate. In 2017-18, as many as 744 construction injuries were reported in the city (more than two injuries per day).
This includes both minor and severe construction injuries as well as fatalities such as a worker who was crushed under a collapsing wall in September 2018 in Sunset Park. Construction injuries and fatalities in NYC have jumped over five years, from 212 injuries reported in 2012-13 to 744 in 2017-18.
Immigrants from Latin American countries are at a higher risk because they often operate as day laborers. These workers typically operate on construction sites in NYC where employer-led training systems are weak and oversight is poor.
While the law has ensured that on the books, every worker on New York City construction sites must undergo a certain level of safety training, in practice there is still a major scope for improvement.
Consult with a Knowledgeable Brooklyn Construction Accident Attorney Today
At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, our Brooklyn, NY construction accident lawyers are driven by a commitment to support and guide workers who have sustained injuries on construction sites.
Our track record in successfully handling these types of construction injury cases in Brooklyn and the rest of the city is outstanding.
We have achieved recoveries worth millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for injured construction site workers in New York. We have been representing workplace injury victims in Brooklyn, NY and the rest of the state.
Some of the construction related injuries where we have recovered damages successfully include falls from ladder, scaffold or roof, injury from falling heavy objects or debris, forklift accidents, crane accidents, injuries occurring due to faulty construction equipment, injuries caused by poor training of workers, inadequate safety measures, or ineffective PPE, exposure to toxic chemicals, and other types of construction related accidents.
If you or a family member has suffered personal injuries in a Brooklyn construction accident, Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff law firm is here to help.
Our objective is to provide all possible legal assistance to the victims in Brooklyn from the very beginning of the case and take it to its logical conclusion while ensuring the rightful recovery for the injured Brooklyn construction workers and their families.
With RMFW law firm on your side, you will be in a position to maximize your construction injury award in Brooklyn. Call us now at 212-697-9280 for a confidential and free consultation, or contact us online.