On Friday, December 9th, a New York construction worker became the eleventh person to died from work-related injuries in 2016 after falling from scaffolding, leaving his family in mourning.
Investigators Have Yet To Determine The Cause
It was around 8 a.m. when the 59-year-old construction worker fell several stories from the 8th floor of the Brooklyn building, where the construction company in charge of the job site says that he was in the process of installing facade.
Despite the fact that his co-workers immediately called 911, he sustained head trauma and was declared dead upon his arrival at the hospital.
In an initial review of the conditions surrounding him before his fall, one other worker indicated that it was not uncommon for workers to go without safety harnesses. In addition to this, the Department of Buildings (DOB) has numerous complaints against the management company about this particular location, one of the most recent regarding safety issues with scaffolding and a lack of proper overhead protection.
A full investigation will be performed by the DOB and at this time a stop work order has been placed on the site.
What Can The DOB Do?
Whenever a construction professional fails to uphold the safety standards created by New York city, the DOB has the power to take disciplinary action. This may include fines, stop work orders, and even revoking a license so that the professional can no longer legally work. If the department believes that a criminal act has taken place, they can also hand the case over for review to the proper authorities.
What Are His Family’s Options?
While nothing can ever replace their loved one, the deceased’s family does have several legal options available to them.
- Fill a workers’ compensation claim. Under NY law, the majority of all employers are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance which will cover an injured worker’s medical treatments and a small portion of their lost wages. In the event that the worker succumbs to their injuries, the policy can also provide benefits to those who were dependent on the worker.
- File a wrongful death lawsuit. If the worker had survived, they most likely would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party whose negligence resulted in their accident. However, in cases where a death occurred, the family has the option of filing a civil lawsuit in order to obtain compensation for the losses they have sustained due to the loss of their loved one.
It is possible to file both a workers’ compensation claim and a wrongful death claim. Through these two legal avenues, the deceased’s loved ones may obtain coverage for medical bills for treatments the deceased required prior to their passing, the loss of the deceased’s wages, loss of inheritance, any physical pain and suffering the deceased experienced prior to their passing due to the accident and injuries they sustained, the loss of companionship, emotional trauma, and funeral benefits.
If My Loved One Died At Work Do I Have A Case?
Wrongful death cases can be extraordinarily complex and every case is different. In order to determine if you have a case, one of our team would have to review facts regarding the loss of your loved one. Then we can identify all legal options available to you at that time.
How Much Does It Cost To Talk To A Lawyer?
Time and time again we’ve found that a client schedules their first consultation just in the nick of time, before the statute of limitations, or the time that a plaintiff is allowed to file a lawsuit, expires. In most cases, the reason that the client hesitated was that they were concerned about the cost of hiring a lawyer.
We understand how stressful this time already is and our goal is to help you and your family, not make things more difficult. That’s why our first consultation is always free and anything that you do pay us comes directly out of the compensation that we obtain for you. If we are unable to secure compensation then we don’t get paid.