Utility Worker Injuries
Utility workers are at an increased risk of injury on construction sites. They may come to a construction site and start to work, but in some cases, protective equipment is forgotten or another party leaves out defective equipment or otherwise commits a negligent act. If you are a utility worker who has suffered injuries on a work site, the seasoned Syracuse construction accident attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano can help you determine your legal options.Utility Worker Injuries
Construction sites are dangerous places for everyone, including utility workers. There is a heightened risk of gravity-related injuries such as those that might result from a heavy object or a worker falling, as well as crushing injuries and even motor vehicle accidents onsite. Injuries sustained by workers could include amputation, broken bones, complex fractures, lacerations, soft tissue injuries, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord damage.
Your only recourse against your employer after a work injury may be workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can include compensation for wage loss and medical benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits are awarded regardless of fault, meaning you can get benefits whether or not you can show that your employer is at fault. Your employer cannot deny you benefits by showing you are at fault for your work-related injuries. You should be aware that workers’ compensation benefits are limited, and usually they cover items of loss like medical benefits, partial wage replacement, and vocational rehabilitation.Third Party Lawsuits
However, a construction site is often full of people, and sometimes the negligence of third parties results in injuries. There are several special New York Labor Laws that provide worker protection on construction sites, including Labor Law 240 and Labor Law 241. Under Labor Law section 241(6), owners and others must apply certain protections when excavation is occurring on a construction site. Under Labor Law 240, owners and contractors are required to provide proper safety devices to protect workers from gravity-related injuries.
It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for trying to obtain damages under the Labor Laws. Employer retaliation occurs if an adverse action is taken against you due to your exercise of your rights under these laws.
There may be claims against other parties as well. If you are a utility worker injured by defective equipment on a construction site, you may be able to pursue damages from the manufacturer of the equipment, and a skilled injury lawyer can help. You’ll need to show the equipment was defective in one of three ways: a design, manufacturing, or marketing defect. Plaintiffs can pursue damages against a manufacturer under theories including strict liability, breach of warranty, and negligence. Generally, strict liability is considered the most favorable. In this kind of case you’ll need to show: (1) the defendant sold the defective equipment and is in the business of selling such equipment, (2) the equipment was in a defective condition that made it unreasonably dangerous and caused you injuries, and (3) the product hadn’t been changed in any way from when it was sold.Damages
If you are able to go beyond workers’ compensation and establish third party liability following a work injury, you may be able to obtain compensatory damages. These are damages intended to make you whole and in most cases, they are more significant than workers’ compensation benefits. They can include economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses that may be recovered in a construction accident lawsuit can include tangible, concrete losses such as medical bills, out-of-pocket losses, replacement services, rehabilitation, and therapy. Often these losses are documented and the documentation serves as evidence. Noneconomic losses usually aren’t documented and they are subjective. They can include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment.Experienced Construction Accident Attorneys in Syracuse
The lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represent utility workers injured in and near Syracuse. We also provide legal representation to workers and others injured in accidents in areas including Rochester, Elmira, Auburn, Ithaca, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Binghamton, Oneida, Lowville, Watertown, Utica, Wampsville, Canandaigua, Oswego, Cooperstown, and Lyons. Please call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.