Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. | July 28, 2020 | Workplace Injuries
In a tragic work accident, one person died, and three people were injured on Manhattan’s East Side. The accident occurred on Thursday, July 16, a few minutes before 4:30 p.m.
Four construction employees were working on a building located at 136 East 36th Street in Murray Hill. They were working on the building’s façade when the accident occurred. It appears that a window-washing machine malfunctioned before crashing down onto scaffolding and a construction shed below.
When the window-washing machine crashed into the construction shed and scaffolding, it caused the scaffolding and shed to fall to the sidewalk and the street. Pieces of the building’s façade crashed down with the equipment, shed, and scaffolding.
According to the Department of Buildings, the company had filed all required reports and had all required permits for the façade restoration. Investigators are working to determine how the accident happened, and whether the building façade was a factor in the cause of the tragic construction accident.
The three construction workers were transported to Bellevue Hospital after the accident. Two of the injured workers are in critical condition. The third worker appears to have suffered minor injuries in the accident.
Construction Work is Dangerous
Construction workers face numerous risks each day. Working with heavy equipment and on buildings that are very high put workers at risk for catastrophic injuries. Common construction accidents include:
- Falls from heights
- Falling debris
- Crane accidents
- Scaffolding accidents
- Crushed between objects
- Electrical accidents
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Fires and explosions
- Forklift accidents
- Ladder and roof accidents
- Elevator shaft accidents
The injuries sustained in construction accidents can be life-altering. Many construction workers sustain permanent disabilities and impairments. Brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, neck injuries, back injuries, loss of limbs, paralysis, and crushing injuries are just some of the traumatic injuries sustained by construction workers.
Construction workers may have several options for seeking compensation after a work accident. It can be helpful to contact a construction accident attorney to explore all options for compensation to ensure that you receive the maximum amount allowable for your construction accident claim.
Who is Responsible for the Damages Caused by the Construction Accident?
The party or parties responsible for the construction workers’ injuries and damages depend on the factors that contributed to the cause of the accident. If the employees were acting within their normal scope of employment at the time of the accident, they might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, the workers may have other claims that could provide additional compensation for their injuries, damages, and losses.
Workers’ Compensation Claims and Construction Sites
Construction site accidents are very common. Workers injured on a construction site are generally covered by New York’s workers’ compensation system. Injured workers receive medical treatment and other benefits.
However, workers’ compensation does not compensate a worker fully for all damages and losses. For instance, income benefits only compensate a worker for a portion of lost wages after a construction site accident. Workers’ compensation does not pay benefits for a worker’s pain and suffering.
Furthermore, the compensation for permanent injuries and disabilities is limited. Many workers are unable to return to work, or their ability to earn a living is diminished because of their injuries. Under a workers’ compensation claim, their ability to recover compensation for future loss of income is restricted.
Filing a third party claim after a construction site accident may result in additional compensation for a worker’s injuries and damages.
Third Party Claims for Construction Site Accidents
In most cases, workers cannot sue their employers for injuries sustained at work. Workers’ compensation is their only form of compensation for work-related injuries and damages. However, there could be a third party claim that could provide additional compensation for a construction worker injured on the job.
Workers can sue third parties whose negligence led to their injury. For example, if the window-washing machine was defective, the construction workers may have a claim against the manufacturer for damages under product liability laws. If a contractor was negligent in setting up the window-washing machine, the workers might have a negligence claim against the contractor for their damages.
Damages in a third party claim generally cover the full extent of the worker’s injuries, damages, and losses. Damages that may be compensable in a third party claim include, but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses and bills
- Lost wages, income, and benefits
- Decreases in earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish and emotional suffering
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
- Future damages for lost income and medical bills
A third party claim can provide the compensation a construction worker needs to recover from an accident and provide for the worker’s needs in the future. Construction workers injured because of negligence and wrongdoing deserve to be compensated fully for all damages, losses, and injuries.