Construction-related fatalities have doubled and injuries have increased by 17 percent as building activity has surged in New York City. According to a report in the New York Post, which looked at city Buildings Department records, eight people have lost their lives in construction accidents just in the first seven months of 2018 compared to four over the same time frame last year.
Also through July of this year, 469 people were injured in 457 construction accidents, Department of Buildings records show. The most recent construction fatalities happened inside a West Village residential building July 16 when a construction worker was electrocuted by a live wire.
Spike in Serious Injuries
Four days before that incident, a falling piece of scaffolding fatally struck a worker on the head in Morningside Heights in Manhattan. Federal statistics also show that construction is the most dangerous job in the city. Construction workers accounted for 37.5 percent of work-related deaths in New York City in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers also show falling debris in construction sites injured at least 50 people, a majority of them construction workers this year. In one case, a scaffold frame knocked out a construction superintendent at an Upper East Side worksite.
All these incidents are happening in the city where construction activity has boomed over the last year. In 2017 the Department of Buildings issued 168,243 construction permits, which was an all-time high. There were also a record 45,242 construction workers on different city projects. In his tenure, mayor Bill de Blasio has approved a number of safety initiatives.
In October, he approved a requirement for construction workers to log more training hours. In 2016, the city council moved to increase penalties for safety violations on construction sites and voted to hire more inspectors. The Buildings Department said it added 140 new inspectors and increased violation penalties. Also, a new law passed last year requires the department to post all construction-related fatalities and injuries online.
Immigrant Workers Affected
Study after study has also shown that immigrant workers, including undocumented workers, are disproportionately harmed in construction accidents. Because of language barriers, these workers don’t get the necessary job and safety training they need to do their work in a safe manner. Construction companies and contractors also tend to drop the ball when it comes to providing these workers, particularly if they are non-union, with the necessary fall safety prevention devices such as harnesses, guardrails and safety nets. With immigrant workers in particular in New York City, we see that falls from elevations are the main cause of catastrophic and fatal injuries.
Whether you are a U.S. worker, a documented or undocumented immigrant, if you have been injured in a New York construction accident, you have legal rights and options. If you have been injured, it is important that you report the incident right away to your employer and/or supervisor. File an incident report, which marks the time and location of the accident. Obtain contact information for co-workers and bystanders who may have witnessed your accident. Get an experienced construction accident lawyer on your side who can help preserve all crucial evidence in the case including objects like malfunctioning equipment that might have caused your injuries.
Construction Accident Lawsuits
Workers who are injured in construction accidents can seek workers’ compensation benefits. Families of workers who are killed in construction accidents may be able to seek death benefits as well. In addition, victims may be able to file a third-party claim against a party other than an employer or co-employees and seek compensation for their injuries, damages or losses. This allows victims and their families to have two sources of compensation available to them. Examples of third parties include general contractors, sub-contractors, building owners, property managers, etc.
If you or a loved one has 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.
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 seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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