The Legal Guidance You Need After A Construction Accident
At the Brooklyn law firm of Lozner & Mastropietro, we represent workers who have been injured on construction sites and other work sites. We help them recover the compensation they need to take care of themselves and their families.
If a member of your family was seriously injured or killed in a work site injury, one of our lawyers can immediately evaluate the claim and investigate all possible sources of compensation. You may be entitled to a personal injury or wrongful death claim in addition to workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. Contact us to make arrangements for a free consultation.
Construction Accidents: Falls, Defective Equipment, Demolition Accidents
A construction site is a dangerous workplace, whether dealing with a small project for an individual homeowner or a major project for a large commercial development. As a result, serious work-related injuries at construction sites occur with an alarming frequency and thousands of construction workers are killed or seriously injured.
Work Site Injuries: Sources Of Compensation
The latest statistics for workers in the United States indicate that there were 5.7 million occupational injuries and illnesses among U.S. workers. Accidents on the job result in the deaths of 6,000 workers each year. Recent statistics for New York City show a 14 percent increase in on-the-job deaths over the previous year. This number was mainly due to deaths caused by employees falling from high places or by being hit by a car or mobile equipment. This occurs even though many state and federal regulations, as well as industry standards, require owners, general contractors and subcontractors to implement a wide variety of safety measures.
Although workers’ compensation benefits cover some medical expenses and lost wages for an on-the-job injury, they often fail to compensate the employee fully for the loss.
Under New York law, workers may file lawsuits against the owners of property, general contractors, subcontractors, architects and even manufacturers of defective products to recover full compensation for their injuries. These lawsuits can provide compensation for pain, suffering and medical costs in addition to workers’ compensation benefits.
What To Do If You Have Been Injured On The Job
If you have been injured as a result of an accident at a construction site, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself and your legal rights:
- Get medical attention for any injuries
- Report the injury to your employer and/or construction site manager, and note the name and position of the person notified
- Get the names and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident
- If possible, try to preserve any evidence related to your injury by taking photographs of the area where you were injured (and the injuries themselves), or keeping the equipment or tool that was involved in your injury
- Find an attorney to help you evaluate your potential claim
Schedule A Free Consultation
At Lozner & Mastropietro, our Brooklyn lawyers are dedicated to helping victims of construction and work site accidents recover full compensation. If you have been injured or your loved one was killed in a construction or work site accident or you simply need more information, please call us at 917-920-9431 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions for Construction and Work Site Accidents
How do I take steps to assert my rights to a safe workplace?
If you feel that your workplace is unsafe, your first action should be to make your supervisor aware of the danger, then follow up in writing. If you are still unsuccessful in getting the safety hazard corrected, you can file a complaint at the nearest OSHA office.
What is OSHA?
OSHA is part of the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. It is the department of the United States government with the responsibility to ensure safety and healthful work environments.
If I’m injured while working on a construction site, can I get more than just workers compensation?
Your financial recovery against your employer may be affected by workers compensation laws, but remember that other parties may be legally responsible for your injuries, including third-party contractors, property owners or equipment manufacturers. Your recovery from those parties will not be affected by workers compensation laws.
I was injured while working on a large construction project. Do I have a claim against the property owner?
Depending on the amount of authority over the work that the property owner exercised, and the amount of control the owner had over the property itself when the injury occurred, the property owner may be legally responsible for some or all of your injuries.
Who is responsible for making sure that the construction site where I work is safe?
The property owner and general contractor (and in some cases subcontractors) are responsible for ensuring the safety of workers at a construction site. The extent of each partys responsibility will vary depending on your case.
Should I consult an attorney to discuss my construction injury claim?
Definitely. Your claim may involve complex issues concerning party responsibility, compliance with safety regulations, engineering and indemnity. An attorney who is experienced in the area of construction and work site accidents will be best suited to secure the legal remedy to which you are entitled.
Will I be required to pay any money up front (e.g., retainer) to consult with you or for you to handle my case?
No, the consultation is free, and there is no fee due from you unless and until we are retained and we recover monies on your behalf. In addition, we will advance the costs and disbursements necessary to properly fund your legal action, which will be reimbursed to us from your recovery, if any.
What types of construction activities are protected under the so-called labor laws?
As long as the activity is not classified as routine maintenance (e.g., changing a light bulb rather than changing an entire light fixture, etc.), you may be able to commence a lawsuit if you are engaged in nonroutine erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of a building.
If I was not a W-2 taxpayer but received a 1099, was paid off the books, or did not have the necessary documents from the INS to authorize me to work, can I still bring a lawsuit if I was seriously injured while working on a construction site?
Yes. Although you may be unable or limited in your right to recover money damages for loss of wages or fringe benefits, you may still be able to sue for the impact your accident had on your quality and enjoyment of life and for health-care expenses you have expended or will expend in the future.
Is it necessary for someone to witness my accident to bring a lawsuit and recover compensation for my serious injuries?
No. You may still bring a lawsuit and recover compensation for your serious injuries even when no one else witnessed your accident, if your account of the accident has been consistent, at the site, in the hospital and in testimony you have given in your lawsuit and no person has directly contradicted your account.
Is it necessary for me to be English speaking to proceed with a claim or start a lawsuit?
No, our office and the court, if the case proceeds to trial, will arrange for an interpreter so that you can relate how the accident occurred and the nature and severity of your injuries in your native language.