On behalf of Smiley & Smiley, LLP posted in Construction Accidents on Tuesday, January 5, 2016.
The New York Department of Buildings has reported nearly a 40 percent increase in construction accidents in 2015. The injuries from such accidents in 2015 rose 44.7 percent from 2014. Although the increase in construction from the economic recovery has something to do with the numbers, the DOB Commissioner stated that many of the construction accidents were avoidable.
Consequently, the city announced a self-described "ambitious" program to improve safety at construction sites. The DOB also confirmed that it has initiated a focused effort to revoke or suspend the licenses of companies that violate on a repeated basis the city's construction code. This has involved shutting down hundreds of sites run by contractors deemed to be lacking in safety procedures.
Calendar year 2015 was another year of strong growth in the construction industry in New York City, with a steady increase in construction permits being issued for new buildings. Although, a construction worker is entitled to collect workers' compensation benefits for medical expenses and partial lost wages after a workplace accident, the workers' compensation recovery is substantially less than what can be collected by a regular tort claim based on negligence principles. In general, workers' compensation is the exclusive remedy that an employer owes to its workers injured on the job, or for compensation of immediate dependents in the case of construction fatalities.
However, in the construction trade, workers are often injured on the job because of the negligence of third parties other than the employer. These may include subcontractors, contractors and property owners. When a worker is injured or killed in an accident that is work-related, it is therefore possible that additional compensation may be available over and above the workers' compensation benefits payable by the employer. This requires a complex determination of the potential wrongdoers and their legal liability in the factual and legal context of the particular situation. For accurate information and professional expertise, injured workers in New York, or their families, will greatly benefit consulting with an attorney who regularly represents victims of construction accidents.
Source: commercialobserver.com, "NYC Construction-Related Accidents and Injuries Surge in 2015", Lauren Elkies Schram, Dec. 30, 2015
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