According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction is one of the most dangerous industries for workers, with more than 150,000 construction site accidents reported each year. Construction workers who were injured or killed on the job may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits for themselves or their surviving family members.
Although New York State workers' compensation is a no-fault insurance system, obtaining the benefits you deserve can be difficult without the help of an experienced attorney. Here's what you should know about construction industry workers' compensation claims in the Empire State, including the challenges you may face and how our exceptionally skilled team of workers' compensation attorneys can assist you.
Common Construction Accidents and Injuries
With dangerous tools, equipment, and materials around virtually every corner, construction sites are inherently perilous workplaces even when the proper safety protocols are followed—and potentially deadly when they aren't. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) statistics show that more than 5,000 people die as a result of workplace accidents each year and roughly one in five were people working in construction.
The most common types of fatal construction accidents—known as the “Fatal Four”—are those in which workers fall, are struck by an object, electrocuted, or caught-in (or compressed between) equipment, materials, or collapsing structures. However, these are far from the only hazards construction workers can encounter on the job. Others include:
- Defective equipment and heavy machinery
- Lack of appropriate safety guards and protective gear
- Exposure to harmful chemicals
- Exposure to toxic mold or asbestos
- Highway work zone motor vehicle accidents
Even when construction workers are fortunate enough to survive an on-the-job accident, they can be left with serious—or even disabling—injuries, such as:
- Broken or crushed bones
- Heat or chemical burns
- Respiratory problems
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage (that may lead to paralysis)
- Eye injuries
- Occupational illnesses
- Hearing damage or loss
- Vision problems or loss
If you're a New York construction worker who was injured on the job, you may be entitled to medical treatment, as well as partial wage replacement payments if you're out of work for seven days or longer. If you're killed in a fatal workplace accident or die as the result of an occupational illness, your family may be entitled to survivor benefits that include funeral and burial expenses, and indemnity payments equaling two-thirds of your wages, up to a statutory maximum.
The workers' compensation claims process can be complicated—and even simple mistakes can result in your claim being denied. For example:
- Your employer may claim that your injury or illness isn't work-related, or that it wasn't severe enough for you to miss work.
- Your employer might claim that you were hurt while engaging in behavior not covered by workers' compensation.
- Your employer and their workers' comp insurer will try to settle your claim for as little as possible.
- Insurers may want to close the case to deny you further access to benefits for ongoing injuries and conditions.
- You may be unable to perform your previous job after being medically cleared to return to work.
Struggling to Obtain Benefits for a Construction Injury? We Can Help
The skilled workers' compensation attorneys with O'Connor Law PLLC help injured workers like you recover the benefits you deserve. We can help you fight for a fair impairment rating; negotiate settlements and stipulation agreements; reopen your claim if your injury or illness has worsened; and litigate your case in court, if necessary.
Our dedicated, compassionate legal team is here for you in your time of need and pleased to offer you a complimentary, no-obligation consultation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to speak with us. Don't wait—you must act quickly to avoid missing key deadlines in your case.