The construction industry in Bronx, NY, is considered one of the most dangerous places to work, as any laborer, contractor, foreman, or other blue-collar workers will attest.
According to a recent study published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest proportion of workplace accidents and injuries in America are suffered by the laborers.
As surprising as it may sound, accidents on construction sites in Bronx, NY, virtually occur on a daily basis. As one of the oldest law firms in the region, we at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff have represented Bronx workers involved in:
- Fall accidents from roofs, ladders, and scaffolding
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Caught-between hazards that result in broken bones and sometimes fatal injuries
- Bulldozer, forklift, and crane accidents
- Falling debris/objects that result in severe head injuries or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Loader backhoes and excavators that tip over
- Injuries that occur due to malfunctioning power tools
- Back injury from building collapse
- Electrocution accidents
- Hoisted loads that break free and fall
- Defective/faulty/malfunctioning machinery accidents
- Faulty ropes, cables, or rigging
- Fires and explosions
- Welding burns
- Heavy lifting injuries
- Vision and hearing loss
- Death at the construction site
Any of these accidents can result in a life-changing injury including, coma, paralysis, crushed spine, TBI, or neck injury that will require an expensive surgical procedure.
What can we do for you?
At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff law firm, we understand how catastrophic construction accidents can be – both for the victim and their family.
You may not realize it, but the Workers’ Compensation law and New York Scaffolding law are on your side, and we have been helping victims of construction injury make the best of these laws for over 96 years.
Have you been in a construction site accident? Do you think the workers’ compensation insurance company is downplaying your construction injury?
Let us help. Our highly experienced and tenacious construction injury lawyers in Bronx, NY can help you understand your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Dangerous safety violation on construction sites in Bronx, NY, frequently result in devastating injuries, even death
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) clearly states that all construction site employers must provide appropriate safety gear to protect workers, including:
- Hard hats
- Utility insulated gloves
- Safety goggles and other equipment for vision protection
- Headphones, earplugs, and other equipment for ear protection
- Steel-toed boots
When employers fail to provide the above safety gear or violate the safety regulations, it can result in severe consequences for workers on the construction site in Bronx and elsewhere.
In addition, many employers fail to conduct proper safety training which is a prerequisite for construction workers. It is no wonder we see so many cases of construction site accidents almost every day!
It should be noted that no matter how good-quality the equipment, machinery, and tools are, accidents can still happen. All the construction equipment must be maintained and repaired (if needed) regularly and proper inspections must be scheduled.
Skipping even one seemingly inconsequential inspection or repair job can lead to fatal consequences for whoever is manning the said equipment.
Do Bronx laws provide any protection to construction workers?
Bronx, NY, laws stipulate clear provisions to address the risks faced by construction workers. Thousands of construction workers are routinely subjected to potentially severe injuries and perilous conditions. That’s why Workers’ Compensation is in place.
It is essentially an insurance scheme that provides medical benefits and wage replacement to workers who get injured in the course of employment.
However, the financial compensation provided by Workers’ Comp is often peanuts compared to what the injured victim really needs – and it is definitely not enough to cover the exorbitant medical bills in most cases.
Who is liable for construction site injury in Bronx, NY?
As you may know, construction sites are generally occupied by a number of employers, namely contractors and subcontractors. In the majority of cases, one of these parties is the cause of an injury to a non-employee (an employee who was working for someone else on the construction site).
According to the ordinary negligence law, an injured employee can file a lawsuit against a third-party employer for hazardous conditions that caused the accident and led to the worker’s injury.
If it is found that the said third-party knew/should have known about/had control of the dangerous condition, it may be found liable for worker’s injury.
If the worker succeeds in the lawsuit and recovers financial damages from their third-party claim, they will have to reimburse any funds received from the Workers’ Comp.
Labor Law 240
As stated by the Bronx, NY, labor law 240,proper safety equipment must be provided to construction workers who are working on erecting or repairing a building from elevated heights.
If they don’t receive such equipment and are injured in a fall accident, they are entitled to sue the relevant third-party responsible for providing safety equipment.
However, in order to win the lawsuit, the worker must establish that the relevant third-party (contractor or subcontractor) should have known/knew about the safety violations.
If the third-party proves that the worker alone was responsible for the accident, then the defendant will not be held liable.
If the worker wins the lawsuit and recovers compensation, they will have to reimburse a portion of the funds received from the Workers’ Comp.
Note: Routine maintenance or minor repair work is not considered construction (erection) or repair of a building under this law.
Here are a few examples:
- You are a construction worker on the 40th floor of a high-rise building in Bronx, NY. The floor you were installing suddenly gives away. You fall to the next landing because the safety harness provided by your employer was old and damaged. You may recover damages for your injuries – even though your error while installing the floor contributed to the accident.
- You are a construction worker in Bronx, NY, and working on a scaffold set up by your employer. The scaffold crumbles for no apparent reason. You may win the lawsuit and recover damages for your injuries.
- While working on the construction site, you set up a scaffold but didn’t do it properly. As a result, it gives away, leading you to fall. In this case, you may not be able to recover any damages since it was your fault that caused the injury.
