Construction Accidents – An Overview

The lawyers of The Orlow Firm have helped individuals who have been injured in forklift, crane and elevator accidents, and other accidents, on construction sites in New York. When you retain our services, you can rely on our effective representation, personal client service and focus on results. We are dedicated to helping each client recover maximum compensation for their injuries.

Construction workers face some of the most dangerous working conditions in the country on a daily basis. Although there are regulations, statutes, ordinances and industry standards that mandate employers must provide a reasonably safe working environment, construction workers still suffer serious injuries at an alarming rate. The sheer number of hazards on a construction site makes it virtually impossible to prevent all injuries from occurring. These hazards include falls from scaffolds and other elevations, being struck by moving or falling machinery, electrocution, health hazards resulting from exposure to asbestos and chemicals, injuries caused by defective or unsafe equipment, and lifting and repetitive motion injuries.

If you have suffered, or if one of your family members has suffered, injuries as the result of a construction accident, a lawyer experienced in construction accident and injury litigation from The Orlow Firm in Flushing, NY, can help you understand your rights.

Who may be liable for a construction site injury?

There are many different parties who may be liable when a construction worker suffers a work-related illness or injury:

  • Property owners
  • General, prime and sub-contractors
  • Architects, engineers or other designers
  • Construction managers
  • Suppliers and manufacturers of equipment and materials
  • Insurers

The liability of these various parties depends on the type of management and oversight system of the construction project. With regard to liability for construction workers’ injuries, the main legal question concerns who maintains control and authority over the property where the work is being done and the type of work that is being done. For example, in larger projects, much of the work is delegated to sub-contractors, whether by general contractors or a construction management organization.

It is important to name all potential liable parties at the outset of any litigation to preserve your claim against them. An experienced construction litigation attorney can help you determine who the responsible parties may be according to the specific circumstances of your case.

OSHA and safety regulations

Safety regulations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) have been adopted by most states in some form, and these regulations apply to work done at construction sites. Whether a general contractor, sub-contractor or other party has the responsibility for ensuring compliance with OSHA regulations often turns on who was in control of the job site or job activity when the employee was injured. The legal effect of a violation of OSHA regulations will vary depending on the state in which the injury took place. In certain jurisdictions, if it can be shown that an OSHA regulation was violated and an injury resulted, no additional evidence is needed to establish that the employer was negligent.

OSHA regulations are not the only legal standards to which a property owner, general contractor or sub-contractor may be held in determining liability for a construction accident. Often the property owner or general contractor will have his or her own set of safety rules, either generally applicable or specific to the construction project at hand, designed to protect those performing work on the project. Violations of these regulations may serve to support a claim for damages following a construction site accident.

Pursuing a claim for a construction accident injury

If you have been injured as a result of an accident at a construction site, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself and your legal rights:

  • Report the injury to your employer and/or construction site manager as soon as possible, noting the name and position of the person you notified.
  • Get the names and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
  • If possible, try to preserve any evidence related to your injury by taking photographs of the area where you were injured, taking photographs of the injuries themselves) or keeping the equipment or tool that was involved in your injury.
  • Get medical attention for your injuries.
  • Consult an attorney as soon as possible to help you evaluate any potential claims and discuss your state’s workers’ compensation laws.

Contact a construction accident attorney

Your case may be won or lost based on the work done before it goes to trial. Discussing your case with a lawyer who is experienced in the area of construction injury law is a good place to start. Contact The Orlow Firm in Flushing, NY, today to schedule a consultation with an attorney experienced in handling construction accident injury cases.

Copyright © 2014 FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.