Brooklyn Construction Accident Attorney
Brooklyn is a real estate-centric borough. It seems like every time you turn around, a new building or high rise is going up. In Brooklyn, we tend to become accustomed to the ongoing construction—so much, in fact, that we sometimes fail to recognize the dangers around us.
Construction sites contain hazards for everyone, but they are especially dangerous for construction workers who spend their days there. If you or a loved one were hurt at a Brooklyn construction site, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact the Brooklyn Construction Accident lawyers at Jacoby and Meyers, LLP, for a free case evaluation.
How Dangerous Are Construction Jobs?
The construction industry is a vital part of the U.S. economy. The labor of construction workers impacts every facet of our lives: from the quality of the buildings where we live and work to the safety of the streets where we drive.
We rarely stop to consider that construction workers put their lives at risk every day when they go to work. Statistics show construction one of the most dangerous industries in the United States:
- According to the Associated General Contractors of America, the construction industry consists of over 680,000 employers, with over 7 million workers nationwide.
- One in every five workplace deaths involves a worker in the construction industry.
- Over one-third of all construction deaths result from a fall.
Where Do Construction Accidents Happen?
When you think about a construction site, images of large equipment and scaffolding likely come to mind. But construction sites do not just exist on city blocks. They are everywhere we turn. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 849,570 Americans worked as construction laborers in one recent year. An additional 227,460 held the title of construction manager, with carpenters, electricians, and operating engineers accounting for 611,070, 503,660, and 245,320 workers respectively.
With so many workers employed in construction, accidents happen in virtually every conceivable setting:
- City buildings: In one recent year, Brooklyn had more active construction projects than any other borough of New York City. At the time there were 2,800 active permits on file. The largest project was a 3.9 million square foot skyscraper. Working on city buildings comes with particular risks. Not only must workers do their jobs at extreme heights, they must also contend with limited space and numerous distractions, which can make it difficult for workers to get their job done safely.
- Roadways: Millions of people drive through road construction every day. It’s easy to take for granted just how dangerous roadway construction is for workers. Traffic workers must fight inclement weather, limited space, and oncoming traffic. Repair work on bridges, traffic lights, or in areas of high traffic leave workers particularly vulnerable to injury.
- Homes and offices: New home builds, repairs, and renovations make up a good portion of the construction industry. While these jobs may be more secluded and provide more space, they provide different challenges. Workers are usually unfamiliar with the area they are working with and may not be aware of hidden dangers. Additionally, homeowners may put added pressure on workers to complete a job quickly.
- Manufacturing facilities: The manufacturing industry is growing, as is the demand for new buildings. In addition to the normal hazards, workers have to install heavy, and often dangerous, equipment.
How Do Accidents Happen?
Construction jobs come with a wide variety of inherent dangers, but there are some aspects of the job that are notoriously risky. In construction, there are four types of accidents that happen more than any other. These accidents are commonly referred to as the “fatal four.” Incidents involving the fatal four account for 57 percent of all construction fatalities and consist of:
Falls are the most common cause of fatality at construction sites. Construction workers often have to climb to extreme heights. For a one-story house, this may be 11 or 12 feet. But for larger buildings like office buildings and apartment complexes, heights can reach hundreds of feet. At these heights, workers must use proper fall protection devices. Falls from lower heights can cause broken bones, spinal cord injuries, or traumatic brain injuries, while falls from higher heights will usually result in death.
Struck by Object
Construction sites are noisy, dirty, and crowded. Workers often struggle to stay alert for dangers. Struck by object injuries happen when a person gets hit by an object that falls or swings. This may include large objects like beams or wrecking balls, or a worker may become injured when a smaller object such as a hand tool falls from above.
Specialized contractors often handle discrete aspects of a construction project simultaneously, which means even if they understand all of the risks involved in their particular jobs, others on the construction site may not. Electrical work, especially, puts workers at risk. If a wire is not properly labeled, not turned off, or exposed, an unsuspecting worker can come in contact with it and sustain a severe electrical injury. Electrocutions contribute to 9 percent of construction site fatalities. Injuries may include burns, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or organ damage.
Caught Between Objects
Caught between objects accounts for 2 percent of construction fatalities. These injuries happen when a person or body part becomes pinned between two or more objects, such as a piece of machinery and a building or a moving tool. The type of injury will depend on the location of the injury at the objects involved. Usually, caught in between incidents involve crush injuries, resulting in broken bones, lacerations, and amputations.
