212-LAWYERS or (212) 344-1000

construction accidents

Excavation Accidents And Injuries In New York City

Excavation work and trenching are considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the construction industry. These jobs regularly involve cutting, digging, or moving earth manually as well as with the help of heavy excavation equipment. There are several things that can go catastrophically wrong in an excavation project, such as falling rock or debris, trench collapses, trench cave-ins, flooding, and more.

But all of these accidents usually come down to the negligence of contractors and/or supervisors, and their failure to adhere to basic safety regulations. When short cuts are taken to get the job done as swiftly as possible, workers are at risk of severe injuries or even death.

A collapsed trench can quickly lead to disastrous consequences, and heavy equipment and debris from above can come crashing down. Sometimes striking the wrong pipe or wire can also lead to flooding and other accidents.

The best way to avoid this is making sure the excavation workers have the appropriate shoring and bracing systems in place to prevent a trench collapse. Unfortunately, many contractors overlook these necessary safety protocols and then workers pay the price.

If you or a dear one has sustained serious injuries in an excavation accident in New York, you need the tenacious injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Our committed and compassionate construction injury attorneys are known for obtaining some of the highest settlements and verdicts in the state of New York. Call us at 212-344-1000 for a free legal consultation.

Different Type of Excavation Accidents on a Construction Site

Accidents on the Job

When workers start digging at a jobsite, there are numerous unknown factors at work that do not become evident until it is too late. Here are some examples of most common excavation-related accidents:

Excavator tip overs: The excavating machine, also known as an excavator, may be faulty. This defect can cause the machine to tip over or hit those standing close to the excavator.

Electrocution: A worker could be digging underground and not be aware of the presence of underground utilities near that spot. This can lead to electrocution, or the worker could strike something hard that may cause them to tip over. This happens when the employer fails to do their due diligence before starting the excavation work; every contractor should have strong knowledge of the underground utilities where their workers are going to dig.

Trench collapses: It is the employer’s duty to ensure the jobsite is thoroughly surveyed beforehand and the excavator operator has been given proper instructions. Failure to do this can result in a collapse, causing the workers underneath to get buried alive.

Injuries to passersby: The workers are not the only one at risk at the excavation site; sometimes, bystanders may also sustain injuries if the excavator operator negligently discharges the machine’s load without checking the vicinity around the machine.

Preventing Excavation-Accident Injuries is Possible 

The employers and supervisors should perform regular checks to ensure the excavation equipment like bulldozers, excavators, bobcats, track loaders, etc. are working properly. Anyone responsible for operating the heavy machinery (such as an excavator) must be well-trained, experienced, and certified.

Distracted operators have been known to cause devastating accidents so steps must be taken to ensure they are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs while operating the excavators.

If only the employer engages in advanced planning before the excavation starts, many of the risks can be significantly reduced. This includes learning what utilities are located beneath the ground at the job site and what kind of collapse-related risks are present in the soil and walls. This generally requires some pre-digging and surveying to understand the underground condition.

Types of Excavation-Accident Injuries

Here are some of the most common ways a worker can get injured in an excavation accident:

Broken bones: It is common for excavation accident victims to sustain multiple fractures. However, in some cases, the broken bones could lead to permanent damage and result in the loss of that body part.

Traumatic brain injuries: Workers injured in a construction accident also become at risk of a traumatic brain injury. Any kind of head injury can result in permanent brain damage, causing the victim to suffer cognitive impairment, loss of mobility and coordination, loss of vision and hearing, and more.

Crush-related injuries: When workers or passersby are involved in some kind of a collapse or someone dumps the excavator load on them, they can suffer suffocating injuries, shattered bones, nerve injuries, smashed body parts, lacerations, heavy bleeding, and even death.

Long-term paralysis: If the worker sustains any injuries to their head, back, or neck during the excavation accident, they may lose partial/complete muscle function in the body.

Exposure to toxins: Sometimes, the excavation job can also release toxic substances and carcinogens into the environment, and the workers or passersby can inhale them. This may result in irreversible damage to the victim’s throat and lungs, and can later manifest into other severe health complications like cancer.

Responsible Party/Defendant in an Excavation Injury Lawsuit

If you have suffered severe injuries or lost a loved one in an excavation accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties and receive a financial award for your losses.

When it comes to the possible defendant(s), your attorney will help determine who was responsible for the accident and thus, your injuries. You may also be able to file the lawsuit against more than one party and then let the court define who bears what percentage of the liability.

An experienced attorney knows that you will benefit from being as extensive as possible in naming defendants. If you are not sure who exactly might be responsible, here are a few possible parties that you can hold liable for your excavation injuries:

  • The company who controls the job site
  • The company who was responsible for pre-digging and surveying the soil and underground conditions
  • The subcontractor who was responsible for exposing the workers to dangerous conditions that caused the accident
  • The manufacturer or seller of the excavator or other heavy machinery which malfunctioned at the wrong time and led to the accident
  • The company responsible for hiring the negligent/inexperienced/distracted excavator operator who caused the accident.

