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NY Construction Accident Attorney Explains How to Protect Yourself Before and After an Accident at the Job Site

Deadly NY Construction Accidents Are Increasing in New York

In 2015, eight people have already died in NY construction accidents. That is as many as died in all of 2014. The number of NY construction accidents in general is up by 24 percent from 2013 to 2014. Construction is the second most dangerous job in the United States behind mining. Falls are the leading cause of construction injuries and accidents in New York and nationally.  Some of the most serious New York construction accidents come from falls.

  • In December of 2014, a worker fell off a ladder and was killed.
  • Also in December of 2014, a worker fell from a scaffold and died.
  • In June of 2015, a 12 ton air conditioner fell 30 stories from a crane on Madison Avenue. Ten people were hurt.
  • In April of 2014, a worker who was re pointing bricks fell through a hole in a scaffold and died.
  • Also in 2014, a section of floor collapsed during an apartment demolition job and nine workers got hurt (none died).

NY construction accident attorneys know that failures in fall protection and scaffolding are also a leading OSHA violation on construction sites.

Even outside construction’s unique dangers, falls are the leading cause of hospitalizations across New York. New York State makes clear that falls are not mere accidents. They are not “random, uncontrollable acts of fate, but occur in predictable patterns, with recognizable risk factors and among identifiable populations. A fall is a predictable and preventable event.”

NY Accident Attorney Explains: What to Do Before an Accident or Close Call to Protect Yourself and Your Coworkers. 

Know Your Rights 

New York safety laws protect workers by making owners and general contractors responsible for accidents and accident prevention. Know before you get hurt that you have the right to a safe job and the right to consult an NY construction accident attorney.

If you do get into an accident or have a close call, you may be able to get a medical exam and treatment from workers compensation insurance. See a doctor even if you are not sure about an injury and get medical clearance to work if you are concerned.

You do not have to work hurt and retaliation for filing a workers compensation claim is not allowed.

Know Your Resources

Know how to get help when you need it. Know local emergency phone numbers. Know your shop steward if your job has one (if you are in a union).  Get your safety manager’s name and number. Know the job’s address.

Know the Job

Know job safety procedures. Know what safety equipment you need and where it is on the site.  If a job is unsafe, do not attempt it. Tell the supervisor “we have to get this safe to get the job done.” Many working people were hurt and killed to make job safety a priority in America.  Make safety your bottom line. Safety always comes before getting the job done 

Know Names and Numbers

Get your coworkers’ names and numbers in your cell phone and make sure they have yours.  If someone on the job needs to act as your contact after an accident sends you to the hospital (a grim possibility) sharing contact info helps your family find you. Also, if you ever need witnesses or need to investigate an accident, coworker contact information can make the difference between a secure future and an uncertain one.

NY Construction Accident Attorney Explains: What to do After an Accident or Close Call on the Job Site

Get Medical Care: Documented Injuries are the Difference Between Accidents and Close Calls

Sometimes the injury is obvious and no one needs to think about whether you need medical care. Other times an accident may be more serious than it seems. If you think you are hurt, do not wait to get checked by a doctor, especially since workers compensation insurance will pay for your exam and treatment if you need it.  The law requires that you take care of your health.

The difference between an accident and a close call may not be clear at first. The difference is whether you got hurt. Injuries can become clear many days after an accident. An ache on day one may turn into real pain and immobility on day three or five.

When in doubt, get it checked out.

Report ALL Accidents and Close Calls

After an accident or close call, get in writing that an accident or close call happened, even if you do not think you are seriously hurt.  Every job should have a safety manager who takes reports of accidents and close calls (where someone is almost hurt).  If you cannot make a written report, call 311 and make a report to the City of New York of what happened.

Protect your rights to hold an unsafe company accountable if you got hurt by their negligence. Do not let the company cast doubt on your claim by saying your accident did not happen the way you said it did. Your future is at stake.

Note: if you are afraid you will lose your job for reporting an accident or your job has no safety supervisor, you can make anonymous accident reports by calling 311 in New York City.

Take Cell Phone Pictures

Use your cell phone to take pictures of what caused your accident, what safety equipment was there, if it failed, and where safety equipment should have been if it was missing. Accident scenes change fast and by the time you see an NY construction accident attorney, the evidence might be gone.  A picture is worth a thousand words.

Get Witness Names and Cell Numbers

Find out the names and phone numbers of people on the job who you work with so your lawyer can call those witnesses. When it is you vs. the company, one witness can make a huge difference in a serious personal injury case between an uncertain result and future security.

Will I Get In Trouble if I Call an NY Construction Accident Attorney or File a Lawsuit?

Workers can rarely file direct lawsuits against their employers.  Workers compensation laws protect employers against lawsuits and guarantee workers the right to collect workers compensation insurance for injuries sustained in the course of employment.  In New York, it is illegal for an employer to fire an employee or retaliate against the employee for filing a workers compensation claim.

If you have questions or concerns, all phone calls and consultations with a NY construction accident attorney are free, confidential, and privileged.