Construction is a dangerous job, and if you are a construction worker, unsafe work conditions can result in serious injuries that can leave you unable to work and wondering how you’ll pay your medical bills. When you’re dealing with pain, stress, and uncertainty, you may feel like you’re on your own.
At Trantolo & Trantolo, we have been fighting for people just like you for more than 80 years, and we aren’t afraid to go head-to-head with powerful insurance companies.
Our Melville construction accident lawyers handle injury claims in New York. We are dedicated to protecting injured construction workers by standing up to big construction companies. If you need help, we will be the fierce legal advocates standing by your side.
Getting Compensation in a Construction Accident Claim in Melville, NY
In a New York construction accident injury claim, our Melville personal injury lawyers can help you recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses: All costs for treatment, therapy, hospitalization, medication, assistive devices and in-home care necessitated by your accident injuries
- Lost income: Any wages lost due to missing work during your recovery and ongoing treatment
- Loss of future earning capacity: If your disabilities prevent you from returning to your previous occupation or income level.
- Pain and suffering: Damages for physical pain, disfigurement, reduced quality of life, and emotional distress
- Wrongful death damages: In a fatal accident, lost income and benefits the deceased would have earned, funeral costs, and burial expenses
- Property losses: Repair or replacement costs for any damaged property
- Punitive damages: In rare cases where negligence shows a willful disregard for safety
Every case outcome is different based on its unique details and damages. Your wrongful death lawyer in Melville will explain the damages you can claim in your case.
How Long You Have to File a Construction Accident Lawsuit in New York
Under New York statute 214, the deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit after being injured in a construction accident is generally three years from the date of the incident. Under New York statute 5-4.1, when a construction accident is fatal, you will have two years from the date of the accident to file a wrongful death claim.
Different rules may apply to construction accident claims under certain conditions. Your construction accident attorney in Melville can explain the statute of limitations as it applies to your case. Remember: the sooner you contact us, the sooner we can begin protecting your rights. If you miss the deadline to file a claim, you will miss the chance to get compensation.
Who Can You Sue in a Construction Accident in New York?
If you are injured on a New York construction worksite, some potentially liable parties you may be able to pursue legal action against include:
- General contractors: For failure to maintain safe conditions and enforce proper safety protocols
- Subcontractors: Other specialty trades working on site whose negligence directly caused an accident
- Project owners/Developers: May share liability if aware of dangers and took no action
- Architects/Engineers: For flaws in project designs and plans that contributed to accidents
- Manufacturers: Of defective construction machinery, tools and equipment involved in an incident
- Building inspectors: If failure to identify hazards or code violations led to unsafe conditions
- Individual workers: Whose reckless behavior injured other workers, in some cases
- Rental companies: For providing faulty rental equipment that caused accidents
- Utilities: If issues like improperly marked power lines contributed
Experienced construction accident lawyers know how to identify all potentially negligent parties and ensure they are held fully accountable through litigation or negotiation.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Construction Accident Lawyer?
Most lawyers that specialize in construction injury cases work on contingency, meaning our fee is a percentage of any settlement or court award. Typically, this fee is around 33%, but it can vary depending on the circumstances of your claim.
Many construction accident lawyers also provide free initial consultations, so there is no risk or out-of-pocket cost to discuss your potential claim and options. We will make sure to clearly explain our fee arrangement.
Who Can File a Claim After a Fatal Construction Accident Injury in NY?
If a loved one was killed in a New York construction accident, the state’s wrongful death law permits certain family members and representatives to pursue compensation by filing a claim. Those who may be included in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Court appointed estate personal representative – Must be named on behalf of the decedent’s estate
- Surviving legal spouse of the deceased worker
- Children of the deceased (biological, adopted, or foster)
- Parents of the deceased
- Siblings – In some circumstances where next of kin must be established
- Distant relations – In limited cases where the immediate family does not bring a claim
- Life partner – If they shared a relationship equivalent to marriage
According to New York law, the executor or personal representative of the estate of the deceased must file the wrongful death claim.
Construction Labor Laws in New York Explained
Because construction work is so dangerous, New York has enacted laws that are intended to protect the rights of construction workers. If any party violates the three following laws in New York, they can be held liable for injuries or deaths on a construction site:
New York Labor Law Section 200 establishes the basic duty requiring contractors and owners provide reasonably safe construction workplaces. They must implement and enforce proper safety measures. If their failure to do so results in worker injuries from hazardous conditions, it constitutes negligence, which is grounds for a construction accident injury claim.
New York Labor Law Section 240 mandates additional elevated work protections for construction workers. It requires owners and contractors to furnish workers with safety devices like scaffolds, ladders, and helmets. If injuries related to a fall occur due to a lack of protective equipment, this law establishes absolute liability, regardless of a worker’s negligence.
New York Labor Law Section 241(6) establishes specific safety standards for the construction industry by adopting portions of the State Industrial Code that apply to worker protection issues like lighting, ventilation, flooring, sanitation, and fall prevention. Violating any of these codified safety rules constitutes negligence that makes contractors and owners liable for injuries.
Your construction accident attorney in Melville can explain how these laws apply to your case. We are here to answer any questions you have about your rights under New York law.
Differences Between Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim and a Construction Accident Lawsuit in Melville
Key differences exist between workers’ compensation and construction accident lawsuits in New York. Workers’ comp claimants don’t need to prove fault – benefits come from employers’ insurance. But accident injury lawsuits require showing four elements to prove fault: duty of care, breach of that duty through negligence, causation of injury, and damages suffered.
Why is this distinction important? If you file an injury claim, you will be able to pursue monetary damages that are not available to you through workers’ compensation insurance. Under workers’ comp, you can only recover your medical expenses and lost wages.
Your Melville construction accident lawyer will explain which type of compensation applies to your case and what evidence you will need to prove it.
How Negligence Leads to Melville Construction Accident Claims
Construction workers and temp construction workers are often injured and killed on job sites, and far too often, these injuries and deaths are caused by negligence. Failing to follow safety standards and other breaches of standard of care can lead to the following types of accident claims:
- Injuries from falls: Injuries from falls off ladders, scaffolds, roofs, structures, etc.
- Struck-by accidents: Workers hit by flying/falling objects, debris, vehicles, equipment.
- Electrocution injuries: Shock injuries from wires, tools, lighting, power lines.
- Caught-between accidents: Workers pinned or crushed by machinery, vehicles, collapsing materials.
- Trips and slips: Slip and fall accidents from wet, cluttered, uneven work surfaces.
- Fire and explosions: Burns from flammable materials, gas line ignition, confined spaces.
- Vehicle accidents: Backing accidents, lack of spotters, improper maintenance.
- Demolition accidents: Collapse, structural instability, lack of barricades.
- Injuries from overexertion: Strains from lifting, bending, repetitive motions.
- Injuries from ground collapse: Lack of trench sloping/shoring leading to cave-ins.
- Crane accidents: Failure from excessive loads, high winds, improper assembly.
- Forklift accidents: Hazards from improper loading, driver errors, lack of training.
- Illness from chemical exposure: Illnesses from asbestos, silica dust, toxic fumes.
Talk to a Construction Accident Lawyer in Melville, NY
After a construction accident, you may be struggling to recover from an injury, or you may be grieving a tragic loss. The last thing you need at this difficult time is to worry about proving your case or negotiating a settlement. You can leave that to us while you focus on your health.
A construction accident lawyer in Melville can tell you more about your rights under New York law and the legal options in your claim. Reach out to us online or give us a call to learn more about filing a claim for compensation.