Construction spending is up in New York, and not just in Manhattan. Trade experts indicate that the number of building permits has risen statewide to the highest levels since 2008, during the height of the last building boom. As construction spending rises, so does the number of construction-related accidents. According to information released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction work continues to be some of the most dangerous employment activity in America.
Some of the most common construction accidents include:
- Falling from heights or scaffolds – Falls account for more than one-third of all construction-related deaths. Sometimes, these accidents are caused by defective design or improper use of safety equipment, such as fall-restraints. Others are due to defective design or construction of scaffolding. Construction workers and their families should be aware that New York has a special provision – the Scaffold Law (N.Y. Labor Law §§ 240/241) – which imposes liability for elevation-related injuries on contractors and property owners engaged in construction, repair, or demolition work. Generally, the contributing fault of an injured worker, such as failure to use provided safety equipment or gross negligence, is not relevant in court.
- Being struck by a vehicle – Not only do construction workers have to be mindful of heavy equipment moving nearby, if the construction site is adjacent to a public highway, they must keep an eye out for drivers of cars and trucks. The rising number of distracted drivers has become a major safety issue for construction workers.
- Electrical shocks – Construction areas often have loose wires, unfinished electrical work, and other hazards. Damp or wet conditions can also increase the risk of electrical shock.
- Slips and falls – Construction is “messy” work, with loose boards thrown around and stray tools littering the work area. The terrain at many sites is uneven or broken. Such conditions cause many slip and fall accidents.
- Falling debris – Particularly in multi-story construction projects, there is danger of falling objects. While netting and other barriers are supposed to be in place, this may not always be the case. Furthermore, as was shown in a May 31, 2015 construction accident along New York City’s Madison Avenue, a net won’t do much to break the fall of a 12-ton industrial air conditioning unit.
In Many Cases, Damages Can Be Recovered
If you or a family member has suffered injuries in a construction accident, you should know that, in many cases, you could recover for the sorts of damages that you deserve. Depending upon the circumstances, these can include medical care, lost wages, temporary and permanent disability benefits, home health care, pain and suffering, and rehabilitation services. You should also know that the time to file a claim or institute a lawsuit is limited.
Experienced, Concerned Counsel is Key to Recovery
Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy has the experience, knowledge, and attitude required to assist you in reaching the best possible outcome regarding your construction accident injury. While most cases are settled short of trial, we also have the skills and tenacity required to take your case to a hearing or trial, if necessary.
We are one of the most highly respected law firms in upstate New York and the capital district. We have been representing clients for more than 125 years; our law practice has stood the test of time. Make the right call. Call us now at (518) 730-7270 or complete our online form. The E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy law firm has an attorney available to assist clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – even on holidays.