Accidents happen no matter who you are or what you’re doing. Thankfully, most of the time these accidents aren’t very serious.
But when you’re a New York construction worker, these accidents can be serious and lead to injury or even death.
New York has seen its fair share of construction accidents. In 2021 alone, a worker fell to death in a New York City building that was under construction. Another worker in the Bronx was killed in an elevator crash that seriously injured their coworker. And at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a hard hat ceremony commemorated the lives of 16 hardhat construction workers who died on-site in the city.
If you’re a construction worker, it’s vital to understand what can be done if you’re involved in an on-the-job accident. If you’re injured, what legal recourse do you have? Read on to find out.
Common Construction Accidents
The heavy machinery, high elevations, and powerful tools that are a part of New York construction sites create a lot of hazards for those working on them. If proper safety protocol isn’t followed, then accidents happen.
The most common include:
- Crane accidents
- Welding accidents
- Falls on construction sites
- Scaffolding accidents
- Accidents caused by defective power tools
- Ladder accidents
- Accidents during demolition
- Roofing accidents
- Injuries caused by falling objects
These are only a handful of the dangers on a construction site.
If you’re a construction worker who has been involved in a construction site accident and injured due to incompetence or negligence of another, there may be legal action you can take for your personal injuries.
What To Do If Injured
If you’re injured at work on a construction site, make sure to get help immediately. Don’t try to be tough and just wait it out or hide an injury from your supervisor. Instead, make sure to tell your employer and seek medical care.
Your employer will need to make an official report of the incident that led to your injury. Medical records can help to support your case if you need to take it to court.
Take a picture of the accident scene, as well. Ensure that you have names of any witnesses who are able to help support your version of events, if that’s ever called into question.
What Can Be Done?
In general, lawsuits involving injuries acquired at work on a construction site can be filed against those responsible for your injuries. Sometimes this can be a third party, like the property owner, subcontractor, general contractor, or equipment manufacturer.
In very few cases are you actually able to sue an employer directly due to the worker’s compensation laws in the state.
The key to successfully sue a third party for your injuries is to show negligence in some way on their part. For example, you could demonstrate that they knew there were hazards on the construction site but didn’t address them.
You have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in New York. In the case of wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years. So, if you think you want to bring a lawsuit, you have a limited time to do it.