Construction workers face some of the most hazardous working conditions of any industry, often contending with dangerous heights, heavy machinery, and countless other risks on a daily basis. Given these ever-present dangers, it is no wonder that construction workers have one of the highest injury rates of any job in the United States.
At Keith D. Silverstein & Associates, we understand how overwhelming it can be to suffer a serious injury, particularly when your injury makes it impossible to work and requires substantial medical treatment. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, reach out to us today; we can help you explore your legal options and explain your rights under New York law, including New York’s scaffolding law, workers’ compensation law, and more.
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The Importance of Seeking Legal Representation
After a construction accident, it is crucial to protect your rights and seek legal representation to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Our team of New York City construction accident attorneys at Keith Silverstein & Associates is here to guide you through the legal process and fight for your rights.
Here are a few reasons why seeking legal representation is essential:
- Expertise in construction accident laws: Our attorneys specialize in construction accident cases and have in-depth knowledge of the laws and regulations that govern these types of claims. We can navigate the complexities of the legal system on your behalf.
- Investigation and evidence gathering: We have the resources and expertise to thoroughly investigate your accident, gather evidence, and determine liability. This includes interviewing witnesses, reviewing construction site records, and consulting with industry experts.
- Negotiating fair settlements: Insurance companies may try to offer you a low settlement that does not fully compensate you for your injuries and damages. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators who will fight for a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
- Litigation experience: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, our attorneys are prepared to take your case to court. We have extensive experience in litigation and will aggressively represent your interests in front of a judge and jury.
- Peace of mind: Dealing with a construction accident can be overwhelming and stressful. By hiring our experienced attorneys, you can focus on your recovery while we handle the legal aspects of your case. We will keep you informed throughout the process and provide the support you need.
Don't wait to protect your rights after a construction accident. Contact Keith Silverstein & Associates today for a free consultation and let us fight for the compensation you deserve.
Common Construction Site Accidents & Injuries
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), roughly one in five worker deaths in 2021 (the latest year for which data are available) occurred within the construction industry. Sadly, these deaths—and the countless construction injuries that occur each year—are often preventable. Most result from safety standard violations, as well as general negligence.
Some of the most frequently cited OSHA safety standard violations for 2021 included:
- Improper fall protection
- Inadequate respiratory protection
- Unsafe or defective ladders
- Poor hazard communication
- Dangerous scaffolding
- Lack of fall protection training
- Improper control of hazardous energy and materials
- Improper eye/face protection
- Inadequate machine guarding
Most of these accidents are preventable if employers take the right steps, but our fall protection attorney has seen how badly things can go wrong. Unprotected roofs, floor openings and ledges hold the top spot for fall hazards, followed by poorly erected scaffolding. The third leading cause of falls in construction is unsafe ladders. taking the proper steps to address these issues are an employer's responsibility, but some do not rise to the duty.
These types of safety violations, among others, can lead to all types of construction accidents, including serious falls, toxic exposure, machine entanglement, industrial truck accidents, scaffolding collapses, cave-ins, and more. Due to the serious nature of these types of accidents, construction workers are at risk of severe or even fatal injuries.
Some of the most common construction-related injuries include:
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones/fractures
- Crush injuries
- Exposure to harmful substances
- Head and neck injuries
- Hearing damage/loss
- Internal injuries
- Nerve damage
- Organ damage
- Partial and total paralysis
- Spine injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Torn ligaments
- Asbestosis and other asbestos-related illnesses
If you suffered a serious injury on the job or related to your employment, reach out to Keith D. Silverstein & Associates as soon as possible. You could be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages; our New York City construction accident attorneys can help you understand your legal rights during a free and confidential consultation.
What to Do After a Construction Accident
If you are involved in a construction accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. If necessary, call 911 and wait for an ambulance to arrive. If you do not need an ambulance, you should still go to the nearest hospital, urgent care center, or doctor’s office as soon as possible.
Next, you should report the incident to your employer. If you wish to seek workers’ compensation benefits, you must report the injury within 30 days, but the sooner you let your employer know that you were injured at work or because of your job, the sooner your employer can begin the workers’ compensation process.
