New York Construction Accidents Attorneys Representing Injured Construction Workers and their Families
Injury and death have long been haunting the New York Construction Industry. Nearly 30 workers died building the Brooklyn Bridge. 5 erecting the Empire State Building. 60 during the construction of the old World Trade Center. Despite great efforts in recent years to prevent on the job accidents, city records show that construction sites are less safe today than they were seven years ago, when a wave of accidents led to rule changes intended to make work sites safer.
According to a report last month from the de Blasio administration, the number of construction-related accidents hit 500 in fiscal year 2016, compared to 314 the previous year — a 59 percent jump and a more than 200 percent increase from 2012. By the city’s count, 11 people died on construction sites in 2015, up from eight the previous year and four in 2011. What’s important, experts say, is that most injuries and deaths are preventable.
What Causes Construction Accidents in New York
The reason injury and death persist is fairly straightforward; fixing the problem is not. Most serious construction accidents are related to workers falling from heights. To prevent those and other injuries resulting from excavation, concrete work or electrical installation, New York City has some of the strictest safety rules in the country. But many contractors and workers on the job are not following them, despite incentives and punishments intended to compel them to: fines, violations, license revocations, work stoppages, insurance premium increases or even criminal prosecution.
Lack of enforcement is a big contributor to the problem. Understaffed regulators are not able to catch violations until after an injury is reported.
Union vs. Non-Union Construction Site Safety
There has been much debate over whether union-run sites are safer than non-union ones, the data do not offer a definitive answer. However, according to OSHA 78% of the accidents in New York are attributed to non-union companies. Theoretically, these non-union companies could be performing 78% of the total work, meaning they are no more dangerous than their counterparts. There is no good way to obtain an accurate statistic, and so relying on that OSHA figure to make broad generalizations is a bit problematic. Many large job sites today contain both union and nonunion labor. The New York City Department of Buildings believes the real factor is size: Smaller job sites operate with little scrutiny, allowing less-sophisticated contractors to gamble with their employees’ well-being.
Compensation in New York Construction Accidents
The state’s injury compensation industry is responsible for awarding hundreds of millions of dollars annually to accident victims and their families through two pipelines: the official workers’ compensation system and civil court.
In the workers’ compensation system, employers pay premiums based on the likelihood that their workers will be injured or killed. A typical construction firm might pay premiums of about 2% of a project’s total cost, according to Kevin McBride of Alliant Insurance Services. In return, their employees agree to take cash awards rather than sue. The payouts are oddly specific. Losing a pinky finger, for example, nets $12,130 in New York state, while a foot is worth $73,995, according to nonprofit news organization ProPublica. In the case of a death, a family can either receive a stipend based on wages or a $50,000 lump sum, depending on the circumstances. Sometimes the state throws in $6,000 for funeral expenses.
State Labor Law 240, known as the Scaffold Law allows to holds third parties, such as general contractors and owners, responsible for most gravity-related injuries unless they can prove every possible safety precaution was taken—which is rare—these cases typically result in payouts of a few million dollars, and have been known to top $20 million.
Some experts believe that while it has plenty of rules, what is really needed, is a culture shift inside companies to alter the way they and their employees think about safety. For now, many willfully disregard it.
Contacting New York Construction Accident Lawyer
If you or your loved one have been injured or died in a construction accident in New York contact New York Construction Accidents Attorneys of The Rybak Firm, PLLC. Our Accident Lawyers will help to guide you through the complexities of the claim process and will fight to obtain the maximum possible compensation. No case is too small or to big. We approach each and every case with the same commitment. We provide Free Transportation to and from our offices. If you’re unable to travel, our New York Accident Attorneys will travel to you whether it’s in a Hospital or at your home. Complete a ‘Contact Us’ form below or call 718-307-5554 24hours/day for a free consultation.
Accident Lawyer Near Me
Our offices are located in Brooklyn, NY. We serve the whole NYC Metro Area and represent clients in every borough of New York City. Our New York Construction Accident Lawyer will travel to you if you are unable to meet at our offices due to an injury. We also provide free transportation to and from our offices.
Our office address is:
1810 Voorhies Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11235