Artículos publicados en Accidents Involving Construction Machinery/Heavy Equipment

According to research completed by the Center for Construction Research, more than 7,600 construction workers lost their lives between 1992 and 2010 as a result of “mobile heavy equipment” accidents. Those extreme dangers remain present today, including here in the New York City area. Whether you are working in or around an excavator, forklift, bulldozer, or other pieces of heavy equipment, you are entitled to a safe workplace. If you got hurt in or by a piece of heavy equipment because of a lack of proper safety protections, then you may be entitled to recover a significant amount of compensation. You should reach out to an experienced New York City construction accident attorney promptly to find out more about the case you may have.

A news report from WABC is a stark reminder of the severe dangers these construction workers face. The WABC report covered a fatal excavator accident in North Jersey. The worker was inside his excavator when the machine reached a point too close to the nearby river and flipped over. When it did, it trapped the man in about six feet of water for more than one hour. The water was estimated to be about 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) at the time.

At the time of the WABC report, the investigation was ongoing, and investigators had yet to rule out windy conditions as a possible factor in the fatal accident. This accident happened in New Jersey but, certainly, many New York City construction workers who operate excavators might potentially face similar risks in working job sites located near rivers or other bodies of water.

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If you’ve been hurt at your New York City construction job due to inadequate safety protections, you are probably wondering what you should do. Should I file a lawsuit? If so, who is liable and how do I go about proving that they owe me compensation? For answers to these and other essential questions, be sure you talk to an experienced New York City construction injury attorney and get the answers you need.

Regarding the “should I sue” question, the answer is very possibly “yes.” New York has strong laws designed to protect construction workers (and workers doing additional jobs that are construction-related) from injuries caused by insufficient worker safeguards. Regarding the entities whom you should sue, it varies. New York law imposes strong obligations on site owners and general contractors when it comes to making sure workers are safe. However, they aren’t the only ones who may owe you compensation. If you can prove that another entity was an “agent” of either the site owner or the general contractor, then they may be, along with the owner and/or general contractor, liable for your damages.

E.L.’s case is a good illustration of how to go about proving that an entity is an “agent” of an owner or general contractor. E.L. was working as an articulating lift operator in Manhattan when the lift sped up, then skidded and crashed into a curb, which cause the worker “to be ‘ricocheted’” inside the lift basket like a pinball in an arcade game.

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If you work construction in New York City or are close to someone who does, you certainly know that this kind of work is often very dangerous. You probably know a worker who has been hurt at a construction job or, maybe, you were that worker.

You may also know that, if you’re hurt while working construction in New York, you may be entitled to sue in court and receive compensation. (And, if you did know that… great!) What you probably don’t know, however, is all the different ways that these laws can protect you and help you get back on your feet after your construction injury. To find out just how much the law can help you, contact a knowledgeable New York City construction injury attorney right away to discuss your situation.

One of these laws is something lawyers know as Section 240(1) of the Labor Law. Many non-lawyers know it as the “Scaffold Law,” but that name can be misleading. Yes, that law does protect workers who were injured while utilizing a scaffold to do their work; however, it goes far beyond just that, as one recent case demonstrated.

A pair of July accidents at New York City cites brought more tragedy, with two more workers dead. These terrible accidents are a reminder that, although construction is inherently dangerous work, too many sites are unacceptably dangerous. Also, these two men were immigrants and their deaths are a reminder that, often times, the burden of injury or death in New York City construction accidents falls heavily on immigrants.

You are entitled to work at a safe construction site. When that doesn’t happen, you are entitled to go to court and obtain fair compensation. That’s true regardless of your immigration status… even if you’re undocumented. For the advice and advocacy you need for your situation, look to an experienced New York City construction injury attorney to guide you through the process.

In the first accident, reported by the New York Post, a man who worked at a recycling facility in the Bronx was attempting to repair a bulldozer when he died. The 47-year-old worker was welding the bulldozer’s excavator bucket when that bucket dropped. It landed on the man and crushed him to death.

