Construction Accident Law
If you or a loved one have been injured in a construction accident, Goldstein & Goldstein, LLP, is here to help. As personal injury and accident attorneys based in the Hudson Valley region of New York state, we often represent individuals who are hurt on the job at construction sites.
Construction is a very large, busy and potentially dangerous industry; people are at high risk for job site accidents such as scaffolding collapses, ladder accidents, falls of all kinds, motor vehicle accidents, forklift injuries, electrocution, machinery accidents, injuries sustained from fallen objects, crane accidents and numerous other on-site risks. In most construction accident cases, the law holds the owner (not the worker) responsible — regardless of whose fault the accident maybe because of the inherent hazards of the workplace. For example, an employee who misplaced a ladder or piece of scaffolding, and fell as a result, may still be able to collect compensation.
New York state law permits employees to sue contractors, architects, manufacturers, property owners, subcontractors and other people who are owners or who are in positions of responsibility/authority for injuries or wrongful deaths that occur on job sites.
Workers’ compensation does benefit injured employees, but in many cases, does not sufficiently compensate them for their injuries and losses. Therefore, an employee must look to other alternatives to seek the compensation rightly deserved.
If you think you may have a case, it’s ALWAYS worth a call. Remember: we don’t get paid unless you do! We can help make sure that you receive reimbursement of medical fees, pain and suffering, and future wage loss, as well as workers’ compensation benefits if appropriate. Here are some frequently asked questions:
If I am hurt on the job, can I sue my employer?
The general rule is that if you are hurt on the job, even if your employer or co-employee was responsible, you can collect workers’ compensation, but you cannot sue your employer or co-employee for negligence.
Are there any exceptions?
There are three major exceptions:
- If you are injured as a result of a fall from a height
- If you are injured by a dangerous or defective piece of machinery or product
- If you are injured as the result of a nonemployee’s negligence
Fall From A Height
New York State Labor Law requires that an owner or contractor provide certain safety devices, such as scaffolding, harnesses and proper ladders for workers at a job site who are working at an elevated height. If the owner and/or contractor fails to do so, and the worker is injured, the owner and/or contractor is automatically liable for any injuries and pain and suffering. In this case, a lawsuit can be brought against the owner and/or contractor of the construction site. This is not limited to new construction but could include general repairs and improvements such as roofing, replacing windows, etc.
Dangerous Or Defective Piece Of Machinery Or Product
Often times an employee is injured when a piece of machinery breaks, collapses, explodes or does not have the proper guarding or safety devices on it. In these cases, the manufacturer of the machine or the company that is responsible for the maintenance of the machine or equipment may be liable.
Negligence Of A Nonemployee
Many times the negligence of a nonemployee may cause an injury. Construction sites tend to be very busy, active workplaces, with several suppliers, service providers, and subcontractors often working together in tight quarters. In such an environment, if materials or equipment are not stowed properly after use, or not handled safely on the construction site, it is easy to see how a nonemployee’s actions can create a dangerous condition that can cause serious injury.
How do I know if I have a case?
The first thing you should do is call a qualified attorney who has extensive experience in handling construction accident cases. At Goldstein & Goldstein, LLP, we can usually tell you whether or not you have a potential case merely by discussing it with you during a brief telephone conversation, free of charge.
You should always meet the lawyer who will actually handle your case to make sure you feel comfortable. At Goldstein & Goldstein, LLP, we treat our clients like family. We are a father-daughter team with many happy clients who can speak to our integrity, our expertise and our compassion.