Construction is a highly risky profession for those who work in it. The conditions under which construction workers have to perform their jobs can lead to a variety of debilitating injuries, or even death, if proper safety precautions are not followed by those present at the site. Because of the dangers involved in construction work, New York has enacted several laws and regulations for the purpose of protecting workers subject to the special risks inherent in all types of construction work. These include iron work, electrical work, masonry, demolition, repair, cleaning and painting. Under New York law, workers at construction sites can recover damages for numerous types of accidents, such as electrocution, falling from a ladder or scaffold, being struck by a falling object which should have been secured, falling due to scattered construction debris or materials, insufficient lighting, lack of handrails, or presence of foreign substances.
Although workers are prohibited from suing their employers for on the job accidents, workers who are injured at construction sites may take legal action against several potential defendants including the property or building owner, their agents, the general contractor, and any subcontractors, architects, and manufacturers. Workers injured in construction site accidents may be entitled to recover various types of damages including pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, loss of pension, loss in health insurance, loss in the accumulation value of an annuity, and loss in the accumulation in the value of a pension.
Some of the laws and regulations put in place to protect construction workers provide for strict liability (meaning the injured worker cannot be found partially responsible for his injuries), while others allow for an assessment of comparative fault (meaning the injured worker could be found partially at fault for his injuries, and his damages would thus be reduced by that percentage of fault). All of the laws and regulations which are put in place to protect the rights of injured construction workers are useless if you don’t have a competent lawyer who knows how to utilize the laws in support of your case to obtain all of the monetary damages to which you are entitled. You need a law firm with extensive experience in prosecuting construction site accident cases on behalf of both documented and undocumented workers and are prepared to take your case as far as necessary to protect your interests and obtain the settlement you deserve. An injured worker, regardless of his or her immigration status, is not prohibited from filing for workers compensation or making a claim for pain and suffering.
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of an accident at a construction or labor site you should immediately consult with an experienced attorney. Often, time is of the essence and the call you make to the right attorney can be crucial to your recovering the compensation you deserve.