Two workers sustained serious injuries in a construction accident in Harlem when a wall collapsed and pulled down scaffolding. According to an AMNY news report, the collapse trapped workers standing on the scaffolding while doing demolition work at an old church the afternoon of March 12. The property was at Madison Avenue and 126th Street in Harlem. The workers had to be pulled out from the debris by firefighters. They were listed in serious condition at a local hospital, but officials said they are expected to survive.
According to fire officials, the men were about 25 to 30 feet off the ground when a brick wall collapsed onto the scaffolding causing it to crumble to the ground. The demolition was being conducted at the site of the former Metropolitan Community United Methodist Church, which had been at that location since 1871. Efforts to save the church failed because the building was crumbling.
Four years ago, the ceiling partially collapsed and the rubble had been on the sanctuary floor since. The church was to be replaced by a residential building. The demolition company was reportedly given a permit on Nov. 8, which expires in May. Officials with the New York City Department of Buildings were at the scene to evaluate whether any laws or work safety rules were violated at the construction site.
Recent Building Collapses
This incident is one of several building collapses in the past few months in New York City, some of which proved fatal for construction workers. In November, a worker was fatally injured when a wall collapsed at a demolition site on the Lower East Side as workers were tearing down a synagogue. Two weeks ago, a worker at a Queens site was killed when a wall collapsed on him. On Feb. 27, three workers were injured when a scaffold collapsed in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In that case, high winds pulled several floors of the structure down.
There are a number of reasons why walls and structures collapse in a construction site accident. In some cases, these structures may be built with improper materials or with inadequate design or engineering. Poor communication between the teams working on the project may also be a factor. The wall may not have been equipped with proper shoring components. Weather and water issues that weren’t properly planned for may also cause the collapse.
Protecting Your Rights
If you have been injured in a construction accident, it is important that you take several steps to protect your legal rights. First, make sure you get prompt medical attention, treatment and care for your injuries. Report the incident to your employer and/or supervisor and get a copy of the report for your records. Preserve as much evidence as possible at the scene. Contact an experienced New York City construction accident lawyer who will help protect your rights every step of the way.
Building owners and managing agents and contractors have a duty to provide their workers with protective gear such as hard hats, harnesses, nets, goggles for eye safety, steel-toed boots and other equipment that helps them stay safe on the job. They also have a duty to provide workers with job and safety training in a language they can understand.
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. 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 thus 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 suffered injuries 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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1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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