Construction is booming in New York City. Old infrastructure is being replaced. New buildings are rising. But along with that boom comes the risk, and even the likelihood, of injury or death. Sadly, the news often reports construction accidents caused by a building collapse or a fall by a worker. If you are hurt or one of your loved ones dies in a construction accident, the Law Offices of Laurence C. Tarowsky is ready to assist you by helping you recover the maximum compensation for your loss.
Laurence C. Tarowsky is a personal injury attorney serving all of New York. Laurence C. Tarowsky has recovered many millions of dollars for clients since forming his firm over thirty years ago. His victories include a recent case where he obtained $990,000 for a construction worker who fell from a ladder and injured his back.
The Number of New York Construction Accidents
There are hundreds of construction accidents each year in New York. The city’s Department of Buildings keeps track of them by month and year. The figures for December 2019 have not been reported at this time, but through November there were 523 accidents in which 551 people were injured and eleven died. Over half the accidents took place in Manhattan with about a fourth in Brooklyn.
Types of Construction Accidents that Happen in New York
Construction workers can be injured in many ways. The Department of Buildings also lists the type of accident. The categories are:
- Excavation/Soil Work
- Material Failure (Fell)
- Mechanical Construction Equipment
- Scaffold/Shoring Installations
- Worker Fell
- Other Construction Related
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also collects statistics on construction accidents. It has identified the “Fatal Four” categories of accidents that most often lead to death. Nationwide, these four categories accounted for nearly 60% of worker deaths in 2018:
- Falls (33.5%). This type of accident ranges from a trip-and-fall to more dangerous falls from scaffolding or buildings.
- Struck by Object (11.1%). Of course, tearing down and rebuilding result in construction materials falling and hurting workers in construction accidents.
- Electrocutions (8.5%). This is a small category of injuries but one of the most horrific because of the burns electrocution causes.
- Caught-in/between (5.5%). This type of accident includes being caught in or compressed by equipment or objects or materials.
Training Improves Safety
To try to cut down on the number of construction accidents causing injury or death, OSHA has developed a number of training courses. New York City strengthened its construction safety measures by passing Local Law 196 in 2017. That law, which is now fully in effect, requires construction and demolition workers to have forty hours of safety training. Workers have two options:
Option 1: 30-Hour OSHA, 8-Hour Fall Prevention & 2-Hour Drug and Alcohol Awareness.
Option 2: 10-Hour OSHA, 8-Hour Fall Prevention, 8-Hour Site Safety Manager Refresher, 4-Hour Supported Scaffold, 2-Hour Drug and Alcohol Awareness, 4-Hour General Electives & 4-Hour Special Electives.
Violations of Local Law 196 can result in fines of up to $25,000 per violation plus $1,000 per day for each day that the violation is not corrected.
Falls Cause Most Injuries and Death from Construction Accidents
As we have seen, the statistics tell us that falls are the most common type of construction accident. For that reason, New York City requires a special training course to help prevents falls. But what kinds of injuries can a fall cause? Broken bones are the most obvious injury. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us more:
- About 20% of falls result in a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
- Some 800,000 patients are hospitalized annually from a fall, most often with a hip fracture or a head injury.
- Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
And of course, consequences of any fall can include to death.
In the worst cases, the result of a fall is death. Fortunately, relatively few construction accidents lead to death, but a death in the family is traumatic. Money cannot replace a loved one. However, the law does provide a remedy to make the family as whole as possible, in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit can allow the family to recover the cost of the deceased’s medical and hospital bills, funeral expenses, lost wages and job benefits, the support and services that the deceased provided, pain and suffering on the part of the deceased and lost inheritances.
Legal Remedies for Construction Accidents
As we have seen, not only can violators of the law be fined, but their failure to comply with the law can make them subject to a lawsuit in a court of law. Every one of the standards to prevent construction accidents, including requiring worker training, can result in injury or death. Those responsible can be made to pay for their violations of the law. For a free consultation with a construction accident attorney at the Law Offices of Laurence C. Tarowsky, visit our contact page or simply call 212-947-2099.