Five Reasons for Brooklyn Construction Accidents
The dangers on construction sites are well-known. So, why do construction accidents happen? For the most part, the answer is “human error,” especially:
- Poor training: Workers need to understand how to stay safe on the job. Their employers have a special responsibility to train them in safety practices and techniques on construction sites. Poor or inadequate safety training, unfortunately, puts everyone on a job site at risk of severe injury.
- Lack of or improper safety devices: Large volumes of regulations dictate the nature and type of safety equipment that workers should always use on a job site. Inadequate or broken safety equipment often puts workers’ lives in danger.
- Unsafe conditions: Rain, fog, snow, and excessive heat can all make for dangerous work conditions. When workers work in unsafe conditions, they risk accidents and injury.
- Defective construction materials and equipment: The raw materials workers use to lay foundations and to frame out a building, as well as the tools they use to work with those materials, should not put them at risk. Unfortunately, materials and equipment sometimes hide dangerous defects that cause accidents and injuries.
- Heavy workloads: Exhaustion can lead to poor decision making and lack of concentration on a construction site; factors that often lead to catastrophic accidents and injuries.
Five Common Construction Site Injuries
As we noted above, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, one out of every five workplace fatalities in 2018 occurred in the construction industry. The industry also has 71 percent more non-fatal injuries than any other industry. Common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries: Traumatic brain injuries occur when the brain sustains damage from a blow or penetrating head injury. TBIs display a wide variety of symptoms, all of which can prove debilitating. A so-called “mild” TBI (a.k.a., “concussion”) can leave a victim with chronic fatigue, headaches, and “brain fog.” More severe TBIs can cause lasting motor, cognitive, and emotional impairments. In the worst cases, TBI results in a permanent loss of consciousness.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries happen when the spinal cord sustains severe trauma, often from a violent fall. These injuries often result in paralysis and require lifelong treatment.
- Burns: Burns can happen as the result of contact with a hot surface, electrocution, or exposure to chemicals (among other causes). They can cause excruciating pain and leave victims with permanent scars. Severe burns pose an extreme risk of infection and can cause nerve damage and physical disabilities.
- Lacerations and contusions: Unfortunately, cuts, scrapes, and bruises happen frequently on a job site. While most injuries are minor, if they are not treated, they can cause infection. You should always have a doctor examine any deep cuts as they may involve nerve damage and may risk getting infected.
- Strains: Any worker who does heavy lifting is at risk of a strain injury. Strains happen when you overextend your ligaments or tendons. To prevent strains on the job, practice proper lifting and always use safety equipment.
Making a Workers’ Comp Claim After an Accident
Most workplace injuries differ from other preventable injuries when it comes to pursuing compensation. New York law requires virtually all employers—including employers in the construction industry—to carry workers’ compensation insurance protecting their employees against medical and disability costs resulting from a workplace injury or illness.
Workers’ compensation insurance pays benefits to injured workers regardless of who is at fault for an injury. It includes:
- Medical benefits: Workers’ comp pays for all medical treatment necessary to diagnose and treat a workplace injury. Except in emergencies, workers must receive care from a provider who is approved by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board, and (potentially) by their employer.
- Disability benefits: When a worker is temporarily or permanently unable to return to work, workers’ compensation benefits can help make up lost wages. Time-loss benefits pay two-thirds of your average weekly wage, multiplied by the degree of a construction worker’s disability.
- Death benefits: Workers’ compensation entities families of construction workers who sustain a fatal injury on the job to payments that replace some of the deceased worker’s income, as well as a lump sum payment for funeral and burial expenses.
Workers’ compensation insurance comes with a trade-off, however. By providing insurance for their employees, employers free themselves of any other legal liability to their workers in most cases. In other words, most construction workers injured on a job site cannot sue their employer for damages, even if the employer’s unsafe practices caused an injury.
Workers’ compensation in New York does not, however, limit an injured construction worker’s rights to sue a “third party” (i.e., someone other than an employer or co-worker) for damages arising from a construction site injury. “Third parties” with potential liability for harming a construction worker could include:
- A property owner: If the injury occurs on private property, the property owner may face legal liability for having failed to remedy an unsafe condition that led to a worker’s injury.
- A contractor: Construction sites often host multiple contractors who coordinate their efforts, but do not share employees. Construction workers injured by the careless or reckless actions of an employee of a different contractor may have rights against that contractor for damages.
- Materials and equipment manufacturers: Construction workers should not sustain injuries because of defective construction materials or equipment. The manufacturer of defective material or equipment that leaves a construction worker injured may face legal liability.
Speaking with an experienced construction accident injury attorney is the best way to assess your rights after a construction accident leaves you battered and bruised—or worse.
