Articles & FAQ

New York Construction Accident Injury Law

Understanding New York Construction Accident Law and Your Legal Remedies After Suffering an Injury on a NYC Construction Site Have you been injured in a construction accident in NYC? If so, trying to evaluate your legal options may leave you feeling confused and overwhelmed. NYC construction accidents injure and kill workers each year. Workers who are harmed on the job may have the legal right to compensation for their injuries and other damages. Unfortunately, New York construction accident law is complicated, and it can be difficult to figure out how to get fair compensation for your injuries.  We recommend consulting with an experienced construction accident attorney. At Ferrante & Koenig, we offer a free consultation, during which our knowledgeable attorneys can answer your questions and  explain your legal options. What New York Labor Laws Apply to Construction Accident Cases? A variety of New York labor laws apply to construction accident injuries. These labor laws were enacted to protect workers from dangerous conditions on job sites. Considering the risk associated with jobs in the construction industry, these laws provide important protections to construction workers. NY Labor Law 200 requires certain owners, contractors and employers to make workplaces reasonably safe. The law specifies that workplaces should be “constructed, equipped, arranged, operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health and safety” of all people lawfully on site. Interestingly, the protections of this law are not limited to construction workers.  This provision requires the safe operation of machinery and equipment, providing that it should be “placed, operated, guarded, and lighted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection,” and mandates that owners, contractors and employers obey building codes that require the safe operation of elevators, exits and fire extinguishers.  NY Labor Law 240 protects workers from gravity related risks, including falls from ladders, scaffolding and other elevation hazards.  Known as the “Scaffold Law,” it requires scaffolds, ladders, and other elevation-risk safety devices to be properly constructed, placed and operated so as to give the workers protections from gravity related risks.    Labor Law 240 also provides relief for workers who are injured by falling objects. This includes protection from any overhead hazard that may fall and strike a worker on an elevated work surface, on the ground level, or even sub-grade in a trench, basement level or sub-basement.  NY Labor Law 241 mandates safe procedures for the construction, excavation, and demolition of buildings. This section requires those in charge of a construction site to follow the safety rules set out in the New York State Industrial Code. These provisions are intended to protect workers from falls and cave-ins on job sites as well as from other hazards such as slipping or tripping, injury from unguarded power machinery, electrocution, falls through unguarded openings, unsafe passageways and pathways, and just about any other kind of way you can be injured on a worksite.  When a worker is injured due an owner’s, general contractor’s or employer’s violation of the Labor Law, the worker can bring a lawsuit.  Filing a lawsuit under the New York Labor Law will allow the injured worker to recover for their pain and suffering as well as other economic losses that may not be covered under the Workers’ Compensation Law.   What Are My Rights as a New Yorker with Workers’ Compensation? New York requires employers to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. This insurance protects workers who are injured on the job. Regardless of fault, an injured employee will be entitled to file for Workers’ Compensation benefits.  However workers’ compensation is a limited remedy. It provides the following benefits:  Medical bills related to your injury; and  A percentage of your average weekly wage;  Both of these forms of compensation have time limits. For instance, workers’ compensation will pay your related medical bills until you reach “maximum medical improvement,” which is a determination by your doctor that  you have reached a plateau in your treatment and additional care won’t improve your condition.  You can recover disability payments for lost wages up to a certain number of weeks (usually ten years or less) depending on the extent of your injuries. The timeframes and compensation amount for specific injuries are listed on New York’s Schedule Loss of Use award chart. Worker’s compensation may also pay for any necessary vocational rehabilitation, should your injuries leave you unable to perform your prior job duties. This rehabilitation trains you for a new job that you can perform with your disability.  In order to comply with time limitations, you must notify your employer that you have an injury eligible for workers’ compensation within 30 days of your accident or incident. Assuming you’ve notified your employer, you have two years from the date of the New York construction accident injury to file a claim.  If I Was Hurt While on the Job, Can My Employer Fire Me? Your employer can not fire you simply for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim following an on-the-job injury.  That would be illegal.  But if you are fired, don’t expect your employer to make the mistake of admitting that they fired you due to the workers’ compensation claim.  If they did so, they would be open to a potential employment discrimination lawsuit.   Often we hear stories of employers pushing injured construction workers to return to work quickly.  Beware.  Employers will often use this opportunity to fire someone who has filed a Workers’ Compensation claim under false pretenses, such as a work slowdown or poor performance.   If I Have a Workers’ Comp Hearing Coming Up, Should I Talk to an Attorney? It is always a wise idea to speak to an attorney before a workers’ compensation hearing. Your rights can be forever altered as a result of a hearing decision that goes against you and that means that you may have a lot of money on the line. It is important to have the benefit of knowledgeable legal advice from people who handle cases with the Board.  Ferrante & Koenig work with Workers’ Compensation attorneys who will protect your rights […]

