Construction Accidents
If you, or a loved one, suffered a serious injury or wrongful death due to a construction accident, the passionate construction accident attorneys at The Coppola Firm are here to help.

Start the Conversation Today

Home / Practice Areas / Personal Injury / Construction Accidents

Construction Accident Lawyers Serving Buffalo

Construction work is inherently dangerous and physically demanding, often with long hours. The Department of Labor stated that from 2018 through 2020, construction-related fatalities made up 26% of all worker deaths in New York.

In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports one in five job-related fatalities happen at construction sites. This is tragic and does not even take into account all of the severe injuries that happen on a daily basis in the construction industry. Despite the risks construction workers face, every day these workers arrive at their job sites to help build, repair, and renovate buildings in Buffalo, Amherst, and the surrounding areas. While there are known risks that come with a construction job, workers do still have rights.

If you, or a loved one, suffered a serious injury or wrongful death due to a construction accident, the passionate construction accident attorneys at The Coppola Firm are here to help. Our personal injury lawyers are ready to take on your case and litigate on your behalf for compensation. To connect with a construction accident lawyer, call The Coppola Firm today at 716-839-9700 for a free consultation.

Construction worker laying on the ground next to helmet

How Often Do Construction Accidents Occur in Buffalo, NY?

As noted above, 20% of all workplace fatalities in the U.S. occur in the construction industry. According to a report published by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) entitled, “Deadly Skyline,” New York State (excluding New York City, which has its own statistics) construction workers suffered 10.0 deaths per 100,000. Non-union jobs experiencing construction accident injuries “continue to be especially dangerous for workers” with 86% of worker fatalities occurring on non-union worksites in New York State.

Injuries are more common in construction than they are in other industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

These statistics are too high. Workers deserve to have the expectation of working under safer conditions instead of the unnecessary hazards and negligence they routinely face.

What Are Common Causes of Construction Accidents?

Many different types of construction accidents occur every day at worksites. However, the construction industry is plagued by what OSHA deems “the fatal four” which include falls, being struck by objects, electrocutions, and caught-in/between.

Falling

Falls are the top cause of fatalities in construction in New York State. NYCOSH reports that 48% of construction-related deaths over the past 10 years in New York State were due to fall injuries. The following types of falls are common, and this is not a comprehensive list.

  • Ladders
  • Roofs
  • Scaffolds
  • Unprotected holes
  • Sidewalk bridges

The US Department of Labor and OSHA also cite that falls have historically been a leading cause of fatalities in construction. The majority of construction accidents occur from workers falling off ladders, roofs, scaffolds, unprotected holes, or sidewalk bridges.

Struck by Object

The second highest category of construction worker injuries stems from being struck by an object. Falling objects can occur from swinging, dropping, shifting, or misplaced objects. Another way workers are commonly injured from being struck by objects is through equipment malfunctions and being hit by a vehicle or other heavy equipment.

Electrocution

Unfortunately, electrocutions occurring at construction sites are more common than you would think. Workers sometimes suffer electrocutions from exposed wiring, overhead power lines, wet outlets, or other negligence relating to areas of the worksite connected to electrical currents.

Caught in an Object

The last of the “big four” is caught-in/between, which can occur when construction employees are caught in between equipment, collapsing buildings or other structures, or crushed by an object.

Sadly, many of the accidents where Buffalo construction employees and passersby suffer injury or death are preventable. When general contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, or building owners put worker safety as a priority and take proper precautions, including providing the right safety equipment, many accidents are prevented. What is sad is that the reason why safety is often not the highest priority is that some companies skimp on safety measures to cut costs.

Common Injuries That Construction Workers Sustain

Working in construction is dangerous, and most workers realize this when they take the job. This does not mean those in charge of worksites should not meet basic requirements, if not go above, criteria to keep workers, passersby, and other parties near or involved with the worksite safe. The following are common injuries that construction workers sustain through the course of their jobs.

Broken Bones

Broken, fractured, and dislocated bones can be difficult to heal, especially if the breakage is not a “clean” break or has adverse effects on other areas of your body. In some cases, fractures may lead to splintering. This and other complications may require surgery. Even with a break or fracture that will heal on its own, this could mean you could be out for weeks or months from work.

Head Injuries

Any blow to your head can be serious, as even a concussion is considered to be a mild traumatic brain injury and can have permanent effects. More serious head injuries can lead to lifelong disabilities, including physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral changes.

Eye Injuries

Injuries to your eyes are higher in the construction industry than any other injury, according to the CDC. The federal agency also reports construction workers suffer over 10,600 eye injuries every year, forcing them to miss time from work.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Your spinal cord is extremely delicate. Any injury along the spinal cord can lead to partial or permanent paralysis.

