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New York City Construction Accident Attorney

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Working in the construction industry means you are faced with multiple safety hazards every day while on the job. Although there are safety standards in place to prevent injuries, accidents can still happen due to the carelessness or recklessness of others.

If you’ve been injured in a work-related accident, you may be able to pursue a legal claim against your employer or the manufacturer of any faulty equipment involved in the situation with the help of an experienced New York City construction accident attorney.

Whether your accident involved an unsafe scaffold or ladder, inadequate fall protection, improper training or a dangerous piece of construction equipment, it’s best to consult with a construction accident lawyer from the very beginning to get the legal representation you deserve. If you’re filing a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company, the attorneys at Torgan Cooper + Aaron can help you get fair compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other unfortunate factors that have resulted from the accident.

Why Hire Torgan Cooper + Aaron for Your Construction Accident Claim?

  • Our attorneys have a reputation for a courtroom strength that insurance companies recognize. We have secured over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
  • We will help improve your future after a construction accident. Our lawyers will put you first in everything that they do, pursuing your goals and addressing your needs each step of the way.
  • Our construction accident lawyers offer free initial case consultations, where you can learn about your rights at no cost or obligation. We can travel to you, if that’s more convenient.

Injured While Working on a New York Construction Site? You Have Options

Workers injured in construction accidents in New York have two options for making financial recoveries: workers’ compensation claim or filing a lawsuit against the legally responsible party. Workers’ compensation is a benefits program that pays an injured worker for occupational injuries and illnesses without requiring proof of fault.

While workers’ compensation benefits exist to cover injured workers’ immediate needs such as medical treatment, wages, and long-term benefits, it is often not nearly enough in cases involving significant injury.  Very often, serious construction accidents are the direct result of an unsafe work site or negligence. In New York, general contractors and building owners may be held liable for accidents if they involved negligence or a labor law violation.  Depending upon the circumstances, you or your loved one may have an opportunity to seek compensation outside the workers’ comp system.

In certain cases, if a worker is injured as a result of a defective product, such as equipment or tools, they may have the option to file a product liability claim.  In these cases, claimants must show that the product was defective or dangerous and that the defect caused their injury.  In product liability claims, the manufacture or distributor of the product may be legally responsible.

What if You Weren’t a Worker?

If you were injured while walking or driving through a New York City construction site, and not as a construction worker, you are not eligible for benefits through the workers’ compensation system. Instead, you can bring a lawsuit against one or more parties for negligently causing your accident or injury. The construction company or another party may be financially responsible for your expenses. The qualified New York City personal injury lawyer at Torgan Cooper + Aaron can review your legal options as an injured civilian during a free case evaluation.

How Can a New York City Construction Accident Lawyer Help?

It is important to trust a construction accident attorney with your case after you are injured in a construction accident in New York City. If we determine that you have a case outside the workers’ compensation system, the building owner, general contractor, or product manufacturer can be held liable for your injuries. In this case, the insurance company of these entities will ultimately be responsible for paying out your claim. Without the help of a construction accident lawyer in New York City, you may be in a position for an insurance company to take advantage of you. Insurance companies often use bad-faith tactics to protect their own profits, such as devaluing claims and rejecting valid cases. An attorney can prevent these tactics and help you build a compelling claim by completing many tasks on your behalf, such as:

  • Investigating your construction accident
  • Searching for signs of employer negligence
  • Gathering evidence and hiring experts
  • Answering all of your family’s legal questions
  • Properly evaluating your claim’s value
  • Pursuing maximum financial compensation

Most construction accident lawsuits in New York settle without having to go to trial. If an insurance company does not offer an amount that we deem fair and appropriate for your losses, however, we have are ready, willing, and able to take the case to trial for better results. Our lawyers can help you level the playing field against a negligent building owner or another powerful defendant in New York City.

