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New York City’s Construction ‘Boom’ Brings New Opportunities, But Also Brings Increased Injuries and Death for Area Construction Workers

construction lawNew York City is currently in the midst of a construction boom. In many ways, this is very good news. New construction can mean new housing options, new employment options and new opportunities of various types. For construction workers, it should mean a wealth of new job prospects and a steady stream of work. Unfortunately, it has also meant something else: a substantial uptick in the number of construction workers injured and killed on the job. It shouldn’t have to be this way, but that is the reality. Fortunately for workers and their families, New York law has an avenue for recovering an award of damages when a worker is hurt or killed due to inadequate safety on the job. If you’ve been hurt in an accident while working a New York City construction job, be sure you have the legal representation you need from a skilled New York injury attorney to get the compensation you deserve.

At the beginning of September, the New York Post published an article entitled “Construction accidents soar amid NYC building boom.” That article shared some depressing statistics. During the first seven months of 2018, twice as many construction workers died on the job in New York City as died in the first seven months of 2017. A total of nearly 500 men and women were injured in more than 450 construction accidents occurring from January to July 2018. These injury numbers represented a 17% uptick from the number of construction accident injuries occurring in the city from January to July 2017. (The Post obtained this information from the city’s Buildings Department.)

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration recognizes what’s called the “fatal four,” which are the four leading causes of fatal construction accidents. These are falls, being struck by an object, electrocution and “caught in-betweens,” which are accidents where a worker is pinned or trapped and becomes caught, crushed or compressed.

Two recent deaths in New York City demonstrate how common and fatal the “fatal four” can be. In one accident, a construction worker in the West Village died due to electrocution after he contacted a live wire. Only a few days before that, a worker died in Morningside Heights when a piece of scaffolding fell and struck him on the head, according to the Post report.

Any fatal construction accident is a tragedy. While no amount of monetary compensation can replace a loved one, that fact does not change another fact, which is that the death of a construction worker often means the loss of a primary (or even the sole) wage earner in a family. The loss of that income threatens to place the family left behind in extreme financial peril if that income source is not replaced.

Fortunately, New York has laws that allow the loved ones left behind to seek, and obtain, the compensation they need as a result of the death of a loved one in a fatal construction accident. Some of these claims are based upon statutes written into the New York Labor Law. One of these statutes, Section 240(1) allows for lawsuits when workers are hurt or killed as a result of what’s called “elevation-related” risk of harm. This can include the worker falling from a height (like falling off a scaffold or ladder), but it can also cover workers injured or killed when an object falls and hits them (like what happened to the recently killed worker in Morningside Heights).

Another statute, Section 241(6), covers situations where a worker is injured or killed because someone did not follow all of the safety rules included in New York’s code of regulations. For example, one area where New York has imposed regulatory requirements is the handling of live electrical wires. If the family of the worker killed in the West Village discovers evidence that the wire that killed their loved one was not handled in accordance with all of New York’s live wire safety regulations, then they might have a successful claim under this statute.

For the useful advice and reliable advocacy you need in your construction injury case, contact the knowledgeable Queens construction injury attorneys at Newman, Anzalone & Newman. Our team has been aiding injured construction workers in obtaining the compensation they need for 40 years. To put our experience to work for you, schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified attorneys. Contact us toll-free at 877-754-3099 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Construction Worker in Queens Dies in Forklift Accident, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, April 2, 2018

Advancing a New York Construction Injury Case Even if the Worker Potentially Made Some Mistakes, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, Aug. 3, 2017

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