Back in January, the Commercial Observer published a headline that stated “Construction is Still NYC’s Most Fatal Industry.” Tragically, the events of early April serve as a sad and sober reminder of the harsh reality behind that headline. While construction work in New York carries with it many dangers, the laws of New York carry with them several possible options to help those harmed in construction accidents to receive the compensation they need.
If you’re hurt in a construction accident, you are probably stressed and/or frightened. You may not know what to do or where to turn. Make sure that one of your first steps is to reach out to an experienced New York City construction accident attorney to learn more about getting the compensation to which you are entitled.
The first of the two terrible incidents occurred on April 8 and happened on East 50th Street in Manhattan. A 51-year-old worker was doing façade repair and standing on a scaffold, and, according to the New York Daily News, the apparatus that attached the scaffold to the building’s façade knocked loose a large, heavy stone located at the top of the façade.
The stone crashed into the worker’s head and knocked him off balance. He clung to the edge of the scaffold seven stories off the ground. Emergency workers got to the worker before he fell, but his head injuries were too extensive, and he died at a nearby hospital. Additionally, according to the Daily News report, the police “said they believe the scaffolding device malfunctioned.”
The second fatal accident happened just two days later. A 23-year-old worker was placing bricks underneath a water tower on the roof of a building in Brooklyn Heights, according to NBC New York. Somehow, while doing that work, the man fell from the roof and landed on the ground 13 stories below. He was dead before help could arrive.
Both of these accidents have some key things in common. They both generally remind us just how serious construction work in New York City can be, and they further remind us specifically of the dangers posed by falls and falling objects in construction.
The massive harm a family suffers when a loved one dies in a construction accident
When a family member is killed at his/her construction job; there is no sum of cash that can take the place of the love, affection and companionship of that person. However, while that’s true, what is also undeniably true is that, in addition to the hole in your heart from your loved one’s loss, there is probably also a hole in your family’s financial well-being due to this death, especially if the deceased was the family’s primary income earner. Your family may have lost entire decades of income that the deceased would have brought in to support his family. If the deceased, as the person in the first accident did, died not at the scene, but at a hospital, his fatal accident may have triggered thousands of dollars of medical bills.
These are all very real harms that were caused by the failure to provide the worker with adequate safety protections, and you should be allowed to receive compensation for them in court.
In both of the recent fatal accidents, the families may be able to bring cases under Section 240(1) of the New York Labor Law. That law works to protect workers injured or killed as a result of a fall (as was the case with the Brooklyn Heights worker) or objects falling onto them (as was the case for the Manhattan worker) and creates an option of suing in court when these types of injuries do occur. Additionally if, as the police theorized, the first accident’s scaffold malfunctioned, then that could further strengthen his family’s Section 240(1) case.
The days, weeks and months after a loved one dies unexpectedly are always unspeakably painful. While you are working to help your family get through this most challenging of times, let the legal professionals do what they do best to get your family the financial compensation you so desperately need. Contact the experienced New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates. Our team has many years of experience handling construction injury cases and helping our clients to achieve positive results
Contact us at (718) 651-4363 to find out how we can help you.