One of the most common types of construction accidents that results in severe injury or fatality are falls through improperly secured floor holes. While holes in floors on construction sites may be temporary or permanent, OSHA requires that worksite employers safeguard open floor holes or place adequate warning signs. If you were injured on a construction site due to a floor-hole accident, you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury action against a responsible third party for the damages you were caused to suffer.
Hazardous Holes in Construction Site Floors
Floor holes can be found in many places on construction sites. Often, they are supposed to be there to carry out work-related activities. However, when these holes are not managed safely, guarded with a floor hole cover, or when workers are not provided with the proper equipment to work around them, hazardous conditions leading to injury can occur.
There are several reasons floor holes may be present on construction sites. Common types of floor holes on construction sites can include:
- Roof drains
- Unfinished stairs
- Utility holes
- Unfinished ceilings
Floor hole accidents are largely preventable — and unfortunately, when they happen, the results can be catastrophic. To ensure workers are kept safe, every hole should be guarded. Otherwise, highly visible signs should be placed near floor holes on worksites that warn of the potential for danger. Toe boards and guardrails should also be provided when necessary.
A worker who has fallen through a hole in construction site flooring can suffer a wide range of injuries, including broken bones, fractures, brain injuries, nerve damage, disfigurement, and paralysis. These types of injuries can require extensive medical treatment and result in time lost from work. In severe cases, a worker may become permanently disabled. While an injured worker cannot sue their employer due to New York’s Workers’ Compensation laws, they may still have options available to recover their monetary and non-monetary losses.
Compensation for Floor Hole Accidents on Construction Sites
A construction worker who has been injured in a floor hole accident on the job may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation. These benefits cover work accident-related medical treatment and up to a certain amount of lost wages. However, Workers’ Compensation is rarely enough to cover the full extent of a worker’s losses — it also does not provide compensation for the pain and suffering a worker experienced due to their injuries. In such cases, it may be necessary to file a personal injury action.
While a worker cannot file a personal injury action against their employer for a floor hole accident, there may be a third party who should be held accountable for their negligence. For instance, contractors, subcontractors, property owners, engineers, architects, and other parties all play a large role in carrying out a construction project. In some cases, an equipment manufacturer might even be held liable if a defective piece of equipment or machinery was to blame for the injuries.
A construction worker who was injured in a floor hole accident and is eligible to pursue a personal injury action may be able to recover both their economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages can include things like medical treatment that was not covered by Workers’ Compensation, lost wages, future lost earnings, and out-of-pocket costs. Non-economic damages are also referred to as pain and suffering damages. This category of damages is meant to compensate for a victim’s physical pain, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you were hurt in a floor hole accident on a construction site, you might be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has represented construction accident victims for more than 30 years and works to obtain the best possible outcome in every client’s unique case.
The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, 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.