Your attorney will need to establish in court that the party you are suing was, in fact, negligent and careless in their actions. It is also possible that the company will be willing to settle your lawsuit before the case goes to trial. This is done to minimize their legal risk, especially if they know that they are responsible for your injuries.

Here is what you can expect to recover through a jury verdict or a settlement:

  • All the past and future medical expenses (including rehabilitative care, permanent live-in nurses, etc.)
  • All the past and future lost wages
  • Loss of consortium for the spouse of injured/dead accident victim
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering

Get Expert Legal Guidance and Receive Maximum Compensation

If you or your loved one were injured in a construction or excavation accident, Workers’ Compensation is not the only financial option you have. The New York Labor Laws can be stringent in providing protection to injured construction workers, so take advantage of that by hiring an experienced and dependable New York construction accident attorney.

Since 1922, our NYC personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP have been tirelessly advocating for injury victims and survivors of those who have died in construction accidents in New York. We have recovered over $1 billion for our clients in verdicts and settlements, and you can be next.

NYC Personal Injury lawyer - RMFW Law Logo Inverted

Get a Free Consultation

No Win No Fee

Construction Accidents Menu

April Johnson
April Johnson
15:54 30 Jun 23
Easy access to thr firm with a very nice Lawyer
Benjamin Roussey
Benjamin Roussey
19:03 29 Jun 23
No firm gets it done like RMFW. They are the best.They are awesome - for sure.
Roberto Martinez
Roberto Martinez
19:02 24 May 23
I’ve been in the personal injury field as an investigator for 29 years. All in New York City. Out of all the hundreds of Law Firms I’ve worked with, Rosenberg Minc Falkoff & Wolf, would have to be at the very top of my list. Amazing staff great attorneys.If you want the job done right, these are you guys.
Julio Ochoa
Julio Ochoa
20:49 18 May 23
I highly recommend Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP for their outstanding assistance in obtaining a settlement for an Erb's Palsy birth injury case. Their knowledge, dedication, and compassionate attitude were important in attaining a successful end. Their professionalism and assistance were simply outstanding from beginning to end. I am deeply thankful for their representation and would enthusiastically recommend them to anyone seeking justice in a similar situation.
Aisha Neri
Aisha Neri
20:29 18 May 23
I recently had the privilege of working with Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP on my daughter’s birth injury case involving Erb's Palsy, and I cannot express enough gratitude for their exceptional legal services. From the initial consultation to the successful settlement, they demonstrated profound expertise, unwavering dedication, and genuine compassion for my family's situation.From the very beginning, the team proved their commitment to justice. They thoroughly investigated the circumstances surrounding my child Erb's Palsy birth injury, leaving no stone unturned. Their extensive knowledge and understanding of medical malpractice law, coupled with their deep expertise in birth injury cases, provided us with tremendous confidence in their ability to handle our case.The attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff consistently displayed exceptional professionalism and attention to detail throughout the entire legal process. They meticulously gathered evidence, consulted with medical experts, and built a compelling case that clearly outlined the negligence and liability on the part of the medical professionals involved. One aspect that truly stood out was the genuine care and compassion exhibited by Daniel Minc, Lorraine Licul, and the entire team at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff. They treated us not just as clients but as individuals with unique emotions and concerns. They took the time to listen attentively to our worries, provided constant updates on the progress of our case, and promptly responded to our inquiries, ensuring we felt supported and reassured throughout the process. Their empathy and understanding made an immeasurable difference during such a challenging and emotionally taxing time.When it came time to negotiate a settlement, Daniel Minc demonstrated remarkable skill and tenacity. He fought fiercely on our behalf, advocating for fair compensation to cover any potential long-term effects of Erb's Palsy on my child's life. His negotiation skills were truly impressive, as they secured a settlement that exceeded our expectations and provided the financial resources necessary to support my child's future needs.I cannot recommend Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff highly enough to anyone seeking legal representation in Erb's Palsy birth injury cases or any other medical malpractice matters. Their extensive experience, unwavering dedication, and empathetic approach make them an exceptional choice for families navigating the complexities of birth injury litigation. Thanks to Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, my family now has the means to provide the best care and opportunities for my child's future.If you are seeking a law firm that combines legal expertise with genuine compassion, look no further than Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. They will tirelessly fight for your rights and ensure your voice is heard, providing you with the support and justice you deserve.
Aoki R
Aoki R
17:14 17 May 23
I highly recommend Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. They are a team of dedicated professionals fully committed to their clients. I have witnessed the firm's amazing work ethic in my experience with their attorneys and Lorraine Licul. Lorraine is a knowledable, empathetic and results-driven professional. Minc is an excellent attorney and I greatly appreciate the firm's expertise.
Michael Levites
Michael Levites
17:42 12 May 23
I have recommended this firm to some of my friends and I heard back only positive feedback about the client responsiveness, diligence and hard work put in by these attorneys. I will continue to refer anyone who suffered a personal injury to Rosenberg Minc..
See All Reviews