New York City Construction Accident Attorney
Construction Site Accidents in Brooklyn & Beyond
Construction is one of the most dangerous industries. Each year, hundreds
of construction workers in New York are injured due to falls, crane collapses,
electrocutions, poorly maintained worksites, and faulty machinery. Construction
accidents can result in long-lasting disability, disfigurement, pain and
suffering, and, at worst,
death. Fortunately, there may be multiple sources of financial relief available
to injured workers or their families.
If you were injured or if your loved one died due to a construction accident,
contact Rubenstein & Rynecki. Our New York City construction accident
attorneys have been fighting for the rights of injured workers throughout
NYC’s five boroughs since 1972. Based in Brooklyn,
our firm provides compassionate, personalized legal representation and open accessibility
to our clients. We understand the challenges these types of cases present – and
we know how to fight for the maximum compensation you are owed.
On This Page:
- Common Types of Construction Accidents
- Who Is Responsible When Construction Workers Are Injured on the Job?
- What New York Labor Laws Are Relevant to Construction Accidents?
- How Long Do You Have to File a Construction Accident Lawsuit?
- Why Legal Representation Matters
- Request a Free Consultation with Our Team Today
Common Types of Construction Accidents
According to the Department of Labor & Industries, most work-related
construction injuries result when a worker:
- Is in an accident that results in pinching, squeezing, or crushing a body
part in machinery or between objects
- Falls from a significant height, such as from a roof, scaffold, or ladder
- Slips, trips, or falls on a flat surface, often as the result of poor maintenance
- Is struck by or hits a body part against something, such as a flying object,
or suffers noise damage to the ear drum
- Is a victim of a motor vehicle accident, including an accident involving
heavy motorized equipment
- Suffers musculoskeletal injuries of the upper body, typically affecting
the neck, back and arms, which include repetitive motion injuries, overexertion,
and other health problems.
When injuries are most serious, you can rely on our experienced New York
City construction accident attorneys to pursue full compensation on your
behalf. We have successfully recovered hundreds of millions of dollars
for our clients, and we are ready to fight for you.
Who Is Responsible When Construction Workers Are Injured on the Job?
Often, injured construction workers are entitled to
workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation allows a construction worker to recover medical
expenses and partial lost wages (up to certain limits) for job-related
injuries. However, workers’ compensation, which is the sole legal
relief available from an employer, does not allow recovery for pain and
suffering and other non-economic damages. It also does not provide compensation
for the full cost of lost wages/income.
Where workers’ compensation is not adequate to fully compensate an
injured worker for their injuries, the worker may consider pursuing a
personal injury lawsuit against a third-party. In such a suit, a worker may be entitled
to recover unreimbursed medical expenses, lost wages, out-of-pocket medical
costs, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other non-economic damages.
There are often numerous parties involved on job sites, many of whom may
potentially be held responsible for a worker’s injuries after a
construction accident. They include:
- General Contractors and Subcontractors: Those in charge of construction projects or components of projects may
be held liable if they create or fail to remedy a condition that caused
safety hazards, or if they do not take adequate safety measures.
- Construction Site Owners: A landowner has a nondelegable duty to keep the premises safe for people
who may reasonably be expected to be present, including construction personnel.
- Machine and Equipment Manufacturers: If a worker is injured by machinery or other equipment due to a defect
in design or workmanship, liability may fall on the company that manufactured
or distributed the product in question.
- Architects and Engineers: If a design or construction plan fails to meet safety standards, the architect
or engineer that drafted it may be held liable for injuries that arise
as a result.
While most lawsuits against third parties require an injured worker to
prove negligence, there are exceptions. New York has tough labor laws
in place to protect construction workers from jobsite accidents. Under
Labor Law Â§ 240(1), also known as the “scaffold law,”
construction workers must be provided with proper safety equipment designed
to prevent falls and height-related injuries. Labor Law Â§ 241 sets
forth safety requirements for especially hazardous construction activities,
such as demolition and excavation.
Contractors, site owners, and others involved in a construction project
can be held strictly liable for a worker’s injuries if they violate
these laws. This means that negligence does not need to be proven for
the injured worker to recover monetary compensation.
What New York Labor Laws Are Relevant to Construction Accidents?
In addition to Labor Law Â§ 240(1), or the “scaffold law,”
the state of New York has several labor laws that apply to construction
accidents and other jobsite injuries. In fact, New York has some of the
strongest legal protections in the country for construction workers.
- N.Y. Labor Law Section 200: This statute imposes a general duty on employers to provide “reasonable
and adequate protection to the lives, health and safety of all persons
employed” at a worksite. The law allows inspectors to shut down
work on a construction site due to perceived violations.
- N.Y. Labor Law Section 240: New York’s famous “scaffold law” provides special protections
for workers who labor at heights that expose them to risk of serious injury
or death via a bad fall. If the contractor or site owner fails to provide
adequate safety equipment, including safely constructed scaffolding, the
responsible parties can be held strictly liable for accidents related
to that failure.
- N.Y. Labor Law Section 241(6): This statute sets out safety provisions related to demolition, excavation,
and construction and is meant to work in conjunction with Rule 23 of the
New York Industrial Code. When a worksite violates Rule 23 and a worker
suffers injury as a result, the worker can demand compensation from the
contractor or owner.
At Rubenstein & Rynecki, our attorneys are highly knowledgeable about
New York construction accident law, and we can pursue every avenue for
compensation on your behalf.
How Long Do You Have to File a Construction Accident Lawsuit?
In New York, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is
three years from the date of the construction accident. When a government
entity is a defendant in a personal injury case, the victim must file
a notice of claim within 90 days of the injury-causing event and has an
additional year from that date to file a lawsuit. In cases of fatal accidents,
the victim’s eligible relatives have two years from the date of
death to file a wrongful death claim.
In regard to workers’ compensation claims, eligible employees have
two years from the date of the injury or the date on which the injury/illness
was discovered or reasonably could have been discovered to file a claim.
However, injured workers who wish to pursue workers’ compensation
benefits must report the injury to their employer within 30 days. Failure
to do so could result in the injured workers losing their right to receive benefits.
Why Legal Representation Matters
New York workers’ compensation and labor laws are complex. These
laws govern recoveries of damages for construction accidents and injuries,
as well as issues of liability. While workers’ compensation coverage
allows victims to collect benefits even if their own negligence causes
an accident, filing a claim can be extremely difficult.
Some complications associated with filing a workers’ compensation
claim after a construction accident in New York City include:
- Insurance companies can deny or shortchange claims by questioning the injury’s
work-related nature or its extent
- Employers may attempt to require a return to work before being fully restored to health
- Contractors may be exempt from workers compensation coverage
By putting an experienced attorney on your side, you improve your chances
of a fair recovery. Our construction accident lawyers can help you navigate
the workers’ compensation system and/or file a third-party work
injury claim after a serious on-the-job accident or work-related injury.
We understand the complexities of the system and know how to make it work for you.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping injured workers receive fair treatment
for their claims. When workers suffer injuries due to third-party negligence – such
as the manufacture or provision of faulty equipment – we can pursue
the additional claims necessary to helping ensure victims recover all
damages they deserve.
Request a Free Consultation with Our Team Today
If you or someone you love was injured in a construction accident, turn
to the team at Rubenstein & Rynecki for aggressive and compassionate
legal representation. We offer accessible, attentive legal services centered
on the unique needs of our clients. When you choose our firm, you choose
a team that will fight for you.
We offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do
not owe any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you. Our
team can assist you in English, Spanish, Russian, Romanian, Greek, or
Creole and provides free, no-obligation consultations to all new and prospective clients.