Brooklyn Construction Accident Lawyers
Workplace accidents are among the most common sources of injuries, and the construction industry experiences some of the highest number of accidents and injuries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Construction accidents frequently result in severe or lifelong disabling conditions, rendering many unable to work.
For over 50 years, Rubenstein & Rynecki has helped injured workers obtain benefits to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation following construction accidents. If you have been injured at a construction site, our team can help you navigate the complex Workers’ Compensation system and receive the benefits you deserve.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation is a type of insurance employers in New York are required to carry on behalf of workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. It also protects employers against liability lawsuits when workers suffer injuries. Workers’ Compensation provides financial assistance covering medical treatment, a port of lost income, rehabilitation costs, and permanent disability benefits associated with the accident and injuries.
Who Is Responsible When Construction Workers Are Injured on the Job?
Workers’ Compensation does not cover costs associated with pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. In some instances, injured workers are entitled to bring a claim for these additional losses against a negligent third party, such as:
- Construction site owners if they failed in their duty to keep the premises safe for construction personnel.
- General contractors and subcontractors in charge of portions or entire construction projects if they fail to enforce safety measures or address safety hazards.
- Machine and equipment manufacturers if the injury was caused by defective machinery or equipment due to design, manufacturing, or failure to repair.
- Architects or engineers if construction plans or designs do not meet safety standards.
Typically, third-party lawsuits require proof of negligence. However, there are some exceptions under New York’s labor laws protecting construction workers from job site accidents, known as the “scaffold law.” Under the law, employers must provide construction workers with proper safety equipment designed to prevent falls and height-related injuries during hazardous activities, such as excavation and demolition. If a worker is injured due to contractors, site owners, or others violating the scaffold law, they can be held strictly liable without establishing negligence.
What Are Common Causes of Construction Accidents in Brooklyn?
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous in the United States, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the organization governing the health and safety of workers. There are far more opportunities for workers to be injured in construction-related accidents due to the nature of the work and required equipment. OSHA cites the most common causes as:
- Runovers and crushing: Workers face serious risk of being run over by large machinery or pinned between large machinery and something else, resulting in severe crushing injuries requiring long-term medical care, permanent disability, or death.
- Collapse accidents: One of the more common accidents is the collapse of a trench, scaffolding, or building under construction or demolition, which frequently results in serious spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, crushed limbs, or death.
- Equipment-related accidents: Faulty equipment or inadequate training on power tools and heavy equipment operations can lead to serious injuries.
- Exposure to lead, asbestos, and other chemicals: Construction workers can be exposed to toxic chemicals, asbestos, or high lead levels, particularly when renovating old buildings.
- Falls: One of the most common accidents is falling, often from ladders, scaffolding, roofs, or cranes.
- Falling objects: Being struck by a falling object, typically from unsecured tools or building materials, is also common on construction sites.
- Fires and explosions: Construction sites often contain hazardous materials and flammable liquids, which can ignite or explode with exposed wiring, sparks, or open flames.
- Gear failure: Inappropriate gear or failure to wear gear, such as hard hats, safety glasses, and personal protective equipment (PPE), can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
- Repetitive motion or overexertion: Construction work demands hard physical labor, and workers often perform the same motions repetitively, leading to strain or overexertion of muscles and joints.
- Respiratory diseases: Many construction workers suffer or have died from respiratory diseases due to exposure to asbestos, lead, and other chemicals.
What Are Common Construction Accident Injuries?
Construction sites are dangerous workplaces, and the work is very physical, often requiring powerful equipment and machinery, working at great heights or adjacent to moving traffic. Construction workers face serious accident risks every day, which can lead to a wide range of injuries, including:
- Amputation or crushing limbs
- Broken bones and fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Chemical exposure illnesses
- Cuts and lacerations
- Eye injuries and vision loss
- Head injuries
- Hearing loss
- Knee and ankle injuries
- Neck, shoulder, or back injuries
- Nerve damage
- Organ damage
- Overexertion and heat stroke
- PTSD and other psychological conditions
- Soft tissue injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
What Should I Do if I am Injured in a Construction Accident at Work?
Workers’ Compensation claims require substantial documentation related to the accident and the injuries you sustain, and gathering that information begins almost as soon as the accident happens. If you are able following an accident, you should take the following steps:
- Report the accident to your supervisor or employer immediately, along with what led to the accident and any injuries.
- Photograph the accident scene and what caused your injuries.
- Gather witness contact information and statements, if possible.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, regardless of the severity of your injuries.
- Ask your employer for the required forms to apply for Workers’ Compensation benefits.
- Keep all records and communications related to the accident and your injuries.
Claims are often denied due to incomplete or inaccurate information and evidence. Claims are also denied if the accident is not work-related, the injury was intentional or self-inflicted, you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the injury is pre-existing, or the accident was improperly reported or lacks evidence.
How Can Rubenstein & Rynecki Help Me With My Construction Accident Case?
Consulting a lawyer is one of the most important steps following a workplace accident and injury. Workers’ Compensation law is complex; insurance companies require ample information and evidence before accepting a claim.
Working with our experienced Brooklyn construction accident lawyers can ensure that your rights are always protected and that your claim will be submitted accurately with the proper documentation and in compliance with Workers’ Compensation requirements. If a claim you submitted has been denied, our skilled attorneys can help prepare the documentation required for an appeal.
Our Skilled Brooklyn Construction Accident Lawyers at Rubenstein & Rynecki Help Injured Construction Workers
Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. For over 50 years, our Brooklyn construction accident lawyers at Rubenstein & Rynecki have helped injured workers obtain the benefits they need to cover medical treatment, expenses, lost wages, and more. Call 718-522-1020 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Brooklyn, New York, we serve clients throughout New York City, including The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.