Newcomers to New York always marvel at the number and height of skyscrapers that are under construction. They also marvel at the nerve and skill of the men who help the towers grow. Another common reaction is fear at the idea of working twenty or more floors in the air. A recent construction accident in Midtown put these three reactions on display.
New York detectives are investigating the death of a construction worker who fell from the 16th floor of 222 E. 41st Street. When police arrived on the scene, they found a man lying on the pavement. The man was unconscious and unresponsive, with signs of trauma throughout his body. The Emergency Medical Service rushed to the scene and pronounced the man dead.
At the moment, police have no explanation for the tragedy, although they appear to have ruled out any criminality. The medical examiner will make the final decision on the cause of death.
With so few details about the cause of the accident, liability is difficult to establish. The man’s family will presumably be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits if he was acting within the scope of his employment when the accident happened. However, many firms can be found on a single high-rise project, from steel workers to cement workers to electricians and the like.
The victim in this case could be an employee of any of these firms. The first step is to establish the exact sequence of events that caused the accident. At that point, the investigators can then determine if the man’s death was caused by his own negligent act or the negligent act of a co-worker. Workers’ compensation benefits in New York State are limited, but the employee’s family may decide to pursue what is called a “third-party claim” against any firm that employed a person whose negligence caused the accident.
Anyone who has lost a loved one or suffered a serious injury under similar circumstances may benefit from consulting an experienced injury attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can evaluate the evidence, including medical and police reports, suggest legal strategies for maximizing a recovery and provide an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, present and future lost income, and pain and suffering.