New York City Construction Accident Lawyers

Personal Injury Attorneys in New York City for Injured Construction Workers Since 1981

If you have been injured in a construction accident in NYC, do not settle for a NYC construction accident attorney who is “just starting out” in personal injury and construction accident law or who handles personal injury cases in addition to numerous other legal areas. Instead, contact a firm:

  • Whose four-member lawyer team has a combined 100-plus years of personal injury legal experience
  • That is in court on a daily basis and is not afraid or reluctant to protect clients’ rights via litigation when negotiations fail to yield an acceptable offer
  • Whose founder served as the president of a New York City borough’s bar association, was a member of the City Council and was an Assistant District Attorney.

At The Orlow Firm, we have handled construction site and workplace accident cases involving dangerous scaffolding, cranes and ladders, falling objects and a broad range of other dangerous conditions resulting in neck, back and head injuries, paralysis and other serious and catastrophic injuries, as well as wrongful death.

Were you injured in a construction accident in New York City? Contact a NYC construction accident attorney for a no-charge consultation by calling at (646) 647-3398.

Often, in a misguided effort to control costs or maintain an arbitrary safety rating, employers retaliate or threaten to retaliate when construction workers file a personal injury claim. It is your right, though, to pursue compensation whenever it is owed, and to do so without employer harassment.

We can protect your rights regarding your employer and other parties while pursuing the compensation you deserve following construction site injuries, disability and medical expense. For a no-charge consultation with an experienced New York City construction accident attorney, contact our office.

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.

Helping Injured Construction Workers in NYC Since 1981

Construction accidents in New York City often leave workers dealing with serious and potentially life-changing injuries. They have medical appointments and treatments to deal with, families to support and worries about their financial future. In the midst of all this, workers must also find a personal injury attorney with the knowledge and experience to handle their specific injuries. This can be challenging, especially for workers dealing with multiple injuries.

At The Orlow Law Firm, our attorneys have more than 30 years of experience handling personal injury cases in the New York City area. We have handled thousands of cases, including many kinds of serious injuries from construction accidents, and we are ready to give you the personal attention that your case deserves.

For experienced and caring representation in pursuing a claim involving construction injuries or wrongful death, call The Orlow Firm at (646) 647-3398 or contact us online.

New York City Construction Worker Attorneys

As experienced NY construction accident attorneys, we have handled multiple injury claims involving almost all of the injuries that can occur on construction sites, such as:

We work with a carefully developed network of doctors and medical experts to quantify clients’ injuries, to investigate causal relationships between construction site accidents and injuries, and to present a knowledgeable, fact-based and persuasive case in settlement negotiations or, if necessary, at trial.

Who may be liable for a construction site injury in New York?

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

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.

Injured By Falling Debris In New York?

Working at a construction site can be a very dangerous job. Falling debris accidents are one of the most common types of injuries on construction sites. These accidents can cause life-changing, devastating damage. And, what is worse, it is oftentimes not the fault of the worker — many accidents are caused by faulty safety practices, or a malfunction in machinery. If you or a loved one has suffered an accident at a construction site, you are entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you get the recovery you deserve.

Defending Your Rights After An Accident

The NYC construction accident attorneys at The Orlow Firm are knowledgeable, dedicated, and ready to take on your case. Call (646) 647-3398 to speak with a lawyer.

Fall from scaffold caused back, knee injuries, plaintiff alleged

Settlement: $1,375,000
Case: Plaintiff v One State Street, LLC
Court: Queens Supreme
Judge: Marguerite A. Grays
Date: 8/22/2007

Plaintiff Attorney(s) Adam M. Orlow
The Orlow Firm Flushing, NY

Defense Attorney(s) Steven Steigerwalk,
Law Office of John Humphries, Melville, NY (One State Street LLC)
None reported (Topline Contracting Inc.)

FACTS AND ALLEGATIONS On June 17, 2003, plaintiff, 39, a remover of asbestos, worked in the basement of a building that was located at 1 State Street, in Manhattan. Plaintiff’s work required access to an area of the basement’s ceiling. Thus, he was standing on a scaffold. During the course of that work, a co-worker moved the scaffold. Plaintiff fell about six feet, and he landed on the ground. He claimed that he sustained injuries of his back and one knee.

Plaintiff sued the building’s owner, One State Street LLC. He alleged that One State Street violated the labor law.

One State Street commenced a third-party suit against Plaintiff’s employer, Topline Contracting Inc. One State Street sought indemnification. However, the third-party suit was dismissed via summary judgment.

Plaintiff’s counsel claimed that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law Section 240(1), and that Plaintiff was not provided the proper, safe equipment that is a requirement of the statute.

Defense counsel contended that Plaintiff’s actions were the sole proximate cause of his fall.

Plaintiff’s counsel moved for pretrial summary judgment of liability, and the motion was granted. The parties proceeded to mediation that addressed damages.

INJURIES/DAMAGES arthroscopy; discectomy; facetectomy; fusion, lumbar; herniated sic at L4-5; herniated sic at L5-S1; laminotomy; lumbar laminectomy; torn meniscus

Plaintiff claimed that he sustained a tear of his right knee’s meniscus and herniations of his L4-5 and L5-S1 intervertebral discs. His right knee’s injury was addressed via arthroscopic surgery that was performed June 28, 2006. He also underwent a multi-segmented surgery that addressed his back’s injuries. The surgery included a decompressive laminotomy, which is an excision of the bony plate that covers a vertebra, and a facetectomy, which is the removal of a vertebra’s fact joint. Those procedures addressed his spine’s L4, L5 and S1 levels. The surgery also included an L5 laminectomy, which is the removal of the L5 vertebra’s posterior arch; a discectomy, which is the surgical removal of a disc; and fusion of his spine’s L4 and L5 levels.

Plaintiff performed about two weeks of work that completed the job that he was performing when the accident occurred. However, he has not performed any other work. He claimed that he suffers residual disabilities that prevent his resumption of any type of work.

Plaintiff sought recovery of his past and future lost earnings and damages for his past and future pain and suffering.

Defense counsel contended that Plaintiff’s spinal injuries stemmed from significant conditions that preexisted that accident.

The defense’s vocational-rehabilitation expert determined that Plaintiff can perform jobs that would provide income that equaled or exceeded the income that he was earning before the accident occurred.

RESULT The parties agreed to a $1,375,000 settlement, which was established via the guidance of mediator Peter Merani, of United Arbitration Inc.

INSURER(S) Travelers Property Casualty Corp. for One State Street (primary insurer) Zurich North America for One State Street (excess)

PLAINTIFF EXPERT(S) Conrad Berenson, Ph.D., Economics, Woodbury, NY
Richard J. Radna, M.D., Neurosurgery, New York, NY

DEFENSE EXPERT(S) Maurice Carter, M.D., orthopedic surgery, New York, NY
Peter Stickney, M.S., C.R.C., vocational rehabilitation, Manlius, NY

EDITOR’S NOTE This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. One State Street’s counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls. Topline Contracting’s counsel was not asked to contribute.

Frequently Asked Questions About Construction Accidents

Q: How do I take steps to assert my rights to a safe workplace?

A: If you feel that your workplace is unsafe, your first action should be to make your supervisor aware of the danger, then follow up in writing. If you are still unsuccessful in getting the safety hazard corrected, you can file a complaint at the nearest Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) office.

Q: If I’m injured while working on a construction site, is it possible for me to recover more than just workers’ compensation benefits?

A: Workers’ compensation laws only affect your recovery from your employer, not other parties. If other parties, such as equipment manufacturers, property owners or third-party contractors, are responsible for your injuries, you may be able to recover from them in addition to collecting workers’ compensation benefits.

Q: Is the construction company liable if a person is injured by materials or other debris from a construction site while walking on a public sidewalk next to that site?

A: The injured person may be able to recover damages from the construction company. Contractors owe a duty to the public to warn and guard against known or reasonably foreseeable dangers from a construction site. Further, the warning must be effective, so merely posting a danger sign usually is not sufficient. The contractor also is responsible for providing adequate walkways around or through the site. In this case, materials from a construction site must be stored in such a way so as not to pose a danger to the public.

Q: I was injured while working on a large construction project. Can I sue the person who owns the property?

