Demolition of a building can be accomplished rapidly. It may be dangerous, and unfortunately, corners are sometimes cut in order to tear buildings down. Workers and visitors to a site can be catastrophically or even fatally injured. If you were injured as the result of improper arrangements or lack of safety equipment at a site where demolition was underway, you may be able to pursue damages. If you need to recover damages for a demolition accident in Upstate New York, you should discuss your situation with experienced Syracuse construction accident attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We seek the best results available. New York has enacted special protections for construction workers, and you may have remedies beyond workers’ compensation. It’s important to retain counsel.Demolition Accidents
Contractors can choose the right way to take a Syracuse building down. It is critical that they conduct risk assessment, but unfortunately, they do not always do so. Often demolition involves the use of heavy machinery such as cranes or bulldozers that can rapidly push the building down. This process can involve laborers working at heights, as well. Sometimes explosives are used to collapse large buildings on themselves in areas with many people. Workers may not realize the area was unstable or may not be trained or the right strategy may not be used, resulting in pieces of the structure falling in unprotected areas.
Among the types of accidents that are common in Upstate New York demolition projects are falls, electrocutions, falling debris, swinging objects, strikes by machinery, and fires. For instance, you may have a claim, if you fell on a surface that collapsed during demolition and were paralyzed. Similarly, you may have a claim if you are burned by a boiler that should have been removed but was not.
Visitors to a construction site may be able to pursue damages under a theory of negligence or premises liability. As a worker, you may be able to pursue damages under Labor Laws 200, 240, or 241(6), and these provide stronger remedies than workers’ compensation does.Labor Law 200
Under Labor Law 200, owners and contractors can take steps to protect workers and allow them safe workplaces they can fully control. The site should be arranged and operated and equipped to provide protections to workers.Labor Law 240
Labor Law 240 is intended to protect workers from gravity-related risks: the risk of falls and falling objects. These risks exist in the context of demolition, and it is the responsibility of property owners or construction companies to give workers adequate fall protection equipment and make sure certain safety precautions are taken.Labor Law 241
Labor Law 241(6) provides that property owners and contractors can be held accountable when they do not follow certain, detailed provisions found in Part 23 of the New York Industrial Code. These rules have been promulgated by the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor for worker safety. For instance, when conducting mechanical methods of demolition that use a swinging weight attached to certain devices, such as clamshell buckets or crane booms, conditions must be met. If a swinging weight is used for demolition, there must be a zone of demolition that is 1 ½ times the height of the structure being razed around any point of impact. When a rule from Part 23 has been broken and you were injured as a result, our lawyers may not need to establish negligence in order to recover damages on your behalf.Damages
Damages in litigation are typically more expansive than the benefits available in a workers’ compensation claim. Depending on your injuries, damages may include:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Lost earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of enjoyment of life,
- Loss of consortium.
If you were injured in a demolition accident in Upstate New York, you should call the seasoned Syracuse serious injuries attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We aim to give construction workers the best representation possible in Lowville, Rochester, Auburn, Watertown, Herkimer, Oswego, Wampsville, Canandaigua, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Oneida, Utica, Binghamton, and Elmira. Complete our online form or call us at 315-479-9000 for a free consultation.