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Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C.

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NYC construction accidents: What happens when the worker is blamed?

Construction work is one of the most dangerous professions in the world. All too often, workers are seriously injured or killed, and sometimes innocent bystanders are hurt or lose their lives because of construction accidents -- right here in New York City.

Safety experts (and workers themselves, who understand the job better than anyone) chalk up many accidents to workplace safety problems, which are ultimately the responsibility of employers. Unfortunately, workers may be blamed for accidents, too. The New York Times reported that this was the case with the horrific, wind-related crane accident in lower Manhattan on February 5, 2016.

What can be done to prevent accidents?

That notorious, fatal crane accident led, rightly, to enhanced safety rules. After a 38-year-old man was killed while walking to work when a 565-foot crane fell onto Worth Street, crane-use restrictions (based on wind speed) were put in place.

But sadly, months later, those wind-speed restrictions were scaled back. Some workers and concerned citizens see that as a serious problem, especially because another fatal crane accident (in Queens) in November 2016 may have been caused by windy conditions.

Who will take the worker's side?

Some construction workers risk their lives contributing to incredible projects that make the city more beautiful, livable and functional. Those workers need advocates when the unthinkable happens.

It is hard to imagine that workers would knowingly cut corners on safety on a job site if they truly believed that safety -- not profits -- were the top priority of their employer and the owners and contractors controlling the job site. And it is hard to believe that any workers would put their lives and their coworkers' lives at risk unless they felt pressured to do so.

If you or someone you love was involved in a construction accident, get legal advice right away. Talk to an experienced attorney about your rights, which need to be protected.

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  • $2.1 million settlement

    for 33-year old electrician who fell from ladder while attempting to fit heavy cable into crown box when cable sprung back and struck him, causing him to suffer left shoulder injury with impingement.

  • $1.6 million settlement

    for 38-year old electrician who slipped and fell on debris on stairway with resulting cervical herniated disc and aggravation of pre-existing arthritic changes.

  • $2.55 million settlement

    for 42-year old electrician who fell into an uncovered, unprotected hole and suffered a severe low back injury with herniated disc(s) that required surgery at L4-5 and L5-S1 levels.

  • $1.75 million settlement

    for 26-year old construction worker who fell through opening in roof and fractured his wrist, requiring surgery with open reduction and internal fixation, external fixation device, and eventual fusion.

  • $2.5 million settlement

    for 38-year old female electrician (with history of prior neck injury) who tripped on uneven Masonite protective floor covering, and suffered neck injury with herniated discs requiring cervical fusion.

  • $1.2 million settlement

    during trial for 40-year old sheet metal worker who was struck in the neck and shoulder by an air conditioning unit and suffered herniated cervical discs and cervical radiculopathy.

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