Each year, thousands of workers are injured or killed at New York and New Jersey construction sites. Although construction companies are required under New York labor laws to inspect each site with safety engineers and implement a wide variety of safety measures, construction workers still face a greater risk of work-related injury or fatality than employees in any other U.S. industry. New York labor laws were enacted to protect construction workers from work site-related accidents–and it’s for this reason that our firm believes that most work site accidents are avoidable and that those not following laws to protect workers should be held accountable.
Some of the types of cases we handle involve:
Who Can I Sue if I Was Injured in a Construction Accident in New York State?
A construction worker involved in a work-related accident will often have a claim against the general contractor and/or owner of the construction site pursuant to Sections 200, 240 and 241(6) of the New York State Labor Law.
Section 200 of the New York State Labor Law codifies a common law obligation to use reasonable care in the maintenance of a work site.
What is the New York Scaffolding Law?
New York Labor Law Section 240 contains special provisions for workers injured by or on scaffolds, ladders, hoists, stays, slings, hangers, pulleys, irons, ropes, blocks, braces and other similar devices. This unique section of the New York Labor Law, commonly known as the “Scaffolding Law,” allows injured workers to bring lawsuits against a property owner or general contractor who violates this section, rendering them strictly liable for workers injured as a result of inadequate or missing safety equipment at elevated work sites. Labor Law Section 240 also protects workers from “falling objects” at a work site where an object falls and injures a worker due to a violation of the safety provisions of that section of law. In addition, Section 241(6) of the New York State Labor Law imposes a duty upon the general contractor and/or owner to comply with all provisions of the New York State Industrial Code. Architects, subcontractors and manufacturers of equipment may also be held responsible for inadequate safety precautions.
How Do Attorneys Investigate a Construction Accident Case?
If we believe you have a valid case, our construction accident attorneys will immediately conduct a thorough investigation of the accident.
The following are items which must be obtained:
- Official Reports
- OSHA Investigations including prior citations
- Dept. of Buildings records(including permits and permit applications)
- Police reports d. Department of Buildings violations/citations
- Injured Worker’s Records
- Ambulance Call report
- Hospital records
- Physicians/Rehabilitation records
- Autopsy/Death Certificate
- Workers’ Compensation file
- Prior Workers’ Compensation claims and prior medical
- Union records
- Employment records
- Income Tax records for five years prior to accident
- Witness StatementsWitness statements should be obtained at the earliest opportunity. If necessary, get Affidavits from witnesses immediately, before their story changes, they stop talking or they disappear.
- Photographs of Scene
- Copies of All Contracts
- Identity of All Contractors on Job
- Who supervised job?
- Who was in charge of safety?
- Was duty to control and supervise work which gave rise to accident specifically delegated to a sub-contractor?
- Insurance Policies Including All Endorsements
- Job Documents
- Safety memos and inspection records
- Records of safety meetings
- Work permits
- Progress sheets
- Daily logs
- Progress photographs
- Dept. of Buildings inspections
- Determine who owned and controlled all equipment involved in accident
- Records regarding safety equipment at the job site
How Do Attorneys Handle Depositions in a NY Construction Accident Lawsuit?
During the deposition of the plaintiff, our attorneys will make sure that the plaintiffs tell a Labor Section 240 story. During the deposition of the defendants our skilled construction accident attorneys will be prepared to anticipate recalcitrant worker/sole proximate cause defenses and handle them within the confines of the case law. They will make sure to take as many defendant depositions as necessary of those important people at the job site to prevent getting an Affidavit as part of a Summary Judgment motion of a key witness you did not depose.Non-party witnesses depositions must also be taken to evaluate the recalcitrant worker/sole proximate cause defenses and distinguish them given the state of the current case law.
What Will Your Attorney Try to Find Out During a Deposition for a Construction Accident Case?
During the deposition process our attorneys will address the followings elements:
- Identify the contracts in place – do they have any paragraphs concerning site safety?