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Articles & FAQ

Hiring a New York Construction Accident Lawyer

Injured on a construction site in New York City? Here’s what you need to know to hire the best construction site accident lawyer for your case. If you’ve been injured on a construction site in NYC, you may be considering hiring an attorney. Construction sites can be dangerous places to work, and the injuries employees may sustain there can be serious. New York lawmakers sought to protect injured workers by enacting workers’ compensation, personal injury, and labor laws. Perhaps you’ve tried to navigate the workers’ compensation or injury claim process on your own but have run into roadblocks. For example,  employers aren’t always willing to pay you what you deserve. That’s why you need a New York construction accident lawyer on your side. A construction injury attorney can search for critical evidence to support your accident claim, and work to get you the maximum compensation. At Ferrante & Koenig, we want to relieve you of burdensome paperwork and tedious communications so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Our attorneys are passionate about helping accident victims seek the compensation they deserve. We offer our clients compassionate, respectful, and skillful representation.  If you would like to speak to one of our experienced accident attorneys, contact us for a free consultation. We can discuss your accident,  answer your questions, and let you know if we can help.  What Should I Do Immediately After Suffering a Construction Site Injury in NYC? Your first priority after a construction accident  is to seek medical treatment for any urgent injuries. At the same time, you should report your accident to a supervisor and collect important evidence. If you can, take photos of the accident scene and document any other pertinent details. If you cannot remain at the accident scene, ask a trusted representative to collect this information for you. How Do I Know if I Should Speak to a Construction Injury Lawyer? Any time you are injured in a construction accident, it’s best to consult a construction injury lawyer. While you are recovering from your injuries, it can be difficult to keep up with all the paperwork required by the insurance company. What’s more, an employer or insurance company may try to take advantage of your vulnerable position by cheating you out of the payment you deserve. A construction injury lawyer can advise you of your legal rights and help you understand and navigate complicated New York accident laws. Your lawyer can help you discover whether you have a workers’ compensation claim or a lawsuit.  Determining fault can have a significant impact on the compensation amount you receive. However, fault can be difficult to determine. Do you have a workers’ compensation claim, a third-party liability claim, or an employer liability claim under New York’s labor laws? You need an attorney to help you sort through these complicated laws and determine what protection applies to your case. An experienced construction accident lawyer in NYC can advise you of your best options for recovering maximum compensation. How Soon After My Construction Site Accident Should I Consult an Attorney? You should contact an attorney as soon as possible after your injury. Much of your case may hinge on recovering evidence to prove your claim. As time goes on, evidence may be lost or destroyed, and witnesses’ memories may fade. You have the best chance at proving your claim if your attorney starts searching for evidence and interviewing witnesses soon after your accident. Also, you should keep in mind the time sensitivity of the New York statute of limitations. You must notify your employer of a workers’ compensation claim within 30 days of your accident, and you must file a claim within two years of your accident. For personal injury cases, you generally have three years from the date of your injury to file a claim. After that time limit, a judge will throw out your case.  On What Basis Should I Evaluate Prospective NYC Construction Accident Lawyers? To search for a qualified construction accident lawyer in New York, you should take the following steps: Ask friends and family for recommendations, Ask coworkers for recommendations, Ask attorneys who practice in other areas for recommendations, Check reviews on sites like Google and Avvo, Look for successful case results listed on an attorney’s website, and Look for attorneys who are willing to take a case to trial. After you conduct an initial evaluation and narrow down a list of attorneys, you should set up consultations with each lawyer. A reputable attorney should offer a free consultation to give you a chance to get to know them and their practice style.  At the consultation, determine whether the lawyer seems like a good fit for your case. You should evaluate whether they are likely to advocate efficiently or draw your case out. You need an attorney who will work on contingency instead of expecting you to foot the bill upfront. You also want someone who communicates well and shows compassion. Ultimately, you need to evaluate whether you can trust a particular attorney with a case that means so much to you and your family. If I Do Hire an Attorney, How Long Should I Expect My Case to Take? At Ferrante & Koenig, we work as quickly as we can to resolve your case. We know that you have bills to pay and that you need your injury compensation immediately. That said, we never want to seem too eager to settle a case because an insurance company is likely to take advantage of that situation by offering less money than you deserve. We successfully settle the majority of our construction accident injury cases. A settlement takes much less time  and spares you the stress of a trial. However, if we think your case will achieve much more compensation by going to trial, we will advise you of the benefits and risks of that strategy. A trial can take three years or more. Ultimately, we leave the decision of whether to settle quickly or […]

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