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Buffalo Construction Accident Lawyer

Construction sites are notoriously hazardous. Despite many advancements in safety procedures and equipment, construction work is still one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Construction sites and work zones are intrinsically dangerous due to equipment malfunctions, falls from heights, chemical exposure, and more.

Our construction accident attorneys at Towey Law, PLLC can help you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve. If you have suffered an injury due to someone’s negligence or carelessness, contact our offices today for a free case evaluation. You can set up your consultation by calling (716) 300-8232.

Why Hire a Buffalo Construction Accident Lawyer From Towey Law?

Everyone deserves advocacy. At Towey Law, PLLC, you can be sure our construction accident attorneys will fight aggressively for your best interests:

  • We have secured more than a million dollars in compensation from our Buffalo personal injury cases.
  • Having been born and raised in Buffalo, New York, the attorneys of Towey Law PLLC have close ties to the community.
  • The attorneys of Towey Law PLLC provide services in person, on the phone, virtually, or wherever convenient for their clients.

What Are New York Labor Laws?

There are several labor laws in New York you should be aware of that directly affect the construction industry:

New York Labor Law 240

New York Labor Law 240, commonly known as the “Scaffolding Law,” mandates that construction site owners, contractors, and their agents ensure the erection of safe scaffolding and other safety devices to protect workers from elevation-related risks. This law is distinguished by its provision of absolute liability, removing the necessity for injured parties to prove negligence, only that the injury resulted from inadequate safety measures in place at elevated worksites.

New York Labor Law 241

New York Labor Law 241 extends protections specifically to workers involved in excavation and demolition work, outlining stringent requirements for site safety that, if not followed, render contractors and owners liable for any injuries sustained. This statute, similar to section 240, leverages the concept of absolute liability, focusing on the conditions of the workplace rather than the negligence of the parties involved.

New York Labor Law 200

New York Labor Law 200 broadly addresses the safety of all workers and visitors on construction sites, mandating that machinery, equipment, and the site itself are maintained safely, with adequate lighting and necessary guardrails. This section emphasizes the general duty of care owed by contractors and site owners to preserve a safe environment, extending its protections beyond those directly engaged in construction activities to include visitors to the site.

A Construction Accident Lawyer in Buffalo Can Make All the Difference in Your Claim

Liability in a construction zone is seldom straightforward. In many cases, there are multiple companies and independent contractors that may be working on a site.

The construction accident attorneys of Towey Law, PLLC, will:

  • Conduct a thorough investigation to support your claim
  • Gather key evidence
  • Handle all paperwork and filings
  • Determine all liable parties
  • Negotiate on your behalf

How Common Are Construction Accidents in Buffalo?

Construction work comprises nearly half of the Top 25 Most Dangerous Jobs in the United States every year. While the construction industry has made many improvements in technology, safety equipment, and training over the years, 20 percent of worker deaths are attributed to construction accidents.

In the last reporting year:

  • 1.7 percent of construction workers sustained a serious injury on the job.
  • Injury rates in the construction industry are 71 percent higher than in any other trade.
  • An estimated 195,000 injuries were reportedly treated at emergency rooms.

What Are the Types of Construction Accidents Common to Buffalo, New York?

Construction accidents in Buffalo are not limited to employees. Pedestrians, motorists, and independent contractors also suffer injuries related to hazardous work zones.  Construction workers may qualify for workers’ compensation to cover the majority of their expenses. However, pedestrians, motorists, and in some cases, independent contractors may qualify to pursue a personal injury claim.

Accidents can happen frequently. The most common construction accidents involve:

  • Defective or poorly maintained machinery and equipment
  • Being struck by a negligent vehicle
  • Falls from heights, like scaffolding, ladders, and rooftops
  • Being struck by falling debris, tools, pieces of scaffolding, and other dangerous objects
  • Electrocution, which can be attributed to exposed wires and downed power lines
  • Overexertion, which can lead to strokes.
  • Explosions or serious burns from chemicals or sparking wires
  • Slips and falls from obstructing debris, equipment fluid leaks, or faulty stairs
  • Becoming trapped, including being pinned down by a fallen wall or trapped between two pieces of heavy equipment

If you or someone you know has been hurt in a preventable construction accident, call today. You may qualify for compensation for your injuries.

What Is a Third-Party Claim?

It is important to know that not all construction accidents have a third-party claim. In New York, subcontractors have viable claims against the owners and general contractors on construction projects. While a subcontractor may not be able to bring a claim against their own employer, they can bring a claim against the owner, the general contractor, and the other subcontractors on the site. When you discuss your case with a construction accident attorney, they will investigate the details of your case to determine if someone other than your employer appears to be at fault in your case. If so, you can pursue a personal injury claim against the third party.

Workers’ compensation was made to help with the medical bills after an accident. You cannot recover pain and suffering damages, emotional distress, or punitive damages. However, a third-party claim qualifies for full compensation.

For example, if you were injured by heavy machinery due to a faulty valve, the company that manufactured the machinery may be partially responsible. You can collect your workers’ compensation benefits and pursue a product liability case against the manufacturing company.

If you believe your injuries may qualify for a third-party claim in addition to your workers’ compensation, consult with a Buffalo construction accident attorney today.

