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Construction Worker in Queens Dies in Forklift Accident

Unfortunately, construction accidents in New York happen much more often than they should. Statistics have shown that, in recent years, construction deaths have again spiked. Safety at construction sites should be everyone’s top priority. When proper safety protocols aren’t followed, and a worker gets hurt, the law here in New York may give him or her the opportunity to recover compensation for the harm suffered. To learn more about your rights and options if you’ve been injured at your construction job, you should contact an experienced New York construction injury attorney.

A tragic example of such an accident, reported by the New York Daily News, took place recently in Queens. The worker, Edgar, was an immigrant from Ecuador and working on a luxury high-rise construction project when he suffered his fatal accident. Edgar, who was an employee of a window company, was part of a team using a forklift vehicle to transport a stack of windows to a garage for storage. Edgar was standing on the rear portion of a forklift driven by a co-worker when a window fell on him. The impact crushed Edgar’s head, and he died.

According to the Daily News report, Edgar was often troubled by the lack of attention to safety at the site. “He used to say it was very dangerous to work there… He was afraid of dying. He always complained about it,” the victim’s brother-in-law told the news source. A “stop work” order had been issued for the site, but those orders don’t apply to the moving and storage of materials, which was the task Edgar was doing when he died.

Unfortunately, stories like these happen with depressing frequency. While there is no amount that can fully compensate for the loss of a loved one, the death of an income-earner undeniably leaves a financial strain on the family members left behind. Fortunately, the law allows for injured workers or the families of killed workers to use the legal system to pursue fair compensation.

One method is to bring a claim alleging a violation of Section 240(1) of the Labor Law. That violation occurs when a construction worker is injured due to a “gravity-related” risk, which can be the worker falling or something falling on the worker. The law requires that workers receive proper safety equipment to protect them from these gravity-related risks. This obligation falls upon the site owner and the general contractor, and they cannot delegate their duties to others, so a property owner and a general contractor may be very likely choices in terms of identifying parties to sue.

Thus, for example, if Edgar’s family could prove that his injury was a result of the window falling on him while he was not provided with appropriate head protection, he could possibly have a case under this law, and he might be able to pursue the owner and the general contractor on the project.

Another option is Section 241(6). That law gives injured workers an avenue for suing if there was a violation of safety regulations that led to the accident. New York has something called the “Industrial Code,” which is a subchapter within Title 12 of the state regulations. One of the regulations in the industrial code, for example, covers safety as related to forklifts. If Edgar’s family could prove to the court that his fatal injury was a result of some activity that violated the Industrial Code, that might potentially entitle them to compensation.

If you’ve been hurt at your construction job, make sure you protect yourself and safeguard your rights. Talk to the skilled Queens forklift accident attorneys at Newman, Anzalone & Newman. Our attorneys have many years’ experience helping injured construction workers get what the law says they deserve. To put our experience to work for you, schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified attorneys. Contact us toll-free at 877-754-3099 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

How an Absence of a Wall or Railing on a Sidewalk Bridge Helped a NYC Construction Worker Make His Case, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, March 11, 2018

‘Flexible’ Definition of a Construction Site Allows a New York Worker to Pursue His Construction Injury Case, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, March 4, 2018

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