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Getting Compensation As An Injured Ironworker In New York

Ironworking is one of the most important and most dangerous jobs in construction. These fearless laborers work from nosebleed altitudes to erect the metal beams that compose New York City’s iconic skyline. With such dangerous and physically demanding job duties, there is a high risk of occupational injury.

Like virtually all other employees in NYC, ironworkers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits when they get hurt on the job. While this system is designed to simplify the work injury compensation process, in practice it can be fairly complicated. Many injured workers encounter unexpected roadblocks and struggle to receive the full benefits they’re entitled to.

Employers may dispute your claim by arguing that your injury was not related to your job duties or that it resulted from a preexisting condition. Insurance companies make their profits by denying claims, so they will look for any technicality which could deny you your benefits.

Fortunately, having an experienced NYC ironworker injury lawyer to guide you through the process can help you receive maximum financial compensation with few complications. At Banville Law, our knowledgeable workers' compensation attorneys know how the workers’ compensation system works. We know how to deal with obstructive employers and greedy insurance companies. And we’re prepared to help you fight for the compensation you need and rightfully deserve.

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Unique Conditions For Construction Site Injuries

In most American workplaces, workers’ compensation is the only option available for financial assistance after a work-related injury. However, liability for construction site injuries is more complex. Unlike an office workplace, many of these job sites involve workers with different employment situations. There may be one company handling the ironwork duties, while several independent contractors and subcontractors work with them in other roles.

If someone with a different employer acts negligently and causes an injury, the injured party could hold them liable in a personal injury lawsuit. Examples include property owners, architects, and equipment manufacturers. Determining liability for construction site accidents is much more complex than liability in other work injury cases. It’s usually necessary to enlist the guidance of an experienced work injury attorney who can investigate your claim and determine who was responsible.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit will not affect your ability to receive workers’ compensation. These claims are separate from work benefits and are meant to provide additional compensation for non-economic expenses, such as pain and suffering.

Ironworker Occupational Hazards

Construction is widely known as one of America’s dangerous industries, and ironworkers have one of the highest injury rates across all industries. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 ironworkers ranked 5th in fatal injury rates.

In such a dangerous occupation, it’s vital to stress the importance of following safety rules. Many of these injuries and deaths could be avoided if worksites were run more safely. The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union (AFL-CIO) has identified the following as the most deadly occupational hazards for ironworkers:

  • Falls – Workers are at risk of falling through unprotected floor openings, during the installation of floors and roof decking, from collapses of unsecured open web steel joists or unsupported columns, and inadequate fall protection.
  • Contact with objects and equipment – Hazards include falling objects, tools, materials.
  • Cuts and lacerations – Ironworkers routinely work with sharp objects and tools, which could lead to serious lacerations.
  • Muscle strains and repetitive motion injuries – These workers frequently lift, carry, and transport heavy materials. The physically demanding nature of the work can cause muscle strains and injuries which build up over time due to repetitive tasks.
  • Caught between machinery or structures – These are some of the most severe work accidents and involve crushing injuries when caught between objects, such as a steel beam and a piece of heavy machinery.
  • Impalements – These accidents usually occur due to unprotected reinforcing dowels. Ironworker safety standards specifically outline protections against impalement hazards.
  • Electrical hazards – Ironworkers frequently work in close proximity to high-voltage power lines. If a worker makes direct contact or a piece of heavy machinery makes contact with one of these lines, a serious electrical accident could occur. Defective or poorly maintained electrical equipment also poses a serious risk to workers.
  • Heat illnesses – This type of work is done outdoors, which means exposure to dangerously high temperatures during the summer. Employees should have access to plenty of water and take regular breaks in the shade to avoid conditions like heat stroke.
  • Toxic exposure – These job sites frequently involve the use of chemicals which can cause occupational illnesses if inhaled. Other airborne hazards include asbestos and lead, which can lead to debilitating and fatal illnesses like mesothelioma and lead poisoning.

Remember that workers’ compensation benefits are available for any injury or illness which was caused by your job duties. This includes both accidental injuries and slowly building ones, as well as occupational illnesses due to toxic exposure.

Do Injured Ironworkers Need Work Injury Lawyers?

In order to give yourself the best chance of recovering the full compensation you’re entitled to, we recommend hiring an experienced work injury lawyer. Legal counsel will be useful throughout the process of filing a claim for benefits. A respected attorney can help you get through the process quickly without facing resistance from your employer’s insurance carrier. If your claim has been denied, your lawyer can help you get through the appeals process.

Additionally, he or she can determine if you qualify for other forms of benefits like Social Security disability, and if you have a solid personal injury case against a negligent third party. If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal ironworker accident, our legal counsel is here to help you pursue a wrongful death claim.

Because nearly every ironworker is employed in the construction industry, these cases are usually complex. It will often require a thorough legal review of your case in order to uncover all possible options for compensation.

Are you Applying For Workers’ Compensation As An Injured Plumber? Find valuable information here. 

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