When you have been seriously hurt in an accident that occurred while you were working at your construction job, you no doubt have lots of questions. One of the main ones probably is, “Can I sue and win?” When you decide to seek compensation through the legal system, you no doubt know that the defense will probably fight against you aggressively. The other side may argue that you have no possible case at all. The defense may alternately argue that, whether or not you have a case generally, you don’t have a case against them. Achieving a favorable judgment means being ready to overcome those and other arguments. To clear all the essential hurdles, it helps to have the knowledge and skill of an experienced New York City construction injury working for you.

To get an idea what we mean, consider the case of J.V., who was a construction worker working at a project at John Jay College in Manhattan. While performing one of his job duties, which entailed removing a 2,500-pound bag of soil from a crane, the crane allegedly lifted and J.V.’s arm got caught in one of the straps holding the bag of soil. According to J.V., that caused him to be lifted off the ground until he eventually freed his hand and fell back down to the building’s roof. Allegedly, that whole harrowing process caused the worker to suffer substantial injuries.

J.V. sued the firm, S.O.M., that the property owner had hired to provide “architectural, engineering, and construction management services.” In New York construction injury cases, it is often easier to achieve a successful result when suing a general contractor or a property owner. Since this firm was not the general contractor on the project, J.V. needed some extra evidence in order to have a valid claim that this defendant was liable for his accident, and he was able to present that proof. His evidence demonstrated to the trial judge’s satisfaction that that defendant was “responsible for coordinating and supervising the entire construction project and was invested with a concomitant power to enforce safety standards and to hire responsible contractors.” In other words, even though that firm was not technically the general contractor, it was responsible for many of the duties generally handled by general contractors, especially in relation to ensuring worker safety. When you have evidence that a contractor had general responsibility for maintaining site safety, then you generally can proceed against that entity, and J.V. was able to do so in his case.

In basketball in the United States, there is something called the “Final Four.” In the world of construction safety, there’s something called the “Fatal Four,” which, for construction workers, is far more important and much more serious. These four areas are responsible for 60% of all fatal construction accidents in the private sector. If these deaths were avoided, 582 construction worker lives would have been saved in 2017.

What this tells us is that the task of providing construction workers with adequate safety protections is still a work in progress and that too many workers are being failed. If you’ve been hurt (or a loved one has been killed) while working at a construction job in New York, you want answers and you need to know where to go to get those answers. Start by reaching out to a skilled New York City construction accident attorney to schedule a time to discuss your situation in detail.

So, what exactly are the “Fatal Four” in construction? They are, in order by deadliest:

  • falls
  • being struck by objects
  • electrocutions
  • workers crushed when caught in or caught between objects, including materials, equipment or a collapsing structure

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According to United States’ federal law, a catastrophic injury is something that “permanently prevents” you from “performing any gainful work.” Catastrophic injuries are something that construction workers know all too well. Construction workers also know, though, that an injury need not fit into this narrow definition to be a catastrophe for you and your family. Just because your injury hasn’t left you so disabled that you can never hold down any kind of job again doesn’t mean that your injury has not inflicted massive harm. To get the compensation you deserve, whether yours is a catastrophic injury or a massively damaging non-catastrophic injury, be sure you have the knowledge and skill of an experienced New York City construction injury attorney on your side.

A man working in Nassau County recently experienced a major injury that, while not technically “catastrophic,” will undoubtedly alter his life forever. The 39-year-old man was working as part of a road crew when a steel plate struck him. The impact with the plate severed the man’s legs below the knees and thrust him down into a 10-foot hole. Responding officers’ quick action in reaching the man and applying tourniquets to his legs may have saved the worker’s life, according to a Newsday report

Certainly, an injury like this does not mean that this man can never work again in any job. With proper education and/or training, the injured worker may be able to find a new career. However, the accident may well mean that this man will never work a construction job again. Transitioning to a new career field has the potential to be expensive, stressful and may require considerable “lead time” before the man can actually begin a job and earn an income in that new field.

