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NY Construction Site Trench Cave-Ins and Excavation Accidents

We Help New Yorkers Recover from Catastrophic Work Injuries

Digging in New York City, where nearly every inch of ground has been developed, is a complex and risky job. Hazards to avoid include layers of infrastructure and surprise pockets of soft soil, among others.

Many sectors in the construction industry regularly work with excavation and build trenches including renewable energy, gas, oil, electric, water, internet, cable, phone, and sewer waste management, among others. But building and maintaining them comes at a high price for some employees. Trench cave-ins and excavation accidents result in hundreds of deaths and injuries every year.

Attorneys who get results for injured NYC construction workers

Help is available to injured employees. The New York Workers’ Compensation system pays medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent disability benefits to injured workers, as well as death benefits for surviving families of victims of fatal work accidents. Construction workers injured under some circumstances may have third-party claims as well.

But getting the compensation you deserve is not easy. Employers and workers’ comp insurance providers often fight legitimate injury claims. If an adjuster doesn’t flat-out reject your claim, they try to reduce your benefits.

If you were injured, don’t just hope your employer and insurance provider will okay your claim and pay you the full amount you are due. Take control. Contact Pasternack, Tilker, Ziegler, Walsh, Stanton & Romano LLP for a free consultation with an experienced New York construction accident lawyer.

What is a trench collapse accident?

In construction, a trench is defined as a narrow excavation (in relation to length) made below the surface of the ground. In general, the width at the bottom is no greater than 15 feet. Trenches are dug to install sewer, water, or storm drainpipes; cut-and-cover tunnel construction; run electrical wire; or set foundations, among other uses.

It doesn’t take much of a shift to cause serious injury or death due to a trench cave-in or an excavation accident. Just one cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as a car.

Some of the main types of construction trench collapse or cave-in include:

  • Spoil pile slide – When too much material is piled up and falls into the excavation.
  • Shear wall collapse – When a wall falls into the trench, possibly due to a wedge failure.
  • Belly slough – Earthen walls air dry to the point of weakness and instability, creating hazardous conditions for collapse.
  • Soft pockets and soft soil that unexpectedly give way.

Our NY trench collapse lawyers stand up for people who are injured in trench collapse and excavation accidents. Our work injury law firm has helped more than 100,000 injured workers collect billions of dollars in injury compensation and benefits.

What causes a trench cave-in or excavation collapse?

Trench collapses happen on all types of projects including trenching, shoring, and backfilling. Contributing factors in trench cave-ins and excavating accidents include:

  • Employer negligence, such as not providing necessary training, repairs, safety supervision, or personal protective equipment (PPE). In deep trenches, for example, workers should wear a harness and lifeline.
  • Traffic.
  • Soil classification (soft ground).
  • Sand pockets.
  • Surface and groundwater.
  • Weather.
  • Overhead and underground utilities.
  • Location of the water table.
  • Lack of safe entry and exit points, ladders, or equipment.
  • Poorly maintained and/or malfunctioning equipment like old air hammers, shovels, compressors earth tampers, picks, jackhammers, grinders, cement mixers, digger derricks, boom trucks, bucket trucks, mechanical hoists, surveying equipment, and backhoes.

Our NY work accident lawyers conduct thorough investigations that get to the bottom of what happened to cause your injuries. We collect hard evidence, witness statements, and expert medical opinions to build strong cases for maximum compensation.

I was injured at work on a construction site. Do I have a NY workers’ compensation case?

With very few exceptions, an employee seriously injured in a trench collapse or excavating accident can typically file a claim for NY workers’ compensation (sometimes called workers’ comp or workman’s comp). Workers’ comp pays for the full cost of medical treatment for your work injuries, as well as partial replacement of lost wages and certain other benefits for permanent disabilities.

  • Under some circumstances, you can also file a third-party lawsuit against a party other than your employer, such as a general contractor, subcontractor, architect, engineer, or manufacturer of defective parts. A third-party claim can provide compensation for losses not covered by workers’ comp, such as pain and suffering.

Our knowledgeable NY trench collapse attorneys can determine whether you should file a workers’ compensation claim or construction accident lawsuit. We guide construction workers injured on the job and the families of fatal work accident victims through the technical and unforgiving workers’ comp process.

Our NY trench accident attorneys are committed to your recovery

When the workers’ compensation system tries to push you around, Pasternack, Tilker, Ziegler, Walsh, Stanton & Romano LLP pushes back – hard. We are committed to injured workers and families of fatal work accidents. We have recovered billions of dollars for more than 100,000 injured employees across The City – The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and nearby communities.

If you were injured or a loved one died in an NYC trench cave-in or excavating accident, contact us for a free case consultation to learn more about your workers’ comp eligibility and the value of your claim, and to help weigh your options. You should also know that our law firm represents injured workers for a contingency fee. That means there is no upfront cost or out-of-pocket expense for our services. Our fee is an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement or verdict. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.

Do not delay. There is a strict – and short – timeline that must be followed to successfully file for workers’ compensation or file an injury lawsuit. A member of our team is available to hear from you now. Contact us today to schedule your free case consultation.