Wheelbarrows and hand-propelled vehicles have been identified as leading causes of construction site injuries. Overexertion, a common occurrence when handling these vehicles, was reported to affect 48.3 per 10,000 full-time construction laborers in 2020. These injuries can significantly impact workers’ lives and livelihoods, causing physical harm and potential loss of income.
In these situations, New York construction worker injury attorneys play a crucial role. The lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP advocate for victims and are skilled at navigating the complexities of workers’ compensation benefits.
Common Causes of Injuries from Wheelbarrows and Hand-Propelled Vehicles
Construction tasks often necessitate the lifting, transporting, or shifting of hefty materials from one location to another. Wheelbarrows, hand trucks, and other manually propelled vehicles are frequently employed for these purposes. While these tools can simplify the work, they also pose risks to workers if mishandled. Examples of these risks include:
- If a worker is transporting a heavy load in a wheelbarrow that unexpectedly topples over, he or she could potentially be crushed under the weight of the cargo.
- A hand truck loaded improperly can become unstable and topple over, injuring the person operating it.
- When a worker is pushing a heavy load up an incline, any shift in the load can lead to the worker losing control of the hand truck, which may cause them to fall and sustain injuries.
- If a worker is bearing a substantial load on their back and the load shifts unexpectedly, severe spinal or back injuries can occur.
- If a worker stumbles while hauling a heavy load in a wheelbarrow, the falling load may cause significant injuries.
Types of Injuries
The types of injuries resulting from these accidents vary in severity and placement. Some of the most common injuries include the following:
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Crush injuries
In some cases, these accidents can also lead to traumatic brain injuries, especially if a worker is struck by a falling wheelbarrow or its load.
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides coverage for construction workers who have been injured or fallen ill due to job-related purposes. Construction companies are typically required to carry this insurance, which covers medical, rehabilitation, and disability benefits for workers. Even when a company has only one employee, they are still required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in New York.
The Claims Process
When a worker is injured, they can file a claim with their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. The insurance will then evaluate the claim and, if approved, cover expenses related to the injury. This can include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and a portion of the worker’s lost wages.
Ensuring Fair Compensation
Injured workers must seek legal assistance when filing a workers’ compensation claim. A lawyer can help navigate the claims process, ensure all necessary documentation is submitted, and advocate for the worker to receive the maximum possible benefits.
Third-Party Liability Claims
In some cases, a third party may be liable for a construction worker’s injuries. This could include the manufacturer of a defective wheelbarrow, a contractor who failed to maintain safe working conditions, or a subcontractor who acted negligently.
Assessing Negligence and Liability Factors
To pursue a third-party liability claim, it must be shown that the third party was negligent in some way and that this negligence directly caused the worker’s injuries. This often requires a thorough investigation and the collection of evidence.
If a third party is found to be liable, the injured worker may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against them. This can allow the worker to recover additional damages not covered by workers’ compensation, such as pain and suffering.
Why Hire a NY Construction Accident Attorney?
Consulting with an attorney from our firm specializing in construction worker injuries can be crucial in securing fair compensation. Our attorneys understand the specific challenges and complexities associated with construction accidents and workers’ compensation claims. They can help evaluate the circumstances of the accident, identify potentially liable parties, and determine your best course of legal action.
Promoting Safety and Prevention
Promoting safety and prevention is crucial to reduce these types of injuries. Employers need to provide the following:
- Adequate training
- Enforce safety protocols.
- Regular equipment maintenance and inspections are also essential to prevent accidents.
Workers must familiarize themselves with safety guidelines, report unsafe working conditions, and practice safe lifting and maneuvering techniques.
How a Construction Attorney Can Help
Understanding the risks associated with wheelbarrows and hand-propelled vehicles in construction is key to preventing injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in such an accident, the experienced NYC personal injury lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP can help.
Our New York legal team has the knowledge and resources to thoroughly investigate your case, determine liability, and pursue the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered injuries from a wheelbarrow or other hand-propelled vehicle while on the job, call us at (212) 986-7353 to schedule a free initial consultation.