Usted puede recibir una compensación por un accidente de construcción bajo la Sección 241(6) del Código del Trabajo debido a violaciones de las leyes de seguridad del Estado de Nueva York.   Para defender sus derechos, consulte a un abogado con experiencia en accidentes de construcción.

Por ejemplo, el carpintero M. L. se lesionó la rodilla cuando se cayó en un hoyo mientras trabajaba en el baño de un hotel en Manhattan.  De acuerdo a la Sección 12 NYCRR 23-1.7(e)(2), los pisos, las plataformas y otras áreas similares de construcción, “deben estar libres de sucio y de materiales desechados.”  En el caso de M.L. su lugar de trabajo estaba sucio con tuberías y otros materiales desechados en el piso.  La sentencia de apelación le dio a M.L. el derecho de recibir una compensación.

Usted puede recibir una compensación si i usted sufrió lesiones en un accidente de construcción debido a violaciones de las leyes de seguridad de Nueva York.  Actúe de una vez.  Consulte con la firma de Nueva York Arcia & Associates con experiencia en accidentes de construcción.  Nuestro equipo lleva muchos años practicando la ley a favor de trabajadores lesionados en accidentes de construcción.  Usted decide.

If you’re injured while working at a construction job, it helps to have someone on your side with a detailed knowledge of the law. Your injury may allow you to pursue a lawsuit in court and may allow you to collect compensation from multiple people or entities. To do that, though, you have to be sure that you’ve pursued your case in the right way. You have to be certain you filed your complaint on time. You also have to be certain you included all the proper legal claims. Even more so, you have to be certain that you named all of the right defendants. Making an error on any of these can reduce your recovery, or result in you getting no recovery at all. In other words, you need the knowledge and skill of an experienced New York City construction injury attorney working for you.

For an example of how in-depth knowledge of the law can help, look at the case of M.M., an excavator operator. One day in 2013, he was driving his excavator on a job site in Queens and using the excavator to remove pieces of timber from a creek bed. While performing this task, M.M.’s excavator tipped over or slid into the creek, causing M.M. to suffer substantial injuries.

M.M. sued on time and asserted a claim for a violation of Section 241(6) of the New York Labor Law. That law allows you to seek compensation from the owner of the job site and the general contractor. In some situations, it may also allow you to recover damages from others, as well. M.M. sued the utility company that owned the site, among others.

Generally, there are a small handful of statutes that an injured construction worker can use as part of their effort to obtain compensation for injuries suffered at the job site. Two commons ones are Sections 240(1) and 241(6) of the Labor Law. The first of those two deals with injuries that were in some way “gravity related.” (In other words, something fell on the worker or the worker fell from a height.) Section 241(6) involves circumstances where you are injured because someone did something (or failed to something) that amounted to a violation of New York’s safety regulations. These and other potential claims that an injured construction worker may be entitled to assert often require an in-depth understanding of the law. A skilled New York City construction injury attorney can help you to determine what the best way to proceed is.

As an example of how these types of construction injury lawsuits can proceed, there’s the case of G.Z. G.Z. was injured working on a residential driveway removal and replacement project. He worked for the subcontractor on the project and his injuries were allegedly the result of his supervisor striking him with a crawler-mounted excavator that the supervisor was driving.

The facts of G.Z.’s case made it clear that nothing fell on him from a height and he did not fall from a height himself, so he did not assert a Section 240(1) claim. He did, however, pursue a Section 241(6) claim. The worker asserted that his accident occurred because of a violation of 12 NYCRR 23-4.2(k). That regulation says that workers “shall not be suffered or permitted to work in any area where they may be struck or endangered by any excavation equipment or by any material being dislodged by or falling from such equipment.”

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