June 14, 2023
2022 Construction Deaths in NYC
By Jonathan Damashek
The construction industry is known for being one of the most dangerous work environments. However, construction deaths in New York increased in 2022 despite attempts to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on the job. Anyone who lost a loved one could pursue compensation if they lost someone to a construction site accident.
There is no reason you should be forced to cope with the financial distress on top of the trauma of a construction death when someone else is responsible for your loved one’s passing. You can make them pay with help from an experienced wrongful death attorney.
How Many NY Construction Deaths Were There in NY?
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), there were 22 construction deaths in New York City in 2022.
Unfortunately, construction deaths are far more common than they should be. There were more than 750 accidents, with 554 injuries. This is a significant increase in construction accidents and deaths in NY over the last few years. For example, there were only 14 construction worker deaths in 2019.
Manhattan saw the most significant number of construction accidents and injuries, with more than 330 accidents and 250 injuries in 2022. Brooklyn had the highest number of construction worker fatalities of all boroughs.
Fall accidents caused more than 80% of construction deaths in 2022. The remaining 20% were caused by defective mechanical equipment and failure to adhere to proper safety procedures and protocols on construction sites.
What Are The Leading Causes of Death in New York Construction?
In the construction industry, the top leading causes of death are commonly known as the “fatal four” or “focus four.” These include:
- Being struck by objects – Construction workers can suffer fatal injuries when falling objects, vehicles, or other construction equipment strike them.
- Slip and falls – According to OSHA, approximately 65% of construction accident injuries are caused by slip and fall accidents on scaffolds. Slip and fall accidents can also occur on ladders or rooftops.
- Electrocutions – When construction workers work with live wires in underground cables, control panels, or transformers, they can suffer fatal injuries due to contact with these wires.
- Being caught between or in objects – If a construction worker gets caught in or between debris or machinery, the victim can suffer compression, crushing, squeezing, or pinching injuries. Unfortunately, injuries this severe are nearly always fatal.
Seeking Compensation for a Job Site Death
If you lost a loved one to a construction accident, there are multiple options that may be available to you. Surviving family members are often eligible for worker’s compensation death benefits. Here, qualifying surviving family members may be able to collect death benefits which amount to a portion of the decedent’s lost income. These benefits can continue until minor children reach the age of 18 or the maximum number of weeks allowable has passed.
However, in addition to death benefits through your loved one’s workers comp policy, your family may also be able to move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit.
Here, your personal injury lawyer will guide you through the civil claims process and bring the liable party to justice to the fullest extent of the law. When you file a wrongful death claim, you can seek compensation for every way your life, your family members’ lives, and your loved one’s life was affected by the construction accident and your loved one’s death.
It should be noted that for a wrongful death claim to succeed, your attorney must show that the elements of negligence have been met or that another party’s actions directly or indirectly caused your family member’s death.
Laws That Help Protect New York Construction Workers
Several laws have been implemented in the hopes of reducing the number of construction deaths in New York and ensuring surviving family members can recover the compensation they deserve. Some of the most critical laws include:
- NY Department of Building Inspections – The NY DOB implemented safety initiatives to reduce the number of construction deaths by completing building-related inspections across the city and developing fall protection systems.
- OSHA Inspections – OSHA will conduct construction inspections once every month in the hopes of identifying safety issues that could cause construction deaths and other injuries.
- Labor Law 240 – This law holds construction companies and contractors accountable for injuries that occur due to Falls from elevated Heights, ladders, and scaffolds.
- Carlos’ Law – Carlos’ law increases the penalties for criminal corporate liability for the death or serious injury of a construction worker.
When Should I Work with a Construction Death Lawyer?
As soon as you become aware of your loved one’s construction death, it is crucial to get an experienced wrongful death attorney working for you. You need to learn about the state’s wrongful death laws to determine whether you have the right to pursue legal action.
In many instances, you will be entitled to compensation through not only a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party, but you may also be entitled to death benefits through your family member’s worker’s compensation benefits.
When you have a construction death attorney working for you, you can rely on your advocate to:
- Gather evidence to determine how the accident occurred and prove liability
- Conduct a thorough investigation and reveal liable parties
- Insure liable parties are brought to justice and compelled to compensate your family accordingly
- Go over your damages to accurately calculate the value of your construction death claim
- Prepare to negotiate with insurance companies for a reasonable settlement
- Defend your right to restitution and justice at trial, if necessary
When you are still grieving the loss of your family member, you can rely on your personal injury attorney to handle the legal details of your case. That way, you have greater opportunities to spend with your family, mourning, and rebuilding your life.
Work with a New York Construction Death Lawyer
You need a New York construction death lawyer on your side when another party is responsible for causing your loss. Our team will thoroughly investigate the specific details of your case to reveal all parties that contributed to your loved one’s construction death.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a dedicated and compassionate wrongful death attorney at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek P.C. To find out what’s next for your case. No matter the circumstances, HKD is ready to help you demand justice. You can reach us by phone at (212) 490-5700 or through our online contact form to get started today.