- The presence/absence of safety meeting minutes, site Safety Plan, progress notes, progress photos, and any other document which could potentially memorialize any specific instructions
- List of all safety equipment present at the job site and their usage/locations. Were they nearby? In use? Appropriate for plaintiff’s job?
- Identify each important person at the job site (especially those with supervisory authority) and their job function
- Identify all persons present on the day of the accident – who supervising, what plaintiff doing, what point in job was the plaintiff
- The defective safety device – where is it? Who owned it? What happened to it? Anyone inspect it following the accident? Findings? Photos?
- Safety instructions. Who gave? When given? Who present? Reduced to writing? Were the instructions in English? Spanish? IMPORTANT: Ask the defendant witness if the plaintiff acknowledged that he heard and understood the instructions.
- Witnesses to accident? Witnesses to conditions prior to accident? Witnesses who saw plaintiff working in similar manner prior to accident? Anyone tell him to stop? Give other directions or warnings?
- Post-accident investigation – Accident reports, Worker’s Compensation reports, OSHA, defendant, anyone else’s report – areas of agreement/disagreement. Meetings, conversations
- Cause of accident – any determination made as to cause of accident? By whom? What determined?
For more information on construction accident cases brought pursuant to The New York State Labor Law see:
The Construction Accident Attorneys at GGCRBHS&M Have Achieved Verdicts and Settlements That are Among the Largest in New York and New Jersey
Some of the more notable results include:
- $16,000,000 settlement in a construction accident case for an asbestos handler who fell 23 feet from a scaffold during demolition of the Pepsi plant in Long Island City. The total funds to the injured worker and his wife exceed $25 million when the annuity purchased with a portion of the settlement proceeds is considered.
- $12,500,000 verdict for the wife of a parking garage employee who fell from and was killed by a man lift while at work.
- $10,000,000 Settlement in a crane accident case in New York County for a woman who was seriously injured when a 35-ton construction crane fell on her legs at an excavation site.
- $8,625,000 Recovery for the Wrongful Death of a 38 Worker who fell from a ladder.
- $6,250,000 for a worker who suffered fractures to his elbow and pelvis after he fell 30-40 feet while performing a brick restoration work in Manhattan. Read more about this case here
- $6,500,000settlement for a construction worker who sustained traumatic brain injury after falling from a scaffold.
- $5,800,000 recovery for a New York construction worker who suffered a brain injury when a Hi-Lo struck a scaffold upon which he was working causing the scaffold to fall over.
- $5,000,000 recovery for a man who suffered brain injury when he fell from a ladder at a construction site. The recovery included an agreement for workers compensation payments to continue despite the settlement.
- $4,000,000 verdict in a construction accident case in New York County on behalf of a laborer who suffered burns after falling into a pit of scalding water.
- $3,975,000 settlement on behalf of a construction worker injured pursuant to the New York State Labor Law when he fell off of a slippery dump truck ladder and was impaled on vertical rebar left uncapped at a construction site.
- $3,000,000 settlement following Summations in a New York County construction accident case in which a worker suffered serious injuries to his heel while riding on a muck tram in a subway tunnel under construction.
- $2,975,000 settlement for the wrongful death of a worker who was killed when a 3000-pound concrete wall panel fell on him when the hoist securing the wall panel broke because it was insufficient to support the weight.
- $2,975,000 recovery for a worker who suffered a serious injury to his foot requiring multiple surgeries while riding on a muck tram in a subway tunnel which struck a wall.
- $2,950,000 settlement in a construction accident case for the estate of a single woman who suffered injuries and later died as a result of falling from a defective scaffold at a construction site.
- $2,700,000 settlement in New York County in a construction accident case for a worker in his sixties who was killed when he fell from a building canopy he was cleaning.
- $2,500,000 settlement for a Queens carpenter who sustained a back injury when he fell from a rolling Bakers Scaffold.
- $2,200,000 settlement on behalf of a laborer killed in a construction accident.
- $2,025,000 recovery in Kings County for a construction worker who lost parts of his fingers when his hand was caught in an unguarded opening of a flatbed truck.
