Staten Island Construction Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a construction accident, contact a Staten Island construction accident lawyer to find out what your case could be worth.
The O’Connor Law Firm represents clients who have been injured in construction accidents or machinery accidents in Staten Island, Brooklyn and throughout New York City.
Can I File a Lawsuit if I Am Hurt in a New York Construction Action?
When you are hurt on the job in New York, it is typically covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act. Workers’ comp pays out certain benefits – including medical treatment and payment for lost wages – if you are injured or develop an illness as a result of your work. You do not have to prove that anyone was at fault to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
However, workers’ compensation is considered an exclusive remedy. This means that you generally cannot sue your employer for a workplace injury. Instead, you are limited to filing a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company.
There are some exceptions to this rule, such as if your employer intentionally hurts you or does not buy workers’ comp insurance. You can also file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party who causes your injuries – including for a construction site accident.
A construction accident lawsuit is usually based on a theory of negligence, or carelessness. In some cases, it could be based on intentional or reckless conduct. Depending on the situation, an injured construction worker may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against:
- A construction company
- The owner of the property (premises liability)
- An architect or engineer
- A contractor or subcontractor
- The manufacturer of a piece of machinery or equipment
- Another construction worker
- A local or state government agency
For example, consider a situation where a worker is operating a forklift on a construction site and runs over the foot of a construction worker who is working for a different subcontractor. The injured worker could file a lawsuit against the other worker, his employer, and its insurance company for the accident.
Unlike the no-fault workers’ comp system, filing a personal injury lawsuit requires that you prove that the at-fault party was responsible for your injuries in some way. However, there is the potential for a much larger recovery through a lawsuit. With workers’ compensation, you are limited to medical treatment, wage replacement benefits, and (in cases involving fatal injuries), survivor benefits.
With a personal injury claim, you can seek financial compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Medical bills
- Future medical treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In addition, if a loved one dies as a result of a construction accident, a personal representative may be able to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you can often recover a much larger amount that more fully compensates you for your losses.
The O’Connor Law Firm represents individuals who have been injured in all types of construction site accidents. Our Staten Island construction accident lawyers work hard to help you recover the maximum compensation for your injuries. We offer free initial consultations and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.
Construction Accidents Involve Complex Laws
Construction work involves very dangerous tasks performed by electricians, carpenters, plumbers, pipefitters, ironworkers, masons, laborers and many other tradespeople. The construction industry has some of the highest rates of on-the-job accidents and injuries, which is why there are many special local, state and federal laws in place to protect this particular subset of workers.
In fact, New York State has enacted laws known as Labor Law 200, 240 and 241 which put the responsibility to provide a safe place to work on the people in the best position to do so – the owners and contractors.
Staten Island Construction Accidents Cause Life-Threatening Injuries
Construction accidents can be devastating due to the extreme dangers of working with heavy machinery and extraordinary heights. Some examples of the types of accidents that occur frequently:
- Scaffolding and crane collapses
- Falls from ladders, scaffolding or heights
- Hoist accidents
- Injuries from falling objects
- Electrocutions and explosions
- Heavy machinery accidents
- Slip-and-falls and trip-and-falls
- Industrial code violations
- Unsafe worksites
This is just a partial list of the types of accidents that occur on construction sites as each worksite may have different dangers. Every construction site accident has the potential to cause serious and sometimes catastrophic injuries. Some of these injuries include:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Fractured bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Shoulder and Knee Injuries
- Burn injuries
- Internal organ damage
If you were injured in a construction accident, it can be overwhelming. On top of the physical pain, there may be anxiety and stress in not knowing whether you will return to work, how you will pay your medical bills, and how you will support yourself and your family.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a construction accident, call us today at 718-948-3500 to schedule your free case evaluation. We know that traveling to our offices may be difficult after suffering serious injuries. We are willing meet you at the hospital, in your home or other convenient locations.
New York Labor Law Statutes
Labor Law §200
New York Labor Law §200 follows the common law duty of reasonable care to all workers on a jobsite. Labor Law §200 covers workers who sustained injuries as a result of either a dangerous condition on a worksite or by the dangerous means and methods of the performance of someone’s work.
Labor Law §240(1)
New York Labor Law §240 is also known as the “Scaffold Law” and is part of the laws of New York that recognize the unique dangers of working at heights or with equipment and objects that need to be hoisted or secured high in the air. The law only covers specific types of work defined as “enumerated activities” such as demolition, repairing, painting and alteration of structures and buildings.
Due to the often catastrophic nature of injuries when a construction worker falls from a height or an object falls on a worker from a height or other “gravity-related” injuries, the law will hold owners and contractors “strictly liable” for a worker’s injuries when the statute is violated and the violation is a proximate cause of the worker’s accident.
It is important to note that not every fall from a ladder or scaffold results in a Labor Law §240(1) violation. The goal is to make sure workers are safe by forcing owners and contractors to provide safe workplaces, including the appropriate devices and equipment for the jobs that workers are required to do.
Labor Law §241(6)
Labor Law §241(6) is intended to enhance the safety precautions at construction sites by requiring compliance with the New York Industrial Code. The Code requires specifications for the activity being performed and the type of equipment that must be used during the activity, including personal protective equipment such as eye protection.
If there is a violation of a provision that requires a concrete and specific positive command and that violation causes an injury, the owner or contractor will be held responsible for the worker’s injuries.
Unlike Labor Law §240(1) where there can be no comparative fault on the worker, under Labor Law §241(6) if a worker was also at fault in causing the accident, any recovery will be reduced by the percentage of the worker’s fault.
Call a Staten Island Construction Accident Lawyer To Get Help Now
If you or a loved one have been injured in a construction accident, call us today at 718-948-3500 to schedule your free case evaluation. The O’Connor Law Firm will provide answers to your construction accident questions and discuss your legal options.