Brooklyn Construction Accident FAQ: How Our Lawyers Can Help You
The construction industry is a rewarding yet often dangerous career for carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and others. Industry workers trust that safeguards are in place to prevent them from harm or possible death. If your day on a construction site turned tragic, you may face extensive medical bills, missed time from work, or the loss of your career. In especially tragic circumstances, you may lose a close loved one forever due to a fall or other disastrous event.
The following frequently asked questions can help guide you through this difficult time. For more information about your legal options and to learn if you have a possible case for compensation, contact a Brooklyn construction accident lawyer today.
The most important first step following a construction accident is to seek medical attention immediately. If you exhibit no outward signs of injuries, nor do you feel any pain, you should still go to the hospital.
Some injuries that exhibit delayed symptoms—like internal bleeding —can harm your organs and result in death if left untreated. Another dangerous condition is that of shock. Traumatic incident stress can often mask the pain of serious injuries following a construction accident.
Seeking immediate medical care creates documentation of your injuries. Such documentation is generally helpful in a civil claim and lawsuit.
Time is of the utmost urgency when it comes to contacting a lawyer due to statutes of limitations. Statutes of limitations are state laws regarding how long plaintiffs with civil cases have to pursue possible compensation.
Once the deadline for filing your case passes, you may miss your opportunity forever. These strict requirements require immediate action on your part and the part of your lawyer.
Construction accident cases generally require an investigation, witness interviews, and the gathering of evidence. These are just part of what your lawyer must do to build your case. These actions take time—something not on your side.
Brooklyn construction accident and wrongful death cases involve different statutes of limitations. A Brooklyn construction accident lawyer can ensure that your case meets all necessary and required deadlines and court requirements.
Doing so can place you at risk of accepting less than you deserve. Insurance company adjusters are quite aggressive and highly skilled at their jobs.
Your injury or the loss of your loved one places you in a vulnerable position. It is never wise to make important financial decisions while recovering from painful injuries or while mourning a loved one.
Having a lawyer on your side protects you from the insurance company’s efforts to take advantage of your situation. While the amount they offer you may seem like a large sum, it is most likely a low sum designed to protect the insurance company and not you.
A construction accident is a traumatic event, and you must focus on your recovery. By hiring a lawyer to represent you, you can rest easier knowing that your case is in good hands—and that they are fighting for the best outcome of your case possible.
The outcome of your Brooklyn construction accident or wrongful death case depends upon a variety of factors. Although there is never a guarantee of compensation, seeking the justice you deserve is your right.
The types of compensation often awarded in civil cases include such damages as:
- Medical bills: medical transport, hospital and physician fees, labs, tests, and more accumulate quickly
- Ongoing medical costs associated with your injuries: rehabilitation, therapies, or a skilled nursing facility are costly
- Your missed pay from work due to time spent in the hospital and at home recovering from your injuries
- The future earnings possible if you can’t return to work
- Pain and suffering due to the physical, financial, emotional, and psychological stress of your unfair situation
Most civil cases settle out of court. If your lawyer feels it is necessary to take your case to trial, you need someone with experience presenting cases before a judge and jury.
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, our team understands how to prepare and present key elements of civil cases. We work hard to ensure that our message conveys the accident’s full impact on your quality of life.
If you lost a close loved one due to a construction accident, you may qualify for a wrongful death claim and lawsuit. Your relationship to the decedent and the details of how they died play an important role in determining if you have a possible case.
The shocking news that your loved one is never coming home can cause feelings of anger and fear. Anxiety regarding how to face the future without them may overwhelm you.
A construction accident lawyer from our team can help you through this devastating time.
Upon a careful review of all evidence, they can determine if pursuing the following types of compensation is right for you:
- Loss of income and potential future earnings from the decedent
- Final medical expenses associated with the care for their deadly injuries
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of companionship
Wrongful death cases generally involve economic and non-economic damages. Medical and funeral costs are easier for juries to understand, while the loss of companionship is more difficult to understand in financial terms.
It is never a good idea to navigate a civil case alone. A wrongful death case is often extremely emotional and distressing for family members. Allow a Brooklyn construction accident lawyer to represent you. Your lawyer can handle the details of your case. They can provide you with updates in a compassionate and caring manner.
Deaths from construction accidents are very real and a far too often occurrence in the United States. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one in five worker deaths during 2018 were in the construction industry.
