What To Do If You Are Injured on A Construction Site
New construction projects totaling 5.4 million square feet are prospected to begin in New York City this year, adding to the hundreds of constructions projects already under way throughout the city. Each project will present potential hazards to property owners, tenants, pedestrians, and workers.
When injuries occur on construction sites, the resources available to compensate the injured person depends on who that person is in relation to the project.
The most common cause of construction injuries to workers are falls, often caused by faulty equipment, insufficient safety gear, or improper use of equipment. Other common injuries include:
- Injuries from power tools
- Injuries from falling equipment or debris
- Injuries from heavy equipment
Construction workers’ injuries are usually covered by workers’ compensation. The injured worker will file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer, even if the employer is a subcontractor. If the injury is a result of an intentional or willfully negligent act, the injured worker may also be able to sue the responsible person to recover damages for pain and suffering, which are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Independent contractors hired by a property owner, general contractor, or subcontractor are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance and may make a civil claim for damages against the responsible person if they can prove that the injury resulted from an intentional or negligent act. An independent contractor may make a claim against the property owner, contractor, subcontractor, or against individual employees.
The owner of a property owes a duty to his or her tenants to maintain the property in a safe condition. When the property is under construction, both the owner and the contractors doing the work must follow all safety law and regulations and must exercise reasonable care to keep the construction site safe. This includes erecting barriers, posting signs warning of potential hazards, and possibly hiring security guards to keep unauthorized persons out of the danger zone.
Visitors and Pedestrians
Construction sites can pose a hazard to customers, invited visitors, and even to people walking past the site on a public sidewalk or street. It is the responsibility of the property owners and site managers to secure construction sites with fencing, signs, and other barriers to keep objects from falling onto public rights-of-way. When a construction site obstructs a sidewalk, barriers should be erected to allow safe passage on the street adjoining the sidewalk.
When a person is injured on a government-owned property, there are strict time limits and procedures for filing a claim for damages. Failure to file the proper forms within the 90-day time limit may result in your claim being dismissed, so it is wise to reach out as soon as possible.
If you are injured in a construction accident or at a construction site, call an injury lawyer at Mirman, Markovits and Landau, P.C. at 212-227-4000 or visit our website to learn more about your rights.