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The construction industry is a major source of jobs and economic growth — yet it can also be a physically dangerous place to build a career. The combination of heavy equipment and moving parts makes the industry one of the most perilous for workers, and onsite injuries occur with regular frequency. According to statistics compiled by the U.S. government, the private construction industry alone is responsible for 21-percent of all workplace fatalities. The most common types of construction site injuries are falls, electrocutions, chemical exposure, being struck by an object or being crushed or compressed.
If you or someone you love has been injured on a construction site, it’s critically important that you know what to do in order to safeguard your legal rights — and protect your future physical and financial health.
What to do in the event of a construction site accident
Construction firms and contractors are legally bound to provide safe workplaces. Yet accidents happen with alarming frequency. Negligence on the part of staff, faulty or defective equipment and other scenarios can lead to a devastating injury, given the sheer power of construction machinery and the scale of many work sites.
If you’ve been injured on a construction site, medical assistance should be your first priority. Until you’ve been assessed by medical personnel, you can’t be certain of the severity of your injury. A cautious approach is always best.
Next, should you be physically able, and if not someone else should take photos or video of any contributing factors to the accident. If co-workers witnessed the incident, ask them to document what happened as well. It’s also possible that an investigation by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration may take place, should there be a question of workplace safety violations.
In the days, weeks and months following the injury, it’s important to keep track of your expenses: lost wages, medical treatment, transportation, etc. These costs can rise quickly and serious construction injuries often require extended periods of time away from work. By accurately documenting these costs, you can recoup your expenses at a later date and protect yourself from financial losses.
Finding the right attorney
Construction site injury cases can be especially complex because of the extensive statutes and regulations that govern operation of a safe worksite. New York has some very important statutes that protect the construction worker. Hiring an attorney or law firm with deep experience litigating construction site injury cases is advisable. Given the gravity of these injuries, and the complex nature of the law, an experienced legal advocate can help ensure that you will receive all that you may be entitled to under the law.
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