Hurt on the Job? Talk to a Brooklyn Construction Accident Lawyer
The individuals who work to build and maintain Brooklyn’s infrastructure constantly face safety hazards. Accidents happen, no matter how careful and cautious you are when working with cranes, scaffolding, forklifts, and other equipment. When a construction accident does occur, the resulting injuries can have a significant and often devastating effect on your daily life, your ability to work, and your long-term financial security.
If you were injured in a construction accident, you may eligible for compensation. Contact our Brooklyn construction accident lawyers for a free legal consultation.
Common Types of Brooklyn Construction Accidents
Construction is constant in an ever-growing city like Brooklyn. While the construction industry has higher rates of severe and fatal injuries than a majority of other industries nationwide, statistics show New York City area construction workers are at a unique risk of being involved in a construction accident. According to data from the New York state government, the NYC and Brooklyn construction accident fatality rate is five times greater than any other industry. Here are some of the most common construction accidents seen by our construction accident attorneys in Brooklyn:
- Forklift accidents – Forklifts are used on construction sites to move heavy materials and require extensive training to operate safely. Forklift accidents may be caused by improper training, driver error, equipment failure, or manufacturer defect.
- Crane accidents – Heavy machinery like cranes can be deadly if not used properly with adequate training. Crane accidents are often caused by overloading, inexperienced crane operators, negligent supervisors, and poorly maintained cranes.
- Explosions or fires – Construction sites in and around Brooklyn have a range of hazards that could lead to an explosion or fire like electrical issues, gas leaks, or malfunctioning equipment. Explosions or fire accidents may lead to severe burns, disfigurement, respiratory problems, and death.
- Machinery accidents – Heavy construction machinery includes equipment like bulldozers, excavators, welding equipment, and tools like nail guns. Machinery accidents on Brooklyn construction sites may be caused by inexperienced workers, improper training, improperly loaded or maintained equipment, or falling objects.
- Slips and falls – According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of death in construction. Slip and fall construction injuries are often caused by improper training or safety equipment, lack of safety rails, poor lighting, and debris or liquids on walkways.
- Electrocution – Brooklyn construction workers often work near powerlines, transformers, and faulty wiring that could lead to electrocutions. In the construction industry, powerline workers have the highest rate of fatalities.
- Scaffolding accidents – Scaffolding accidents can be deadly and may be caused by improper installation, defective scaffolding equipment, improper training, and failure to use safety equipment. New York’s scaffolding law protects the rights of construction workers who work on scaffolding.
- Falling debris – Injuries from falling objects are common in the construction industry. Injuries from falling debris or heavy equipment may be caused by incorrect use of equipment, improper training, failure to secure materials, or lack of hard hats.
- Fall from heights – Falls from heights are some of the most dangerous injuries in the construction industry and account for nearly one-third of fatal workplace injuries. Additionally, one of the most commonly cited OSHA violations is the failure to provide fall protection systems.
- Welding accidents – As one of the most dangerous jobs in construction, welding is also one of the most highly regulated, but injuries are still common. Welding accidents can cause eye injuries, skin injuries from the radiation, and lung injuries from fume inhalation.
- Demolition accidents – The demolition of buildings is extremely dangerous and is often done at the lowest cost possible. Demolition accidents are often caused by structural collapses, explosions and fires, falls, electrocutions, and falling debris.
- Getting caught between equipment – Workers who get caught in or between equipment may experience severe and debilitating injuries. Examples include getting caught under heavy machinery like cranes or forklifts that tip over, getting a limb caught between parts of a moving machine, or getting stuck under a structural collapse.
These Brooklyn construction accidents may fall under a workers’ compensation claim and/or a personal injury lawsuit, depending on how the accident occurred. If you were injured in a construction accident, a Brooklyn lawyer would be able to help determine who may be liable for your injuries, as well as your options for obtaining compensation.