OSHA lists the following as the fatal four of construction accident causes for the same year:
- Falls: Represents 33.5 percent of construction deaths
- Struck by an object: 11.1 percent of construction deaths
- Electrocution: 8.5 percent of construction deaths
- Caught-in/between: 5.5. percent of construction deaths
If you lost a loved one due to a construction accident caused by negligence, contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today for a free case evaluation.
A free case evaluation is the best way to learn if you have legal grounds for a civil case. If your accident results from a careless coworker or faulty safety equipment, your lawyer must prove the liable party was negligent —and therefore responsible for your harm or loss.
Serious and catastrophic injuries that can occur on an unsafe construction job site include:
- Traumatic brain injury -The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) define a traumatic brain injury as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or penetrating head injury. This type of injury disrupts normal brain function. A severe brain injury can result in placing your loved one in a skilled nursing facility. These types of facilities cost thousands of dollars per month, far exceeding your personal finances.
- Spinal cord injury -A spinal cord injury can result in paralysis, causing your loved one to depend upon a power chair for mobility. Other related costs include home modifications and accessible transportation. According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, such an injury’s lifetime costs can reach millions of dollars. When these costs result from negligence, the responsible party should pay the costs and not you.
- Broken bones -A fall or caught-in-between accident can result in more than one broken bone. Depending upon the type of break, you or a loved one may face future surgeries, extensive rehabilitation, and physical therapy. Broken limbs may make daily tasks difficult without assistance. Medical and personal care expenses associated with such injuries are just two examples of the types of compensation possible.
- Burns -An electrocution may leave a small burn mark on the skin yet cause excessive internal damage. Cardiac arrest is possible, along with seizures.
These are just a few examples of the types of injuries that can result from a construction site accident due to carelessness or safety violations. If you or a loved one experienced a life-changing injury or your loved one died due to negligence, contact us. Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, is unafraid to take on construction companies, property owners, and/or manufacturers of safety equipment whose negligence harms our clients.
Any evidence from the accident scene can help your lawyer.
Evidence that you or a loved one may posses include:
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Contact information for eyewitnesses
- Documentation of previous safety violations
- Medical records detailing your injuries
This is not a complete list of the types of evidence that may help your lawyer. Your lawyer needs the most evidence possible to build a strong compensation case.
Your lawyer can also investigate the accident to learn more about what went wrong. Liability may point to more than just one defendant, making your legal case more complex.
Another way you may help your case is to not discuss the details with coworkers who visit you. Limiting what you say and to whom you say it can protect your best interests. Information that travels —either by word-of-mouth or on social media —can become twisted and misconstrued. This may place your case in jeopardy if an insurance company tries to use the information to blame you for the accident.
A construction site accident lawyer can best serve your needs during this challenging time. Gather any evidence you may find among your belongings and contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today for a free case evaluation.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP is Ready to Get to Work on Your Brooklyn Construction Accident Case
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we work on a contingency basis. We understand that the time following an accident is one of the great financial stress for our clients. This is why we do not collect any fees unless and until we win compensation for you.
You cannot afford to not contact an attorney when you suffer harm due to no fault of your own. Your inability to work along with your growing medical costs is not fair. Pursuing compensation can serve as a form of justice and hold the responsible party accountable for your harm.
While civil cases take time, waiting for a fair settlement or award is best. Never settle for less than you deserve by speaking with an insurance company without a lawyer present.
You are not alone with a construction accident lawyer from Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, by your side. Our team is friendly, professional, and aggressive in fighting on behalf of our clients.
Construction sites are busy places, with moving machines and many opportunities for accidents. When safety measures fail, whether due to poor training or safety gear, you suffer unfair injuries. If your construction site manager or other party failed to protect you from harm, you may file a workers’ compensation or civil case.
A construction accident can be a life-changing event. You should not have to figure out how to find medical care and cover the costs on your own. If a construction site accident leaves you injured, you deserve fair and just compensation.
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we fight for construction accident victims. Almost 50 years of experience, we have helped numerous clients move on from injuries and losses they sustained on construction sites. When needed, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can also call upon our sister firm and its half-century of experience for help. That firm’s focus on workers’ comp and Social Security disability cases can give us a significant advantage when we’re fighting for the benefits you need. They’re online at https://www.foalaw.com/.
Time is of the essence. Act quickly to protect your chance for compensation. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, for a free case evaluation. Let a member of our team get to work for you as soon as possible.
Call Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, now at (877) 565-2993 or contact us online today. We require no deposit or retainer for our services. If we do not win your case, you do not pay. Take the first step toward possible justice for your Brooklyn construction accident by contacting Jacoby & Meyers, LLP without delay.
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