Find A Lawyer Legal Articles Attorney Login

Most Common NYC Construction Accident Injuries

Offered by Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek P.C.

Injuries sustained on construction sites can be severe and debilitating

Construction accidents are prevalent in New York City, primarily due to the extensive number of construction projects taking place in Manhattan and other boroughs. The construction industry in the city involves the use of heavy machinery, power tools, and various mechanical equipment, contributing to the severity and, at times, fatality of work-related injuries. Consequently, numerous rules and regulations have been established to govern the construction sector, prioritizing safety.

In light of the challenging and often hazardous conditions in the construction industry, it is essential for anyone who has suffered injuries in a construction accident in New York City to seek legal guidance from an attorney. An experienced construction accident lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the process of pursuing compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses.

How common are construction accidents in New York City?

In recent years, construction accidents have become increasingly common across the country. Each year, on average, nearly 1 in 5 work-related accidents nationwide involve construction workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

As for New York City, the problem is even worse. “In New York City (NYC), construction workers face daily risks of severe injury and death on the job,” according to a report published by the City of New York about construction accident fatalities and injuries.

Even though construction workers only account for 5 percent of all workers in New York City, fatal workplace accidents involving construction workers represent 25 percent of all workplace fatalities in NYC, according to BLS workplace accident data.

In recent years, the number of New York City construction accidents that result in an injury or fatality has increased dramatically, according to construction accident data collected by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH). In particular, a recent NYCOSH report based on BLS workplace accident data stated, “New York State and New York City have a higher fatality rate than the national average.”

What are the most common causes of on-the-job injuries to construction workers?

Construction accidents in New York City often occur for four main reasons, which are commonly referred to as the “fatal four” by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The fatal four causes of construction accidents include:

  • Fall-related accidents, which historically account for 1 out of 3 construction accident fatalities, according to the BLS. Such fatality figures are often even higher in NYC, according to the City of New York’s website.
  • Being struck by an object, which on average accounts for roughly 1 out of 10 construction accident deaths.
  • Electrocution-related construction accidents, which are the third most common cause of fatal construction accidents in NYC.
  • Being caught in between two objects and being compressed by them, which accounts for 1 out of 3 construction accident fatalities in NYC when taken into account with being struck by an object.

Along with the fatal four, other common causes of NYC construction accidents include:

  • Acute poisoning, which often involves inhaling smoke or hazardous chemicals.
  • On-the-job motor vehicle accidents involving construction workers.
  • Burn injuries, often caused by fire or chemicals.
  • Saw-related construction accidents.
  • Hypothermia due to dangerously cold weather.

What are the most common injuries in construction?

Construction sites are inherently dangerous places, and accidents can result in a wide range of severe and sometimes life-altering injuries. Some of the most common types of construction accident injuries in New York City, each with its own set of challenges and considerations, include:

  • Head injuries: Construction workers are at risk of head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), often caused by falling objects, slips, trips, or falls from heights. TBIs can have long-lasting cognitive and physical effects.
  • Neck injuries: Neck injuries, such as sprains and fractures, can occur due to sudden impacts or accidents. These injuries may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Fractured bones: Broken bones are prevalent in construction accidents, affecting various parts of the body, including arms, hands, legs, and feet. These injuries can lead to temporary or permanent disabilities, depending on their severity.
  • Back injuries: Construction workers often lift heavy objects and perform physically demanding tasks, increasing the risk of back injuries like strained or torn muscles. More severe cases can result in spinal cord injuries, causing paralysis or chronic pain.
  • Internal injuries: Accidents on construction sites can lead to internal injuries, such as internal bleeding or damage to vital organs. These injuries may not always be immediately apparent and can have life-threatening consequences.
  • Burn injuries: Construction workers may encounter hazards like fires, chemicals, or hot surfaces that can cause burn injuries. These injuries often require extensive medical treatment and may result in disfigurement.
  • Amputation injuries: The use of heavy machinery and equipment on construction sites can lead to devastating amputation injuries, where a worker may lose a hand, arm, leg, or foot. These injuries profoundly affect a person's quality of life and ability to work.

It's essential for construction workers who have sustained such injuries to seek immediate medical attention and consider consulting with a construction accident lawyer to understand their rights and options for pursuing compensation. The severity of these injuries necessitates experienced legal guidance to navigate the legal process effectively.

