Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in which to work. New York City is going through a construction boom, and unfortunately, this also means that there are more accidents than usual. If you have been injured or a loved one was killed in a construction accident, you may need to turn to the workers' compensation system, but in some cases, you may also have a third-party claim for negligence or a statutory violation. At Newman, Anzalone & Newman, our New York City construction accident lawyers may be able to help you recover damages for injuries or wrongful death.
Construction Accidents May Give Rise to a Wide Range of Legal Claims
Construction accidents can result in injuries to any part of the body. Accidents may involve falls from heights, defective equipment, exposure to toxic chemicals, crushing injuries, faulty rigging, electrocutions, explosions, and burns.
A worker's exclusive remedy against an employer is usually workers' compensation. However, workers' compensation benefits are limited and do not include pain and suffering. It may be possible to sue a third party for its negligence on a construction site if the third party’s negligent actions caused the worker's injury, and the third party had control of the activity or condition. Many third-party lawsuits are based on a theory of negligence. In such cases, you will need to show four things by a preponderance of the evidence: duty, breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. These elements are required to establish common-law negligence or a claim under New York Labor Law section 200. A construction accident attorney in New York City can help you gather evidence to prove your case.
A different law applies to gravity-related injuries. You can bring a lawsuit under New York Labor Law section 240 if you are a construction worker performing work on the erecting or repair of a building at a high elevation. Certain residential buildings are exempted, and this law does not apply to maintenance or minor repairs. Under Section 240, you should receive safety devices and equipment. If you do not receive these and are hurt in a scaffolding fall or a gravity-related accident on a construction site, you can recover against whoever was responsible for project supervision, such as a project manager, general contractor, or owner. The third party can avoid liability only if it can prove that you were completely to blame for the accident. Unlike claims based on negligence, the defendant cannot reduce its liability by an amount equal to your percentage of fault if both parties share in the blame.
Meanwhile, Labor Law section 241 specifies the steps that must be taken on a job site and particular safety equipment that needs to be provided. When parties in charge of a construction project fail to follow the steps or provide the equipment, it is possible for a New York City construction accident attorney to hold them liable for an accident that results.
You may be able to recover compensatory damages after a construction accident if you can establish liability. These are damages that are awarded to put you back into the position in which you would have been had you not been injured in the construction accident. They may include past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, lost earning capacity, loss of enjoyment, pain and suffering, and household services. As a family member of someone who died on the job on a construction site, you may be able to recover damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. However, if you do recover damages, you should be aware that you would need to reimburse part of any benefits that you received through workers' compensation.
Consult a Skilled Construction Accident Lawyer in New York City
Construction accidents can have a devastating impact on injured workers and their families. Newman, Anzalone & Newman has provided vigorous legal representation to victims in New York City since 1978. We represent clients in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Call us at 718-896-2700 or use our online form.