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NYC Construction Accidents & How a Lawyer Can Help

Offered by Keogh Crispi, P.C.

Learn more about the options for your construction accident injury claim

Serious construction accidents in New York City have become increasingly common in recent years, making construction work one of the most dangerous jobs in the city.

More than 1 out of 4 workplace fatalities (26 percent) in New York City involve construction accidents, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Over the last two decades, construction fatalities and workplace fatalities have reached record highs in New York City, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program at the BLS.

What are common NYC construction accidents?

On average, 620 construction workers are injured and 23 are killed each year in construction accidents in New York City, according to statistics compiled by the BLS.

Scaffolding accidents and falling from a height are especially deadly. In New York City, an average of 10 construction workers die every year due to falls from a height.

The top 5 most common construction accidents in New York City that result in an injury or fatality include:

  • Injuries involving construction demolition, electrical work, and plumbing (56 percent of construction accident injuries and fatalities in NYC)
  • Slip and fall accidents (25 percent)
  • Building collapses and other material failure accidents (10 percent)
  • Accidents involving mechanical construction equipment (4 percent)
  • All scaffolding-related injuries or fatalities (3 percent)

Why do construction accidents happen?

Deadly construction accidents most often occur due to the so-called “Fatal Four Hazards” as identified by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). According to OSHA, the fatal four construction accidents are:

  • Falls from a height
  • Electrocution
  • Being struck by an object
  • Being caught in between two objects

Many of these reasons are routinely cited by the New York City Department of Buildings, which compiles an annual list of serious and fatal construction accidents in the city. Often, serious accidents happen because a construction company didn’t take the proper safety precautions or properly train construction workers about safety protocols. And because many construction workers in New York City are working on cranes or scaffolding high above the ground, the consequences can be deadly.

Some of the most common reasons why New York City construction accidents happen involve:

  • Scaffolding collapse due to improper installation.
  • Scaffolding improperly secured to building.
  • Unpermitted scaffolding illegally installed on building.
  • Improperly secured scaffolding planks come loose.
  • Lack of guardrails and other safety equipment on scaffolding.
  • Improperly secured guardrails and other safety equipment.
  • Working in unsafe weather conditions, including high winds at a great height.
  • Improperly assembled equipment, including mobile cranes and scaffolding.
  • Structural problems with buildings due to an improperly installed foundation or building walls, resulting in a building collapse.
  • Vibrating machinery due to not being installed properly, resulting in a building collapse.
  • Construction elevator accidents involving failure to secure temporary elevator platform.
  • Falling into an unmarked stairwell opening at a construction site.

In short, the vast majority of serious construction accidents are preventable. That’s why each accident needs to be thoroughly investigated so the at-fault party can be held responsible for their actions.

Who investigates construction accidents in NYC?

Inspectors from the New York City Department of Buildings investigate most construction accidents. However, it’s important to understand that they’re simply focused on determining why and how an accident took place. They are not concerned with whether injured construction workers receive the financial compensation they deserve for their injury-related expenses.

This is why it’s important for injured workers and their families to consult with an experienced New York City construction accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. An attorney can advise individuals and families on the options available to them and the best course of action.

Who’s responsible for compensating victims?

In most cases, injured construction workers are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, but that’s just the start. Many construction sites have more than one company working at the same place. If another company caused the accident, the injured party might need to take legal action against them in the form of a third-party personal injury claim.

Be aware that strict deadlines apply in New York State. In general, injury victims have three years from the date of a construction accident to file a lawsuit. Shorter deadlines might apply in some circumstances. For instance, in the case of a fatal accident, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in New York State is two years from the date of a worker’s death. Even shorter deadlines can apply in cases involving municipal liability.

How much is my claim worth?

If you sustained an injury on the job at a construction site in New York City, you can pursue financial compensation for all your accident-related expenses. What you might not realize is expenses often go far beyond the short-term costs that immediately arise after your accident, such as emergency medical care. If you have any future expenses or economic losses due to your construction accident, you should receive money for those costs too.

The total value of your construction accident settlement or verdict may be significant depending on the circumstances of your accident.


Construction accident verdicts and settlements

$6 million for a Construction Accident New York

Keogh Crispi, P.C. in New York City obtained three settlements worth a combined $6 million for construction workers injured in a crane collapse at a New York City construction site.

$5 million for a Construction Accident New York

Keogh Crispi, P.C. in New York City obtained this recovery for a security guard who sustained a brain injury at a construction site when unsecured materials collapsed.

$4 million for a Construction Accident New York

Keogh Crispi, P.C. in New York City obtained this recovery for a carpenter injured at a construction site in Manhattan due to vibrating excavation equipment causing debris to come lose and crush the carpenter’s right foot.


Talk to a NYC construction accident attorney

There’s often a lot of money at stake when it comes to claims involving construction accidents. That’s why construction companies and insurance providers hire entire teams of attorneys to protect their interests. This is also why it’s critical that you have an experienced lawyer on your side who thoroughly understands the state and federal laws that apply to construction accidents in New York City—and how the legal system works.

New York State has unique laws when it comes to protecting the rights of construction workers, including:

  • New York Labor Law, Section 200 – This state law requires construction companies and general contractors in New York to “provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health, and safety of all persons employed.” In particular, this law provides workers with legal protections in cases involving unsafe working conditions.
  • New York Labor Law, Section 240 – Also known as the “Scaffold Law,” this state law includes strict guidelines and safety precautions for workers at height.
  • New York Labor Law, Section 241(6) – This state law includes strict safety standards that apply to excavation, demolition, and other construction work.

Additional state and federal laws apply to construction sites and construction accidents in New York City. Your attorney should have a thorough understanding of these laws and how they may apply to your particular case.

Learn more about the legal options available to you and your family. Talk to an experienced New York City construction accident attorney. Lawyers who handle such cases offer a free case evaluation. Schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

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