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How Is A Construction Accident Different From Other Personal Injury Cases?

Construction accidents are very unique because there are a lot of statutory regulations involved in construction accidents. A lot of attorneys who even do general personal injury cases really don’t know the depth of all the types of accident cases that can be brought on behalf an injured construction worker.

A lot of attorneys will say that he got hurt at work so it’s workers’ compensation in the construction field. That’s not exactly accurate because in addition to workers’ compensation, any construction worker injured on a New York work site also has rights under labor laws 200, 240 and labor law 241. If you’re getting workers comp and you can’t sue your employer, you can still sue the construction site owner and the general contractor for not providing a safe work site. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in construction and a lot of regulations that are there to protect the workers’ safety.

For example, if a ladder is insufficient because it’s missing a rung or it’s not properly placed or the ladder isn’t stable enough which causes the person to fall, it’s the land owner and general contractor’s responsibility to make sure that the person had a good ladder. The same thing is true, for example, for scaffolding. On a lot of cases, we see a scaffold collapses or cases where a plank broke on a poled scaffolding and the law in New York places the responsibility on the general contractor and the land owner to make sure everything is sufficient to support the worker’s weight and his tools and materials.

If there is a violation of that rule, then it’s the land owner’s fault and the general contractor’s fault, so they could be sued. Obviously, with the lawsuit, you have more than just workers comp, you get pain and suffering, disability, full lost wages, not just the portion of them.

Other scenarios where you see a lot of construction accidents in New York are, for example, people struck by machinery like an excavator or a backhoe or other types of machinery or loads which don’t have a proper tagline or a load line or there are also cases where, for example, the bracing isn’t adequate and people are working an excavation and parts of the excavation hurt the worker.

There are a lot of different scenarios and most attorneys, even personal injury attorneys in New York, aren’t familiar with all the regulations that are in the mere code of rules and regulations that apply to protect the workers. We have a good understanding, a lot of experience in working with these regulations and understanding them. So, we can adequately protect any construction worker injured in New York. I am happy with handling everything from small fractures of fingers or sprains to wrongful death and catastrophic injuries, and everything in-between.

Does Someone Need a Highly Specialized Attorney in this Particular Field?

Definitely, because this field is really specialized; a lot of attorneys, even the competent attorneys, aren’t familiar with all the rules and regulations and even the industry too. For example, if you come in and tell me that you’re handling a load line or there’s a saw and the cart was off, I know exactly what regulation applies where someone else might have; even if they’re good, they may have to be learning, so we really have the knowledge, not only the legal knowledge but the industry knowledge, we’ve been doing these from so long and have so many construction accident cases.

What Are The Most Common Types of Construction Accidents That You Handle?

In New York City, the most common construction accident cases we see are definitely either falls from ladders or falls from scaffolding or cases where the scaffolding or a portion of the scaffolding collapses. Other common ones are people struck by machinery, by excavators, buckets or something falling from a site like if the sidewalk shed was inadequate.

We also see a lot of slips and falls and trips and falls on construction site because the site wasn’t kept clean and materials are everywhere. If someone is carrying, for example, a couple of things, a plywood or lumber, then obviously the concern with that is that they slip and fall on something and go down. We’ve seen a lot of these different types of cases.

In New York, we see a lot of cases with people working on the roofs of houses and not having the proper lines or harnesses so they fall off the roof and then they make it hurt that way. We also see a lot of cases regarding documents of immigrants and bosses that don’t have the proper insurance because New York is very common for small contractors, pick-up guys that go at labor site and bring them to a construction site and they don’t have the proper insurance.

In those cases, we see not only the general contractor and land owner but we also sue the employer for not having a proper insurance. In those cases, we see a lot of make shift equipment where for example, to make things more efficient, the employer will lose the guards so the guards can use the saw to cut faster and then all of a sudden someone gets cut, but there’s a regulation saying you have to have a guarding on a circular saw. So, we see a lot of those kinds of cases too.

For more information on Types of Construction Accidents, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (914) 574-8330 today.

The Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph