In the early hours of March 22, residents of one New York City neighborhood awoke to a terrifying scene. In a rain of bricks and mortar, a building came crumbling down around three construction workers; witnesses said it sounded like a bomb going off.
The workers were unearthed within minutes, but it was too late for one of them. In the collapse, an experienced worker was crushed to death by falling debris. The others escaped with injuries that were not life threatening.
The cause of the collapse is still under investigation. Members of the construction crew indicated that they hadn’t even begun work on the building when it fell. Yet, even when blame for such accidents cannot be immediately placed, injured workers or the loved ones of workers who are killed may contact New York construction accident attorneys in order to pursue just compensation.
Injured Construction Workers Afforded Broad Rights Under New York Law
Workers’ compensation is one remedy that may be available in the wake of a construction accident. Under workers’ compensation laws, injured employees can collect benefits for an on-the-job injury without having to show fault. In other words, workers’ compensation payments are often available regardless of who caused the accident.
In some states, workers’ compensation benefits preclude you from also pursuing a separate personal injury claim. Not so in New York. New York has special liability laws designed to give added protection to workers in the construction industry.
Under these laws, owners of the premises under construction (or the owners’ contractors or agents) may be sued for injuries which occur on any worksite that is not in compliance with New York’s safe places to work requirements. The duty for New York construction premise owners to provide a safe workplace is non-delegable and absolute, meaning they cannot pass responsibility off to some other party and they may not generally shield themselves from liability by pointing out an injured workers’ own negligence.
Call a New York Attorney to Discuss Your Construction Accident Case
In 2011 alone, 152 construction-related injuries were reported in New York City. For the injured workers and their families, there are several legal remedies which can help ease a potentially devastating situation.
All construction workers in New York, even undocumented immigrants, have a legal right to a safe work environment. If you have been injured in a construction accident, or if a loved one has been killed, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to pursue the compensation you are entitled to.