New York City Trench Accident Lawyer

man in trench suturing an underground pipe

A construction site is full of potential dangers that could cause catastrophic accidents. One of the many dangers that construction workers face is a trench accident. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) defines a trench as an excavation that is deeper than it is wide. When workers enter a trench, they expect it to be secure, so there is no danger of a potential cave-in.

At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., we fully believe that workers should be able to work on a construction site with a trench without worrying about their safety. Our New York City trench accident attorneys are dedicated to helping individuals who have been hurt in trench accidents seek compensation for the damages they have sustained.

For over 40 years, our firm has fought for the rights of injured workers in New York. We have a proven record of success that includes recovering more than half a billion dollars in compensation for our clients. We have worked on many groundbreaking cases that have advanced the law to support injured victims. Our team of seasoned trial litigators works with industry-leading experts, backed by significant firm resources. Our fellow attorneys recognize our dedication and skill in catastrophic injury cases, and some lawyers choose to refer their toughest cases to us.

Reach out to The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., for a free initial case review to talk to an excavation accidents attorney in NYC about your legal options. Let us help you demand accountability from parties liable for the trenching accident that injured you

How Our Experienced Lawyers Can Help Your Trenching Accident Lawsuit

While you focus on your physical recovery from trench accident injuries, let the seasoned attorneys of The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., help you secure the money you need by:

Investigating the accident to determine what happened and who is responsible for it
Evaluating your legal options for seeking compensation, including filing for workers’ comp benefits or pursuing a lawsuit
Calculating your expenses and losses to make sure we seek maximum compensation for you
Vigorously pursuing your legal rights, advocating for your interests at the negotiating table or at trial to win a full settlement or verdict

Common Causes and Types of Trench Accidents in NYC

Trench accidents rank among the most dangerous types of construction site accidents. Every year, dozens of individuals throughout the United States die in trench accidents. Hundreds more sustain serious injuries. In New York City, the number of trench accidents is alarming.

According to OSHA, 22 construction workers were killed in trench accidents in one recent six-month period, exceeding the number of trench accident fatalities from the prior year. Some of the most common causes of trench accidents include lack of supervision and failure to follow safety protocols.

Common types of trench accidents include:

Causes of trench accidents can include:

  • Failure to use appropriate protection systems, such as benching, sloping, supports, or trench boxes
  • Vibrations from motor vehicles, heavy equipment, and machinery
  • Stressing trench wall soil with excessive weight
  • Failure to regularly inspect trenches
  • Failure to identify utility lines before digging

Types of Injuries from Trenching Accidents

Trenching accidents can cause a wide range of catastrophic and potentially fatal injuries, such as:

  • Toxic exposure
  • Traumatic amputation or limb loss
  • Lacerations and contusions
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocated joints
  • Ligament sprains and tears
  • Muscle and tendon strains and tears

Who Can Be Sued for a Trench Accident?

A construction worker injured on the job in a trench accident may have the option of filing a workers’ compensation claim with their employer. However, employers and other parties may have liability for the trench accident under New York Labor Law.

An injured accident victim may be able to pursue legal claims for compensation from parties such as:

  • Employers
  • The general contractor
  • A subcontractor, such as the excavation company that dug the trench
  • The property owner
  • Utility companies that fail to maintain lines or fail to mark active utility lines

New York’s Labor Law imposes duties on employers and contractors to comply with certain requirements to maintain the safety of workers in trenches.

Section 200 imposes a general duty to protect the health and safety of employees, including constructing or arranging workplaces – Including trenches – and placing and operating machinery and equipment to provide reasonable protection for the safety of workers.
Section 241 establishes specific requirements for construction and excavation work. Excavated areas must be constructed, shored, and guarded to provide adequate safety for workers.

Under New York Labor Law, employers and contractors may have liability for the injuries and losses suffered by a worker as a result of a trench collapse or other excavation accident. If a trenching accident results in death, the worker’s surviving family members could potentially seek compensation through survivor benefits from the employer’s worker’s comp coverage or through a wrongful death claim against a liable party under the Labor Law.

Compensation Available for Trench Accident Injuries in NYC

Depending on the circumstances, you might have several legal avenues for recovering compensation after a trench accident in NYC. For example, a workers’ comp claim could provide you with financial benefits, such as payment of medical treatment and partial reimbursement of lost wages if you miss time from work.

Through a personal injury claim, you can recover compensation for expenses and losses you suffered due to trench accident injuries, including:

  • Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation
  • Long-term care expenses, including home health services, housekeeping and home maintenance assistance, and purchases of medical and mobility equipment
  • Full reimbursement of your lost wages after missing work
  • Loss of earning capacity and job benefits after becoming permanently disabled from work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment and quality of life caused by physical disabilities or permanent, visible scarring and disfigurement

The family of an individual killed in a trench accident can also recover compensation through a wrongful death claim. They could obtain money for the loss of their family member’s financial contributions to the family, the family member’s medical expenses for their final injuries or illness, reasonable funeral and burial expenses, and the value of the services their family member provided for the household.

When Do I Have to File My Lawsuit By?

New York’s statute of limitations on injury claims in New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules §214 requires you to file your trench accident personal injury lawsuit within three years of the accident. The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years. For workers’ compensation claims, you must give your employer notice of the accident within 30 days, and you must file a claim within two years.

Filing suit after the statute of limitations expires on your legal claim may result in the permanent dismissal of your case. If that happens, you won’t be able to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses at trial.

Contact Our NYC Excavation Accident Attorneys Today

Contact The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., today for a free, no-obligation consultation. You can learn more about how an NYC trenching accident attorney from our firm can pursue the compensation you deserve for your accident-related injuries and losses. Our firm will leave no stone unturned in helping you secure the most money possible for your case.