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Bronx County was the last of the 62 counties of New York State to be incorporated. Although the Bronx is the third most densely populated county in the U.S., about a quarter of its area is open space, including Woodlawn Cemetery, Van Cortlandt Park, Pelham Bay Park, the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo. Zip codes in the Bronx include 10467, 10456, 10458, 10453, 10468, 10457, 10452 and 10462.
Construction as a vocation in New York City is a very well-paying craft but also a dangerous profession. Every year there are too many construction related accidents that happen in the Bronx, many of which could have been avoided. But construction company general contractors and their sub-contractors often times put profits ahead of safety and as a result, tradesmen get seriously injured. When they do, they will be out of work and will need legal representation.
If you were injured in a construction-related accident, your rights will vary based on whether you were working or merely a bystander. Bystanders who are injured on a construction site will pursue recovery through a personal injury action in the normal course and the responsible party will be responsible for compensating them.
But if you were a construction worker who was injured while working, it becomes more complicated. Workers who are injured on the job may have multiple sources available for compensation, depending on the situation. Unfortunately, some construction accident attorneys tend to overlook this very important fact.
One of the reasons you want to retain an attorney right after the accident is to begin a thorough investigation that will establish liability against the at-fault party or parties. When you hire a Bronx construction accident attorney right away, they can immediately start an investigation. The investigation may include sending someone out to the construction site, ensuring that video is preserved and maintaining photographic evidence. Additionally, investigators may speak with witnesses and obtain recorded or written statements.
What is entailed in determining liability in a construction accident case will vary from case to case. Every case is unique and immediately identifying all possible negligent parties is critical to obtaining maximum compensation for your injury. In many cases, multiple parties may be at fault.
Workers’ compensation is the only remedy against your employer in New York. However, there are some “carve-outs” or exceptions to this general rule. For example, if the worker was on site but “off the clock” then worker’s compensation benefits may not be applicable. Additionally, the worker’s compensation carrier can claim that the worker was outside of the scope of their employment in looking to deny coverage.
Workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for filing a claim against your employer (injured workers cannot bring personal injury suits directly against their employers). However, there may be specific circumstances that allow you to file a third-party liability claim against another party. Workers’ compensation does not compensate a worker for anything beyond medical expenses, loss of earnings, and permanent disability. This is not enough to cover injured workers for all of their damages. This is where other remedies can be beneficial if available.
If there are other liable parties, like other contractors or subcontractors, or even a manufacturer, then the victim can bring a claim against them. However, it differs from workers’ compensation coverage in that you need to prove negligence in order to receive any financial compensation.
Determining who is responsible for your accident can be a challenging process. There are multiple companies, products, and people involved in a construction job. Some of these parties include general contractors, subcontractors, property owners, engineers, architects, and more. Anyone working on a project has a duty to ensure the conditions are safe for those workers completing their jobs. Manufacturers and suppliers have a duty to ensure the products they produce, and supply, are safe and won’t endanger people.
The advantage to someone being able to file a third-party liability claim is the potential for far greater recovery than what you would receive in a workers’ compensation claim. Retaining the right Bronx construction site accident law firm is crucial to determining what remedies are available in your particular situation. If you retain a personal injury firm that doesn’t have experience with construction accidents, they may not identify the parties that you can file a third-party liability claim against. Using a skilled firm means they will go the extra mile to investigate possible negligence by all parties, thereby increasing the potential for recovery from outside sources.
A construction accident can result in devastating consequences for both the worker and their family. And having to deal with the legal end of things when you’re just trying to get better can make matters much worse. You need to retain a qualified construction accident lawyer to protect your legal rights.
In some situations, a workers’ compensation doctor may try to limit your treatment or prevent you from getting the level of care that you really need. By pursuing a third-party liability claim, you will be free to see a doctor who you choose rather than one being paid to try and cut-off your treatment.
You may also be subjected to an IME or an independent medical examination. Despite its name, this type of examination is anything but “independent.” IME doctors are paid by either the worker’s compensation doctor or an insurance company. The IME doctor, in reality, is tasked with minimizing your injury and cutting-off your treatment. It may be a good idea to have someone on your side when you attend one of these IMEs, sometimes referred to as an IME advocate or an IME companion.
If a pedestrian or bystander is injured by something at a construction site, then they will have a viable claim or cause of action as well. They may be hit by a falling object or caused to trip and fall over debris on the sidewalk or in the public space. In this case, the injured person will have a viable claim or case against the at fault party – usually the general contractor or subcontractor.
Bystanders or pedestrians passing near a local construction site have the risk of being injured due to jobsite safety issues, although, as a practical matter, the workers on the site have the greatest risk of injury. Some of the more common causes of construction site accidents can include:
April, 2023: Company, manager charged with manslaughter in NYC construction worker’s death. A construction company and its management are charged in the fatal August 2019 partial collapse at a Bronx construction site that killed a worker. The Bronx District Attorney’s office said it uncovered multiple layers of fraud used to get the permits to build at 94 East 208th Street. Between that and the negligence in violating construction regulations, the DA says what happened in 2019 was no accident. Tons of cinderblocks collapsed like a slide onto a roof that wasn’t able to hold the weight at the construction site where a four-story apartment building was being raised on a former parking lot. “All we heard was like a big sound go boom, and we ran out when we came the building had collapsed, and everyone came out, and they were like somebody’s in there,” said Tracey Burke who works nearby. Construction worker Carlos Huertas, 46, was crushed to death and at least four others were injured in the collapse. Four years later, Huertas’s wife and five children were present when Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark announced charges against three contractors in charge of the building site.
Augustine Adesanmi Akhlak Choudhary, Abazi Okoro and Fatos Mustafaj face a long list of criminal charges with three out of four being charged with criminally negligent homicide or manslaughter in Huerta’s death. “The horrendous death of Segundo Manuel Huerta Mayancela-buried under cinderblocks and metal sheets–was entirely preventable,” Clark said. “The construction site at 94 East 208th St. was a deathtrap waiting to happen.” The contractors allegedly disregarded building safety codes and worker protections and also filed false documents to obtain a building permit, according to the DA’s office. In one instance one of the contractors, a former employee of the NYC Department of Design and Construction, was paid $3,000 to use his credentials, but allegedly never visited the site according to the DA’s release. “The City’s buildings codes are written to support and advance safety on construction sites,” NYC Department of Investigation Commissioner Jocelyn Strauber said. “As charged, these defendants failed to follow the law and to carry out their most basic responsibilities, including to show up in person to ensure safety standards were being met.”
Mr. Redenburg was very helpful in aiding us through our case. This was my first time ever going through something like this and he was able to help take off a lot of the stress I was feeling. I would definitely recommend him to anyone who needs legal advice.
If you have been injured in the Bronx due to someone else’s negligence, contact the Bronx Construction Accident lawyers at Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC and get the wheels of justice spinning for you. Call 212-240-9465 now!