Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Construction Accident Lawyer in NYC

NYC Construction Accident Lawyer

Construction Accident Lawyer NYCConstruction is a significant contributor to the U.S. economy, providing countless jobs and adding millions of dollars to the country’s GDP. It is estimated that the construction industry employs more than 7 million people and creates nearly $1.5 trillion worth of buildings annually. Further, there are currently more than 700,000 construction companies in the U.S. However, construction is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, with 150,000 workplace injuries taking place each year. 

Considering the high number of construction accidents in NYC each year, personal injury claims are quite common. Whether you are a construction worker or an employer in the industry, it is crucial to know the basics of construction-related injuries and the types of accidents that commonly occur around construction sites. Here’s everything you need to know about New York construction accident lawyers and the kinds of legal remedies that may be available to accident victims. 

Types of Construction Accidents in NYC

Our expert construction accident lawyers handle all types of construction accident cases, including those involving:

NYC Construction Injuries

Construction sites can be dangerous places, especially for workers who routinely utilize heavy equipment. The work is also very physical, and workers are often required to climb structures or work on roads where traffic accidents can occur. Unfortunately, because of the physical nature of construction, workers are more prone to workplace injuries than people in other professions.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the most common construction-related injuries include: 


Workers may fall from a structure, piece of machinery, or scaffolding. Depending on the severity of the fall, permanent disabilities can occur. 

Trench collapses

Construction workers often work in and around tracks and trenches. If this occurs, the oxygen supply can be cut off, or a crushing injury may happen if the collapse occurs while the worker is in the trench. 

Scaffolding collapses

While scaffolding projects are closely regulated, serious injuries can occur if a collapse happens while a worker is off the ground. 

Electric shocks

Construction workers often work with electrical equipment pieces, including generators and power tools. Workers can suffer severe electrical burns if the equipment malfunctions or the proper precautions are not taken.

Repetitive motion injuries:

Many construction projects require repetitive movements. When the body repeatedly performs the same motions, muscles and ligaments can become damaged, causing pain and limiting mobility.


In addition to the common injuries described above, accidents can also happen from malfunctioning tools or errors made by other workers.

Who Can Suffer a Construction-Related Injury?

Construction sites can be dangerous places, especially for workers who routinely utilize heavy equipment. The work is also very physical, and workers are often required to climb structures or work on roads where traffic accidents can occur. Unfortunately, because of the physical nature of construction, workers are more prone to workplace injuries than people in other professions.

NYC Construction Accident Statistics

Construction is often considered among the most dangerous occupations in New York. In 2018, 30% of all work-related fatalities in New York occurred in the private construction industry. Construction-related fatalities are on the rise, and hundreds of workplace injuries occur each year. In New York City, most construction-related fatalities are caused by slips, falls, or contact with machinery or objects. 

Working from elevated structures is common on construction sites in New York and is one of the leading causes of fatal falls and other serious injuries. The city and labor entities have passed several laws to protect workers and regulate construction site conditions. Unfortunately, many companies fail to follow many of these regulations to save time and make a more significant profit. 

Construction Injuries in New York City

New York law requires construction employers to carry workers’ compensation to cover expenses if an employee is injured in a workplace accident. Under these claims, the worker does not need to prove employer negligence, and the employer cannot claim the employee’s negligence caused the injury. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system designed to provide compensation and other benefits without going to court. Under New York law, an injured employee is entitled to the following benefits when applying for worker’s compensation: 

Medical Care

The injured employee is entitled to compensation to cover all medically necessary treatment by a healthcare provider. Medical expenses covered include medical bills, hospital stays, prescription medications, and ongoing physical therapy. Employees are sometimes required to use a company doctor for a limited period of time to be eligible for compensation.

Temporary disability

Injured employees might be entitled to receive temporary disability payments if their injury caused them to miss work for an extended period. Most plans do not cover all lost wages. There are specific maximum limits, which typically equal two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly gross pay before the accident. Disability payments begin a few weeks after a doctor verifies the accident and end once an employee is deemed medically fit to return to work.

Permanent disability

If a worker’s ability to return to normal activities is permanently hindered by a workplace accident, they could be entitled to a monetary award. The award amount will depend on the injury and how it impacts the worker’s ability to compete against others in the labor market. Other considerations that may affect the award include age, occupation, and income at the time of injury.  

