Construction Accident

Long Island Construction Accident Lawyers

Getting hurt while working at a construction site can leave you unable to work and with a number of damages and losses. Find out if you can get more than what workers comp offers by consulting with a Long Island construction accident lawyer.

We depend on construction workers to keep our buildings, roads, and public spaces safe and functional. These workers play a vital role in making sure that people are able to perform their daily tasks without a hitch. Unfortunately, construction workers are frequently the victims of workplace accidents.

Construction workers regularly handle high-powered, potentially dangerous tools that may not always perform as expected. They work at dangerous heights on roofs and on scaffolding. The daily dangers of a construction worksite are simply part of the job. But if something goes wrong, the consequences can be devastating.

If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation beyond just workers comp. A Long Island construction accident lawyer with Siler & Ingber, LLP will review all the details of your case and work to get you the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Construction Accident Statistics

Construction accidents are not uncommon. The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration monitors these types of accidents closely. They do so for all injuries, but the construction industry tends to be one of the most common sectors for injuries and deaths.

In 2016, 4,693 workers were involved in some level of a workplace accident. This is within the private industry across all sectors. Construction accidents accounted for 991 of those cases or 21.1 percent of them. OSHA also says that 1 person in every five worker deaths in 2016 was in the field of construction.

The agency provides a breakdown of construction accidents by their cause. Out of 991 worker injuries in construction in 2016, the following were the causes:

  • 384 were related to falls, accounting for 38.7 percent
  • 93 were struck by an object, accounting for 9.4 percent
  • 82 were electrocutions, which accounted for 8.3 percent
  • 72 were caught in-between or between accidents, accounting for 7.3 percent.

These are considered the fatal four. The agency also notes that by eliminating these construction incidents specifically, it could, on average, save 631 workers from dying each year in the United States.

The most common reasons for construction accidents include:

  • Improper fall protection
  • Hazardous communications standards
  • Scaffolding-related security risks
  • Respiratory-related protections
  • Ladder risks
  • Control of hazardous energy
  • Powder industrial trucks

These represent the agency’s most commonly cited violations on construction sites for private companies. OSHA fines employers who do not follow pre-established guidelines for minimizing risks on the job.

Construction Site Safety Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has requirements for construction workers and are site-specific as to the type of construction and duties that the worker is performing. The requirements cover all aspects of the site including the operation of equipment and vehicles, how chemicals in a facility are to be labeled and how the MSDS is to be maintained, as well as what safety gear a construction worker is required to wear on each site type.

OSHA has these requirements in place to ensure the safety of the workers while they are on the clock. Construction sites can be dangerous, whether it’s erecting a building, working with a crane, or a road crew repairing city streets, each presents its own set of hazards.

You can find a complete list of OSHA regulations listed per site type on their site: Worker Safety Series – Construction.

In New York City, a construction safety bill, now passed into law as Local Law 196 of 2017 in September 2017 requiring all workers and supervisors on building construction sites to get mandatory safety training. By March 1, 2018, most construction workers were required to have taken and show proof of 10 hours of safety training.

If a permit holder (usually the construction company) cannot show proof to the Department of Buildings (DOB) that all workers on the site have completed the required training, a fine of $5.000 per worker who is untrained will be issued to the permit holder, site owner, and the untrained worker’s employer.

Worksite Injuries

Even the most safety-conscious worker can become the victim of a construction accident. Examples of just a few of the on-the-job accidents that your Long Island construction accident lawyer will be able to assist you with are as follows:

