We absolutely can’t thank you enough.
Powers & Santola was so knowledgeable and caring. I was so very fortunate to find such a great law firm.
If you suffered a work-related injury, whether it was an occupational illness, an on-the-job accident, or an injury caused by the negligence of someone else on the job site, the law office of Powers & Santola, LLP. can help.
Powers & Santola, LLP. is one of the nation’s top ranking, preeminent personal injury law firms by US News and “Best Lawyers in America.” Since 1987, we have helped hundreds of injured workers in manufacturing, construction, warehouses, road construction, utility work, and other industries in upstate New York. One of our experienced Albany construction accident lawyers are available to evaluate your accident claim during a no-obligation, free initial consultation. Contact our New York law firm online to schedule a free consultation in our Albany office (518-720-6188), Syracuse office (315-509-3430), or Rochester office 585-440-6734.
We Adeptly Handle All
Worksite Injury Accident Claims
We have handled a wide range of work-related injury and wrongful death claims resulting from construction accidents and other workplace accidents, including:
- Falling objects that strike workers
- Electrocution and burn injuries
- Excavation accidents and crush injuries
- Vehicle accidents while at work
- Forklift accidents
- Welding accidents and machinery defect accidents
- Toxic exposure
- Crane, excavators, aerial lifts, loaders, and other heavy equipment accidents
- Falls from ladders, scaffolding, roofs, beams, in elevator shafts, or from any elevation
Workers who are injured on the job are usually entitled to workers’ compensation. In some cases, a worker may also be able to seek third-party liability damages against another company or another company’s employee who caused the injury. We can help you with both types of claims.
We Understand the Unique Laws
and Regulations Surrounding These Accidents
Sections 240 (sometimes called the Scaffolding Law) and 241(6) of the New York Labor Law are unique in the way they protect people doing construction work, demolition, repair, or cleaning of structures. These protections are not based on who was “at fault.” The laws apply to all workers, including workers from other states and undocumented workers (illegal immigrants). Utility workers and road-and-bridge workers are often covered by these laws as well.
Bringing a case under these special laws does not affect the construction worker’s ability to seek workers’ compensation benefits. You can seek both, with no penalty or reduction in benefits.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. Workers are entitled to compensation for injuries they suffer related to their job regardless of whether they were at fault or the employer was at fault in causing the injuries. Employers must purchase workers’ compensation insurance coverage; it is compulsory. Because employers have provided this insurance to workers, employers are, by law, immune from lawsuits by employees if the workers’ compensation insurance is in effect.
(If the employers do not have workers’ compensation insurance or have let their insurance lapse, they can be sued by injured employees.)
What Benefits Can a Worker Receive
From Workers’ Compensation?
The primary benefits of workers’ compensation are wage reimbursement, medical expenses and death benefits.
- Wage Reimbursement – If your injury is such that you would be classified as totally disabled, the lost wage rate is two-thirds (66.66%) of your average weekly wages. The maximum amount you can receive is currently capped at $600 per week, but after 7/1/2010, that cap will be removed. If your injury is classified as a partial disability, the amount you can receive is reduced.
- Medical Expenses – There is full reimbursement for all medical expenses directly related to the injury, provided you are treated by a pre-approved provider.
- Specific Compensation – If you suffered the loss of a limb, the loss of hearing or vision, or a disfiguring visible scar, you are entitled to a lump sum of compensation, whether or not you missed time off work.
- Death Benefits – These benefits are paid to surviving spouses, minor children, and sometimes to other family members.
Offering Services From Our Experienced Construction Accident Attorneys
Attorney Daniel Santola, recognized as one of the “Best Lawyers in America,” has handled construction accident cases since 1975. He has been invited by bar associations, judges and law schools to lecture on the topic of construction law. He has “written the book” on construction accident law in New York. With hundreds of cases and millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements to his credit, you will find few injury attorneys better versed in New York construction law.
Do ‘NRCM’ Industry Workers in New York Face a Higher Risk of Injury?
The following considers the question of whether or not workers within the NRCM industry face a higher risk of injury than do other workers, and how and when an injured worker can file a third party personal injury liability claim for damages.
