Construction Site Maintenance Issues And Injuries

Workplace Accident Lawyers Helping New York City Residents

According to the New York Times, many construction fatalities and injuries over the last two years have happened because construction companies failed to take basic steps to prevent workers from falling. There were flaws in supervision and an emphasis placed on speed over safety. Construction sites are known to be dangerous places, but owners and contractors should take steps to keep workers as safe as possible. If you are injured or a loved one was killed due to construction site maintenance issues, you should consult an experienced New York City construction accident lawyer about whether you have a basis to sue. At Newman, Anzalone & Newman, we are ready to guide you.

Construction Site Maintenance Issues and Injuries

Construction sites are very dangerous places for workers, and they can also be dangerous for visitors. One reason for this is maintenance issues. Usually, construction sites are places of many different types of activities — everything from framing to welding, or demolition to erecting scaffolds. There may be many machines, tools, and materials being moved or left out. Some of these may not be compatible, or in some cases, the equipment may be badly maintained. Serious injuries can result from these constantly changing conditions.

Negligent maintenance can include defective property conditions, improper signs, broken tools or safety equipment, and failures to remove debris or trash. The project owner or contractor should conduct regular inspections to ensure that the construction site and the equipment on it are safe to use. Proper periodic maintenance inspections can prevent injuries, deaths, and work hazards.

If you are a worker who was hurt as a result of maintenance issues, your exclusive remedy against your employer is workers' compensation. These benefits are paid regardless of fault. However, workers' compensation benefits do not cover all of the losses after a worker is injured or killed. In most cases, settlements and verdicts in personal injury lawsuits are substantially greater than workers' compensation benefits and provide more adequate compensation for serious injuries.

When an accident is the fault of a third party at a construction site, you may be able to recover under common law negligence or state law. To establish common law negligence or a violation of New York Labor Law section 200, your attorney would need to show that the construction site was not appropriately operated, equipped, or constructed in order to provide reasonable, adequate protection to workers and visitors.

However, a defendant in a lawsuit based on negligence or Section 200 can defend on the basis that a worker or visitor was comparatively negligent. This means that your damages can be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault. For example, if a maintenance issue combined with your failure to look where you were going, such that you were 50% at fault and a contractor was 50% at fault, your damages would be reduced by 50%.

Certain code sections provide greater protection to workers under particular circumstances. For example, if a scaffold was not properly maintained, and you fell, you might be able to recover under New York Labor Law section 240. This law covers gravity-related injuries, such as a worker's fall or a falling object that causes a head injury. For another example, if proper safety measures are not taken with regard to how the site is arranged or equipped, you may be able to recover under New York Labor Law section 241.

Damages that you may be able to recover include economic and noneconomic losses, such as emergency care, medical treatment bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, household services, out-of-pocket expenses, loss of consortium, and mental anguish. When construction site maintenance issues result in someone's death, it may be possible for the personal representative of the decedent's estate to sue for wrongful death. The decedent's family can recover pecuniary losses in a wrongful death lawsuit, including lost services.

Consult an Experienced Construction Accident Attorney in New York City

Construction sites can be very dangerous places, both for workers and for visitors. Newman, Anzalone & Newman has provided effective legal representation to people injured as a result of construction site maintenance issues in New York City since 1978. We represent clients in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Call our attorneys at 718-896-2700 or use our online form.