FAQs - Construction Accidents

The property owner and general contractor – and in some cases sub-contractors – are responsible for ensuring the safety of workers at a construction site. The extent of each party’s responsibility will vary depending on your case.

OSHA safety and health regulations apply to “all contractors who enter into contracts that are for construction, alteration, and/or repair, including painting and decorating.” The regulations clearly state that the controlling contractor is responsible for providing a safe work site, even if portions of the work are subcontracted. Subcontractors are responsible for safety measures for the work they perform, but the controlling contractor has joint responsibility. A responsible contractor cannot raise the defense that a worker consented to work in unsafe or unhealthy conditions.

Companies are required to inspect each worksite to ensure worker safety. All contractors must provide a safe work environment and warn workers of any hazards at the site. Equipment manufacturers are responsible to make and maintain safe products for use at the worksite.

If you are involved in a lawsuit regarding a construction accident, you will be asked to give a deposition. A deposition is an interview given under oath. It involves answering a series of questions posed by lawyers for all sides in the construction accident. A court reporter records the statements; a written transcript of this recording may be used as evidence in court. If you have to give a deposition, your construction accident attorney will prepare you and accompany you during the deposition. Witnesses of the construction accident may also be asked to give a deposition.

Yes. Although workers’ compensation laws prohibit you from suing your employer directly, you may bring a lawsuit against the owner of the site and the general contractor even if they had nothing to do with causing your construction accident injury.

The answer will depend on whether or not the violation was the cause of your injury and where your case is heard. Some courts have held that the violation of an OSHA regulation is negligence per se where an injury resulted, which means that the violation of OSHA is enough proof of the employer’s negligence. However, other jurisdictions have found that an OSHA violation can be one factor in finding the employer negligent, but cannot be the only factor.

In New York, you must file a mechanic’s lien against a commercial property within eight months of the last time they provided labor and materials to the project.

Silica is one of the most common minerals in the earth’s crust. Glass, beach sand, silicone and granite are all silica materials. Exposure to crystalline silica or quartz is the concern for construction workers who can be exposed to silica when cutting, grinding, drilling, sanding, mixing or demolishing materials containing silica. The size of the airborne silica particles determines the amount of risk. The smaller particles are of greater concern as they can be inhaled deep into the lungs where they can cause damage.

Yes, we believe that is the best way to proceed. Construction accident cases are very complex. Your claim may involve legal issues regarding liability, compliance with safety regulations, engineering, indemnity and the amount of damages. A lawyer who is experienced in the area of construction accident law will help ensure that you receive the legal remedy to which you are entitled.

No. New York does NOT require that you be part of a union in order to recover fair and equitable damages if you’ve been injured in a construction accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, contact us for a free consultation. One of our construction accident attorneys will talk with you about the specifics as they relate to your personal situation.

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