Brooklyn Construction Accident Injuries We Have Experience With:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Eye injuries
- Chemical exposure illnesses
- Neck, shoulder, and back injury
- Knee and ankle injuries
- Respiratory disease
OSHA Construction Standards and Employee Rights
OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has implemented safety and health regulations intended to reduce workplace injuries. OSHA construction standards require employers to:
- Provide proper safety tools and equipment
- Inform employees about OSHA standards that apply to the workplace
- Display the official OSHA poster containing employees’ rights and responsibilities in a prominent space
- Provide safety training to employees in whatever language is needed for them to understand
- Establish comprehensive hazard communication and employee training programs
- Inform employees of the location and availability of medical records and provide the records when requested
OSHA also grants workers’ rights and responsibilities, including the right to:
- Review copies of the rules, regulations, requirements, and standards of the workplace
- Have access to employee medical and exposure records
- Request an OSHA inspection of the workplace
- Receive a copy of workplace tests performed to find hazards
- Sign and file an anonymous written OSHA complaint
- File OSHA complaints without fear of retaliation or retribution
- Review records of any work-related injuries or illnesses
Liability for Construction Accidents in Brooklyn
New York labor laws enable construction workers in Brooklyn to hold potentially negligent property owners and general contractors liable for any injuries sustained while working at a job site. The following are examples of potential negligence:
Injuries from Inadequate Protection
Injuries of this type occur when contractors or property owners fail to provide “reasonable and adequate protection” to protect the lives, health, and safety of the workers who are on the construction site. If they do not provide the equipment necessary to keep workers safe, it can potentially leave them liable for any injuries that result.
Injuries Related to Scaffolding and Falls from Heights
New York has a Scaffold Law that holds general contractors, subcontractors, and property owners strictly liable for injuries if their employees are hurt on or near any of the following:
- Hoists and stays
- Slings and hangers
In addition to the risks of falling from scaffolding, Brooklyn construction workers may also be injured if a tool or similar object falls from above and strikes them.
Who May Be Responsible for My Brooklyn Construction Accident?
There are many types of safety hazards at a construction site, and there is a good chance that more than one factor contributed to your accident. If that is the case, you may be able to seek compensation from more than one party. These parties may include:
- Property owners
- General contractors
When an injury happens on a job site and there are multiple parties at fault, you may be able to recover damages from any of those responsible for your injuries. If the negligence and wrongful actions of someone other than your employer caused you to get hurt, they should be held accountable. Examples of negligence would be unsafe work conditions due to poorly managed premises or insufficient safety equipment.
Regardless of whether a third party’s negligence contributed to your accident, you are also likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
After a Brooklyn Construction Accident
If you are injured in a construction accident, you may be unable to work while you recover, and you will likely need financial compensation to stay afloat. You are most likely eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim to recover your financial losses caused by your injury. This can include your medical expenses as well as a percentage of your lost wages while you are unable to work.
Sometimes, injured workers are able to file a personal injury lawsuit in addition to a workers’ compensation claim. In order to file a lawsuit, a third party—like a property owner, general contractor, or subcontractor—must have been negligent in some way or violated a construction safety law or regulation. Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury lawsuit may result in compensation for your pain and suffering. It can also help recover compensation for estimated future losses, like medical care and diminished earning capacity in the case of catastrophic injuries.
Getting the compensation you may be eligible for can be challenging without legal representation. To have the best chance of collecting a fair settlement, it is important to work with a skilled attorney who is experienced with construction accidents in the Brooklyn area. A Brooklyn law firm like Shulman & Hill, which has workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyers, has the skills and resources to help secure your future.
It is always best to speak with a lawyer as soon as you are able to, as these cases can be time-sensitive. To secure workers’ compensation benefits, you should submit your claim as soon as possible.
At Shulman & Hill, our Brooklyn construction accident attorneys will consider the details of your case carefully and help you pursue all avenues for compensation. Not only will they have the knowledge you need to build a strong case, but they will know how to effectively present that case at every stage of the claims process.
Compensation for Injured Brooklyn Construction Workers
Several factors determine what type of damages you can claim after a construction accident in Brooklyn. If you are filing a workers’ compensation claim, you are limited to compensation for lost wages and medical bills. If a party other than your employer was responsible for the accident and you are filing a personal injury lawsuit, you can potentially claim compensation for past and anticipated pain and suffering and additional economic losses not covered by workers’ compensation.