- $1,400,000 settlement on behalf of a New York worker injured when the glass roof of a greenhouse he was installing collapsed causing him to fall to the ground.
- 1,250,000settlement for a carpenter who sustained lumbar spine injury requiring surgery after he fell from a ladder.
- 1,200,000settlement for a construction worker who had his finger crushed by a falling hydraulic piston. The worker sustained multiple surgeries and ultimately had to have his finger amputated.
- $1,200,000 recovery for a man who fractured his heel when a scaffold at a construction site collapsed.
- $1,150,000 recovery for a New York City painter who sustained a calcaneal fracture when he fell from a baker’s scaffold which shifted due to the failure of the foreman to engage the locking mechanism on the wheels of the scaffold.
- A verdict of $1,073,295 in the Brooklyn Supreme Court on behalf of a 38-year old construction worker who fell face-first from a defective ladder and sustained a fractured jaw and seven lost teeth.
- $1,000,000 settlement for a laborer who suffered an electric shock causing a peripheral neuropathy in both hands.
Lectures and Seminars
In addition to successfully representing plaintiffs in a variety of construction and labor law matters, the construction accident attorneys at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf are sought out by the legal community for their expertise–our lawyers have written articles in the area of construction and labor law and have lectured throughout the country.
Below are a list of publications from some of the lectures and seminars in which our lawyers have been involved:
- Litigation Construction Site Accidents, New York State Bar Association 2014
- Building a Winning Case: The Law of Construction Site Accidents, Lawline webinar, Anthony Gair, December 2012
- Construction Site Accidents: The Law & the Trial, New York State Bar Association 2012
- Labor Law/Construction Site Accidents in New York, New York State Bar Association 2011
- Construction Site Accidents, Seminar New York State Bar Association, 2009, 2010
- Construction Site Accidents: The Trial of a Labor Law Case, Seminar New York State Bar Association, 2008
- Construction Site Accidents: The Law and the Trial, seminar, New York State Bar Association, 2007
Publications Related to Construction Accidents and NY Labor Law
- The Law of Construction Site Accidents-Do You Have a Case?, “Construction Site Accidents: The Law and The Trial,” New York State Bar Association, 2011. Contributing Author: Howard Hershenhorn, Anthony Gair
- The Current State of the Labor Law – New Court of Appeals and Appellate Decisions, “Construction Site Accidents-2010 Update,” New York State Bar Association, 2010. Contributing Author: Howard Hershenhorn, Anthony Gair
- “Recalcitrant Worker and Sole Proximate Cause – The Current State of Labor Law Sect. 240,”Construction Site Accidents, New York State Bar Association, 2009. Contributing Author: Howard Hershenhorn, Anthony Gair
- “Recalcitrant Worker and Sole Proximate Cause – The Current State of Labor Law Sect. 240,”Construction Site Accidents: The Trial of a Labor Law Case, Seminar New York State Bar Association, 2008. Contributing Author: Howard Hershenhorn, Anthony Gair
- “Recalcitrant Worker and Sole Proximate Cause – The Current State of Labor Law Sect. 240,” “Construction Site Accidents: The Law and The Trial,” New York State Bar Association, 2007. Contributing Author: Howard Hershenhorn, Anthony Gair
- “Personal Injury Litigation-Workplace Related Injuries,” New York State Bar Association, 1993. Contributing Author: Anthony Gair
- “Personal Injury Litigation Under the Safe Place to Work Statutes,” New York State Bar Association, 1991. Contributing Author: Anthony Gair, Robert Conason
If you’re searching for a “personal injury lawyer NYC” you’ve come to the right place. The New York construction accident lawyers at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf advocate for their clients’ full financial recovery through detailed, meticulous preparation for trial. If you have suffered a serious personal injury or a loved one died as a result of a construction accident, please contact our firm to discuss your case.
Disclaimer: Please be advised that the results achieved in any given case depend upon the exact facts and circumstances of that case. Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf cannot guarantee a specific result in any legal matter. Any testimonial or case result listed on this site is based on an actual legal case and represents the results achieved in that particular case, and does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction of the outcome of any other legal matter.