A 67-year-old construction manager was fatally injured after he was buried in debris from a wall that collapsed inside a partially completed building in Queens. According to a New York Daily News report, the fatal construction accident occurred in a building on Beach 67th St. near Ocean Avenue North in Arverne. Firefighters worked to free the victim from the rubble before medics attempted to revive him at the scene. The worker was then rushed to a local hospital where he died from his injuries. The cause of the accident is still under investigation. Workers were reportedly building a seven-story, 126-unit apartment building at the site.
Factors Leading to a Wall Collapse
Retaining walls play a crucial role on jobsites and in residential, commercial or industrial construction projects. They are used to hold soil in place in an outdoor or open area worksite and/or bear a load so a construction project can be safely completed. However, when these walls are not properly designed and built, their structural integrity might be compromised and there is the danger of a wall collapse. Walls that collapse at construction sites can lead to serious injuries, or even prove fatal, as we saw in this Queens construction accident case. In some cases, when a wall collapses, there may be multiple injuries and fatalities.
Retaining walls at construction sites must be designed properly and built to code. There are a number of reasons why retaining walls at construction sites collapse. They might be built with inferior or incorrect materials or with inadequate design and engineering. Such cases tend to stem from poor or even a lack of communication between the teams that are working on the project. The wall might not have been equipped with proper shoring components. In some cases, weather and water issues that weren’t properly planned for might also cause the collapse.
Worker safety is paramount on construction sites and should be a top priority for everyone involved. It is the job of construction companies, property owners, contractors and other parties involved in the project to communicate with one another so they are putting up retaining walls that are strong enough to withstand the conditions at the site. Construction workers, laborers and managers are not safe at a site where a retaining wall has been negligently (carelessly) engineered and constructed.
Injuries from these types of construction accidents may be catastrophic or even fatal. Some of the common injuries, depending on the nature and circumstances of the wall collapse, include head injures, spinal cord trauma, multiple broken bones, internal organ damage, etc.
Construction companies, contractors, property owners and other parties have a responsibility to ensure worker safety. Also, a large number of construction workers such as ironworkers, steelworkers, carpenters, masons, laborers or electricians tend to work from an elevation or height by using scaffolds, platforms, ladders etc. All workers must not only be provided with job and safety training in a language they can comprehend, but also with personal protective equipment such as fall safety devices (harnesses, safety nets, guardrails, etc.), goggles for eye protection, ear protection, steel-toed boots, hard hats, etc.
Since a large part of New York City’s construction workforce consists of immigrants, it is important for all workers and their families – documented and undocumented — to understand that they are entitled to all these protections and safeguards at work. They are also entitled to compensation when they suffer injuries on the job. An experienced New York City construction accident lawyer will be able to guide them through what can be a complex legal process and help them seek maximum compensation for their tremendous losses.
Workers who are injured in construction accidents may be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits, which typically cover medical and drug expenses and a portion of lost wages. Families of workers who are fatally injured on the job can seek death benefits as well. In addition, workers and their families may be able to file a third-party lawsuit for substantial money damages against a number of parties, and therefore have two sources of compensation. Third-party claims are filed against parties other than the employer or co-employees and may include general contractors, sub-contractors, building owners, managing agents, construction companies, etc.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you have been injured in a construction 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. 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 and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been 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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