When it comes to filing insurance claims, some insurance companies might attempt to pay out as little as possible. To ensure you earn the maximum compensation available in your case, consider enlisting the help of the experienced attorneys at Shulman & Hill. When we take on a client, we build a powerful case in their favor, showcasing all necessary facts with expert-backed testimony, evidence, and convincing arguments. This, combined with our negotiation and trial skills, will help us secure a favorable settlement or verdict.
Benefits to Hiring a Brooklyn Construction Accident Lawyer
A Brooklyn construction accident law firm can help you deal with the aftermath of a construction site injury. A Brooklyn construction accident attorney can assist by:
- Determining potentially liable parties: In addition to a workers’ compensation claim, some Brooklyn construction injuries may also warrant a third-party claim against negligent contractors or property owners. A construction accident attorney will be able to determine what parties may be responsible and build your case to prove liability.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: A construction injury lawyer in Brooklyn will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf in order to ensure you receive the compensation and benefits you may be entitled to for your injuries.
- Resolving claims quickly: By hiring a Brooklyn construction accidents attorney who understands what materials are needed for a proper workers’ comp or personal injury claim, your claim may be processed faster, resulting in money in your hands quicker.
- Filing third-party lawsuits: Unlike a workers’ comp claim, a third-party lawsuit would allow an injured construction worker to sue for pain and suffering and additional financial losses. An experienced Brooklyn construction injury lawyer can help determine who may be liable for your injuries.
Find a Brooklyn Construction Accident Lawyer Near Me
The Shulman & Hill attorneys understand how life-changing a severe construction injury can be and are dedicated to advocating for injured workers and securing favorable settlements on their behalf. We are committed to protecting the rights of injured Brooklyn construction workers, so we opened an office across from Brooklyn Borough Hall and just down the street from the Borough Hall subway station. If you were injured in a Brooklyn construction accident, contact the construction injury attorneys of Shulman & Hill today. Our personal injury law firm offers free consultations, and our Brooklyn construction accident lawyers do not accept payment unless you win compensation.
Brooklyn Construction Accident Lawyer: FAQ’s
What should you do if you get injured on a construction site in Brooklyn?
Brooklyn construction workers who are injured on the job should always seek medical attention for their injury first. Even if you think you feel fine, symptoms may not show for hours or days later, like in instances of a traumatic brain injury. It is also a good idea to document all injuries, witnesses, and the scene of the accident. Next, inform your employer by reporting the accident as soon as possible. Afterwards, it may be in your best interest to consult with a construction injury law firm in Brooklyn.
Can you get fired for getting hurt at work?
In general, employers are prohibited from firing Brooklyn construction workers for:
- An injury or disability
- Filing for workers’ comp or disability benefits
- Testifying in front of the Workers’ Compensation Board
- Reporting activities like labor law violations, discrimination, wrongful conduct, or wage and hour regulations
- Reporting an OSHA violation
How often do accidents occur in construction?
Accidents happen more frequently in construction than in any other industry. The NYC Building Department reported that in 2020 alone, close to 500 construction-related accidents occurred throughout the five boroughs.
What is the most common accident in construction?
Falls are the most common construction accident, making up 35% of all construction injuries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nonfatal injuries resulting from slips, trips or falls occurred at a rate of over 30% per 100,000 full-time construction workers.
How many fatal accidents occur each year on construction sites?
The BLS also reported that over 1,100 construction workers sustained fatal injuries in 2019, representing over 20% of all workplace fatalities. The National Safety Council reports that in 2020, the construction industry had the highest number of preventable fatal injuries.
Injured at Work? Call a Brooklyn Construction Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one were injured while working at a Brooklyn construction site, the damage to your health and finances can turn your life upside-down. When unexpected medical expenses and lost wages start adding up, you may be unsure about how you will pay for everything. Contact the professionals at Shulman & Hill to schedule a free legal consultation so our Brooklyn construction accident lawyers can go through your case and discuss your options in detail.
Our attorneys have the skills and experience necessary to help you file a claim, handle the paperwork, and determine all potentially liable parties. We will negotiate with insurers and help ensure you receive a fair settlement for your case while you focus on recovering from your injuries. If the insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement, we will fiercely represent you in trial and be your ally throughout the entire process.