A: Depending on the amount of authority over the work that the property owner exercised, and the amount of control he or she had over the property itself when the injury occurred, the property owner may be liable for some or all of your injuries.

Q: Will workers’ compensation cover any injury that happens at work?

A: Workers’ compensation covers most injuries that happen at work or during a work-related activity, although there are some exceptions. By definition, workers’ compensation covers any accidental injuries that occur in the course of employment, regardless of whether the employee or the employer is at fault for the injury.

Q: Who is responsible for making sure that the construction site where I work is safe?

A: The property owner and general contractor (and in some cases sub-contractors) are responsible for ensuring the safety of workers at a construction site. The extent of each party’s responsibility will vary depending on your case.

Q: If I file a complaint against my employer to OSHA, can my employer take any action against me?

A: Your employer cannot retaliate or discriminate against you for filing a complaint with OSHA. This includes denying you a raise, decreasing your hours or pay, or transferring or firing you, among other actions. OSHA provides protection against these types of activities, known as “whistleblower” protection. To preserve your rights, you must file a complaint with OSHA within 30 days of the retaliatory or discriminatory action.

Q: I was injured on the job and an investigation showed that my employer violated OSHA regulations. What will this do to support my case?

A: The answer will depend on whether the violation caused your injury and where your case is heard. Some courts have held that the violation of an OSHA regulation in which an injury resulted is negligence per se, meaning that the OSHA violation is enough to prove the employer’s negligence. Other jurisdictions, however, have found that an OSHA violation can be one factor in finding the employer negligent, but cannot be the only factor.

Q: Should I consult a personal injury attorney to discuss my construction injury claim?

A: Definitely. Your claim may involve complex issues concerning third-party liability, compliance with safety regulations, engineering and indemnity. Personal injury lawyers who are experienced in the area of construction accident liability can help you determine if you have a case, and if you do, how to pursue it.

Q: Do Construction Workers Not In Unions Have The Same Rights?

A: New York construction laws exist to protect the workers. Whether it is a two-story building or a skyscraper, anyone who is working in construction enjoys the same rights. This is regardless of whether they belong to the union or not.

OSHA and safety regulations for construction sites

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 New York 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.

To contact us call (646) 647-3398.

Types of Construction Accident Injuries

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.

Hazards posed by construction sites include exposure to noise, dust and other chemicals, working from high elevations and in confined spaces, working with power tools and other mechanical equipment, exposure to electricity and performing excavations. More information on the specific types of injuries suffered by construction workers is provided below.

If you or your loved one has suffered injuries as the result of an accident at a construction site, consult an attorney to learn about your rights to compensation. Contact The Orlow Firm in Flushing, NY, today to schedule a consultation with a lawyer experienced in construction site accident litigation who can help you explore your legal options.

Common construction site injuries

  • Falls — Falls are the most common source of injury and death for construction workers. While the greatest number of falls occurs from ladders and scaffolding, construction workers also suffer serious injuries and die in falls from roofs, buildings, openings in structures, and stairs and steps.
  • Electrocution — Construction workers also are at risk for injury and death from electrocution or other electricity-related injuries, such as electric shock and burns. These types of injuries are not only caused by contact with power lines and other sources of high voltage. Construction workers also can be injured by contact with faulty wiring, broken light bulbs or other equipment in contact with an electric source, like a ladder.
  • Cave-ins — Construction workers involved in excavation work face the possibility of cave-ins. General contractors should take precautions before the excavation project begins to limit the possibility of a cave-in from occurring. For example, OSHA standards require employers to create a support system designed to protect workers from the hazards created by the specific type of excavation work, the environment of the site, such as soil type, water flow, climate and other factors.
  • Other injuries — Construction workers also face injury from a number of other sources, such as defective machinery and tools, bodily and head injuries from falling objects, and illnesses from ingesting silica-based dust, asphalt fumes and other chemicals, among others.

Contact a construction accident lawyer

Contact The Orlow Firm in New York, NY, for a free a consultation. To contact us call (646) 647-3398.

Construction Workers’ Rights Under OSHA

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.

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within the Department of Labor with the mission to reduce workplace hazards and create a system of health and safety regulations and programs. Under OSHA regulations, employees are granted certain rights and employers are required to ensure those rights are not violated.