What Injuries Do Construction Workers Suffer the Most?

When someone is hurt in a construction accident, the consequences can be catastrophic. Construction is a very physically demanding job, and the job sites are filled with dangerous conditions. Common injuries include:

  • Brain injuries
    Head injuries that affect the brain are especially detrimental. Traumatic brain injuries can cause permanent damage or death.
  • Spinal cord injuries
    The spinal cord is very delicate. Sustaining a spinal cord injury can lead to permanent or partial paralysis.
  • Crushing injuries
    Crushing injuries are common in hazardous work zones. A worker can become trapped between a wall and heavy equipment and sustain broken ribs and massive internal damage.
  • Torn ligaments
    Ligaments can take a long time to heal, but many workers continue to work through torn ligaments which can cause permanent damage.
  • Broken, fractured, and dislocated bones
    Broken and fractured bones can be devastating if sustained in the right place. If fractures lead to splintering, it may take surgery to correct.
  • Internal organ damage and excessive bleeding
    Internal organ damage can be deadly. If the organ is not viable anymore, it may need to be removed and the construction worker added to the waitlist.
  • Illnesses and toxic exposure
    Chemical and toxic exposure can wreak havoc on the lungs and destroy the upper respiratory system.
  • Severe burns
    Burns can lead to severe scarring and a great deal of mental anguish. Also, burns can affect the nerves, causing long-term pain.

In some cases, an injury from work can even result in death. If this has happened to a loved one, please visit our Buffalo wrongful death attorney page.

What to do After a Construction Accident in Buffalo

There are several steps you can take after sustaining a construction accident injury in Buffalo that can both help maintain your health and well-being and preserve the integrity of your claim. Regardless of whether or not you anticipate recovering compensation through a workers’ comp settlement or through a personal injury lawsuit against another party, several steps can help this process.

  • Seek medical care. Seeking prompt care after a construction accident serves a few goals, the most important of which is ensuring your health and well-being. However, when you go to the doctor or a hospital right away, this establishes a strong connection between the incident and any injuries that do arise, even if there are delayed injuries later on.
  • Report the injury. An employer or supervisor should be made aware of the injury as soon as possible. Typically, we recommend reporting an injury to the workplace the same day the incident occurs if they do not already know about it. Failing to quickly report an injury to an employer could result in a claim delay, particularly for workers’ compensation claims.
  • Gather evidence. We encourage construction accident victims in Buffalo to obtain as much evidence related to the incident as possible. This can include photographs taken at the scene of the incident or of the injuries, statements from any eyewitnesses to the incident, medical records related to the injuries, and more.
  • Contact an attorney. Construction accident victims often wait longer than necessary to seek assistance from an attorney. We encourage accident victims to reach out to a Buffalo workplace injury lawyer as promptly as possible so they have an advocate working on their case from the beginning.
  • Continue all medical treatment. Construction accident victims in Buffalo should continue all medical treatment recommended by the medical professionals involved with their case. This includes doctors, surgeons, physical therapists, etc. Failing to follow a medical professional’s recommendations after a construction accident injury could significantly jeopardize the victim’s ability to recover compensation for their losses.

Frequently Asked Questions About Construction Accidents

Will this be a workers’ compensation claim?

Construction accident claims typically become more nuanced due to the nature of the industry. In most circumstances, individuals injured at a construction site will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp seeks to provide coverage of all medical expenses related to a workplace injury as well as a portion of lost wages should an individual not be able to work while they recover.

However, construction accident victims may be able to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against an alleged negligent party, under certain circumstances. This includes third parties who may have been responsible for causing the injury or even the employer if the employer’s gross negligence or willful actions led to the injury.

Who is at fault for a construction incident?

A thorough investigation will be needed in order to determine liability for a construction accident in Buffalo. Again, the very nature of a construction site can muddy the waters of liability because there are often so many contractors and subcontractors at the site. A construction accident lawyer can conduct a comprehensive investigation, help determine any possible liable party or parties, and file insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits as needed.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a claim?

There are multiple deadlines construction accident victims should be aware of related to any claim they may need to file. The first of these is the deadline for reporting a workplace injury, which is 30 days from the date the injury occurs or from when the individual discovers the injury. This deadline applies to individuals who will seek a workers’ compensation claim. Under NY law, the workers’ comp claim must be filed within two years from the date the injury occurred, but there are some exceptions to this for certain types of injuries, including hearing loss claims, which must be filed within a much shorter time span.

In the event a construction accident injury victim needs to file a personal injury lawsuit against an allegedly negligent party, they must do so within three years from the day the injury occurs, per the New York personal injury statute of limitations. If a victim fails to file a lawsuit within this specified time frame, the case will likely get dismissed, leaving them unable to recover the compensation they need.

Contact Our Buffalo Construction Accident Lawyers Today

If you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury while on the job, you need representation you can trust. At Towey Law, PLLC, our Buffalo personal injury lawyers will investigate your case and help you file a third-party claim against the at-fault party. You can rest assured that the attorneys of Towey Law PLLC have the experience and skills you need to recover the damages you deserve.

Schedule a free consultation with a Buffalo construction accident lawyer today by clicking here or calling (716) 300-8232.