Construction work is very dangerous – accidents on construction sites cause terrible bodily injuries. In New York, workers on construction sites are four times more likely to suffer a fatal injury on the job than any other industry. Falls from ladders and scaffolds, falling materials, tripping on debris in pathways and work areas can leave a construction worker permanently disabled. These types of incidents are relatively common in Yonkers and as a result, there are often many serious construction injuries.
It is important that any construction worker injured on the job speaks to a Yonkers construction accident lawyer. Stanley Tomkiel and Matthew Tomkiel, both very experienced and knowledgeable about construction injuries, can explain your rights and help protect your future income to support your family. You may feel lost and confused after a serious construction injury leaves you unable to work and in pain, but an understanding personal injury lawyer can help you decide what you need to do to protect yourself and your family. We can meet you at our Yonkers law office to go over your case with you in a free consultation without obligation.
Construction Site Safety in Yonkers, NY
Construction site safety is mostly in the control of general contractors and developers who should provide the equipment and methods to protect workers against the extraordinary risks that construction work involves. The pressures and demands that owners and contractors put on workers to get the work done as soon as possible can imperil worker safety. Likewise, the desire to save money often leads to skimping on the necessary safety devices such as baker scaffolds and good ladders that workers need to do their dangerous work safely. Too often this leads to tragedies for the working men and women of Yonkers who must ply their trades in dangerous worksites. Although there are safety rules and OSHA regulations, too often contractors merely pay lip service to these requirements. In the real world, if a worker complains about a wobbly ladder or the lack of safety rails on a scaffold, he is told to get the job done with the dangerous equipment or get off the job. While employers carry the legal burden to provide a safe construction site with proper safety equipment that is reasonably safe from hazards, they many times take shortcuts with safety to save time and money, leaving the injured worker to carry the burden of the devastating consequences of a serious construction injury.
Stan and Matt, the father and son partners of Tomkiel & Tomkiel, are committed to making it right for the injured carpenters, masons, steelworkers, laborers and all the many tradesmen who construct and renovate the buildings of New York when they suffer pain, disability, and wage loss because they were denied the proper safety protection the law requires to ensure a safe workplace.
Are Contractors Responsible for Jobsite Safety?
Contractors have a responsibility to maintain a safe worksite. The New York State Labor Law recognizes that construction work is very dangerous, especially when construction workers must work at elevated worksites. Time demands to get work done quickly often means that contractors take short-cuts with safety. So the Labor Law, in Section 240 (called the “Scaffold Law”) and Section 241, requires that building owners and general contractors provide safety equipment such as scaffolds, ropes, ladders, and other equipment in good condition for the protection of workers. It also requires that work areas be kept free of dangerous tripping and slipping hazards and that materials be safely secured to not fall onto workers. The owners and contractors cannot pass the buck by transferring these obligations to the workers or even to their employers. The building owners and general contractors are always responsible to satisfy these safety duties. If they fail to ensure that construction workers are properly protected when exposed to the extraordinary hazards of construction work, they are responsible to pay for the losses that are caused by such failure. Someone who has suffered such injuries should contact a dedicated Yonkers construction accident lawyer.
We at Tomkiel & Tomkiel, both Stan and Matt, have helped injured construction workers recover millions of dollars for their losses, including lost wages due to disability, pain & suffering, lost pension benefits, loss of enjoyment of life as well all the other aspects of loss that arise from a devastating injury. We are firmly committed to helping to protect the rights of the men and women who construct New York’s buildings when they have been left with serious bodily injuries that impair their ability to support themselves and their families.
Filing a Construction Accident Workers’ Compensation Claim
The workers’ compensation law in New York states that employees injured on the job, including undocumented workers from other countries, can receive medical treatment at no cost to them, as well as a portion of their lost wages if they are disabled. Employers in Yonkers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance for this.
But you must take certain steps to make sure you receive what is owed to you.
When you see a doctor or emergency room after a construction accident, make sure you tell them you were injured at work, and it should be paid by workers’ compensation. The bills should be sent to the employer who will pass them on to the workers’ comp insurance company.
Never fall for the trap that some employers try to lay by telling you to say you got hurt somewhere else, to not put the bills under workers’ compensation. They may promise to pay your bills and wages if you don’t file a WC claim. This can result in your losing the benefits you may need in the future. We have seen too many workers fall for this trap, and then after a few weeks or months the employer says, “Too bad for you, I can’t keep paying you if you can’t work!” Or if you need extended therapy or surgery, the employer says, “I can’t afford to pay those big bills.” Then when the worker files a claim, they say, “The injury never happened on the job, it says so in the medical record.” The trap was set for you and now you suffer the consequences. Even if this happened to you, though, Tomkiel & Tomkiel can still fight to get you the benefits you deserve.
You must report your construction injury to the employer in writing within 30 days, and a claim for any injury must be filed within two years, although there can be exceptions to these rules in some cases. If you are unable to work, you must see a doctor regularly, at least every three months, so that the doctor can certify that you remain disabled. Without this, the insurance company may not pay you disability benefits.
Any doctor who treats you for a work-related injury must follow the medical treatment rules required by the Workers’ Compensation Board and must submit all bills to the WC insurance company. You cannot be billed for any work-related treatments. If you get any bills, send them to the WC insurance company or if you don’t know yet who that is, send them to your employer.
Many people think that workers’ compensation claims are simple and straightforward, and sometimes they are, but if your injury requires long treatment or leaves you disabled for a long time, it gets very complicated. An experienced Yonkers construction accident lawyer can help you deal with the workers’ compensation insurance company. We can help you get the full compensation benefits you deserve and need. Call us today for a free, no obligation consultation.
Contact a Yonkers Construction Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one was injured in a construction accident, speak to a qualified Yonkers construction accident lawyer. These cases can become very complicated very quickly, but we know how to deal with the insurance companies. These are not cases you can deal with your own, so call Tomkiel & Tomkiel today.
We always offer free consultations without obligation to injured construction workers and all injury victims. We are here to help you protect your financial future and to get full, fair, and just compensation for your losses caused by a serious construction accident.