Workers most at risk of construction accidents

New York City construction accident data has found that certain construction workers face a higher risk of injury than others. According to the City of New York and based on historical workplace accident data collected by OSHA, the BLS, and the New York City Health Department, construction workers who face the highest risk of being injured or dying on the job include:

  • Construction workers between the ages of 46 and 65.
  • Workers with a high school education.
  • Male construction workers.
  • Foreign-born construction workers.

Who is liable for a construction site injury?

Determining liability for a construction site injury involves several considerations. In New York, like many states, construction companies are legally obligated to provide workers' compensation insurance for their employees. Consequently, when a construction worker sustains an injury while on the job, they typically pursue workers' compensation benefits through their employer's insurance.

However, certain circumstances may warrant seeking additional financial compensation beyond workers' compensation. For instance, if an injury occurs due to an accident caused by an individual working for a different company on the construction site, the injured worker may need to pursue a third-party construction accident lawsuit against that other company.

In such cases, the injured construction worker can potentially seek compensation from both their employer's workers' compensation provider and the third-party company responsible for the accident. This dual approach allows the injured party to address the full extent of their injury-related expenses and losses. Consulting with a construction accident lawyer is crucial in navigating the challenges of these situations and determining the appropriate legal actions to take.

What is the average payout for a construction accident claim?

It's important to recognize that compensation for a construction accident should cover all the victim’s injury-related expenses, which can quickly accumulate to significant amounts, depending on the severity of the injury and the duration of the victim’s recovery.

The compensation should encompass various aspects, including the cost of all necessary medical care, including any future treatments that may be required. Additionally, it should account for the income the victim lost due to time off work needed for recuperation and address any potential lost future income if the injury results in a permanent disability preventing a return to work.
Securing fair and full compensation is vital to ensuring the victim’s financial stability and addressing both immediate and long-term expenses resulting from the construction accident.

Steps to take after a construction accident

Taking the right steps following a construction accident in New York City is crucial to safeguard both your health and legal rights. While the specific actions may vary depending on the circumstances of your accident, the following guidelines can serve as a general roadmap:

  • Seek immediate medical attention: Your health should be the top priority. If necessary, go to the nearest NYC emergency room or Mount Sinai Hospital Emergency Department to receive prompt medical care.
  • Follow medical advice: After seeking initial medical attention, it's vital to adhere to your doctor's recommendations for your recovery. Failing to do so not only jeopardizes your well-being but can also impact your potential construction accident claim.
  • Document your injury: Comprehensive documentation strengthens your injury claim. This includes keeping copies of medical bills, prescription forms, and relevant medical records. If possible, take photographs of your injuries and the accident site, especially if negligence by the construction company or a third party (e.g., a subcontractor) contributed to your injury.
  • Talk to witnesses: If there were witnesses to your construction accident, try to obtain statements from them promptly while their recollection is fresh and accurate. Eyewitness testimonies can provide compelling evidence for your legal case.
  • Report your injury to your supervisor: In New York, you must inform your employer about your construction accident injury within 30 days.
  • Consult a construction accident lawyer: The sooner you contact an attorney skilled in handling construction accident claims, the better equipped you will be to understand your legal rights and options.

Taking these steps diligently and promptly can help protect your interests and maximize your chances of receiving the compensation and support you deserve after a construction accident.

When to contact a construction accident lawyer

Knowing when to reach out to a construction accident lawyer is crucial, particularly when dealing with severe injuries that can have significant consequences. It's essential to recognize that you may only have one opportunity to secure the compensation you deserve to cover all your injury-related expenses.

This is why it’s critical that you have an experienced NYC construction accident lawyer who can help you explore all the legal options available to you. By having a skilled attorney handling your injury claim or lawsuit, you can give your case the best opportunity for success.

If you or someone you love was injured in a New York City construction accident, it's in your best interest to review your potential legal options with a verified attorney in your area. Your health, overall well-being, and financial future could be at stake.

Construction Accidents
Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek P.C.
Power Profile

Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. is a NYC law firm dedicated to advocating for the rights of injury victims and their families. Our award-winning personal injury attorneys have rec...