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Construction AccidentMay 15, 2024

Rise in NYC Construction Accident Fatalities: What Does This Mean for You?

The rise in construction accident fatalities in NYC should be a concern for everyone, especially those involved in the construction industry, workers, and city officials. Workers should be more vigilant about safety protocols, such as wearing protective gear, following proper procedures, and reporting unsafe conditions. 

For construction companies, neglecting safety not only endangers lives but can also lead to legal and financial consequences. City officials must work closely with regulatory bodies to identify areas of improvement and implement policies that prioritize worker safety. With more accidents, there may be an increase in legal cases and insurance claims related to construction accidents. It's a reminder that safety should always be a top priority in any construction project, and everyone involved has a role to play in preventing accidents and protecting lives.

Studies Show a Rise in NYC Construction Accident Fatalities

A recent report from NYCOSH, based on 2019 data, shows a 10 percent increase in construction worker deaths in New York City, marking the third consecutive year of rising fatalities. Although New York State saw a 5 percent decrease in construction fatalities overall (58 deaths in 2018 compared to 55 in 2019), the trend in NYC is concerning. Falls from heights, which are largely preventable, were identified as the leading cause of fatal construction accidents in both New York State and NYC. 

Other common causes of construction deaths include electrocutions, being struck by falling objects, and being trapped between equipment or machinery. OSHA safety violations were found at 100 percent of the sites where construction worker fatalities occurred, indicating preventable deaths often resulting from employer negligence. However, an earlier NYCOSH report revealed a significant decrease in OSHA safety inspections over the past 20 years, alongside a dramatic underfunding of OSHA's budget.

What it Means for Construction Workers

The rise in construction fatalities has serious implications for workers. Workers face a greater chance of being injured or killed on the job. The rise in fatalities suggests that construction sites are becoming more hazardous. Workers should seek additional training to improve their safety knowledge and skills, particularly in areas like fall protection, equipment operation, and hazard recognition. 

They may need to advocate more strongly for their rights to a safe workplace. This could involve union involvement, participating in safety committees, or filing complaints with regulatory bodies if necessary. The rise in fatalities can also have an emotional impact on workers. Witnessing accidents or losing colleagues can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and a sense of vulnerability among workers.

Seeking Compensation After a Construction Accident

Seeking compensation after a construction accident is crucial for workers who have been injured or affected. After any kind of accident, you should make sure to: 

  • Seek immediate medical attention for any injuries sustained
  • Documenting any injuries
  • Report the accident to your employer or supervisor as soon as possible
  • Collect evidence related to the accident, including photographs of the scene, witness statements, medical records, and any documentation of safety violations

If the accident was caused by negligence or misconduct, consider consulting a personal injury lawyer specializing in construction accidents. They can evaluate your case, determine liability, and guide you through the legal process. Cooperate with any investigations conducted by regulatory agencies, such as OSHA, as their findings can support your claim.

What if a Pedestrian is Involved in a Construction Accident?

If a pedestrian is involved in a construction accident, the situation becomes more complex, as it involves not only the injured pedestrian but also potentially multiple parties associated with the construction site. The police will likely investigate the scene and create an accident report. 

The injured pedestrian may file a personal injury claim against the responsible party/parties or their insurance company. The pedestrian may seek legal assistance from a personal injury lawyer experienced in construction accidents to navigate the legal process. Pedestrians involved in construction accidents should prioritize their health and safety, seek appropriate legal guidance, and ensure they receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

Workers Comp Vs. Personal Injury Cases

There’s a number of ways workers comp and personal injury cases can differ:

Workers' Compensation:

  • They may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
  • Workers' comp covers medical expenses and lost wages regardless of fault.
  • The process is typically quicker and less adversarial than a personal injury lawsuit.
  • However, compensation is limited and doesn't include damages for pain and suffering.
  • Workers' comp benefits are typically the exclusive remedy, meaning the worker can't sue their employer for negligence.

Personal Injury Case:

  • If a pedestrian is not a construction worker or if the accident involves negligence by a third party (e.g., a contractor, property owner), they may file a personal injury lawsuit.
  • A personal injury case allows the pedestrian to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.
  • To succeed, the plaintiff must prove the defendant's negligence caused the accident.
  • The process can be lengthy and involve negotiation or litigation.
  • Compensation is not limited and may be significantly higher than workers' comp benefits.

In summary, workers' compensation benefits are available to injured workers regardless of fault, while personal injury cases allow non-workers to seek compensation for negligence. The choice between the two depends on the circumstances of the accident and the desired outcome of the injured party.

When Should You Consult an Attorney in Construction Accident Claims?

It's advisable to consult an attorney in construction accident claims if the accident results in serious injury, death, or disputes over liability. If your workers' compensation claim is denied or you're not receiving sufficient benefits, an attorney can help appeal the decision or pursue other avenues for compensation. 

Similarly, if the accident involves a third party not covered by workers' comp, an attorney can assist in filing a personal injury lawsuit.

The Case Handler's Role

If you've been involved in a construction accident and need legal assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to The Case Handler. With our extensive experience in handling cases like yours, we have successfully won millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. 

For more information, visit our website or call our office directly. You can reach us by phone at 855-522-0539. During your consultation, one of our experienced attorneys will review the details of your case, discuss your options, and provide expert guidance on the next steps to take. 

Don't wait to seek the compensation you deserve – contact us today for the help you need.

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