Facts and Statistics About Workers and Injuries in Natural Resources, Construction, and Maintenance
The report cited above states that more than 11 million people work in the NRCM industry. While this may seem significant, it is actually the smallest of the five high-level civilian occupation groups; the most populous is management, business, science, and arts occupation, which employs 43 million workers.
For clarification, the following occupations are considered to be NRCM industry-specific jobs:
- Maintenance and repair workers – general
- Construction workers
- Automotive service technicians and mechanics
Other occupations also fall into the NRCM category, although these are occupations that employ fewer people than does the industry listed above. Other occupations are watch repairers, fishers, farm workers, and animal breeders.
The Prevalence of Work-Related Injuries Amongst those in the NRCM Industry
As stated above, NRCM is the least populous high-level civilian occupation group, with just over 11 million people. However, despite this, there are more missed days from work due to work-related injuries amongst NRCM workers than there are amongst workers in any other civilian occupation group category. The incident rate – which refers to the number of days missed from work for work-related injuries and illnesses per 10,000 workers – is 107.1 for all other occupations; for the NRCM industry, that number skyrockets to 191.6.
What Types of Injuries Are Most Common?
Natural resource, construction, and maintenance workers are laborers, meaning that they use their bodies to move, carry, grow, build, repair, or construct things – commonly involving heavy objects or machinery – on a daily basis. As such, it makes sense that injuries in this category are more common; there are simply more hazards.
The types of injuries that are most common amongst NRCM workers include injuries to the trunk, hand, and head. However, while these types of injuries are more common in this industry, and are reported at a much higher rate than are other injury types, all worker injury types are higher amongst NRCM workers. This includes injuries to the:
While, as stated above, there are more inherent risks in the natural resources, construction, and maintenance industry, accidents are not inevitable. Rather, most accidents occur because of human errors and a lack of appropriate safety standards or safety equipment. In fact, nearly all workplace accidents are completely preventable.
What Can I Do If I Am Injured On the Job?
There are options for recovering compensation if you are injured on the job, whether you are an employee or an independent contractor, and regardless of any worker protections that your employer may have in place. Your options for recovering compensation after a workplace accident include:
- Filing a third-party liability claim against a negligent party; or
- Filing a lawsuit against a negligent employer.
Filing a Third-Party Liability Claim
A third party lawsuit is a claim against a negligent third party whose fault caused your accident and injuries. For example, if you were working on a farm when a defective piece of machinery jammed, resulting in the loss of your arm, you can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the defective piece of machinery. In order to recover compensation for your losses, you must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, that they breached this duty of care, and that you suffered damages as a direct result. Damages that you can seek in a third party liability claim include compensation for all economic and noneconomic losses.
Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer
Typically, lawsuits against an employer are prohibited, as employers have civil immunity from liability. However, there are some exceptions to this law. For example, under New York’s “scaffold law,” an employer or contractor who fails to fulfill their duty to workers to ensure their safety when working at heights could be held liable if the lack of safety precautions results in a worker’s fall and subsequent injury or death.
Injured construction workers can also bring a lawsuit against their employer/contractor, per New York labor law section 241(6) if the employer/contractor fails to provide a reasonably safe job site, and a worker is injured as a result. The injured worker must prove negligence in order to recover compensation.
You can read more about New York statutes for protecting laborers’ ability to seek damages from their employer by referring to New York Construction Law on our website.
It’s Time to Get to Work on Your Claim
One of the reasons that workers in the NRCM industry are injured at a much higher rate than are workers in other industries is that employers and contractors often fail to take the proper measures to protect workers, as do other industry players – i.e. property owners, other companies, manufacturers.
When the negligence of another party leads to your workplace injury, and you incur medical bills, experience pain and suffering, and are prevented from earning a wage after your accident, you may deserve to be compensated. At the law offices of Powers & Santola, LLP, we will work hard for you. We have represented countless workers in our state.
When you need a legal advocate in Albany or Syracuse who understands the civil system and your right to file a lawsuit through it, we are here to help. Contact our experienced lawyers today to get started.
Call Our Albany Workplace Accident
Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If you were injured on a construction site, contact Powers & Santola, LLP., today to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced workplace accident lawyer. We handle cases involving any work injury, occupational illness or fatal workplace accident case in upstate New York.
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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.