Falls Into Holes and Pits on Construction Sites
Working in the construction industry is not only physically demanding, but can also very dangerous if strict safety protocols are not instituted and followed. According to the United States Department of Labor, there are four types of construction accidents that are especially hazardous. The notorious “fatal four” are falls, a worker being struck by an object, electrocutions, and “caught-in-between” accidents in which a worker is trapped under a collapsing structure or within a heavy piece of equipment. The most deadly, and common, of these accidents are fall accidents. Falls often take the form of a trip and fall, a fall from a ladder or scaffolding, or a fall into a hole or pit on a construction site. In recognition of this reality, New York is among the most progressive states in the nation when it comes to construction worker safety, having instituted a rigorous scheme of worker safety laws specifically designed to protect workers from elevation and gravity-related fall accidents on construction sites.
At Jesse Minc Law Group, our Bronx construction fall accident lawyers are intimately familiar with these special construction accident laws, and have won millions for injured workers who have been hurt in construction site accidents involving violations of these important safety rules throughout New York City. If we take your case, we will use these special rules to your advantage to ensure that you and your family are awarded compensation to allow you to move on with your lives after a catastrophic construction accident. We have the tools, legal knowledge, and resources to make sure that no stone is left unturned, and that your case – and every dime of compensation to which you are entitled – is properly proven to stand up both at trial and on appeal.
Some construction accident claimants are limited to the benefits available to them under New York workers’ compensation laws. This limit – known as the “exclusive remedy” rule under Section 11 of the New York Workers’ Compensation Law – only applies where the injured worker’s employer is solely responsible for a construction accident. The good news for injured workers who file workers’ compensation claims is that they do not need to prove fault against their employers in order to receive full paid medical care and replacement of any lost wages occasioned by a construction injury.
The amount of workers’ compensation benefits available to an injured worker will vary based upon the degree of disability that they suffer, and classifications range from temporary total disability, to temporary partial disability, to permanent partial disability, and all the way through permanent total disability benefits. The less encouraging news is that workers’ compensation often does not fully compensate injured workers, or the families of workers killed on the job, for their injuries. For example, there is no payment for a worker’s pain and suffering or spousal loss of consortium in a traditional workers’ compensation case. For this reason, if you are injured in a Bronx construction accident, you should always consult with expert construction accident lawyers to explore your rights to compensation beyond what the workers’ compensation system can offer.Injured Workers Can Obtain Additional Compensation for Construction Accidents Involving Falls
Fortunately, workers who are injured when they fall into an open hole or pit on a construction site can use New York Labor Law §§ 240 and 241(6) to obtain compensation in addition to that provided under workers’ compensation. These important statutes provide construction workers with additional legal protection in specific situations, such as falls on ladders or injuries caused by a failure to provide proper safety equipment, as well as falls into open holes or pits. For example, under Labor Law § 240, if there exists an open hole or a pit on a job site that is unguarded or uncovered, and a worker who is working in the vicinity of that hole or pit falls into it, the injured worker can file a successful personal injury lawsuit against the owner and general contractor of the job site if he or she proves that a safety device that either failed or was not provided could have prevented this construction accident. Under Labor Law § 241(6), which incorporates Rule 23 of the New York Industrial Code, if this same accident happens to a worker, the worker can point to a violation of Rule 23-1.7(b)(i) of the Industrial Code, which provides that all hazardous openings (e.g., large holes or pits on construction sites) must be guarded and covered, to hold the owner and general contractor responsible for his or her accident and obtain compensation from them in court.
Victims whose construction site accidents fall within the parameters of these statutes should quickly retain a construction fall accident attorney in the Bronx who will begin gathering the proper evidence from the very start, and will help the injured worker identify the proper defendants to sue in their Bronx personal injury lawsuit. In contrast to claims for workers’ compensation benefits, it may be possible for a person injured in a construction site accident (such as a fall into a hole or pit) to receive damages for pain and suffering, as well as for medical expenses and lost earnings. Our firm will go above and beyond for injured construction workers, and will hire expert engineers to prove that a safety violation caused a construction accident, and will hire doctors and financial professionals to demonstrate the extent of our injured clients’ damages and how they will affect their lives into the future in a manner that jurors can understand, and that the defendants’ insurance adjusters will fear.
While some of the economic damages, such as medical costs and lost wages, in a Bronx construction accident case may overlap with a workers’ compensation award or settlement, there are significant limitations on these benefits in an ordinary workers’ compensation case that do not exist in a personal injury lawsuit brought under the New York Labor Law. Importantly, in many cases, only medical expenses from a designated or approved medical provider are covered under workers’ compensation, and lost earnings are often not paid at 100%. In a Bronx construction accident lawsuit, however, payment for the full amount of past and future medical expenses, and compensation for full past and future lost wages can be awarded to an injured construction worker.
For example, if a construction worker was in a union and is disabled from working due to a construction fall accident, we will hire an economist to analyze the injured worker’s past earnings history, as well as his or her union benefits both at the time of the accident and into the future. The economist will then create an economic loss projection detailing not only the wages and benefits that the injured worker has already endured, but also the value of the entirety of the injured worker’s future earnings capacity, including with respect to their full union benefits (such as health insurance, vacation pay, and pension benefits), and will adjust these figures upward to account for raises and increases in benefits that the workers could have expected to enjoy had he or she not become disabled. This is just one example of how the Bronx personal injury lawyers at the Jesse Minc Law Group can help you recover what you have lost if you are injured. Call us today to learn more about how we can fight for you and your family if you are injured.Contact Our Bronx Construction Fall Accident Attorneys Today For a Free Consultation
A fall at a construction site can cause devastating injuries to a worker, rendering him or her totally unable to work and earn a living for their family for weeks, months, or even a lifetime. If you or a loved one has been injured in a fall into a hole or pit on a construction site, you need to speak to a lawyer about your case as soon as possible. Proper investigation is always required in order to preserve valuable evidence, including photographs of the accident scene or video surveillance of the events leading to the accident, and the opportunity to properly investigate a claim will fade with time. Additionally, paperwork may need to be filed in order to preserve your right to seek certain benefits such as workers’ compensation and other important insurance benefits. At Jesse Minc Law Group, we focus our law practice on helping construction workers in the Bronx and throughout NYC pursue the maximum compensation to which they are entitled. We also extend our helping hand to injured workers in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, as well as across Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties. Call us at (718) 354-8000 or contact us online to set up a no-risk, free appointment to talk about your work injury with a construction fall accident lawyer in the Bronx and New York City.