  • Electrical Injuries – Construction workers are often surrounded by power lines and electrical wiring. If these electrical systems are poorly maintained or not clearly mapped out, a worker is at serious risk of being injured in an electrical accident.
  • Falls – Falls are the leading cause of fatal construction accidents. In 2015, falls were responsible for almost 39 percent of all construction accident deaths.
  • Ladder Accidents – Falling off a ladder is one of the most common types of fall accidents for which a construction worker is at risk. Twenty percent of fall injuries involve ladders.
  • Falling Debris – Ground-level workers must constantly be mindful of materials that may potentially fall and cause injury, from steel beams to loose nails. An injury from falling debris can be catastrophic and easily result in a traumatic brain injury, spinal damage, or death.
  • Crane and Forklift Accidents – Heavy machinery that is not maintained properly or that malfunctions can present a serious hazard to both the operator and the workers in the surrounding area.
  • Burns – Construction workers are often at risk of suffering a burn, either because of an electrical problem, explosion, chemicals, or from another source.
  • Toxic Exposure – Employers and property owners are bound by law to ensure that construction workers are not exposed to unsafe amounts of toxic chemicals, which can cause internal damage and illness. Dangerous chemicals a construction worker might be exposed to include lead, asbestos, benzene, and formaldehyde.

New York Labor Law: Section 240

New York Labor Law Section 240 is an important workers’ compensation law in the state. It is a part of a set of labor laws designed to protect workers on construction sites from being involved in construction-related accidents. This particular section has to do with falls from high locations, one of the most common causes of accidents on job sites.

Section 240 indicates that workers have the right to protection from falls when they are working in high elevation. It also includes protections from injuries related to falls of objects from high locations.

Most commonly, Section 240 is referred to as the Scaffold Law. It provides for very specific requirements for employers including project management to provide steps to ensure an employee’s safety while on the job site for any type of construction related work.

It applies to all parties including the project owner, the project manager, the general contractor, and the owner of the building. Proper and OSHA approved methods must be used to prevent construction workers from falling from high locations or being struck from any type of falling objects. If this is not done according to OSHA guidelines, the project manager, owner, or general contractor can be held responsible for the injuries suffered by the employee.

This includes any financial losses suffered by the employee as a result of a lack of guidance or protections. Employers must not only provide the actual tools for these protections to occur, but also ensure that they are followed by all employees.

Can I Get More Than Workers Comp for a Construction Accident?

Many construction workers have the expectation that after a workplace injury, the only way to receive monetary help is through workers comp. However, there are many situations in which you may be able to sue for your injuries and be compensated beyond what workers comp provides.

Situations in which you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the negligent party are as follows:

  • You were injured due to the actions of a third party: If a contractor outside of your employer or a passerby caused the accident, you can hold them responsible.
  • You were injured as a result of an employer’s or coworker’s willful negligence or malice: You could bring a personal injury lawsuit against the egregiously negligent party.
  • You were injured by a defective product: Faulty safety equipment or machinery that causes injury could mean that the product manufacturer is liable
  • You were injured via exposure to a toxic substance: You may be able to bring a lawsuit against the substance manufacturer.
  • Your employer does not carry workers comp insurance: In this scenario, you could sue your employer in civil court.

There are several reasons to seek a settlement beyond what is usually awarded for workers comp. A workers comp payment for temporary disability or permanent disability may be incredibly low and not account for intangible factors such as pain and suffering or lost quality of life. In addition, workers comp does not hold egregiously negligent employers accountable by making them pay damages.

Anyone can get injured on the job and thereby be entitled to workers comp. However, your Long Island construction accident lawyer will work to ensure that if your injury qualifies for a personal injury claim—be it against the employer, a product manufacturer, or someone else—you get every penny you’re owed.

OSHA Violations and Your Claim

If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, there are many people and entities who could be liable. In any given project, there are multiple people involved: a general contractor, subcontractors, architects, engineers, the property owner, material suppliers, and more.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standards that govern the safety of workplaces, including construction sites. OSHA has regulations for every aspect of the construction industry, including scaffolds, fall protection, steel erection, demolition, and ladders—just to name a few.

Any violation of OSHA or other accepted industry standards may make an employer liable in a construction accident. An employer could be liable due to action or omission, whether by acting in a way that could lead to a worker’s harm (such as necessitating exposure to unsafe chemicals), or failure to perform key job duties (such as properly training employees).