Vocational rehabilitation

Compensation may be awarded if a worker requires vocational rehabilitation or training to return to the workplace. During vocational training, the worker gets partial income payments, similar to temporary disability. This benefit is usually temporary and ends when the injured worker returns to the workplace. 

Some injured workers may be entitled to receive multiple benefits throughout a workers’ compensation claim. For instance, a worker may be eligible to receive temporary disability and vocational rehabilitation payments simultaneously. 

Construction Accidents in New York

Construction Site Injury Lawyer Staten Island NY

Personal injury lawsuits involving construction accidents are only pursued in certain situations. First, non-employees injured in a construction accident can file a lawsuit against the company. Second, certain workers’ compensation policies allow injured employees to file personal injury lawsuits in certain situations. 

To win a personal injury lawsuit, an injured worker must prove that the employer’s negligence caused the accident. To prove negligence, the worker must demonstrate that the construction company owed a duty of care to them. The plaintiff must prove the defendant breached that duty and that the breach caused the injury. 

If a construction-related injury resulted in the death of an employee, other legal avenues might include a wrongful death claim against the employer. 

Damages In A Construction Site Injury

Unlike the workers’ compensation system, the fault must be established in a personal injury lawsuit. As a general rule, you can sue the party responsible for your injury, but you must prove fault and negligence to win your claim. You have the right to file a lawsuit against the following parties in a construction-related personal injury case: 

Your employer

Generally, New York employers cannot be sued for work-related injury. However, there are specific circumstances in which you may be allowed to sue your employer. For instance, New York’s labor laws indicate you can sue an employer if you were injured in a fall, and the employer’s negligence caused the fall. 

Other contractors

Construction sites are often made up of several contractors working for different companies. If you are hurt because of another company’s negligence, you can sue that party. 

Property owners

If an injury was caused by unsafe property conditions, you might be able to sue the property owner for negligence.

Equipment manufacturers

If you were injured because of a malfunctioning tool or piece of equipment, you can sue the company that manufactured, distributed, or sold the device. 

Personal injury lawsuits may also be filed against individual people, such as a fellow worker or an employee of another construction company if they caused your injury. 

Construction Site Accident Site Lawyer in NYC

You are entitled to a monetary award in a workers’ compensation case regardless of who caused the injury. However, fault is an essential factor in personal injury cases. It is the responsibility of your legal team to determine fault and prove negligence to win a  construction accident lawsuit. Employers often attempt to transfer the blame to employees or other contractors to avoid liability to avoid paying claims. Thus, it is vital to work with a competent legal professional to ensure a proper investigation is conducted. 

Even if you are partially to blame for your injury, you may still be able to sue your employer if you can prove negligence. You may be able to prove your employer was negligent if the following conditions were present when you were injured: 

  • Uncovered holes
  • Unsafe conditions for operating equipment
  • OSHA violations
  • Tripping hazards
  • Unsafe ladders and scaffolds
  • Lack of protection for workers on above-ground structures 

It is essential to gather as much evidence as possible after the accident to prove fault and negligence in your case. Examples of evidence that may work in court include pictures of the accident scene, statements from witnesses, or OSHA reports.

What Compensation Is Available in Construction Injury Cases?

Generally, an injured worker in a construction-related lawsuit may be eligible to receive an award to compensate for: 

  • Lost income
  • Out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Reimbursement for all medical care
  • Pain
  • Suffering
  • Punitive damages 

Punitive damages are compensation assessed to punish the defendant for outrageous conduct. Note that punitive damages are usually not awarded in construction-related lawsuits. Damages will only be awarded if the court deems the defendant’s conduct egregious and wants to punish such behavior. For example, a construction company may be assessed punitive damages if they learned of a hazardous chemical leak but did nothing to remedy the situation before a worker suffered an injury. 

Construction Accident Lawsuits

Construction Labor Laws in New York State

Construction workers injured in a construction-related accident in New York may have the right to file a personal injury claim against a third party. However, New York law limits who you can sue and who can be deemed liable in construction-related accidents. Generally, you can only file a personal injury lawsuit if you suffer an injury caused by another party’s negligence. Further, you cannot file a claim against your employer if they have workers’ compensation insurance

Injured workers who do not receive workers’ compensation are generally entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit. Here are other instances when you have the right to file a personal injury claim in New York:

  • An injury resulted from a defective tool or piece of equipment 
  • An injury resulted from a motor vehicle accident
  • Damage was caused by someone who does not work for your employer
  • Your employer violated safety rules such as Section 240 of New York’s Labor Law.

