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In the US, construction is one of the biggest industries – and it is also one the most dangerous. In the last 20 years, there has been a decrease in injuries in majority of the professions except construction. Two of the factors that contribute to injury and death in this profession are dangerous work conditions and inadequate safety equipment. Here are some of the reasons for injury on a constructions site.
- Falls. This is major cause of death in construction. Death or iinjury are many times caused by the absence of netting, safety harness, fall arrest system, scaffold or other devices for safety. Reasons for injury may include:
- Fall from a height;
- Fall from a ladder, roof, or scaffolding;
- Fall because of improperly assembled scaffolding;
- Fall because of an unprotected opening or hole;
- Fall into an elevator shaft;
- Fall through a roof, floor and wall opening or hole;
- Falls because of protruding steel rebar; and
- Fall because of debris, a sharp projectile or some other hazard that may cause injury.
- Falling Object Injury. A construction worker faces the risk of getting hit
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by a falling object on a site which has not been properly hoisted or secured.
- Excavation and Trenching. Many times cave-ins during a trenching operation cause death when the worker gets buried under collapsing earth. Other excavation-related dangers include: asphyxiation; toxic fumes; explosions or electrocution due to underground utility lines getting struck.
- Electrocution. Workers are constantly in danger from electricity damage. Working “live” or not tagging or locking out circuits many times results in serious injury or worse.
Unfortunately, the compensation for workers is rarely sufficient for all the damages. Many times, compensation benefits not even provide enough cover for your lost earnings.
Generally, State law does not allow employees to sue their employers for any injury they receive in a construction accident. However, an injury can be caused by another party — in such a situation, you have the right to take legal action against that person or entity.
The responsible parties for a construction-related injury may include: the building or structure owner; contractor; construction or project manager; another contractor and subcontractor; and equipment manufacturer. If you have been involved in an accident, you should consult an attorney to find out your options and get a fair compensation.
For workers, the advantage of a third-party lawsuit is that they collect additional compensation beyond what they will receive as Worker’s Compensation. The worker may have the right to be compensated for both future and past: pain and suffering; wages; income; annuity; pension; Social Security income; health care benefits; loss in household services value; Medical benefits; consortium loss – spousal or parent-child relationships due to the injury.
A New York accident attorney who has the experience of dealing with complex construction cases can help you with your case. An attorney with the understanding of the New York State labor laws will know your rights as a construction worker and help you get the compensation you deserve.