Types of Construction Accidents

Accidents can happen anywhere, so it is important to be aware of your surroundings. Construction sites are a high risk for accidents and serious injuries and fatal accidents are common. There are countless ways a worker may get hurt on the job, but there are a number of regularly reported accidents, including:

  • Falls – This makes up about 35 percent of all construction accidents.
  • Falling debris – Including tools and materials.
  • Electrocutions – From exposed wires, downed power lines, etc.
  • Explosions/burns – Exposed wires could spark explosions or fires.
  • Slip and fall accidents Construction sites are full of materials and other objects that may cause someone to trip.
  • Machinery accidents – Large and dangerous machinery is often used on construction sites which could cause accidents.
  • Entrapment – Getting trapped in between materials is common and could cause injury.
  • Vehicle accidents – Especially when working on a highway where drivers are speeding or distracted.
  • Overexertion – Often caused by working long hours in the heat.

No matter how careful you may be, an accident on your job site may occur. If you or your loved one were injured, it’s important to contact a construction accident lawyer in NYC. The team at Torgan Cooper + Aaron can help. Contact us today.

Common Construction Accident Injuries

Our New York City construction accidents attorneys have experience representing clients with many different types of construction accident injuries. We can help you after suffering a catastrophic injury that takes you out of work or represent your family during a wrongful death claim for the unexpected loss of a loved one. Torgan Cooper + Aaron can help you pursue the compensation that you deserve for any type of injury or illness from a construction accident, including:

  • Bone fractures
  • Crush injuries
  • Traumatic amputations
  • Severe burns
  • Chemical burns
  • Electrocutions or electric shocks
  • Lacerations
  • Loss of hearing or vision
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Asbestos-related diseases

These are examples of common construction site injuries. Construction accidents can easily be catastrophic, meaning that they impact a victim for life. A defective piece of machinery, for example, can lead to the loss of a limb and permanent disability. Our construction accident attorneys can represent you during a construction accident lawsuit in New York City involving any type of injury – major or minor.

Who Is Liable for Construction Accidents in NYC?

The construction industry is heavily regulated in New York and many special labor laws exist to protect construction workers. Most injured workers are covered by workers’ compensation and will have access to benefits. However, if an injury is caused by negligence or a violation of a safety violation, the injured party may be able to pursue a case outside of the workers’ compensation system. In New York, building owners and general contractors are responsible for maintaining a safe worksite for constructions workers and, in most cases, are ultimately held liable when accidents and injuries occur. However, liability may fall elsewhere depending upon the situation and the specific labor law or industrial code involved.

New York Labor Law Section 200: This section addresses the general duty to protect the health and safety of employees at construction sites as it pertains to the sites themselves and the machinery and equipment contained within:

(1) All places to which this chapter applies shall be so constructed, equipped, arranged, operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health and safety of all persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places. All machinery, equipment, and devices in such places shall be so placed, operated, guarded, and lighted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to all such persons.

New York Labor Law Section 240: Known as the “Scaffold Law,” Section 240 regulates the safety of scaffolding, ladders, hoists and other equipment that are used in construction, particularly those used at heights.

(1) All contractors and owners and their agents, except owners of one and two-family dwellings who contract for but do not direct or control the work, in the erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of a building or structure shall furnish or erect, or cause to be furnished or erected for the performance of such labor, scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, and other devices which shall be so constructed, placed and operated as to give proper protection to a person so employed.

(2) Scaffolding or staging more than twenty feet from the ground or floor, swung or suspended from an overhead support or erected with stationary supports, except scaffolding wholly within the interior of a building and covering the entire floor space of any room therein, shall have a safety rail of suitable material properly attached, bolted, braced or otherwise secured, rising at least thirty-four inches above the floor or main portions of such scaffolding or staging and extending along the entire length of the outside and the ends thereof, with only such openings as may be necessary for the delivery of materials. Such scaffolding or staging shall be so fastened as to prevent it from swaying from the building or structure.

(3) All scaffolding shall be so constructed as to bear four times the maximum weight required to be dependent therefrom or placed thereon when in use.

New York Labor Law Section 241: This section establishes specific safety measures and rules for constructions sites.