If you have been injured in a construction accident, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you understand your rights, collect the proper evidence, and represent you in court and settlement discussions. In some instances, cases are resolved with the insurance company before going to court. It is usually a good idea to accept an insurance offer if it is reasonable and will cover your medical bills. Going to court can be a long, arduous process and should be avoided if possible. 

Experienced NYC Construction Accident Lawyer

Are you looking for a construction accident lawyer in NYC? When you’ve been injured in a construction-related accident, it is essential to know your rights so you can receive the proper compensation.

Contact William Schwitzer & Associates today to set up a time to speak with one of our experienced lawyers. Our attorneys are well-versed in New York construction law and have helped many workers receive the compensation they need to cover medical bills and lost wages. Don’t wait any longer to get the help you need. Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

Construction Accident Lawyers in NYC

Construction Accident Lawyers, NYC

The construction industry spans several markets and employs millions of workers. Given the nature of the work, construction sites often produce an array of potential hazards for workers.

Unfortunately, these hazards can result in construction accidents.

For example, one-fifth of all work-related deaths in the U.S. occur on construction sites, where the accident rate is 71% higher than in any other industry. In New York, construction is the most dangerous profession statewide, accounting for 24% of the country’s workplace fatalities.

Injured construction workers often rely on workers’ compensation benefits to aid them financially when an accident leaves them unable to work. However, when accidents warrant further action for fair compensation, New York City construction accident lawyers can help accident victims better understand the legal remedies available.

If you suffered an injury in a construction accident, you may benefit from speaking with a construction accident lawyer.

Potential Construction Site Dangers

Potential Construction Site Dangers

Construction happens in phases, each with skilled workers doing a variety of jobs. From the highest rise to the foundation, workers are at risk for injuries, and the kind of injury depends on the type of work occurring on site.

The most common risks include:

  • Slips, trips, and falls can occur anywhere on a construction site. Scattered debris, loose cords, wet flooring, and uneven surfaces are common and can occur at virtually any level. 
  • Working at heights is common for construction workers in New York City, and improper training or equipment can result in deadly falls. 
  • Handling heavy equipment and materials could lead to a variety of injuries. Some may present slowly over time as muscle and tendon injuries related to repetitive overuse. For example, hand-arm vibration syndrome is a painful condition caused by prolonged use of power tools, and it is common in the construction industry. Sometimes improper training results in unsafe use of equipment. 
  • Electrical work may be the source of a severe injury or the catalyst lead to another dangerous act resulting in injury. For example, a strong shock can cause workers to lose composure and fall.
  • Toxic airborne materials float around construction sites regularly. Without proper safety gear, workers are vulnerable to lung damage and other respiratory issues caused by exposure. As a result, many suffer from asthma and silicosis. In addition, asbestos links directly to a rare and deadly form of cancer called mesothelioma that may take decades to manifest. 

Another common but unexpected hazard is noise. Construction work is excessively noisy. Workers who deal with regular, consistent loud noises may have progressive hearing loss or deafness.

NYC construction accident lawyers see this often, but workers sometimes do not realize that employers have a responsibility to assess the risk for noise damage and provide employees with proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

Potential Construction Site Dangers

The Four Main Fatal Injuries

While all the aforementioned causes are dangerous, four injury risks are so common in the construction industry that they earned the collective name the “Fatal Four.”

These four causes include:

  1. Crushing. With so much heavy equipment and objects moving around, workers can become trapped between them. As a result, the injuries are often devastating and account for a large portion of fatalities.
  2. Falls. Falling can occur under a number of circumstances. It is the most common cause of workplace injury or death.
  3. Electrocution. A worker without electrical training is at risk for a deadly electrical shock when performing electrical work.
  4. Forceful blows. Heaving moving objects may strike a worker causing injury on impact or cause the worker to fall, resulting in a secondary injury.

There is no limit to the potential harm workers may face. Constructions accident lawyers in NYC handle everything from unsafe equipment to ladder accidents and collapsing scaffolds. 

