New York Construction Site Electric Shocks Lawyer
In New York, construction sites mark progress and growth. What begins as blueprints, scaffolding, and raw materials finally ends as homes, workplaces, and public spaces for the community to enjoy together.
However, some construction projects go differently than planned. Every year, some workers and site visitors are hurt. Those who survive electric shocks might never fully recover.
These sad realities motivate our law firm to offer Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ for our New York clients, including undocumented workers. We analyze each case to discern what legal remedies apply and then invest our resources and knowledge into protecting each client’s rights.
Experiencing our care is like having an experienced lawyer in your family. Discover our effective approach without cost or obligation. Schedule your free consultation by calling (212) 668-6000 or sending us a brief message today.
How Responsible Construction Managers Prevent Accidents
According to OSHA’s electrical safety manual, electricity is a “serious workplace hazard.” According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), 2,220 non-fatal electrical injuries were severe enough to merit time off work in 2020. Construction and extraction jobs account for about 44 percent of electricity-related fatalities.
Besides direct electrocution, employees might also suffer injuries in falls or explosions caused by electricity. Since this work carries such risk, construction site managers must diligently strive to reduce the risk of an accident.
For example, supervisors should:
- Gather suggestions and concerns from workers during meetings and other interactions
- Carry out electrical inspections and walkarounds
- Organize task forces of qualified personnel to investigate and resolve potential hazards
- Audit operational procedures to improve safety
OSHA provides many compliance checklists to help managers maintain safe working conditions. The organization suggests adhering to the following hierarchy of health and safety controls:
- Elimination or substitution: Automate or change processes, perform tasks at ground level, and substitute less hazardous materials or practices
- Engineering controls: Use machine guards, electrical enclosures, current-limiting circuit breakers, and fuses
- Warnings: Put up signs, labels, and barricades for high-voltage, high-risk areas or machinery
- Training and procedures: Teach and practice electrical hazard awareness and safe job procedures and also perform inspections
- Personal protective equipment (PPE): Keep PPE on hand like flame retardant clothing, gloves, and electrical-hazard (EH) rated shoes with non-conductive layers between any metal and the worker’s foot
These preventative measures can save lives and minimize injuries. Yet, some construction sites fall below reasonable standards of safety.
Liable Parties Should Answer for Preventable Injuries
Electric shocks occur when a person comes into contact with a source of electrical energy. The amount of damage depends on variables including:
- The type of current (alternating or direct)
- The voltage of the electricity
- The resistance (a measure of the ease of electrical flow) of the involved materials
- The path the electricity enters, travels, and exits the human body
- The length of exposure
The designers and manufacturers of electrical devices should deeply understand these concepts. Before selling a new product, they need to conduct rigorous testing and develop safety labels for the packaging that explains the proper usage and risks of the item.
Often, construction site operators are in charge of supervising the installation and maintenance of electrical components. These overseers also need to make sure employees understand how to use the equipment safely.
Preventable accidents can happen if anyone in the chain of design, manufacturing, installation, or maintenance fails their duty. In addition, workers and conditions should meet or exceed the OSHA regulations described in the section above any time they involve electricity. Even low-voltage shocks cause burns, the most common type of electrical injury.
Higher voltages could result in:
- Breakdown of red blood cells (hemolysis)
- Blood clots (thrombosis)
- Cell death from slowed or stopped blood flow (coagulation necrosis)
- Central nervous system damage
- Dehydration with associated weakness and dizziness (hypovolemia and hypotension)
- Irregular heartbeat or stopped heart (arrhythmia)
- Head injuries (secondary blunt trauma)
- Kidney failure
- Loss of appendages due to compartment syndrome (amputation)
- Loss of consciousness
- Muscle paralysis and breakdown leading to permanent disability (rhabdomyolysis)
- Neurological deficits (tinnitus, loss of balance, coordination, or memory, depression, vision problems)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Organ damage
- Swelling (tissue edema)
- Spinal injuries
- Torn or pulled tendons and ligaments (avulsion)
Emergency room doctors should stabilize patients and provide any necessary respiratory and circulatory support. They should also monitor the victim’s heart.
