When most people hear of construction accidents, they often think of a worker being injured on the job. However, what many New Yorkers may forget is that when the site shuts down for the night, a security guard takes over to protect the site and equipment left behind by the construction workers. Unsafe worksites affect these workers as well, and accidents can, and do, occur. One such example happened this month to a 55-year-old security guard.
The construction accident occurred at the partially-constructed One Wall Street. According to reports, the security guard fell down a six-story ventilation shaft. And, while first responders were able to pull the security guard from the sub-basement and get him to a Lower Manhattan hospital, the hospital could not save the man’s life.
The city response to the accident and history of reports
The work site has been shut down while the Department of Buildings conducts an investigation into the accident. Unfortunately, DOB has already received several complains about the One Wall Street construction site. These reports include a prior construction accident from July, where a worker was shocked by an exposed power cable. This is in addition to unsafe scaffolding and un-approved design work complaints.
Options for construction accident victims
The first thing that a victim or their family may think about is workers’ compensation, but that will likely not fully compensate victims or their family. So, they may think they should sue the employer. However, New York’s Labor Law generally does not allow employees to sue their employers under these conditions. But, that does not mean there are no options.
Indeed, through a personal injury lawsuit, New York’s Labor Law and other statutes provide a path to relief for accident victims and their families. Specifically, they can sue the construction site’s general contractor, the building owner, subcontractors or even other potential parties, like construction equipment manufacturers.
These people can be held responsible for their negligence, code violations, hazards, etc. that cause construction accidents. The personal injury lawsuit can hold these parties, collectively, or individually responsible for the victim’s harm or death, including providing damages (in addition to the workers’ compensation benefits), like pain and suffering and loss of projected earnings.