It’s no secret that construction job sites are among the most dangerous workplaces in New Jersey. Recent New Jersey Bureau of Labor Statistics research on fatal work injuries in the state uncovered that the private construction industry saw the most deaths of all industries in 2020. In fact, the problem has become so severe that New York state recently enacted legislative action known as Carlos’s Law. The new legislation was named for Carlos Moncayo, a 22-year-old construction worker who died due to his employer’s criminal negligence. Although the contractor was convicted of manslaughter, they faced only paltry fines. Carlos’s law aims to raise fines for employers who are found criminally liable in construction site accidents.
Beyond high-profile criminal cases, each and every day civil cases are brought against employers, managers, equipment manufacturers, and others who are responsible for workers’ injuries. The reality is that it can be incredibly difficult to determine who is at fault, so if you have been hurt in an accident, consulting with an injury attorney serving Northern New Jersey may be in your best interest. If you find yourself in this situation, Buttafuoco & Associates can help you understand your rights and whether you have a case during a free consultation.
Owner, Employer, or Jobsite Management?
Most construction-related personal injuries are the result of negligence. However, even if someone else is responsible for your injuries, it doesn’t necessarily mean fault will be easy to prove. To establish a claim based on negligence, you must 1) establish negligence on the part of the defendant, 2) show that the negligence directly led to your injury, and 3) show that the injury incurred specific damages, such as injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, or lost wages.
On a construction site, the owner, employer, and management are legally responsible for maintaining a reasonably safe environment for workers according to OSHA (Occupational Safety Health Administration). That said, negligence on the part of employers can take many forms that might not be readily obvious. At Buttafuoco & Associates, we’ve noticed that employer negligence in construction typically falls under the legal grounds of “Failure to Warn.”
Essentially, employers have a “Duty to Warn,” which means that they are legally obligated to warn employees of any potential hazards in the workplace. For example, electrical hazards, potential falling objects, slippery surfaces, and fire hazards. The employer is also legally required to provide proper training on equipment, safety gear, and hazardous materials. All too often, employers fail to warn employees of dangerous circumstances. Often, employees feel that they were at fault for their own injuries when this is not, in fact, the case. If you are injured as an employee and are unsure whether your employer is responsible, it can be worthwhile to consult with an injury lawyer serving Northern New Jersey.
The Equipment or Material Manufacturer
In many cases, liability for construction injuries falls to the business owner or manager, but sometimes site accidents are not the fault of anyone directly involved in the job. Malfunctioning equipment is a common cause of construction accidents.
A wide range of equipment could malfunction on a job site and leave you with severe injuries, including:
- Saws, drills, nail guns, and other power tools
- Construction vehicles, including bulldozers and cranes
- Scaffolding or other temporary structures and supports
- Defective wiring or other electrical components
If you’re using construction equipment as intended with proper safety procedures but are injured due to a flaw in the design, a Northern New Jersey personal injury attorney will treat this as a product liability case by proving the manufacturer of the equipment was liable for your injury. Product liability law can be especially difficult and complex, but Buttafuoco & Associates can help you navigate your options and get your life back on track.
What to do After a Construction Accident
If you are injured on a construction site, it is essential to know what to do. Documenting the accident, notifying your supervisor, collecting evidence, and seeking medical care are all incredibly important to proving your case.
Because insurance companies will not always pay what you need to recover, working with a lawyer can be extremely helpful. At Buttafuoco & Associates, we make it our mission to maximize your workers compensation for your case so you can get the damages you need to recover.
Get in touch with us today for a free consultation at 1-800-NOW-HURT.