New York City, one of the largest and most diverse cities in the nation, is famous for its historic buildings, expansive skyscrapers, and beautiful bridges. However, those who are tasked with the upkeep of the city, from ironworkers to carpenters, are often overlooked. This is especially true when it comes to workplace safety.
If you or someone you know was injured in a New York City construction zone accident, you should know that Glugeth & Pierguidi, P.C., is here to help. At Glugeth & Pierguidi, our compassionate advocates are available to guide you through the legal process from start to finish. Our team has the tools and experience needed to deal with these oftentimes complex cases.
Below, this article will discuss New York City construction zone accidents, construction zone workplace safety, and why you may need a lawyer for construction accidents in New York City.
New York City Construction Zone Accident Statistics
New York City can be a relatively dangerous place to work in construction. According to the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, the fatality rate in New York City is above the national average for construction site deaths. This statistic is disheartening, as many workplace accidents are and were preventable.
A New York Times reporter who was investigating construction zone accidents pointed out that there are too few inspectors and fines are often too small to incentivize compliance with safety regulations.
In 2021 alone, the New York City Department of Buildings reported a staggering 505 construction-related accidents within the five boroughs. In addition to these injuries, nine people were reported to have been killed due to a construction zone accident that year.
Common Types of Construction Zone Accidents
Construction zone accidents can happen in a number of ways. However, some of the more common accidents include:
- Construction site car accidents,
- Crane accidents,
- Demolition accidents,
- Accidents caused by defective equipment,
- Hoist accidents,
- Scaffolding accidents,
- Trench collapse accidents,
- Forklift accidents,
- Window washing accidents,
- Site debris accidents, and
- Welding accidents.
If you were injured in one of the above or another type of accident, we recommend that you reach out to an NYC attorney for construction accidents as soon as possible.
Construction Jobs with a High Risk for Accidents
While every type of construction job carries some level of risk, there are some jobs that are riskier than others. Some of the riskier professions include:
- Crane operators,
- Maintenance workers,
- Sheet metal workers,
- Tunnel workers,
- Forklift operators,
- Plumbers, and
- Window washers.
These are just a few high-risk jobs in the New York City construction industry.
What Types of Damages Am I Entitled To?
After a construction zone accident, you are generally entitled to sue the at-fault party for the damages you incurred as a result of the accident. These damages are broken up into three categories: economic damages, noneconomic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages, also referred to as pecuniary damages, compensate you for monetary losses caused by your injury. Some examples of costs that can be recovered through economic damages include:
- Emergency room bills,
- Ambulance bills,
- Doctor’s visit costs,
- Costs of treatment for any injuries,
- Lost wages,
- Medication costs,
- Costs of future care, and
- Costs of any damage to property owned by the plaintiff.
These are just a few of the different types of losses you might be able to recover compensation for after a construction zone accident.
Noneconomic damages, also called non-pecuniary damages, compensate you for losses that are a bit harder to quantify in terms of monetary value. These damages compensate you for the emotional and psychological harm your injury has caused. Noneconomic damages include the following:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of consortium,
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Permanent or temporary disfigurement.
As you can see, these losses are highly personal and subjective, which is why it can be hard to put a value on them. But, an experienced New York City construction accident attorney can make sure that your noneconomic damages are accurately calculated.
Although they are rare, punitive damages are sometimes awarded to a plaintiff. Punitive damages are a bit different from the above two types of damages because they are not intended to compensate the victim. They are actually intended to punish the at-fault party. So, in order to collect punitive damages, your attorney will generally have to show that the at-fault party was extremely reckless or that their conduct was malicious.
Can Construction Workers Sue After A Construction Zone Accident?
New York has special labor laws that allow construction workers to sue after they have been injured at work. For example, New York Labor Law Section 200 imposes a duty on employers to protect the health and safety of their employees. Further, the statute clearly states that all “machinery, equipment, and devices… shall be so placed, operated, guarded, and lighted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to all such persons.” So, for example, if you were injured due to your employer’s failure to provide a safe work environment around construction equipment, you would have a right to seek compensation.
In addition to Labor Law Section 200, New York has special laws related to scaffolding. Under these laws, your employer must meet certain safety requirements for scaffolding. If they do not, they can be held accountable.
How can Glugeth & Pierguidi, P.C., Help You?
At Glugeth & Pierguidi, P.C., we treat our clients like family. We understand the emotional, physical, and financial stress that a construction zone accident can cause, and we are here to help you pursue the justice and compensation that you deserve.
If your financial situation is holding you back from hiring an attorney, we want you to know that at Glugeth & Pierguidi, we work on a contingency basis in construction zone accident cases. That means you do not have to pay us until you get compensation. Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation.