As the development of residential and commercial property on Long Island ramps up again, construction accidents are on the rise. Although construction workers are covered under the New York State Workers’ Compensation Program, they also have powerful legal protections under the state’s Labor Law if an accident occurs. If you have been injured in a construction accident, the best way to protect your rights is to work with the right personal injury attorney.
The Law Office of Robert Purzak routinely represents injured construction workers in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Guided by a belief that all workers have a right to a safe work environment, we are dedicated to holding owners, contractors, architects, engineers and other negligent parties accountable. Knowing that being injured in a construction accident can jeopardize your livelihood, we will work to make sure you obtain just compensation.
CALL US AT 516-222-1188 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION!
Common Construction Accidents
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified the leading causes of construction site fatalities, known as the Fatal Four:
- Falls — construction workers are at high risk of falls from ladders, scaffolding, roofs, and other heights. Falls are the most common construction accident, accounting for about 38 percent of fatalities.
- Struck by object — workers can be struck by improperly secured tools, equipment, and construction material. Such accidents are responsible for over 9 percent of construction fatalities.
- Caught-in/between — construction workers are often caught between or compressed by equipment, machinery or objects, or trapped under collapsing structures; caught-in between accident cause over 7 percent of construction worker fatalities.
- Electrocutions — because workers at construction sites are frequently exposed to wires, they are at a high risk of electrocution, which accounts for over 8 percent of worker deaths.
In addition, construction workers on Long Island are frequently injured in accidents such as:
- Trench Collapses — workers routinely dig trenches which places them at high risk of being trapped in a cave-in if proper safety precautions are not taken
- Fires and Explosions — exposed wiring, leaking pipes, flammable chemicals, fractured gas mains, unattended blowtorches, and welding tools and other hazards can cause fires and explosions.
- Equipment Accidents — heavy machinery such as cranes, forklifts and power tools — table saws, nail guns, contribute to numerous construction accidents and injuries.
Common Construction Accident Injuries
Construction accidents on Long Island can lead to all types of injuries, such as:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee injuries
- Muscle and ligament tears
- Broken bones and fractures
- Heart attacks and strokes
- Wrongful death
Serious construction injuries may require the amputation of fingers, toes, or limbs. Construction workers are at also at increased risk of developing respiratory illnesses as a result of exposure to dust, asbestos, and other toxic substances. Finally, the physical exertion of construction work, particularly bending and lifting, can cause repetitive motion injuries, such as muscle and joint damage.
Legal Rights of Construction Workers
Construction workers are required to do a variety of dangerous tasks, such as operating large machinery and equipment, lifting heavy objects and working at elevated heights. This activity places them at a higher risk of being injured than other workers. Nonetheless, injury risks can be minimized if safety practices are put in place and proper protocols are followed. It is worth noting that workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect construction workers who sustain injuries by providing benefits such as lost wages and medical costs.
The New York State Labor Law also protects construction workers in the event of an accident. Under Labor Law § 200, site owners, general contractors and others employed by a general contractor are required to provide workers with a safe workplace.
Additionally, Labor Law § 241(6) imposes vicarious liability upon (i) owners for the negligence of contractors, subcontractors and their agents or employees, and (ii) contractors for the negligence of subcontractors if they fail to provide reasonable and adequate safety to workers. Labor Law § 240 requires contractors and owners involved in the construction or demolition of buildings to provide and maintain scaffolding, ladders, ropes and other equipment in order to protect workers.
Most importantly, the Labor Law allows injured construction workers to file lawsuits against negligent parties for construction accidents that lead to injuries. In the event that a worker is killed in a construction accident, surviving family members can also pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact Our Long Island Construction Accident Attorney
At the Law Office of Robert Purzak, we are committed to fighting for the rights of injured construction workers on Long Island. Well-versed in the applicable negligence and insurance laws, we will work tirelessly to help you obtain the medical care you need and the compensation you deserve. Although negligent parties and their insurers often seek to avoid liability, our team has the knowledge and skill to hold them accountable. If necessary, we are fully prepared to litigate the matter in court. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident on Long Island, contact our office today. The consultation is free and you will not pay any attorneys fees until we win your case. We help the injured throughout Long Island, including the towns of Brentwood, Coram, Deer Park, Hempstead, Islip, Roosevelt, and Wyandanch.