Once you have sought initial medical treatment and notified your employer, it is a good idea to contact a New York City construction accident lawyer with experience handling construction accident claims, like those at Keith D. Silverstein & Associates. Our lawyers can review the details of your case and determine whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, personal injury damages, or both. With more than three decades of legal experience, including considerable time in insurance defense, our founding attorney knows how the other side operates—and knows how to counter those tactics when advocating for your maximum recovery.
Establishing Liability for Your Damages
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. Therefore, if you are seeking workers’ compensation benefits after a construction accident, you do not need to prove that anyone was “at fault” or otherwise responsible for the incident that caused your injury or illness. However, if you are not eligible for workers’ compensation, or if you wish to pursue a personal injury claim in addition to workers’ compensation benefits, you will need to establish liability.
To prove that the other party (known as the defendant) is liable for your damages, you will need to prove each of the following elements:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care, meaning they had a legal responsibility to take certain measures to prevent foreseeable injury
- The defendant failed to uphold the duty of care they owed to you, typically by being negligent, acting wrongfully, or violating the law
- You were injured and suffered measurable losses, or “damages,” as a result of your injury, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering
- The defendant’s failure to uphold the duty of care (i.e., their negligent or wrongful conduct) was the cause of your injuries and resulting damages
The team at Keith D. Silverstein & Associates utilizes all available evidence and works alongside accident reconstructionists, economists, medical professionals, and other experts to determine exactly what happened and who is liable.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Injured Construction Workers?
Whether you seek workers’ compensation benefits or file a personal injury claim after a construction accident, you could be entitled to compensation for certain losses, or damages.
These damages may include:
- All medical expenses related to your injury
- Lost income, wages, and employment benefits
- Projected future medical care costs
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Loss of earning ability and future income
- Permanent and significant disfigurement
- Emotional distress and anguish
- In-home assistance and care
- Home or vehicle modifications
We strive to help injured construction workers recover maximum compensation for their losses. Our New York City construction accident attorneys have successfully recovered numerous favorable settlements and jury verdicts for their clients; learn how we can help you with your claim by contacting us today and requesting a free case review.
Powerful Advocacy for All Types of Construction Accident Claims
Our construction accident lawyers in New York City possess the knowledge and experience to help construction workers from all backgrounds and trades. Our past clients include union members, laborers, asbestos abatement workers, crane operators, electricians, demolition workers, and blasters, just to name a few.
We can help you no matter the circumstances of your construction site injury, including injuries related to:
- Scaffolding accidents, ladders, or falls from heights
- Machinery accidents, including those involving cranes, forklifts, and excavators
- Accidents caused by defective tools and machinery
- Trench, wall, and structure collapses
- Exposure to hazardous materials, such as benzene and asbestos
- Electrical fires and burn-related injuries of any kind
Regardless of whether a property owner, architect, site manager, general contractor, or machine operator is to blame for your injuries, we will work tirelessly to investigate the cause of your accident and help you hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
How Our NYC Construction Accident Lawyers Can Help
When you've been injured in a construction accident in New York City, navigating the legal process can be overwhelming. That's where the dedicated team at Keith D. Silverstein & Associates comes in. As experienced New York City construction accident lawyers, we are here to fight for your rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Our skilled attorneys have a deep understanding of the complex laws and regulations governing construction accidents in New York City. We will thoroughly investigate your case, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and consult with experts to build a strong claim on your behalf. We will work tirelessly to establish liability and hold the responsible parties accountable, whether it's the site owner, contractor, subcontractor, or equipment manufacturer.
Additionally, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll a construction accident can have on your life. We will compassionately guide you through every step of the legal process, providing support and personalized attention. Our goal is to alleviate your stress and allow you to focus on your recovery.
With our extensive experience and proven track record, we have recovered significant compensation for our clients in construction accident cases. We will aggressively negotiate with insurance companies and, if necessary, take your case to trial to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Time Limits for Filing Your New York City Construction Accident Injury Claim
If you've been injured in a construction accident in New York City, it's crucial to be aware of the time limits, known as statutes of limitations, for filing your personal injury claim. In New York, the statute of limitations for construction accident injury claims is generally three years from the date of the accident.