Get Everything You’re Owed

Workers comp claims are generally not comprehensive and do not hold the negligent parties accountable for their behaviors. Your Long Island construction accident lawyer will work to get you a settlement that accounts for all of the hardships you may be facing after your injury, including the following damages:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Cost of mobility equipment and medication
  • Lost wages and income-earning ability
  • Physical and emotional therapy
  • Home or vehicle modifications to accommodate a new disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and permanent disfigurement
  • Lost enjoyment of life

Construction Accident FAQs

Can I still get workers comp if I file a personal injury claim?

YES, the two are complementary rather than mutually exclusive. You should file your worker’s comp claim immediately so that you can begin receiving benefits right away. Anything not covered by workers comp can then be included in your personal injury claim.

How do I prove that my employer knowingly put me into danger?

If your employer had a history of OSHA violations, it will go a long way toward proving your case, especially if any of the violations had to do with the circumstances you were injured in.

How do I get compensated if I was hit by a car while performing road work?

You will likely have a very strong case against the driver who hit you, especially if you were wearing an orange vest or if the driver was speeding. You’ll be able to pursue damages from the driver, which will likely come from his or her auto insurance policy.

Who can I sue for being hurt on a NY construction site?

In the state of New York, you are not able to sue your employer due to workers’ compensation laws that protect your employer. However, a lawsuit can be filed against third party companies if they are negligent for the injuries you sustained on a construction site. Third party companies include: General Contractors, Property Owners, Subcontractors and Product Manufacturers. There are strict labor laws in NY to protect construction workers. It is important to choose a personal injury attorney that has experience handling construction accident cases successfully.

Contact a Long Island Construction Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a construction accident due to willful negligence or a third party’s carelessness, you deserve more than just workers comp. A Long Island construction accident lawyer from Siler & Ingber, LLP will work to hold the negligent party accountable. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 1-516-294-2666 or by using the online form on this page.

What happens when I’ve been injured in a wreck with an uninsured driver?

If you have the appropriate coverage, an uninsured driver claim can provide you with compensation for some of your damages. This requires caution as even your own insurance company will try to lowball your settlement amount. You might also have the option to sue the other driver directly, but we’ll first need to determine if the driver has the assets to provide you with compensation.

How long do I have to file?

Various factors can affect how long you have to file a claim for compensation after a Long Island automobile accident, but you will generally have three years from the date of the accident to file your personal injury claim.

What does it mean that New York is a no-fault state?

It means that the state of New York asks drivers to carry no-fault insurance, which is designed to cover your medical bills and lost wages after your car accident, regardless of who was at fault.

It also means you will need to prove you had a serious injury if you need to file a claim for additional compensation. These claims can cover intangible damages like pain and suffering.

Am I at fault for a single-car crash?

Not necessarily. While it may initially seem like there’s no one to blame but yourself, other parties could be held responsible for your Long Island single-car crash.

For example, if the road was unsafe and caused your crash, you could sue the agency responsible for maintaining that road. Likewise, you could name a parts manufacturer in your claim if a defective part on your car caused your crash.

What should I tell the insurance company after an accident?

You should tell the insurance company as little as possible until you’ve had a chance to contact a Long Island car accident lawyer. This will help you avoid accidentally making yourself look liable. Tell both your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company to contact your lawyer.

How long will it take to get my settlement after an accident?

A personal injury claim from an accident has many factors involved that can dictate the time frame of receiving money if your case is won. On average a personal injury case in New York can take anywhere from a year to several years depending on the type of injuries and damages your accident attorney is seeking on your behalf. The period of time also depends on the court’s schedule. Recently with NY courts being closed due to the pandemic, many civil actions have been delayed.

How long after an accident can you go to the hospital?

Some car accident victims do not immediately feel pain or injury from a car accident and refuse medical care. However, pain from an injury sustained in an accident can sometimes be delayed. This is often the case for soft tissue damage. Soft tissue injuries are defined as parts of the body other than bone. Damages to muscles, ligaments and tendons are considered soft tissue. If you are pursuing legal action with a personal injury claim, in most cases, insurance companies consider it reasonable to obtain medical care within 72 hours of the accident.

What if I have more questions?

If you have more questions, the attorneys at Siler & Ingber, LLP have more answers. To get in touch with a Long Island car accident attorney, give us a call at 1-516-294-2666 or fill out the form below.