Common Construction Site Injuries

Common Construction Site Injuries

The most common construction site injuries that New York City construction accident lawyers see include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Broken and fractured bones anywhere on the body
  • Eye injuries, often resulting in vision loss or damage
  • Burns
  • Illnesses related to chemical or toxic material exposure
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Muscles strains and sprains

Some of these injuries may present symptoms slowly and progressively over time, while others directly result from a devastating accident. Either way, all can lead to missed work and compiling medical bills, leaving injured workers in need of financial compensation.

Eligibility for Workers Compensation Benefits

Eligibility for Workers Compensation Benefits

Any registered business with employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect the company and the worker in the event of a work-related accident. Ideally, construction workers should not need the help of a New York construction accident lawyer to apply for and receive workers compensation benefits, but not everything always goes smoothly.

If you suffered an injury on the job, workers’ comp will cover:

  • Medical treatment includes hospital and doctor visits, medications, and ongoing physical or occupational therapy.
  • Temporary disability provides wage compensation calculated as a percentage of average wages for injured workers that need more than two weeks off from work.
  • Partial temporary disability provides compensation for workers that can continue a portion of their job while injured. Payments amount to two-thirds of what the worker made before minus what the worker can make following the accident.
  • Total temporary disability provides two-thirds of average weekly pay to workers with a temporary disability rendering them completely unable to work.
  • Permanent total disability provides two-thirds of average wages indefinitely until the worker heals.

Construction accident lawyers in New York, NY handle many cases where workers seek permanent partial disability, which awards benefits based on the part of the bodied that suffered injuries.

For example, scheduled awards provide two-thirds of wage compensation for permanent damage to parts of the upper and lower limbs, eyes, and ears. Nonscheduled awards cover the head, spine, and other organs of the body.

If you suffered disfigurement, NYC construction accident lawyers could help you present your case for an additional award of as much as $20,000.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Construction Site Accident

Workers’ compensation benefits are available to employees working on a construction site only. Because these benefits require no determination of fault, a lawsuit is avoidable under fair circumstances.

However, if a non-employee suffers an injury at the job site, they may file a personal injury lawsuit against the construction company on the basis of premises liability.

Determining Liability

The concept of premises liability usually applies in slip and fall accident lawsuits. In the simplest terms, it states that the construction company owes a duty of care to any non-employee worker lawfully on the premises.

To receive compensation in premises liability cases, New York City construction accident lawyers help the plaintiffs prove that the company acted negligently, causing the accident and resulting in injury.

To have a personal injury case, you must have a liable party, and it is not always the construction company. A New York construction accident lawyer will typically assess the details of a case in an initial evaluation to determine who is at fault.

In a construction-related injury case, possible defendants may include:

  • Another contractor. Large construction sites sometimes employ multiple contracting services. 
  • Equipment manufacturers. If a defective piece of equipment caused your injuries, you may sue the manufacturer in a product liability case.
  • Property owners. If the dangerous condition that caused your accident and injuries falls under the duty of care owed to you by the property owner, you would sue the property owner and not the construction company.

In New York, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer under certain circumstances. Experienced construction accident lawyers in NYC understand the nuances of labor laws and can explain the best compensation avenue based on your case’s details.

Recoverable Damages

Just as it is with any personal injury case, you may have the opportunity to recover compensatory and punitive damages in a workers’ compensation claim. Compensatory damages include two categories:

  • Economic damages, or specific damages, include lost wages, medical expenses, and any out-of-pocket expenses relating to injuries.
  • Non-economic damages, or general damages, include pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, and emotional distress.

Compensatory damages provide compensation for tangible and subjective losses related to your construction accident injuries injuries. On the other hand, punitive damages offer the victim a monetary award as punishment to the defendant for gross negligence.

A judge awards punitive damages for a construction-related accident only on exceptionally rare occasions. However, suppose a construction company knew about a hazardous condition that could endanger the safety of workers and continued to ignore it, the court may order the company to pay punitive damages to deter such behavior in the future.

How New York City Construction Accident Lawyers Can Help You

How New York City Construction Accident Lawyers Can Help You

If you find yourself hesitant to reach out to a New York construction accident attorney about your construction accident case, the New York City construction accident lawyers at William Schwitzer & Associates can answer any questions you may have about workers compensation, personal injury lawsuits, and liability.

Our attorneys have years of experience with construction and New York labor law. We can provide countless examples of cases where we helped workers receive the compensation they deserved to cover their losses due to worker-related injuries.

Contact us today to set up a no-obligation consultation. We will go over the details of your case and help you better understand your rights and legal options.