New York Construction Eye Injury Lawyers help injured workers get the right compensation after a construction accident that caused an eye injury. Construction work involves many risks, such as eye injuries, which occur because workers do not have the proper safety equipment to protect themselves and prevent accidents.
Some construction workers cut, grind, weld, and handle materials that can be dangerous, and a significant portion of injuries happen due to particles or small objects that hit or scrape the eye, such as cement splinters, small pieces of metal, and wood splinters that harm them.
Eye Injuries and How Construction Workplace Accident Lawyers in New York Can Help
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 20,000 eye injuries occur on the job, ranging from superficial to severe injuries that can result in permanent damage, such as vision loss or blindness.
Humans have only two eyes for seeing, making it an irreplaceable sense, and any eye injury is a traumatic event that can be life-changing.
Larger objects can penetrate the eyes, and direct exposure to corrosive chemicals can cause severe injuries to them.
What are the Common Causes of Eye Injuries in Construction Jobs?
Construction jobs are among the leading causes of eye injuries compared to other work areas. The Construction Research and Training Center released data from a study indicating that construction workers suffer over 10,600 severe eye injuries that require them to take time off work for recovery each year.
They also note that even a minor injury can cause pain, loss of depth perception, and the inability to perform everyday tasks, resulting in increased expenses until vision is restored.
The primary causes of eye injuries in the construction industry include:
- Projectiles (Nails, Staples, Wood, and Meta): These objects can become airborne and result in injuries ranging from eyelid lacerations to fractures around the eye socket or even penetration of the eyeball, potentially causing permanent vision loss.
- Debris Containing Glass, Metal, and More: Debris in construction sites may contain small glass fragments, metal shavings, wood splinters, cut wires, and similar objects. These materials can turn into dangerous projectiles when forcefully propelled through the air. If they enter the eye, it can lead to bleeding between the cornea and iris and increase the risk of infections, sometimes necessitating eye removal.
- Dust from Masonry and Carpentry Work: Activities like cement mixing, grinding, sawing, and chipping generate dust that can irritate the eyes and cause inflammation. Workers exposed to these materials may experience corneal scratches or iris inflammation if they attempt to remove particles like sand, sawdust, gravel, or dust from their eyes.
- Chemical Exposure: Solvent-based paints, varnishes, cleaning products, fumes, gasses, and other compounds commonly found at construction sites can cause chemical burns that result in permanent eye damage.
- Welding Hazards: When welding, it is crucial to use protective goggles to prevent eye injuries, including corneal burns that can lead to blurred vision and a heightened risk of eye infections.
In the construction industry, safeguarding one's eyes is paramount, given the diverse range of potential eye hazards. Protective measures and appropriate eyewear can significantly reduce the risk of eye injuries and ensure the long-term health of workers' vision.
If you have suffered an eye injury, you may be able to claim compensation with the assistance of a construction site eye injury attorney in New York. Call 212-267-9222 to receive a free consultation at Gorayeb & Associates.
What Laws Protect Workers Who Suffer Eye Injuries in New York?
New York has specific laws protecting injured construction workers, including workers' compensation for eye injuries.
In addition to workers' compensation claims that can be filed when injured on the job, construction workers in New York have the right to file a third-party claim against property owners and general contractors if there is a violation of the Industrial Code.
The labor law of the state of New York establishes the following:
- Contractors, owners, and their agents, when constructing or demolishing buildings or conducting excavations, must adhere to the following requirements:
- All areas where construction, excavation, or demolition work is carried out must be constructed, shored, and equipped to provide adequate protection and safety for workers.
The Industrial Code states the following:
- Anyone welding, burning, chipping, cutting, or grinding any material that may release particles endangering the eyes must wear personal eye protection equipment, such as goggles, to prevent accidents.
- The "Protection against corrosive substances" section specifies that employees using or handling chemicals or substances must have protective clothing and appropriate eye protection.
If you need legal representation for eye injuries in NY construction, Gorayeb & Associates' lawyers can assist you. Call 212-267-9222 for your free consultation.
