NYC is in a long-term construction boom phase, with thousands of construction workers on the job in projects across the boroughs. But the construction industry is one of the most dangerous in the nation, with workers using hazardous tools, heavy equipment, working at high elevations, and being exposed daily to countless risks.
One danger on a job site is a saw injury, which can result in an accidental amputation, deep lacerations, pain and suffering, and the inability to work or earn a living. If you’ve suffered this injury as the result of a defective product, a defective part, or a lack of adequate safety procedures, you have the right to seek compensation.
At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, we have extensive experience representing injured construction workers. We have a detailed understanding of each job and how accidents happen. Contact us at (212) 986-7353 for a FREE consultation to discuss the best course of action for you after a serious saw-related injury.
There are a number of federal and New York State safety protocols designed to protect workers when they are using power saws. If these safety measures were strictly followed by employers and supervisors, most power-saw accidents would never occur. Unfortunately, many employers try to cut corners by failing to provide workers with safe tools and a secure working environment. Frequent causes of industrial saw accidents include:
- An employer’s failure to provide or maintain machinery guards
- An employer’s improper saw maintenance
- A manufacturer’s defects
- An employer’s inadequate safety training for workers
- An employer’s lack of safety equipment for workers
There are many types of saws used in construction, including table saws, ring saws, bandsaws, and more. What all these saws have in common, however, is that they employ high-speed blades that cut through wood, metal, and other materials – including human flesh.
Power saws can cause severe and even fatal injuries. In many cases, the victim will not be able to return to work for an extended period of time, and certain types of injuries such as amputation may prevent the victim from ever working in construction again. That’s why it is essential to seek out an experienced New York personal injury attorney who can help you get the compensation you need to put your life back together.
A power saw is a very dangerous piece of equipment, and when it doesn’t have all the safety features required by law, or it isn’t properly maintained, this can result in serious consequences.
Types of Saw Injuries
Direct Blade Injuries
When a saw blade hits the skin, the damage is instantaneous and likely to be severe. Common injuries include:
- Finger, hand, arm, and even leg lacerations
- Nerve damage
- Severe blood loss
- Loss of limb
- Wrongful death
Even if a blade never made contact with your skin, if the saw was defective or didn’t have the required guards, pieces of wood, plastic, or metal could have be projected at high speeds, causing injuries such as:
In addition to federal OSHA regulations, the New York State Industrial Code protects workers from saw accidents. This makes it easier for the victim to file a lawsuit against the person or company whose negligence caused his injuries. Under the state code, business owners and contractors must uphold the following standards regarding power saws:
- Provide reasonable and adequate safety protection.
- Provide guards to protect operators.
- Provide a cut-off switch that the operator can easily reach from the operating position.
- Provide table circular saws with a spreader that is securely fastened in position, and have a device to prevent material kickback.
- Maintain power saws in good repair and in safe operating condition.
- Make repairs only when the equipment is at rest.
- Only allow trained, designated people to operate power equipment in a safe manner.
Many different parties can be liable for faulty equipment, depending on the circumstances. The hierarchy on a job site is often complicated, and responsibility can fall anywhere. Liable parties may include:
- Foreman or manager: A foreman or crew manager is responsible for those working on the site, from providing the needed equipment to ensuring safe practices are followed. If your foreman was aware of a problem and didn’t resolve it quickly and effectively, or should have been aware of the problem wasn’t, he or she may be held liable.
- Superintendent: A superintendent is responsible for the overall safety on a job site, as well as ensuring that all OSHA safety regulations are followed. If a superintendent is lax on the job or has allowed safety procedures to be bypassed or ignored, leading to an injury, the superintendent may be held liable.
- Equipment rental agency: Rental agencies oversee the upkeep of all the equipment they rent to job sites or workers. If they do not inspect and address any damaged or faulty equipment, they can be held liable if the faulty equipment causes an injury.
- Equipment manufacturer: When equipment fails due to a manufacturing or design defect, such as an inherently unsafe guard, the manufacturer may be held liable for your injuries.
Proving someone on the job site was negligent is done by establishing three points:
- That the person had a duty of care to keep you reasonably safe while on the job.
- That the person failed to do so, thus breaching that duty.
- That the breach of duty of care led to an injury with tangible losses, such as pain, suffering, lost wages, or disability.
To deal with the aftermath of a saw-related injury, it requires investigating the circumstances that led up to the accident and identifying the safety features or practices that were neglected, and how this neglect resulted in your injury.
Saw-related construction accidents are usually severe, often resulting in victims being unable to work. Due to the catastrophic nature of saw injuries, these are often high-value cases. Our NY construction accident attorneys always fight to recover the maximum compensation for you, whether through workers’ compensation or a third-party lawsuit. The compensation we can pursue in a third-party lawsuit will include:
- Medical bills, both immediate and long-term
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost ability to earn and support your family
At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, we have well over 50 years of experience protecting the rights of construction accident victims. We develop each case as if it will proceed to trial and thoroughly investigate all factors related to the accident. We are dedicated, experienced trial lawyers, and we will seek justice for you, whether by negotiating a fair settlement or convincing a jury at trial.
If we take on your case, you can be confident that you are represented by a team of the top construction accident attorneys in New York City. Call us today at (212) 986-7353 to schedule a FREE consultation.
The laborer fell three stories from a defective scaffold and suffered comminuted fractures of his left calcaneus, osteomyelitis in the left heel and a painful neuroma in his foot.
Frank Lombardo obtained $11.76 million in Queens County for a seriously injured Union Local No. 1 journeyman plumber.
Phil Russotti obtained an $11.1 million verdict in Queens County Supreme Court, for a 53 year old man who was injured on a construction site at a New York City High School.
Plaintiff, a 40 year-old, undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, was working off the books for a roofing contractor when he fell through a hole in the first floor of a one family home he was working in.
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David M. Hoffman obtained a settlement of $6,500,000 for a client who was injured in a fall on a jobsite resulting in suffered serious and permanent trauma to his head.
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Bryce Moses conveyed to the jury that the landowners were responsible for the accident and was able to obtain $4.27 million dollar recovery despite the fact there was only 4 Million Dollars in insurance coverage.
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Cliff Shapiro and Noah Katz together represented a construction worker who was struck by an air conditioning unit, causing injuries requiring surgery.
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Frank Lombardo obtained $3.8 million for a construction worker who was seriously injured in a workplace slip and fall accident.
WRSMH attorneys, Philip Russotti and Kenneth Halperin settled the construction accident case at mediation for our client who was a 50 year old bricklayer.
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Our client was injured on February 23, 2012, during the demolition of a sidewalk in front of a large building. As a result of the accident, he had a cervical fusion, a lumbar fusion, and a left knee arthroscopy.
Our client was a member of Local 147, who was seriously injured when he fell from a poorly construction scaffold.
Frank Lombardo obtained $3.5 million for a non-union laborer who was injured after falling from a ladder while painting.
Frank J. Lombardo handled this case through the discovery phase of the lawsuit and settled it at private mediation for $3.375 million, prior to it being calendared for a jury trial.