While most construction workers understand the hazards associated with working in construction, what you might not realize is if you are injured due to the negligence of another party, such as the property owner, the general contractor, another contractor, subcontractor, or equipment manufacturer, you do have the right to file a personal injury claim.

What Are the Laws in the State of New York Related to Construction Accidents?

The State of New York has rigid rules when it comes to worker safety and construction job sites. These labor rules, Sections 200, 240, and 241 of the New York State Labor Law, need to be considered when thinking of filing a third-party lawsuit after you suffered an injury at a construction site.

Labor Law 200

Section 200 of the New York Labor Law is designed to protect the health and safety of employees. This specific area of state law is structured to ensure company owners, contractors, and other parties take reasonable precautions at their work sites, including ensuring that equipment, machinery, and any other devices are safely operating. If any deficiencies are identified, contractors, including employers, are bound to correct them within specified time frames.

Labor Law 240

Labor Law 240 of New York State Labor Law is also known as the “Scaffolding Law” because it comprehensively outlines stringent expectations employers are required to follow in terms of safety with regard to scaffolding, ladders, slings, ropes, pulleys, hoists, hangers, blocks, irons, and stays. Employers must be proactive in ensuring these areas are as safe as possible during the course of a job and must take care to see that scaffolding and other materials are secured as stipulated by state requirements.

Labor Law 241

Labor Law 241 was written with construction, demolition, and excavation in mind, along with any equipment necessary for these three activities. Contractors, owners, and other responsible parties are required to take reasonable action to ensure workers are protected from risks relating to these areas of construction.

Speaking with a Buffalo construction lawyer is important because they can help you understand your rights as outlined under New York State Labor Law and determine if your employer (or another at-fault party) did not take proper precautions when it comes to the safety of a construction worksite at which you were injured.

What If I Got Hurt Near or At a Construction Site?

If you were hurt near a construction job site and no proper warnings of safety measures taken by the construction company are posted, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover damages. Types of damages you may be eligible to pursue include the following.

Lost Wages

Losing time off work can result in financial hardship. If negligence or any disregard for safety caused your accident, you can pursue lost wages in your claim.

Pain and Suffering

Not all losses are easily calculable, but they do count as losses. The pain and suffering that often accompanies a New York personal injury accident can dramatically impact your life.

Medical Expenses

Doctor, hospital, and other medical expenses can quickly add up, especially for serious accidents. You are entitled to pursue compensation to help you cover costly medical bills.

If you are a construction worker sustaining an injury on the job, your course of action will vary slightly. It is a good idea to speak with a knowledgeable attorney to help you work through the processes involved. Buffalo construction accident cases can be complex, but with an attorney by your side, you significantly improve your chances of getting the financial compensation you need and deserve.

What Steps Should a Construction Worker Take if They Experience an Accident at Work in Buffalo, NY?

In New York State, if your construction site accident was due to negligence, it is likely you will be eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits to help with your injuries and pay for any medical bills. Under the law, injured construction workers must notify their employer about their accident within 30 days and then file a claim with workers’ compensation.

Why Hire The Coppola Firm When You Get Hurt?

The Coppola Firm is passionate about our clients, and their needs as well as legal rights come first. Our injury attorneys can help you with the complexity associated with New York workplace accidents and provide sound legal advice on how to move forward to get clients the compensation they need. Our law firm will:

  • Gather evidence to support your claim
  • Document important details
  • File any relevant and required paperwork
  • Negotiate or litigate injury cases on your behalf
  • Deal with insurance companies

Founder Lisa A. Coppola has over 30 years of experience and has actively litigated cases in both state and federal courts. She understands the challenges accident victims face, especially since she has worked many years on the other side of the legal process and has first-hand insight.

Dangerous Work Requires Dedicated Attorneys

Suffering a work-related accident, especially one caused by negligence, is devastating. A catastrophic construction accident can have a permanent effect on your entire family, and you deserve justice for all you have endured. The caring Buffalo construction accident lawyers at The Coppola Firm are here for you, and we will carefully go over the events and conditions surrounding the accident to present a strong case.

If you are suffering after a construction accident, let our experienced Buffalo legal team at The Coppola Firm help you. We are a woman-owned law firm serving Western New York, and our office has a ground-floor location with free parking. Contact us today at 716-839-9700 or fill out our contact form for a free case evaluation. When you contact our law office, we also have a number of resources for you, including free advice videos.

Start The Conversation

Call Today!
716-839-9700

We Deliver For Our Clients

TESTIMONIALS

START THE CONVERSATION

Speak With the Lawyers at The Coppola Firm

NAICS Code: 541100

© The Coppola Firm
Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a future outcome.

Call Us Now Message Us