Accidents on construction sites are widespread and frequently catastrophic. Heights, heavy equipment, and tripping hazards are among the factors that make the construction industry one of the riskiest in New York State.
Find out more about the most common causes of accidents in construction and learn why it’s so important to start working with a New York construction accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Why Construction Accidents Happen
Construction accidents can occur for various reasons, but it often boils down to human error. General contractors and workers can reduce accident rates by strictly following Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. Advanced safety monitoring systems can also help make construction sites more secure.
Let’s list a few hazards that often lead to injury and death in the construction industry.
Construction projects often involve working at heights, typically using scaffolding, ladders, and lifts. Insufficient safety precautions, like poorly secured scaffolding, can lead to falls. Fall arrest devices like body harnesses may also fail when not used properly.
2. Tripping Hazards
Even when construction laborers aren’t working at heights, they’re still exposed to holes, tunnels, loose floors, trenches, elevator shafts, and other tripping hazards. If the construction site isn’t securely fenced, people passing nearby may also trip and fall.
3. Falling Objects
Construction materials, tools, equipment, and other objects on construction sites may fall from the upper levels of a project on people working or passing by below. This can cause serious injury or even death, especially if the struck person isn’t wearing protective gear.
4. Heavy Equipment and Machinery
Improperly used or poorly secured machinery is a major cause of construction accidents. For instance, a worker can become trapped between two pieces of heavy machinery or a heavy object and a wall.
5. Exposed Wiring
Exposed or improperly guarded wiring can cause electrocution, another common accident on construction sites. Electricians or supervisors in charge of the wiring have a duty to warn others of this hazard. Electric shock may cause burns, nerve and muscle damage, organ damage, and cardiac arrest.
6. Dangerous Substances
Stripping agents, cleaners, flammable substances, and other hazardous chemicals on construction sites can be hazardous unless properly labeled and secured. Workers must know how to handle hazardous substances and what measures to take immediately after accidental exposure.
7. Passing Vehicles
If the construction site is located near a busy road, a passing vehicle can strike workers or pedestrians. Orange cones often help prevent car accidents, but inattentive or speeding motorists may miss these warning signs.
8. Tool Misuse and Malfunction
Workers need proper training and safety protocols to use power saws, drills, hammers, and other tools widely used on construction sites. Negligent work processes can endanger workers and anyone near them.
Sometimes, a manufacturing defect may be responsible for a tool malfunction, even when workers follow all safety rules.
What To Do After a Construction Site Accident
If you’re a worker, you must report the accident to your employer or direct supervisor within 30 days, or you may lose the right to claim workers’ compensation benefits. If you suffered a non-workplace accident at or near a construction site — for example, while passing by — you should notify the property owner.
In all cases, you should:
- Take photos of the accident site, your injuries, and other relevant details
- Collect the contact information of any people who may have witnessed the accident
- Seek medical attention and keep all your medical records for your claim
- Write down a detailed account of the accident
- Call a New York construction accident lawyer to learn your legal options
Do You Need a Lawyer After a Construction Accident?
Even if your case seems straightforward, it pays off to work with a skilled New York construction accident lawyer.
If you’re an injured worker, an experienced construction accident attorney can guide you through the workers’ compensation claim process and ensure your settlement covers the full extent of qualifying medical costs and lost wages.
In premises liability claims, it’s even more important to have a competent attorney advocating for your rights. The other side will likely try to avoid responsibility, so your lawyer will need to prove negligence using compelling evidence and strong arguments.
In either case, working with an experienced lawyer will often:
- Speed the claims process
- Help you win a larger settlement
- Reduce stress and hassle during a difficult period, allowing you to focus on recovery
Contact Our New York City Construction Accident Law Firm Today
Not sure what steps to take after a construction accident in NYC? You need an experienced attorney who knows how to handle a construction site injury claim. At Dervishi Law Group, we fight hard for the rights of workers, visitors, and passers-by who suffered injuries on construction sites.
Call (718) 484-4757 or text (917) 496-8342 for a free case evaluation by a New York construction accident lawyer.
Construction Accident FAQ
Does it matter who caused my construction site accident?
If you sustained a workplace accident on a construction site, you’d file a claim through the workers’ compensation system, which is no-fault. In this case, it usually doesn’t matter who caused the accident.
On the other hand, if you suffered an injury while visiting or passing by a construction site, you’ll likely seek recourse through a premises liability claim, in which case you’d need to prove the site owner, general contractor, or another party was at fault.
What type of compensation can I expect?
Injured construction workers can expect workers’ compensation to cover medical care and lost wages. In fatal accidents, eligible family members may claim survivor benefits.
If you’re filing a standard personal injury/premises liability claim, your settlement may also cover non-economic damages, a.k.a. pain and suffering.
What happens if an insurance company denies my claim?
You have the right to appeal a denied claim or a settlement that doesn’t cover your eligible damages. An experienced New York construction accident lawyer can handle the appeal on your behalf and, if necessary, take your case to court.