A Lower East Side construction worker was digging a 12-foot hole Wednesday when it suddenly collapsed, temporarily burying his entire body. Fellow workers and emergency responders worked for approximately one hour to free him. The man was taken to Bellevue Hospital and is expected to survive, but many other construction workers in similar situations have perished.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 271 workers were killed by excavation or trenching cave-ins from 2000 through 2006.
Excavation is a dangerous job, but the risks become even greater in New York City where jobsite space is condensed. Tight spaces make it more difficult to secure excavations according to regulations, so sometimes the laws are partially followed or completely ignored. There is also an increased risk that workers or pedestrians will fall into an open hole or excavation site.
When a construction worker is seriously injured, it may be difficult for him or her to understand what legal options are available. The accident may have been caused by someone other than the victim’s employer, opening the door for a third-party lawsuit.
Construction accident third-party claims may involve:
- Property owners
- Tool and safety equipment manufacturers
To learn more about third-party lawsuits and your ability to recover damages beyond workers’ compensation, speak with a skilled New York construction accident attorney. Don’t delay, there are strict time limits for bringing claims and acting quickly can also help to preserve evidence.