However, it's important not to delay in seeking legal representation and initiating your claim. Waiting too long can jeopardize your case, as evidence may be lost, witnesses' memories may fade, and critical deadlines may pass.
To ensure the best possible outcome for your construction accident claim, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced New York City construction accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. We will evaluate your case, determine the applicable statute of limitations, and guide you through the legal process.
Comparative Negligence in New York Construction Accident Cases
If you were partially at fault for your construction accident in New York, you may still be able to recover compensation under the state's comparative negligence law. New York follows the rule of pure comparative negligence, which means that your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault for the accident, and the total damages were determined to be $100,000, your compensation would be reduced to $80,000.
It's important to note that even if you were partially responsible for the accident, you may still have a valid claim and be entitled to recover damages for your injuries. However, the compensation you receive will be proportionally reduced based on your degree of fault.
Navigating the complexities of comparative negligence laws requires the expertise of a skilled New York City construction accident attorney. At Keith D. Silverstein & Associates, we have a deep understanding of these laws and how they apply to construction accident cases. We will diligently investigate the circumstances of your accident, gather evidence, and work to minimize the percentage of fault assigned to you.
Our goal is to maximize your compensation and ensure that you receive a fair recovery for your injuries, even if you bear some responsibility. Contact our experienced team today for a free consultation. We will assess your case, explain your rights, and provide you with the personalized legal guidance you need during this challenging time.
No Recovery, No Fee
Because we offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, you do not pay anything upfront or out of pocket when you hire our team. Instead, we cover the initial costs associated with litigating your case and only collect attorney fees if/when we secure compensation for you.
In other words, if we do not recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf, you do not pay any legal fees.
We Care About Your Healing Our Client's Story
"My husband was injured a few years ago and Keith D. Silverstein & Associates was there to help him receive the compensation he deserved. They worked hard and never settled for anything less than what they thought he was entitled to."- Virginia
What does a construction accident lawyer do?
A construction accident lawyer focuses on cases that involve accidents and injuries that occur on construction sites. They represent people – workers, subcontractors, passersby, etc. – who have been injured due to a variety of circumstances such as faulty equipment, unsafe work conditions, or negligence by a third party. A construction accident attorney’s goal is to get the most compensation possible for injured clients.
When should I hire a construction accident lawyer?
You should consider hiring a construction accident lawyer as soon as possible following an accident on a construction site. If you've suffered injuries, it's crucial to get legal representation promptly to protect your rights and pursue the right amount of compensation. A lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal landscape of workers' compensation laws, personal injury claims, and potential third-party liability. They can also gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and if necessary, represent you in court.
What if I am partially at fault for the construction accident?
If you are partially at fault for the construction accident, New York's pure comparative negligence law still allows you to file a claim and demand compensation. Under this rule, you can file against another party as long as that party has at least 1% liability. Any recovery you make will be reduced by a percentage equal to your fault, too.
Do I need to prove negligence to win a construction accident case?
Whether you need to prove negligence in a construction accident case largely depends on the specifics of your claim. If you're filing a workers' compensation claim, you typically do not need to prove negligence because it operates under a no-fault system. However, if you're pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against a third party—such as a contractor, equipment manufacturer, or property owner—then you would likely need to prove that their negligence contributed to your accident.
What evidence is crucial in a construction accident lawsuit?
Important evidence for a construction accident lawsuit could include photographs of the accident scene, which can help demonstrate hazardous conditions or safety violations; witness testimonies that can corroborate your account of the accident; medical records that can detail the extent of your injuries and link them to the accident; and safety inspection reports from the construction company or worksite.
How long does a construction accident lawsuit typically take to resolve?
The duration of a construction accident lawsuit can vary significantly based on the complexity of the case, the parties involved, and the court's schedule. On average, it could take anywhere from several months to a few years to resolve. Factors that can lengthen the process include extensive discovery, numerous witnesses, complex legal issues, or a high amount of damages claimed. Additionally, if the case goes to trial rather than settling out of court, it will typically take longer.
