Construction site injuries are prevalent in New York: 8,000 construction workers were injured on the job in 2019 alone. Despite safety guidelines and federal compliance measures, New York’s construction industry remains dangerous thanks to employers who fail to comply with safety regulations.
Employers might skip buying safety equipment in order to save money, or they might cut corners and ignore building permits. These are dangerous decisions that put employees at severe risk of injury or death.
If you were injured or a loved one killed in a construction site accident, you already know how devastating the situation can be. The best way for you to recover physically, mentally, and financially is to hire a Commack construction accident lawyer.
An attorney from Carner & DeVita will protect your legal rights and interests and fight to get you and your family the compensation you deserve. Call (631) 543-7070 today.
Most Construction Injuries are Preventable
According to a 2020 report published by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), there is a clear connection between contractors’ OSHA violations and worker fatalities on job sites. That means most construction-related deaths are preventable, as one can reasonably assume that far fewer accidents would occur if contractors followed OSHA standards.
But the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can only do so much. The Administration admits that it’s a small agency; there are approximately 1,850 inspectors responsible for the health and safety of 130 million workers employed at more than eight million worksites.
That boils down to one inspector for every 70,000 workers. How can one inspector properly ensure workers’ safety if they’re responsible for a population the size of Mount Vernon, New York?
Workers are in danger and are injured every day across the state of New York. The legal system remains the best way to hold negligent employers and contractors accountable in an industry that continually places workers at risk.
If you or a loved one were injured on a construction site, don’t wait to exercise your legal rights. Call Carner & DeVita today to get started on your case.
What to Do After Being Injured on a Construction Site
If you or a loved one were injured while working on a construction site, it’s very important that you follow these basic guidelines to protect your legal interests. The situation will certainly be confusing, but following these steps will help you pursue a valid personal injury and/or workers compensation claim.
1. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
If you are seriously injured, your health is the priority. Don’t stick around to try and gather evidence at the scene; you can come back later once you’ve received medical care.
It’s also important that you see a doctor because an official medical report will indicate to insurance adjusters that you really were injured and have done everything in your ability to get help.
2. Tell your supervisor that you were injured.
If you don’t need immediate medical assistance, you can alert your supervisor of your injury on the job site. Otherwise, call them as soon as you can. This is important for a workers compensation claim.
3. Gather evidence at the scene.
If you can collect certain information that points to a possibly unsafe work environment, you’ll be much more likely to have a valid personal injury or workers compensation claim.
If you need immediate medical attention, ask a coworker to find these things for you. If possible, try and obtain the following:
- Contractor’s name and contact information
- Permit information
- Name and contact information of any witnesses (other coworkers, passersby, etc.)
- Photographs of the scene. These can be taken on a cell phone and don’t have to look great; they just need to provide a clear and thorough image of the accident scene.
4. File a workers compensation report.
Employers in New York are required by law to provide employees with workers compensation benefits in the event of an accident. These benefits will cover your medical expenses and lost wages, but you’ll only receive them if you file the report on time.
You must file the injury report within two years to retain your benefits.
5. Hire a Commack construction accident lawyer.
Attorneys don’t just help with the legal aspects of your case. An experienced lawyer from Carner & DeVita will help you find the best doctor or medical team for your injuries as well as handling communication between the insurance company and filing all paperwork and conducting investigations on your behalf.
Carner & DeVita will leave no stone unturned in your case; our clients deserve the maximum amount of compensation, and that is our mission.
What’s the difference between a personal injury claim and a workers compensation claim in a construction accident?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to file a personal injury claim and a workers compensation claim. A Commack construction accident lawyer will help you understand which option is viable in your case.
Workers Compensation Claims in New York
If you were injured on the job, you can receive benefits through a workers compensation claim, regardless of who was at fault.
Unlike a personal injury claim, workers compensation claims aren’t focused on finding out who and how someone was negligent. You were simply injured on the job, and the benefits are meant to assist you until you can (if you can) get back to work.
Under the New York workers compensation law, if you were injured on the job all of your medical bills and pharmaceutical expenses are covered. Note that this covers diagnostic tests, even if you have to have multiple tests. MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds, and X-rays all qualify.
You may be required to undergo routine medical examinations through your employer’s insurance company. You should comply and go to every appointment.
Personal Injury Claims in New York
A personal injury claim must have a responsible (at-fault) party. The individual or entity found responsible (liable) will be required to pay your medical bills, the cost of future care, lost income, and pain and suffering, among other damages.
With a personal injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation that you would not have had access to in a workers compensation claim alone. These damages could include out-of-pocket expenses and additional compensation for lost wages.
If someone is found criminally at fault, the court may even award punitive damages to further punish the at-fault party.
Common Causes of Construction Site Injuries
Falls are by far the most common cause of construction site accidents. There were 320 fatal falls in 2018 alone. Many, if not all, could have been prevented through proper training, planning, and equipment.
To prevent these accidents, employers need to analyze all possible fall hazards. For example, a roofing job might have fall hazards in holes, skylights, and weak supports. The employer should analyze those risks and plan accordingly with suitable fall protection such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS).
Eighty-six construction workers died from electrocution in 2018 alone. Electrocution occurs when a person is exposed to a lethal amount of electrical energy. Electricity is abundant on construction sites – power lines, extension cords, power tools, and exposed wires are just some of the electricity-related risks associated with construction accidents.
A “struck-by” injury occurs when a construction worker is hit by a falling, flying, swinging, or rolling object. Flying objects that often cause injuries include nail guns, saw blade tips, and debris. Falling objects that could cause injury include pretty much anything on a construction site – anything being used by a worker on one level while another worker is below could lead to injury.
Eighty people died from falling, flying, swinging, or rolling objects on construction sites in 2017.
A caught-in/caught-between accident occurs when a worker is crushed, squeezed, compressed, or pinched between two or more objects. This can be a deadly situation if those objects are particularly heavy or made of dangerous materials. An example of this type of injury is getting your hand caught in a piece of machinery or getting pinned between a wall and a piece of equipment.
In 2017, 90 people died from being caught, compressed, pinched, or crushed by running machinery or in a collapsing structure or piece of equipment.
Call a Commack Construction Accident Lawyer Today
An attorney from Carner & DeVita will protect your legal rights, represent your best interests, and fight to get you and your family the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call (631) 543-7070 today to schedule your free case consultation.