(6) All areas in which construction, excavation or demolition work is being performed shall be so constructed, shored, equipped, guarded, arranged, operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection and safety to the persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places. The commissioner may make rules to carry into effect the provisions of this subdivision, and the owners and contractors and their agents for such work, except owners of one and two-family dwellings who contract for but do not direct or control the work, shall comply therewith.

The specific rules made by the commissioner are contained in the Industrial Code and can be found in New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (CRR – NY) Title 12 Part 23.  These are quite extensive and regulate everything from protection from general hazards and sanitation to electrical hazards, safety railings, and lighting.

As you can see, construction accidents cases in New York City can be extremely complex. Those who have been seriously injured on a construction site should seek the counsel of a New York City construction accident attorney with experience handling these types of cases and a proven track record of success. At Torgan Cooper + Aaron, we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured construction workers and can handle any case, no matter how complex. Some of our recent successes include:

$11.9 million for a construction worker who fell from a ladder and suffered a serious spinal injury.

$4.75 million for a painter who fell from a suspended scaffold and suffered multiple fractures. The scaffold was not properly erected and he was not provided with a proper safety harness. 

$4.1 million for a union laborer whose leg was fractured by a steel plate after the hoist system broke.  

$3.5 million for a laborer was injured after being instructed to lift and move a piece of machinery weighing nearly 600 pounds. 

$2.8 million for a construction site supervisor who fell from a ladder and fractured his leg and ankle. Our client was not provided any safety equipment.  

$2.8 million for an undocumented construction worker who fell from a hanging scaffold while removing brick from an unstable wall without proper safety harness.

$2.7 million for a 17 -year-old undocumented worker who fell from a defective scaffold. The contractor in charge had provided a scaffold without guardrails. 

Compensation for Construction Accidents

Your construction accident injury claim could result in financial compensation for many different losses that you and your family have experienced and will continue to suffer in the future due to a serious injury. Part of our commitment as NYC construction accident lawyers is to pursue the best possible financial outcome for each case. We can use proven and aggressive legal strategies to argue for the financial compensation that we believe your family deserves.

You may be eligible for a settlement or jury verdict that pays for the following losses:

  • Economic damages. Economic damages refer to the financial side of your accident, such as hospital bills, ambulance fees, surgeries, medical devices, medications, live-in care, disability costs, lost wages, property damage and legal fees.
  • Noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages are the intangible losses you suffered in the accident, such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, loss of consortium, lost quality of life, fear, and inconvenience.
  • Punitive damages. Punitive damages are only awarded in cases in New York that involve a defendant who committed especially egregious or negligent acts. A judge must deem it appropriate to punish the defendant with punitive damages due to circumstances of aggravation or outrage, such as spite, malice, or conduct that is willful or wanton.

Once you accept a settlement from an insurance company for a construction injury lawsuit, you cannot renegotiate for a better amount, even if you discover that your injuries are more serious than you originally thought or that you will need additional medical services in the future. Thus, it is important to work with a construction accident attorney you can trust from the very beginning of your case to ensure a fair recovery. A lawyer can make sure you and your family have what you need for a brighter future.

What Is the Deadline for Filing a Construction Accident Lawsuit in New York?

Consult with a construction accident attorney in New York City as soon as possible after a construction accident that leaves you or a loved one with a serious injury. New York has a deadline known as a statute of limitations on all personal injury lawsuits. This deadline gives you only three years from the date of your construction accident or of injury discovery to file a lawsuit. If you wish to bring a wrongful death claim, your family has two years from the date of the death to file instead. Two years is also the statute of limitations on bringing a workers’ compensation claim in New York.

Contact a Construction Accident Attorney in New York City Today

Understanding the process of filing a claim or building a case after any type of construction accident can be difficult. Our construction accident lawyers at Torgan Cooper + Aaron are here to provide the legal guidance you need during this trying time. Since 1987, our construction accident attorneys have fought for the rights of our clients in throughout New York City and the surrounding areas who have suffered from various types of personal injury cases.

We’re here to earn your trust and help you acquire the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our knowledgeable and experienced construction accident attorneys in NYC.