Can I sue my employer for a construction accident?
In most cases, you cannot sue your employer directly for a construction accident due to workers' compensation laws. Such laws typically provide benefits for injured workers regardless of who was at fault for the accident, but they also limit your ability to sue your employer. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, if your employer intentionally caused your injury or if they do not carry the required workers' compensation insurance, you might be able to bring a lawsuit against them.
What if the construction accident was caused by faulty equipment?
If a construction accident was caused by faulty equipment, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the equipment. In such cases, the manufacturer can be held liable if the equipment was defectively designed, unsafely manufactured, or if they failed to provide adequate warnings or instructions about how to safely use the equipment.
What if the construction accident resulted in a fatality?
If a construction accident results in a fatality, the deceased worker's family or estate may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This kind of lawsuit seeks compensation for damages such as lost income, funeral expenses, and loss of companionship. The party that can be sued depends on who was responsible for the accident, such as the employer, a third-party contractor, or a manufacturer of defective equipment. In some cases, workers' compensation may also provide benefits for death.
Can I sue multiple parties for a construction accident?
You can sue multiple parties for a construction accident if more than one party is responsible for your injuries. This is often the case in construction accidents, where various entities like property owners, general contractors, subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, and others may all have different roles and responsibilities on a construction site. Each of these parties has a legal duty to ensure the safety of the site and the workers, and a breach of this duty could result in liability.
What should I look for when choosing a construction accident lawyer?
When choosing a construction accident lawyer, there are several factors you should consider: the lawyer's experience in handling construction accident cases is vital; their knowledge about construction laws and regulations; their ability to investigate and identify all liable parties; their communication skills and frequency; and, how comfortable you feel when working with them.
What is the New York “scaffolding law” or NY Labor Law 240?
New York Labor Law 240, also known as the "Scaffold Law," is a state law designed to protect construction workers who are working at heights from falls or fall-related accidents. The law imposes strict liability on contractors, owners, and their agents (with some exceptions) for injuries related to gravity risks, such as falling from heights or being struck by falling objects. The scaffolding or staging must be constructed to bear four times the maximum weight required when in use. Under this law, property owners and general contractors are subject to strict liability for gravity-related injuries, which can make getting compensation after a scaffolding accident much simpler.
Who can file a scaffolding accident claim in NYC?
In New York City, anyone who has been injured in a scaffolding accident due to the negligence of another party or a violation of safety regulations has the right to file a scaffolding accident claim. This includes not only full-time employees but also part-time workers, subcontractors, and in some cases, bystanders who were injured as a result of the accident. The injured party can seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages.
Can I file a scaffolding accident claim if my employer provides workers’ compensation?
In New York, you can file a scaffolding accident claim even if your employer provides workers' compensation insurance coverage and benefits. A civil injury claim and a workers’ compensation claim are two separate legal processes and receiving workers' compensation does not prevent you from pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Workers' compensation can cover medical bills and lost wages, but it doesn't account for pain and suffering, excess economic losses, and other various forms of damages, which can be sought in a personal injury claim. Furthermore, a scaffolding accident claim can be filed against parties other than your employer, such as the property owner, general contractor, or equipment manufacturer, if their negligence contributed to the accident.
Can I file a scaffolding accident claim if I was partially responsible for the accident?
Even if you were partially responsible for a scaffolding accident, you can still file a claim under New York's pure comparative negligence law. In such a case, your compensation will be reduced according to the percentage of fault attributed to you. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault, your compensation will be reduced by 20%. It’s important to work with a scaffolding/construction accident lawyer who knows how to investigate an accident and prove that your liability should be kept at a minimum, ideally as low as 0%.
Are scaffolding accidents on the OSHA Fatal Four?
Scaffolding accidents are not explicitly listed as one of the OSHA Fatal Four, which are the leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites excluding highway collisions. However, the OSHA Fatal Four does include fall accidents and struck-by (falling object) accidents, which include scaffolding accidents. These accidents typically occur due to planking or support giving way, workers slipping, or the absence of necessary safety equipment or precautions.
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