Yet, not all symptoms appear immediately after a shock. Psychologists can help you manage the distress that might result from your pain and the changes your symptoms force into your life.
Reconstructive surgeons and burn specialists can examine you and recommend treatment options. The sooner that you involve mental and medical health professionals, the better chance you have of avoiding future complications.
Recovering Losses After an Electric Shock Accident
When preventable accidents happen, lawyers can intervene to ensure that the legally responsible party pays fair compensation.
New York employers carry insurance to pay for work-related accident costs. The New York Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) coordinates the program to administer benefits, namely:
- Medical, dental, and optometric services: Testing, treatment, surgery, rehabilitation, and medically necessary drugs and assistive devices
- Lost wages: Replacement of a portion of your pay if your injury keeps you from working more than 7 days
- Disability pay: Applicable if your income is reduced due to an injury-related change in assignment or fewer hours
- Support services: Rehabilitation and social programs and social to assist with injury-related emotional and financial issues
- Resources for spouses and dependents: In the case of fatalities, surviving spouses and dependents receive memorial expenses and weekly cash benefits
- Resources for parents or the estate: If there are no surviving spouses or lawful dependents, others can claim a one-time payment of $50,000
Many electrical shock survivors and their relatives find it difficult to navigate the WCB requirements. Our clients appreciate the assistance they receive regarding their benefits, such as:
- Disputing denied claims
- Preparing for and attending in-person and virtual hearings
- Applying for Social Security Benefits if significant disabilities prevent you from working for at least 1 year
- Calculating your weekly benefits based on your average weekly wages from last year and the degree of temporary disabilities
- Establishing the degree of your disability (i.e. total, marked, moderate, or mild) which determines the rate at which your benefits are paid
- Dealing with multiple employers (concurrent employment)
- Obtaining medical and employment records
- Reporting allegations of misconduct regarding claims
- Filing death claims
Some undocumented workers (UW) fear deportation or other legal issues if they file a claim. Under New York law, immigrants also have the right to collect workers’ compensation benefits for work-related injuries. Please be assured that we want to help you get the financial relief you deserve, so do not hesitate to call us if you or a loved one is injured on the job.
As site visitors
Different people might visit the scene of a construction project from time to time. It would not be uncommon to see:
- Delivery drivers
- Subcontractors, temporary, or independent contract workers
- Property owners
- Community representatives
Site managers have to consider the safety of everyone who might be at the workplace. Many project overseers hire security staff to control and monitor who is on the worksite at all times. People should be allowed to enter only at a designated entrance where they provide identification and explain their reason for visiting.
Some visitors, including underage or uninvited civilians driven by curiosity, might be denied entry. In general, no visitor should be allowed to roam aimlessly. If overseers cannot care for visitors personally, they can assign the task to a competent employee.
Managers might also debrief visitors about possible hazards and require them to wear PPE, visitor badges, and high-visibility vests. Wise managers might pause work during visits or restrict visiting hours outside active work hours. They escort guests to specific places, avoiding anywhere that could put them in danger.
For instance, an electrical room containing high-load power stations should be off-limits for unwarranted visits by nearly everyone. Such areas should be marked with warning signs, and doors should remain locked or otherwise secured when not in use by authorized personnel.
New York’s standards for property owners are different from almost any other US state. Premises liability depends on whether or not the property owner could have foreseen an injury, including that of an unauthorized visitor.
Our New York legal team’s years of experience and education prepare us to help electrical shock victims. What can you do to secure your future?
Contact Us Before You File a Claim
Some attorneys urge people to file claims as soon as injuries occur. It is true that you have a fixed period of time to qualify for compensation under New York’s statute of limitations.
However, if you take legal action without the counsel of a knowledgeable lawyer, you could make mistakes that negatively impact your claim without realizing it. Rather than gamble on your own, take advantage of our free case evaluation.
Get the answers to your questions without worry. There is no obligation to hire us, and we will keep your appraisal confidential.
Visit our Wall Street office or call (212) 668-6000 at your earliest convenience. We have achieved extraordinary results for our clients, and we look forward to discovering how our Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ can help you.
Don’t wonder about your rights!