If you work in construction, being surrounded by hazardous conditions might become somewhat routine. Complacency or a lack of regard for safety measures can be a dangerous misstep in this profession. Building collapses on construction sites often result in serious injuries or fatalities for workers and bystanders.
There are strict safety regulations in place to avoid these types of catastrophes. When the guidelines are not followed, accidents can happen. If you were injured in a building collapse in Staten Island, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your losses. Shulman & Hill’s attorneys are well-versed in labor and safety laws and can help you figure out your next steps.
Construction Injury and Fatality Causes in Staten Island
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry had the most work-related fatalities in NYC in the year 2019. Injuries and fatalities of construction workers in any given year include accidents involving excavation, material falling from heights, misuse or failure of machinery equipment, scaffold failures, and falls from heights. Building collapses, however, are among the most dangerous.
How Buildings Can Collapse on Construction Sites
In 2019, there were 59 accidents on construction sites as a result of material failure, including four deaths. That makes these failures, which include building collapse, the third-highest cause of construction-related injuries and fatalities. What makes these numbers even more startling is that often these collapses are avoidable and only happen because of neglect. Below are some of the common causes of building collapses:
- Poor quality building materials
- Faulty foundation
- Water, rust, or mold damage
- Foundation is unable to support the weight of the structure
- Fire damage
- Poor construction or demolition methods
- Ceiling collapse
Workers’ Compensation for a Building Collapse Accident in Staten Island
If you work on a construction site and are injured in a building collapse, you can file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to protect you when accidents and injuries happen on the job. It helps you by covering your medical treatment and providing weekly compensation if you are out of work.
Suddenly becoming unfit to work when you depend on going to work daily for income can be extremely stressful. Not only does losing those wages affect your financial situation, but injuries go hand in hand with hefty medical fees. If you sustain an injury that requires ongoing physical therapy, surgery, or hospitalization, the financial impact can be devastating. Workers’ compensation benefits can help you recoup some of these losses.
To help ensure your claim is not denied, you should consult with a Staten Island workers’ compensation attorney. They can help gather evidence that shows that your injury happened at work.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Building Collapse
In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, if you were injured as a result of a building collapse in Staten Island, you may be able to pursue additional compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party. Injured bystanders and pedestrians may also qualify to file a lawsuit.
When filing a personal injury claim, you will have to show that the negligence of the third party contributed to the accident that led to your injury. A negligent third party can include a property owner, general contractor, subcontractor, or another company that does not directly employ you. They may have failed to issue workers with the right equipment for the work they were doing, tried to cut corners with construction, failed to properly maintain the building, and more.
Why You Need a Staten Island Building Collapse Lawyer
Even when your case seems straightforward, filing a workers’ compensation claim is sometimes easier said than done. While you might have more than enough proof of your injury and its cause, the filing process can be tedious and complex. If you make a simple mistake in your paperwork, they may have to send it back to you and further delay the benefits you are looking to recover.
This complicated process can seem even more overwhelming and exhausting when you are facing a tough medical recovery. An experienced attorney at Shulman & Hill can take care of the legal burden for you while you recover.
Similarly, when you are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party, you will need the support of a legal team experienced with building collapse litigation. The defendant and their insurance companies may try to absolve themselves of liability. If they do agree to settle, there is a good chance that the amount they offer will be lower than what you truly deserve. This is why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to advocate for you. They can identify low offers and take your case to trial if the defendant refuses to fairly compensate you.
Why Choose Shulman & Hill?
If you or a loved one were injured in a collapsed building, our lawyers at Shulman & Hill will help you thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident and your subsequent injury. We know the ins and outs of workplace safety guidelines and can provide a detailed justification for the compensation you are seeking. To date, we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our injured clients.
If you are wondering what your next step should be after seeking necessary medical treatment in the aftermath of a building collapse injury in Staten Island, contact the attorneys at Shulman & Hill for a free legal consultation.