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Arye, Lustig & Sassower Blog

Tragic violence, and new fears, hit a Manhattan construction site

New York City construction workers know that their job can be dangerous and stressful. Serious injuries occur far too often on construction sites. In 2017, several workers lost their lives while doing their jobs.

In the construction industry, fatal workplace violence is less common and perhaps even more shocking than a tragic death from a fall or another accident. A recent shooting has perhaps brought new fears to workers who may already have safety concerns on their minds.

Cranes collapsed as storm raged: are new regs needed?

Images of raging winds and torrential rain filled the news in recent days as we in New York City watched Hurricane Irma pummel Florida. One of the videos that made an especially strong impression was from Miami, where a construction crane spun out of control atop a high-rise.

News reports indicated that two cranes collapsed in Miami, sending debris onto the empty streets below. A crane in nearby Fort Lauderdale also reportedly collapsed during the ferocious storm. For those in the construction industry, the reports were reminders of the several deadly New York City crane collapses in recent years. 

Construction worker expected to recover from being "rolled over"

At first glance, some people might find humor in the story. After all, a construction worker was using a portable toilet on a work site when a dump truck driver "rolled over" him, according to a newspaper report.

All possible humor vanishes, however, when more details of the incident are revealed. The injured construction worker has a collapsed right lung, multiple fractures of his pelvis and possible internal bleeding. The 28-year-old worker was in just his second day on the job at the billion-dollar Louis Armstrong Airport expansion project in New Orleans.

New York road construction work starting to slow

It happens every year: New York roadway construction picks up in the spring and slows down in fall. Though road work slows down at this time of year, the remaining job sites are just as dangerous as ever for workers and drivers alike.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration says that more than 400,000 people each year are injured in roadway construction zone accidents and more than 800 drivers, passengers and workers are killed in the crashes.

Construction worker hit, killed by 30,000-pound concrete slab

Few things are as tragic and difficult for people to accept as the premature death of a loved one. The sudden and unexpected loss of a dear friend or a family member can shake us to the core.

Those were the emotions rolling through those who gathered recently for the funeral of a 49-year-old construction worker killed in an on-site accident. One of the mourners described the accident victim as an "authentically, genuinely, joyful, kind person."

"Anyone who met him says he was just so kind," said the mourner.

Manhattan construction worker killed; debate over safety law heats up

Few of us have achieved all we wanted to get done, been to all the places we've wanted to visit or acquired all the knowledge we sought by the time we're 22 years old. It is tragic when life is cut short at that age.

New York City media reports that a 22-year-old worker died when he fell down an elevator shaft at a Manhattan construction site. The Yonkers man was working at a 52-story building being erected at 281 Fifth Avenue, officials said. The tower is scheduled for completion in two years, NBC reports.

Manhattan construction accidents: A deadly fall near Hudson Yards

Too many workers are killed on New York City construction sites. Some of those workers aren't even laborers who are thought to perform the most dangerous jobs. Sadly, some of them are old enough to be the grandfathers of other workers.

On June 7, 2017, the New York Daily News reported that a 62-year-old surveyor fell about 10 stories to his death on a site on West 33rd Street near the Hudson Yards. Apparently, the man fell through a platform and was pronounced dead at the scene.

More NYC construction tragedy: A worker dies in an elevator shaft

News reports continue to describe serious and fatal accidents on job sites in Manhattan. In the latest tragic incident, a 53-year-old worker was found dead in an elevator shaft in a building on West 41st Street on Sunday, July 23, according to a report by The cause of death was initially thought to be cardiac arrest, according to the report.

These frightening cases bring up important questions in our minds: Should more be done to prevent accidents? Can construction workers be provided with safer working conditions and better equipment? Is someone cutting corners or ignoring warning signs? Will the families of deceased and catastrophically injured be treated fairly and compensated properly? What can I do to protect my rights as a worker or spouse of a worker?

After a construction injury: Will I lose money without a lawyer?

Nobody wants to get hurt on a New York City construction job, but it happens all the time. Being laid up is frustrating, and it can cause a variety of financial and emotional problems. Financial protection and good medical care help, of course, but workers would rather get up in the morning and go to work.

Speaking of financial protection, you deserve answers to several important questions if you or a loved one was hurt while working construction:

  • How will you know if you are getting all the money damages you are entitled to after an accident?
  • Should you be receiving compensation over a longer period of time?
  • Is workers' comp sufficient to cover your lost income and other losses?
  • Will all your medical costs be covered in the long term?
  • Does your case go beyond workers' comp because a third party (someone or something other than you and your employer) caused or is responsible for the injury?

Construction injury: What could go wrong if I don't get a lawyer?

Getting hurt on a construction job is a big deal. An injury can affect your livelihood, your long-term health and finances, your family stability and your emotional state. But it can be hard to know if you're taking all the right steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.

People will have different opinions about what you should do after you get hurt, and you will have many questions: How long will it take to recover? How will you pay the bills in the meantime? Will workers' comp cover everything? What doctor should you see? Will your employer make things difficult for you? Who should you talk to? Do you need an attorney?

*AV Preeminent is the highest rating of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

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