Brooklyn Construction Accident Lawyer
The areas of New York City and Brooklyn are booming. New buildings go up on a near-daily basis, and construction projects ranging from road repairs to building renovations occur throughout the Brooklyn urban environment. It can be said that construction workers are the lifeblood of our city, yet they face significant personal injury risks on the job, as construction accidents are on the rise.
You or a loved one may be a victim of a construction accident in NYC and suffered an injury through no fault of your own. If this is the case, you may be eligible for substantial financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Free consultation from the Law Office of Nicholas E. Tzaneteas can help. As premier Brooklyn construction accident lawyers, we have helped injured clients recover millions of dollars in judgments and settlements.
COMMON SOURCES OF INJURY IN A CONSTRUCTION SITE ACCIDENT
A Brooklyn construction worker often faces difficult or even hazardous conditions on the job. These conditions sometimes lead to personal injury, especially if others’ recklessness, ignorance, or negligence causes the injury. Common construction site accidents include:
- Falls from ladders and scaffolding, particularly defective or improperly maintained ladders and scaffolding
- Falls through openings or gaps in flooring, unmarked holes, or uncovered tripping hazards
- Electrocutions, severe burns or other electrical injuries from faulty or damaged wiring, failure to properly disconnect electrical service before electricians complete their work, and defective or malfunctioning equipment
- Traumatic amputations, fractures, or crushing injuries from accidents with heavy machinery such as cranes, forklifts, dump trucks, and earth-moving equipment
- Slips or falls from aerial lifts, either due to improper equipment maintenance or absent or faulty fall-protection gear
- Injuries from failure to provide or maintain proper safety equipment, including hard hats, welding face shields, safety harnesses, and similar protective gear
- Injuries from poorly marked hazards or inadequate lighting in work areas
Injuries may be minor, or they may have life-altering consequences, requiring expensive medical treatment and long-term rehabilitation for the injured worker to recover. Some injuries may lead to death; construction accidents cause about 20 deaths per year in New York each year on average.
LEGAL PROTECTIONS FOR CONSTRUCTION SITE WORKERS
New York has a series of labor laws designed to protect construction workers from dangerous or unsafe workplace conditions. Unfortunately, accidents due to workplace negligence and ignorance of these labor laws on contractors and property owners have led to worker injuries and even deaths. A construction accident lawyer will help you navigate these laws properly.
Labor Law Section 200
New York LAB §200 places a “general duty to protect [the] health and safety of employees” upon any employer where workers could be at risk while performing their regular job tasks. In short, employers must ensure that workspaces have been built, equipped, and operated safely for both employees and visitors. Also, all fixtures, equipment, and machinery must be set up and used according to safety regulations, including providing adequate lighting, support, or protective gear.
These provisions also cover the building codes that regulate issues common to construction sites. Included are:
- Fire prevention and suppression
- Elevators and other vertical transportation
- On-site sanitation and health services
- Protection from electric shock or industrial radiation
If the commissioner finds an area or piece of equipment or machinery that isn’t safe, they will place a written notice on the hazardous item. This notice forbids any occupation of the area or use of the equipment, and the employer has 10 days to correct the “dangerous condition.”
Labor Law Section 240
Known in New York City as the “Scaffolding Law,” New York LAB §240 requires employers to provide scaffolding that can support at least four times the total weight of all workers and equipment that will work at heights. All scaffolding taller than 20 feet from the working surface must also have a securely attached safety rail that runs along the supported platform’s entire length. Furthermore, the whole apparatus must be fastened in place so that it cannot become unstable, collapse, or tip over.
General contractors that provide the scaffolding for their employees are also responsible for providing personal protective equipment (PPE), including fall protection gear, and training their workers on general scaffold safety and correctly using and maintaining their PPE.
Not only does the Scaffold Law govern construction employers’ obligations for protecting workers at heights, but it also gives those workers the right to seek damages for any injury or death from a fall or due to an object that fell from a height. Both the general contractor and the property manager could be liable for that injury or death, and accident investigations evaluate violations on a case-by-case basis. That means that a long track record of safety will likely have no bearing on the fault placed on a negligent contractor or owner in an injury lawsuit.
Labor Law Section 241
Like the Scaffolding Law, New York LAB §241 focuses on the risks particular to construction sites. It outlines specific provisions for demolition and excavation activities and holds contractors, owners, and agents responsible for securing their job sites’ safety and protecting their workers. These requirements include:
- Planking over, filling in or laying underflooring below working surfaces in multistory buildings
- Barricading the landing access or floor openings for elevators, lifts, or hoists
- Taking precautions in all construction, excavation, and demolition areas to prevent injury due to unsafe structural conditions such as unprotected edges, open spaces in working surfaces, or unsecured construction materials
- Surveying the building site for dangerous agents, such as asbestos, before any work commences
While this law expressly excludes architects, engineers, and the owners of one- or two-family residences from liability, general contractors, property owners, and managers can be held responsible for any injury or death due to the failure to adhere these specific regulations. A construction accident law firm will help you through this process, such as the injury lawyer Nicholas E. Tzaneteas.
ACTIONS TO TAKE AFTER A CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT PERSONAL INJURY
Construction workers in the greater New York City area have specific rights and obligations under municipal and state labor laws. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board requires construction employees injured on the job to take the following actions:
- Seek medical help immediately. Emergency medical treatment may be needed; otherwise, the state Workers’ Compensation Board must authorize medical attention.
- Notify supervisors about the injury itself and its likely causes as soon as possible.
- Follow medical professionals’ instructions for recovery until cleared to return to work.
If you suffer an injury in a Brooklyn construction area, and you believe that your injury was the result of the actions, inactions, or negligence of others, you may have a legal workers’ compensation benefits claim. To preserve your rights, take the following steps after an injury:
- Record the scene of the accident and equipment present at the scene with photographs, if possible.
- Document all of your injuries, including photos and medical records.
- Keep all medical records and any other documentation related to the injury, including records from employers.
- Obtain the contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the injury.
- Call the law firm at Nicholas E. Tzaneteas immediately for a free consultation.
CONTACT A BROOKLYN CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT LAWYER TODAY
Remember that you have specific rights if you have been injured. Our construction accident attorney law firm can provide you with the legal representation you need to preserve those rights and fight on your behalf. We have many years of experience in practice areas dealing with insurance companies and employers. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses and lost wages. There may be time limitations regarding injury claims — call us today to speak to our Brooklyn and New York, NY construction accidents lawyer professionals for a free consultation or contact us online.
The content provided in this article is strictly informational and should not be construed as legal advice.