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NY Construction Fire, Explosion, and Burn Injuries

A construction site fire or explosion in New York is more common than you may expect, especially when buildings are being built or renovated. Burn injuries are incredibly common in the construction industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 66 construction workers are killed every year due to explosions, fires, and hazardous chemical exposure. Electricians, HVAC contractors, equipment operators, carpentry trades, and many other workers are all susceptible to construction burn injuries and other construction accidents that could have been prevented.

New York’s Labor Laws make the owner and general contractor responsible for providing a safe construction site. Therefore, if you’ve sustained burn injuries on such a site, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. Workers’ compensation and personal injury laws protect you in many situations, but these cases can be complicated with many at-fault parties involved. At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our New York construction accident lawyers have decades of experience representing victims of burn injuries and know what it takes to fight for your rights.

Contact us online or call 212-490-5700 to set up a no-cost case assessment. There are no up-front fees, and you owe nothing until we win compensation for you.
 

Construction Accidents & Severe Burn Injuries

A construction site is a dynamic, active work environment, with several crews, dangerous machinery, and countless hazards on any given day. This type of workplace could involve all three potential sources of burn injuries:

  1. Exposure to or contact with heat
  2. Electrical components
  3. Hazardous chemicals

Construction zone accidents are more likely to cause extensive damage as compared to other scenarios because there’s typically less protection in structures being built. Fire alarms, sprinklers, firewalls, smoke detectors, and other fire-suppression systems have usually not yet been implemented as required by the NYC Building Code or state law. Though there are various Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety regulations regarding prevention, explosions, and fires still occur with alarming frequency.
 

Common Burn Accidents on Construction Sites

Buildings under construction don’t spontaneously combust, so there’s a reason behind every fire-related incident. Often, carelessness and disregard of fire safety are factors, both of which fall under legal principles of negligence.

Some common construction site fire accidents include:

  • Concrete burns caused by the caustic mixture of cement and water
  • Gas explosions
  • Fires sparked by welding, soldering, grinding, and other “hot work” tasks
  • Chemical spills
  • Flammable and combustible material explosions
  • Electrical fires from temporary electrical set-ups
  • Explosions and fires caused by temporary heaters
  • Explosions involving rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, used in many construction tools
  • Smoking workers
  • Pipe explosions

Types of Burn Injuries

Fires, explosions, and other burn accidents can cause injuries ranging from minor to severe. According to the Mayo Clinic, the least dangerous are first-degree burn injuries. A typical example is a sunburn, which only affects the outer layer of skin. The epidermis may be red, with minimal pain.

Second-degree burns penetrate the epidermis and reach the layer of skin underneath, called the dermis. The pain level increases considerably, and the skin may appear red and splotchy. Your body may respond to the injury by developing blisters to ease the pressure and heat, and these lesions are extremely painful. They can also lead to significant scarring.

A third-degree burn destroys the epidermis and much of the skin’s dermis layer and can extend into underlying fat tissue. Surprisingly, you may not sense pain because the injury damages nerve cells. Your skin may appear charred and leathery, and the scarring can be substantial. Skin graft surgery is often necessary to replace the destroyed skin tissues.

Notable
Results

$9,000,050

Construction Workers Injured on an Exterior Scaffold

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Workers’ Rights in Construction Site Fires and Explosions

The state workers’ compensation system covers injury-causing construction accidents, including those involving fires, burns, and explosions. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board oversees the program, which provides monetary benefits to qualifying employees.

If you suffer a burn injury at work, workers’ comp may cover:

  • Medical Benefits: Reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to your injury or occupational disease.
  • Lost Earnings: If you are out of work, you are entitled to your lost earnings and benefits.
  • Funeral Benefits: If your parent, spouse, or child was fatally injured in a construction site fire, workers’ comp will pay funeral expenses up to a certain amount.

You can also pursue these benefits by filing a claim with your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company. All New York employers are required to carry a policy to protect their employees in the event of a construction site fire or other accident. In many cases, a workers’ compensation claim is your only legal solution. You should also note that the system doesn’t allow you to recover for pain, suffering, and other non-economic damages.

 

Can You Sue for Construction Burn Injuries?

There are certain situations where workers’ comp benefits are not your sole remedy, and you can seek compensation through a third-party injury claim or work injury lawsuit in civil court. You may be able to seek additional burn injury compensation if:

  1. Your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance as required by law
  2. Willful and intentional conduct was the cause of the fire
  3. A third party’s actions caused the incident.

 

Third- Party Liability for Burn Injuries

Third parties could be almost any individual or entity present at the construction site. For example, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit for burn injuries caused by:

  • A general contractor or subcontractor
  • A vendor of supplies or materials
  • The manufacturer of defective equipment or other parties in the supply chain
  • The owner, operator, or other entity in control of the property
  • An engineer, architect, or designer

Through a third-party liability claim for burn injuries, you can seek compensation for your:

  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages and benefits
  • Physical Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Reduced Earning Capacity
  • Reduced Quality of Life

 

Speak with a New York Injury Lawyer

The aftermath of a severe burn after a construction site fire, explosion, or accident can be incredibly difficult. You are likely in extreme pain and unsure about your ability to continue working. At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., we have helped people in situations a lot like yours to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in rightfully owed compensation, so they can move on and heal properly. Let us review your circumstances, determine who may be liable, and fight for your interests in a personal injury lawsuit where appropriate. Our attorneys represent construction site fire victims in New York City, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and the surrounding region, and we look forward to helping you.

Contact us online, or call 212-490-5700 to schedule your free consultation. There are no costs up-front, and you won’t owe us anything until you recover compensation.

CLIENT REVIEWS

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05/15/2019

“I retained Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek for a serious personal injury case. They were very professional and managed to obtain a settlement for me that far exceeded my expectations. I would strongly recommend this firm for anyone’s legal needs.”

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