If you believe your rights guaranteed under OSHA were violated while working on a construction site, contact The Orlow Firm in Queens, NY, today to schedule a consultation with a lawyer experienced in construction accident and injury litigation.

Construction Workers’ rights under OSHA

Under OSHA, employees are granted certain rights, including:

  • The right to obtain training from their employer on any chemicals or other hazardous materials they may be exposed to or working with, such as blood-borne pathogens
  • The right to information about OSHA standards, job hazards, worker injuries and workers’ rights from their employer
  • The right to request that a dangerous condition or OSHA violation is corrected by their employer
  • The right to file a complaint to OSHA of a violation or serious hazard in the workplace and to have their name withheld from their employer
  • The right to be involved in any OSHA inspection and, if necessary, appeal the final action
  • The right to file a complaint to OSHA without possibility of retaliation or other discriminatory acts by their employer

Employees also have certain obligations under OSHA, including complying with OSHA and employer safety standards, using all necessary protective equipment (like ear plugs, safety goggles) and reporting any on-the-job injuries or illnesses to their employer immediately.

Construction employer obligations under OSHA

Among the obligations imposed under OSHA, employers have a duty to:

  • Provide employees a reasonably safe work environment free from recognized hazards
  • Comply with OSHA standards and ensure the work environment conforms with those standards
  • Provide employees with the appropriate safety equipment and training and maintain the safety of the equipment
  • Post the OSHA poster that lists employees’ rights and obligations in a prominent location
  • Keep records of all work-related injuries and illnesses and provide access to this information to employees, former employees and their authorized representatives
  • Do not retaliate or discriminate against employees who file a claim with OSHA or otherwise exercise their rights under OSHA

OSHA construction site inspections

If an employee believes that his or her workplace is hazardous or is otherwise dangerous, the employee can submit a written complaint to the nearest OSHA office. OSHA then will make a determination of whether there are reasonable grounds for believing a violation or other danger exists and whether a workplace inspection is necessary. If it is determined that one is necessary, an inspector will visit the worksite and inspect the premises for unsafe working conditions. During this inspection, a representative of the employer and a representative of the employee may accompany the OSHA inspector during the walk-around. The employer is not allowed to choose the employee’s representative. The inspector also may collect evidence during the inspection, including taking photographs and samples, and interviewing employees and employers. The inspection by the OSHA representative is not limited by the conditions listed in the complaint and he or she may review the entire premises. There are few limitations on the inspection itself, but it may not disrupt the employer’s operations, must be during regular business hours and must be reasonable in nature.

Contact a construction accident lawyer

If you suspect that your employer is in violation of OSHA requirements, or if you have been injured as a result of an OSHA violation, an attorney can explain your rights to you. Contact The Orlow Firm in Queens, NY, today to schedule a consultation with an attorney experienced in handling construction site injury and OSHA violation cases.

To contact us call (646) 647-3398.

Important Construction Accident Resource Links

Employee workplace rights
From the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). What to do if you question the safety of your workplace. Lists addresses and phone numbers for more information.

OSHA Construction eTool
This eTool will help you identify and control the hazards that commonly cause the most serious construction injuries.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
NIOSH is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related disease and injury.

Department of Labor (DOL) resources for workers
Resource for workers, including information on each state’s workers’ compensation laws, whistleblower protection and health and safety guidelines.

Manufacturing and construction statistics
Features construction statistics, including new residential construction and sales, residential improvements, permits and more, from the United States Census Bureau.

Office of the Whistleblower Protection Program
Resource for employees whose employers have discriminated or retaliated against them for filing a workplace hazard complaint with OSHA. Provides information on the types of employer activities that may constitute retaliation or discrimination, the steps for filing a complaint against an employer and links to the OSHA Whistleblower Investigations Manual.

Construction safety and health information
Information on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) program that seeks to develop goals and performance measures for decreasing construction accidents and injuries.

Contact The Orlow Firm

Construction Accident Attorneys & Law Firm

At The Orlow Firm, we offer free initial consultations, operate four New York City offices, handle cases exclusively on a contingency fee basis and can come to you if you cannot come to us.

To contact us call (646) 647-3398.

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.