Once again, a crane accident has caused injuries to workers in New York, leaving many to wonder why so many crane accidents have occurred over the past several years.
New York Worker Trapped
On Tuesday, June 20th, 2017, construction on a two-story home in Queens was underway when the unthinkable happened. The crane being used to move building materials set a load on top of the roof, which collapsed. The several thousands of pounds of material fell through the roof and all the way through the house into the basement where it trapped three workers.
One of the workers, despite his injuries, was able to pull himself from the rubble while waiting for emergency crews. The other two men had to be dug out by firefighters. One was rescued within minutes, the other, a 28-year-old man, was pinned under several tons of weight from his face to his ankles and it took hours and nearly every tool the firefighters had, including hydraulic lifts, to free him.
All three were rushed to the hospital where one was listed in serious condition and the other two were listed in critical condition.
NYC Department Of Buildings Is Investigating
It’s typical for OSHA or the NY Department of Buildings to investigate after one or more construction workers are seriously injured. Their report will provide the victims with information regarding the cause of the accident. For example, in this case, it has been suggested that the materials placed on the roof far exceed the acceptable weight and that the construction company in charge of the site should have had an engineer overseeing the operation of the crane due to the weight being moved.
This is just one of a string of crane accidents that the DOB has had to investigate. Just half a year ago, two men were killed when a crane dropped its load, a steel beam, four stories where it landed on the crane operator and a flag man.
Luckily, the three men involved in this accident survived and regardless of what caused the accident, each of these workers is entitled to file for workers’ compensation.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
When a worker in any industry is injured, they have the right to file a claim with their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. This policy is supposed to cover all employees who are injured on the job, even if their own actions contributed to the accident which caused them harm.
There are a few exceptions to this rule – if the employee was intoxicated at the time of the accident, their claim may be denied.
Coverage should grant the employee payments for all medical expenses that directly relate to the injuries they sustained while at work and, if time away from work is necessary, a fraction of their lost wages.
This all is very simple in theory, however, insurance companies have learned over the years that by making it difficult to apply for and navigate the claims process, they can find ways to deny and reduce claims, saving the company money. Nearly half of all workers’ comp claims are initially denied.
The denial can be appealed, however, the appeals process is even more complicated than filing an initial claim and the applicant may need to go before a Worker’s Compensation Law Judge to present their case. All of the paperwork for the appeal must be filed according to strict deadlines and any mistakes made of the forms may only delay the process further.
This is when many injured workers decide to turn to an experienced attorney for help.
Let One Of Our Attorneys Help You
Our firm, which has been helping New York’s workers since 1933, is here to help. Our team of experienced and dedicated lawyers is happy to assist their clients with filling out paperwork, talking to the insurance company, and handling an appeal.
In addition to this, we are able to identify any other source of compensation that may be available to a client, such as social security disability benefits or a personal injury lawsuit.