Construction Accidents and Eye Injuries: Steps to Take

Eye injuries are unfortunately an extremely common occurrence in New York City’s construction sites. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the rate of eye injuries in the construction industry is significantly higher compared to any other occupation. These statistics show that, on average, more than 10,000 construction workers and laborers — including welders, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, ironworkers and steelworkers — suffer injuries to their eyes while on the job across the United States.

Understanding the Types of Construction Injuries

There are a number of different types of eye injuries that workers may potentially suffer at New York construction sites including, but not limited to, injuries that are caused by:

• Tools and parts/pieces of equipment
• Debris, dust and other airborne particles generated by construction-related activity such as grinding, drilling, welding, sawing, woodworking, etc.
• Exposure to toxic or other harmful chemicals and substances
• Exposure to extreme heat or ultraviolet or infrared radiation

The complications that such eye injuries may lead to range from irritation or inflammation to detached retina, corneal scratch, burn, damage to various parts of the eyes such as tear ducts and lens, and orbital fracture. The damage to the victim’s eyes depend on the nature or severity of his or her injuries, and in some cases, workers may end up suffering partial or total vision loss.

What Causes Construction Site Eye Injuries

One of the main causes of eye injuries at New York construction sites is the lack of personal protective equipment such as goggles, face shields, eye guards, full-face respirators and welding helmets. These types of safety equipment have proven effective in reducing eye injuries suffered by workers across the nation. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that in addition to being provided with these personal protective equipment, workers should receive safety training and training with regard to how to protect themselves as well as how to use this safety equipment. In many instances, construction companies and contractors fail to deploy safety measures such as putting up tarps and barriers to prevent the spread of airborne particles in the worksite.

What Steps Can You Take After an Eye Injury?

If you have suffered an eye injury in a construction accident, here are some important steps you can take to protect your health and your rights:

• Call for emergency medical help. See a doctor and get the treatment you need as soon as possible. Be sure you are following your doctor’s orders with regard to treatment.
• Report your eye injury to your employer as soon as possible.
• Stay away from social media or from posting details about your injury and accident until you injury claim is settled, and you are paid.
• Maintain a record of medical documents and invoices relating to expenses you have incurred as a result of your eye injury.
• Contact an experienced New York City construction accident lawyer right away. Your lawyer can provide you with information about workers’ compensation benefits and tell you if you have a third-party claim against a party other than your employer.

Compensation for Eye Injuries

The eyes are an extremely fragile part of the body. The best way to prevent serious damage after an injury is to get prompt medical attention. Even when you do so, there are times when eye injuries may permanently affect your vision or even your appearance. As a result, victims may face additional challenges such as social isolation or emotional strain on top of the physical pain and discomfort.

Workers who have been injured in fall-related accidents may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, which covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. In addition, workers may also be able to file a third-party claim against a negligent (careless) party other than the employer or co-employees for significant monetary damages and have two sources of compensation available for their losses.

Examples of third parties include, but are not limited to, general contractors, construction companies, sub-contractors, building owners, managing agents etc. In cases where a worker dies from injuries suffered on the job, surviving family members may seek death benefits through workers’ compensation and/or file a wrongful death claim against a third party who may be held liable for the fatal incident.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

If you have suffered injuries in a construction-related accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.

Our law firm recovered $3,375,576 for a construction worker (an undocumented immigrant) who was injured on the job — one of the highest construction case settlements in New York that year. Our law firm also recovered $3,000,000 for a man who fell and suffered two broken legs when he walked into an open elevator shaft. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury, lead poisoning and medical malpractice cases including, brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) and cerebral palsy cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

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