Types of Car Crashes

Any type of wreck can be extremely unsettling. A Long Island car accident lawyer from our office will have experience representing accident victims of all types of accident cases and identifying fault, including any of the following:

  • Rear-End Collisions – Rear-end collisions often occur when one car is following another too closely, or when the car in front makes a sudden stop. These accidents can cause significant damage to vehicles, and drivers of rear-ended cars also frequently experience whiplash.
  • T-Bone Accidents – Side-impact accidents occur when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another. Common sites of T-bone accidents are intersections where one vehicle failed to make a proper stop.
  • Sideswipes – Sideswipe accidents occur when the sides of two cars collide. This may happen if an inattentive driver drifts into another lane, for example. It’s common for distracted driving to be involved in these wrecks, although many other factors, such as poor road conditions could be to blame.
  • Head-On Collisions – These collisions occur when the front ends of two vehicles collide, and they are especially dangerous. Head-on collisions frequently result in significant injuries, such as spinal cord or traumatic brain injury—or even death.
  • Rollover Accidents – A car with a high center of gravity, such as a van or an SUV, is more likely to experience a rollover accident, during which a vehicle loses its grip on the road and rolls over, possibly several times. While defective vehicle or road design is sometimes to blame, a rollover could just as easily be caused by one driver forcing another off the road.

Identifying What Caused Your Car Accident

No matter the type of accident you’ve suffered, you shouldn’t have to deal with the physical, emotional, and financial aftermath alone if another person’s negligence caused your crash and subsequent injuries. Your car accident lawyer from Long Island will identify all of the negligent parties involved in causing your wreck. This is a crucial step, as recovering full compensation in a car accident claim requires naming them all in your claim.

All potential causes will need to be considered during the investigation of your car accident case, such as those described below:

  • Drunk Driving – In New York, 1.4 percent of people report driving after having consumed too much alcohol. Drunk driving is a seriously negligent behavior and might qualify you to receive punitive damages to punish the drunk driver.
  • Distracted Driving – Any driver who is engaging in behavior that takes his or her mind off the road is a distracted driver. These behaviors may include eating, texting, changing the radio station, arguing with passengers, and any number of other things.
  • Drowsy Driving – Although drowsy driving is unquestionably dangerous, it is alarmingly common and is often present in crashes involving commercial trucks.
  • Speeding – Speeding is another common yet undeniably dangerous behavior. It is also a decision made by the other driver, meaning that proving it will go a long way toward proving your case.

Contact a Long Island Car Wreck Attorney

While the days and weeks after a car accident can be overwhelming, there is hope. Contact a Long Island car accident lawyer with Siler & Ingber, LLP today and begin the process of getting the compensation you deserve. Call 1-516-294-2666, or use the online contact form on this page to schedule a free consultation.

Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics

The attorneys at Siler & Ingber compiled data from 2014 to 2016 on motor vehicle crashes on Long Island. The first set of charts shows the number of motor vehicle accidents and fatalities in Suffolk and Nassau counties over the 3-year period.

Motor Vehicle Accidents in Nassau and Suffolk Counties

Motor Vehicle Accidents in Nassau and Suffolk Counties

As you can see, the amount of accidents did not vary much between 2014 and 2016, but they did decline. This could possibly be attributed to new laws on distracted driving or more law enforcement assigned to these county roads. For the number of fatalities, there was a large increase from 2014 to 2015, but luckily, the amount decreased in 2016. However, even one fatality is too much.

Comparison: Total Number of Motor Vehicle Accidents and Fatalities in Suffolk and Nassau

Long Island Motor Vehicle Accidents and Fatalities by Day of the Week

The following two charts show the number of motor vehicle accidents and fatalities in Suffolk and Nassau counties by the day of the week. You might be surprised by some of the results we found.

Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics: Crash Descriptors

The chart below depicts the percentages of each type of accident: injury accident, fatal accident, property damage and injury accident, and property damage accident. The majority of motor vehicle crashes in Suffolk and Nassau counties resulted in only property damages.

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