New York has been in the middle of one of the longest construction booms in the city’s history. During the cold winter weather, construction slows, but now that the warmer months are here, you can expect to see multiple projects underway in every borough. While these projects are annoying for residents, construction workers will have steady employment, making a living throughout the spring, summer, and fall.
It unfortunate that both construction workers and pedestrians are at risk of suffering serious or fatal injuries during this construction boom.
New York has the highest concentrations of pedestrians of any city in America, as reported by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). People often find themselves walking under scaffolding, or near construction zones with multiple vehicles, cranes, excavation or demolition machinery. And pedestrian fatalities continue to rise in NYC. If you or a loved one was injured in a construction zone, it is imperative that you get legal help to navigate this complex legal process.
When Construction Goes Wrong
The construction industry is dangerous, and becomes far more deadly when a project is in high gear, with pressure to complete it on time. Critical safety measures may fall by the wayside, and a construction worker will often pay the price. New York is a city where workers suffer life-threatening injuries in a wide range of incidents, most of which were completely avoidable. NYC Buildings reports on the most common failures in a recent year that resulted in serious injuries or death:
- Excavations, Soil Work: Machinery that fails, or excavation processes that endanger workers.
- Falling Materials: Falling tools or supplies that injure construction workers.
- Mechanical Failures: Crane falls, earth work, hoists, and rollovers or failures of various types of equipment, including machinery used in demolition work.
- Scaffolding Failures: While New York has some of the nation’s most stringent safety regulations surrounding scaffolding, scaffold collapses, falls, and errors in installation or the use of safety gear continue to harm.
- Worker Falls: A ladder fall or other fall may be related to worker error, a failure to install required safety measures, or a worker harness that failed.
As reported in Constructive Dive, an online industry magazine, construction accidents in New York ramped up 18.4% in a recent year. In just seven months, from January to July, 248 accidents, 253 injuries, and 4 deaths occurred in the five boroughs. As there appears to be no slowdown in construction in the city in the years ahead, so the trend appears likely to continue.
What Should a Construction Worker Do?
When an employer fails to ensure that a jobsite is safe, construction workers are put in a precarious position. They don’t want to lose a paying job and may feel pressured to put up with dangerous conditions, or may be unaware that they are at risk.
An injured construction worker has access to workers’ compensation benefits. The process of filing a claim and providing all the required documentation can be difficult for the average person. A failure to file correctly will result in a delay in receiving benefits—or a denial. How can you be sure you are receiving the maximum? It can be helpful to get assistance from a workers’ compensation lawyer—but make sure you choose your attorney carefully. At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, your case will be in the hands of a law firm that has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for injured laborers.
After an injury, worker’s comp benefits may not be enough to keep the rent paid and a family fed. In certain situations, a third-party lawsuit can be filed.
How Do Third-Party Lawsuits Work?
Construction workers lose the right to file a lawsuit against their employer by gaining access to workers’ compensation benefits. However, many construction accidents occur due to an act of negligence by a third party: a subcontractor, equipment manufacturer, maintenance company, utility provider, building owner, or other entity providing services at a jobsite.
WRSH will investigate the facts in your case and discover whether it is possible to file a third-party lawsuit. In cases where the employer was grossly negligent, the third party named in the lawsuit has the right to name the employer if it appears there was shared liability. In these lawsuits, a “grave” injury must have occurred. These injuries include, but are not limited to the following:
- Loss of a facial feature or facial disfigurement
- Loss of fingers, hand, arm, toes, foot, leg
- Paraplegia, quadriplegia
- Traumatic brain injury leading to permanent disability
A Free Consultation from a Top Personal Injury Law Firm in NYC
At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, we offer a free case consultation to assist New York workers and their families. We have over 50 years of experience and have won hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. Choosing the right law firm is important. Once we take on an injury case, we give it our full attention and are completely dedicated to the people we represent. Call (212) 986-7353 today for a free case evaluation.