If you live or work in the Big Apple you know that construction never stops in New York City. If you work in the construction industry you also know how inherently dangerous a construction site can be for both the workers and bystanders. Not surprisingly, construction accidents occur frequently, often causing serious, even fatal, injuries to the victims. In one recent year, construction site accidents jumped a staggering 31 percent in New York. If you have been the victim of a construction accident, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side to ensure that you are fully and fairly compensated for any and all injuries you suffered as a result of the accident.
At the Law Offices of Adam M. Thompson, P.C. we help victims of New York City construction accidents by ensuring that the responsible party is held accountable and the victim is fully compensated for all injuries. We also proudly represent victims throughout New York State and New Jersey. Contact us now by calling (212) 267-2424 or by filling out our online contact form for your free consultation. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure that you can reach us when you need us.
How Do Construction Accidents Happen?
A construction site is inherently dangerous for anyone in the vicinity. Whether a building is being constructed, demolished, or repaired, the job site is frequently littered with building materials and equipment as well as heavy machinery moving through the site on a regular basis. The potential for injury is ever-present. Some of the more common types of construction accidents include:
- Crane accidents—the staggering number of crane accidents in New York in recent years prompted a change to operator certification standards.
- Falls—falls remain the number one cause of construction site fatalities year after year, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), and lead the agency’s “Fatal Four” list, which details the most common causes of construction industry workplace fatalities every year.
- Electrocution—electrocution causes approximately 10 percent of all construction industry deaths each year, according to OSHA.
- Falling debris or materials—even a seemingly harmless nail can be deadly when it falls from a 50 story building and hits an innocent pedestrian walking by a construction site.
- Machinery malfunction—heavy machinery can become deadly when it malfunctions whether as a result of human error or a defect in the machinery itself.
- Motor vehicle accidents—vehicles of all types typically maneuver through a construction site all day long, often resulting in collisions.
- “Caught in/between”—also part of OSHA’s “Fatal Four” list, these accidents involve a worker who becomes wedged between a vehicle and a building, trapped under material or equipment, or otherwise gets caught “in or between” something.
Who Is Responsible for Injuries in a Construction Accident?
Although we refer to these as “accidents,” the reality is that many construction site “accidents” are not accidents at all. Instead, they are the result of negligence on the part of someone involved in the project. For the victim of a construction site accident, pursuing compensation can be particularly difficult because of the numerous potential defendants, including, but not limited to:
- General contractor
- Property owner
- Property manager
- Equipment manufacturer
- Third party maintenance company
Moreover, there are numerous types of claims a victim may have against potential at-fault parties when injured on a construction site. The circumstances surrounding the accident will determine what type of personal injury lawsuit a victim may bring; however, there are common scenarios, such as:
- Personal injury accident lawsuit—this covers a wide variety of circumstances in which a worker or bystander is injured on a construction site.
- Premises liability lawsuit—the owner and/or company responsible for the property where construction is underway has a duty to keep the site as safe as possible and to warn the public about known dangers on the site. Failing to do either, or both, could form the basis for a premises liability lawsuit.
- Product liability lawsuit—if machinery, equipment, or materials on the site malfunctioned or failed to perform as expected, the cause could be a defect in the product, which could lead to a product liability lawsuit. A product liability lawsuit can also result if a manufacturer failed to adequately warn consumers about the inherent dangers in a piece of machinery or equipment.
What about Workers’ Compensation?
If you were working on the construction site at the time of the accident, you may be under the impression that you are limited to workers’ compensation as an avenue for recovering damages. Not necessarily true. While it is true that you cannot pursue a traditional personal injury lawsuit against your employer except in rare circumstances, you can pursue compensation through a third party lawsuit if someone other than your employer caused, or contributed to, your injuries. The New York workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system that provides injured workers with medical and wage replacement benefits. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation benefits often fall short of fully compensating a victim for all damages. For example, workers’ compensation does not provide victims with pain and suffering damages, nor does it provide 100 percent wage replacement benefits. Pursuing a third party lawsuit may allow a victim to augment the benefits provided by workers’ compensation.
If you have been injured in a construction accident in New York City, you need the experience and dedication offered by the Law Offices of M. Adam Thompson, P.C. Likewise, if you are in need of exceptional legal representation in New York State or New Jersey, please contact our law offices now by calling 212-267-2424 or by filling out our online contact form. We look forward to providing you with a free, confidential case review.