Hand-propelled vehicles such as wheelbarrows and hand trucks are meant to make construction work easier. However, they can also be extremely hazardous if proper safety precautions are not followed. For instance, if such a device is overloaded or defective, it can tip over and cause serious injuries to the worker operating it. A construction worker who was hurt in a hand-propelled vehicle accident might not only be able to obtain Workers’ Compensation benefits. They may also be entitled to pursue a personal injury action against a negligent third party for their injuries.
How Do Hand-Propelled Vehicle Accidents Occur?
Property owners and contractors are required to ensure that construction sites are kept reasonably safe. This includes any equipment that is used to help workers carry out their tasks. Under New York law, wheelbarrows, hand trucks, and other hand-propelled vehicles must be kept in serviceable condition and stored safely. The law also specifies that there must be six inches of curbing in areas where the material will be dropped from a hand cart to a lower level. Failure to follow these safety mandates can result in accidents that cause severe injuries to the workers who operate them.
In addition to the disregard of applicable labor laws, there are many other ways hand-propelled vehicle accidents can occur on construction sites, including:
- Attempting to move an unbalanced load
- Failure to maintain equipment properly
- Unleveled ramps
- Wet floors
- Improper hanging of weights
- Defective wheels or structural components
Hand-propelled vehicle accidents can cause a worker to suffer a wide variety of injuries, including crush injuries, traumatic brain injury, concussion, paralysis, broken bones, amputation, and permanent disability. These types of injuries can require extensive medical treatment, cause a construction worker to lose time from work, and result in other economic and non-economic losses.
Compensation for Injuries Caused by Hand-Propelled Vehicle Accidents
While a construction worker who was hurt on the job in a hand-propelled vehicle accident cannot sue their employer due to New York’s Workers’ Compensation laws, they may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party who should be held accountable for their negligence, carelessness, or recklessness. For example, site owners, contractors, and subcontractors all have a responsibility to ensure that a job site is free from hazards.
Workers’ Compensation benefits cover accident-related medical costs — but they only provide a worker up to a certain amount of their lost wages. It also does not compensate a worker for their pain and suffering. By prevailing in a personal injury action, a worker may be able to recover both their economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages compensate a worker for things like their medical costs, the expenses associated with any accident-related surgeries or procedures, out-of-pocket costs incurred due to the accident, and lost wages. Non-economic damages usually comprise the most significant component of a personal injury action and compensate a worker for the physical pain and emotional suffering they endured in connection with their injuries.
Contact an Experienced New York Construction Accident Attorney
If you’re a construction worker who sustained injuries in a hand-propelled vehicle accident on a job site, you may be entitled to monetary recovery in a personal injury lawsuit. It’s critical to have a skilled personal injury attorney by your side who can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. The attorneys at the Dearie Law Firm, P.C. are committed to advocating for the rights of workers injured by another’s negligence, and we fight to secure the maximum compensation available in each client’s unique case.
The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.