- As a construction worker, you are repairing a bridge. Your employer has specifically trained you and asked you to use certain safety lines so you can scale the bridge safely. You don’t use the said lines and fall. In this case, you may not be able to recover any damages because you were solely responsible for your injuries.
Labor law 241
Under this section, if a contractor or other third-party violates safety codes at the construction site, and that violation leads to injury, they can be held liable. This means, the worker doesn’t have to establish that the defendant was negligent – the violation of the safety regulations establishes the negligence.
This section applies to all construction site injuries. If the worker recovers compensation from their lawsuit, they will have to reimburse a portion of the funds received by the Workers’ Comp.
Here is an example of this law:
As a worker, you are excavating in a tunnel. A safety code states that the employer must place lights a certain distance apart so you can work safely. But the lights are placed too far apart and you cannot see properly.
As a result, you trip and break your leg. In this case, you can sue the employer and recover damages by proving that your employer violated a safety code.
What to do after a construction site accident in Bronx, NY?
Have you or a loved one suffered a construction accident injury in the Bronx? Have you lost someone because they succumbed to a construction site injury?
In either case, you may be able to recover appropriate compensation if you follow the right steps and hire a competent construction accident lawyer in the Bronx.
First things first, make sure you seek medical attention immediately after the accident. To assess the emergency medical care, you should call 911 or have someone else call on your behalf.
In case you don’t need emergency care, make sure you inform the supervisor or foreman at the scene of the accident. They may help you reach the nearest healthcare facility.
Once you take the necessary steps to protect your health, take the following steps to start preparing for a legal claim:
- Take clear, high-quality pictures of your injuries and the accident site immediately after the accident (if possible). This will make sure the evidence of the accident is preserved.
- Note down the name and contact information of all the witnesses present at the time of the accident.
- Report the incident to the foreman, contractor, subcontractor or your employer immediately. Once you have reported the incident to your superiors (any of the above), ensure that they have made an official report regarding this situation.
- Record the entire incident in as much detail as possible.
- Keep all the paperwork related to the accident, including medical bills, receipts for over-the-counter medication, and any other supplies you might have purchased to treat your injuries.
It is absolutely critical that you keep this documentation as it may prove significant later on when your lawyer sues your employer.
Hire a reliable and experienced construction accident attorney as soon as possible. They will investigate your claim and help you plan a strategy for seeking maximum damages in the court.
What damages can be recovered in a construction accident case in Bronx, NY?
If the judge finds the defendant guilty, the worker will receive compensation for:
- All current and future medical bills
- Any special treatment plan, including surgery and physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Compensation for loss of limb(s)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of normal life
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
The medical expenses will be determined by the testimonies of doctors and other healthcare professionals. In most cases, an economist or other industry expert is called upon to determine the future loss of wages.
However, pain and suffering cannot be calculated by any expert. Interestingly, pain and suffering as well as the emotional distress are the most important elements in damages sought by a plaintiff in construction injury cases.
Since there is no formula to calculate these damages, the amount widely varies depending on the case.
According to the law in Bronx, if the plaintiff can prove that the defendant’s actions were fraudulent, malicious, intentional, or extremely reckless, they may also be entitled to punitive damages.
Key factors to keep in mind in construction accident litigation in Bronx, NY
Here are a few factors you should keep in mind when filing a construction accident lawsuit:
Choose the right lawyer
It is imperative that the lawyer you choose to handle your case is well-versed in the latest construction and contractor practices.
There’s a lot that goes into the construction accident laws in Bronx, and your lawyer must be aware of all the relevant minutiae regarding your case.
Your lawyer must be able to prove that a third-party (contractor or subcontractor), other than your employer, was responsible for your injury.
This means the lawyer must also have a clear understanding of legal responsibilities of subcontractors, contractors and site owner toward each other.
Choose an expert witness
In any construction injury case, investigation plays an important part. The plaintiff should consider hiring a reliable and skilled expert witness to help establish facts of the investigation.
There are multiple kinds of experts who can testify in these cases, such as:
- Accident reconstruction expert
- Construction practices expert
- Human factor expert
- Safety expert
Understand the responsibilities of involved parties
In construction injury cases, a lot of intricate issues are involved regarding the relative responsibilities of different defendants (subcontractors, contractors and site owner).
Your attorney must be able to litigate your construction injury case in a way that maximizes the financial recovery for you.
Don’t pay a dime until you receive financial compensation – call us for a free consultation!
In the last 96+ years, the diligent attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff law firm have successfully filed over 30,000 cases involving construction injury claims. We have been representing the hardworking construction workers and their families for nearly a century, and in the process, we have recovered over $1 billion in damages.
Whether you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one in a construction site accident, we can help you recover maximum financial compensation for your suffering.
Thousands of construction workers in the Bronx have trusted us over so many years – it’s your turn. Let us fight for you so we can help you get the justice you deserve. We work on a contingency basis which means we don’t charge any legal fees or expenses unless we win.
Give us a call at 212-697-9280 or fill out our online contact form to speak to one of our construction accident attorneys in the Bronx today.