Who Can be Held Responsible for an Eye Injury at Work?
Workers' compensation covers workplace eye injuries. Any employee with an accident on a construction site can claim workers' compensation.
The costs of medical treatment for an eye injury can be substantial, and there may be instances where workers' compensation may not cover them entirely.
In such cases, workers can file a third-party lawsuit against those whose actions contributed to their injuries, such as:
- Project managers
- Property owners
An example of an accident that is the responsibility of a third party could be when a person responsible for welding doesn't use protective goggles because their employers did not provide them. In these cases, a lawsuit may be filed.
A contractor or project manager may be held responsible for an accident when they:
- Fail to provide personal protective equipment to employees
- Do not take into account a worker's individual needs
- Neglect safety inspections
- Do not provide adequate training to employees
- Do not have appropriate safety measures in place
- Lack of the necessary resources to handle an injury
If you suffer an eye injury due to the negligence of a third party, New York City construction site eye injury lawyers like those at Gorayeb & Associates can help. Call 212-267-9222 to request your free and confidential consultation.
What Types of Injuries can Occur in the Eyes?
When an eye injury occurs, the consequences can range from mild to severe. Some types of eye injuries that can arise in construction include:
- Blowout orbital fractures (broken bones around the eye)
- Lacerations of the eyelids, conjunctiva, cornea, and sclera
- Retinal detachment
- Eye inflammation caused by a blow
- Chemical burns
- Blurred vision
- Pupil dilation-related disorders
- Scratches or abrasions on the cornea
- Impaired eyelid movement
- Damaged tear ducts
- Loss of an eye
- Puncture of the eyeball or damage to its internal structure
- Hyphema (bleeding between the cornea and iris)
- Traumatic iritis (inflammation of the iris)
- Changes in the size or shape of the pupil
- Ultraviolet keratitis or sudden corneal burn (typical in welders)
What can be Claimed as Compensation for an Eye Injury?
If a construction worker sustains eye injuries in an accident, they can seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses related to the injury, both past and future
- Lost wages due to inability to work
- Loss of earning capacity
- Costs associated with long-term disability
- Home adaptations
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
The best opportunity to recover the compensation needed for recovery is with the help of an eye injury lawyer in construction jobs in New York who can explore all avenues of compensation.
NYC construction accident lawyers for eye injuries, like those from Gorayeb & Associates, will assist you in claiming your compensation. Call 212-267-9222 and request your free consultation. Your immigration status does not matter.
Can an Undocumented Worker Claim Compensation for a Construction-Related Eye Injury?
The answer is yes. Undocumented workers and their families have the same rights as legal workers and can claim compensation for injuries on a construction site.
The eye injury lawyers at Gorayeb & Associates know how to advocate for workers. Call 212-267-9222 to receive your free consultation.
How can I Maximize my Compensation Claim for my Eye Injury?
You should take specific steps to help ensure the best possible settlement for your eye injury at a construction job. We recommend the following:
- Have doctors evaluate your eyes and ensure all damages and injuries are identified and documented in your medical reports.
- Follow all advice, treatments, and therapies your doctors prescribe and attend all your medical appointments.
- Keep all the bills you receive and pay over time.
- Consult an eye injury lawyer in construction jobs to represent you and fight for compensation.
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Compensation Claim for an Eye Injury in New York?
When you suffer an eye injury while working on a construction site in New York, you have a limited time to file a compensation claim. The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims involving negligence from a party is three years. If you fail to file within that time frame, you may lose your right to recover damages.
That's why it's crucial to have the support of an eye injury lawyer in construction jobs in New York like the ones at Gorayeb & Associates. Just call 212-267-9222 and request your free consultation.
Why Hire Gorayeb & Associates for Your Construction Accident Eye Injury Compensation Case?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Identify any potential hazards that you might encounter while performing your job.
- Follow the safety measures in place at the construction site.
- Only operate machinery if you are trained to do so.
- Use the appropriate personal protective equipment to perform your job.
Ensure you choose the most suitable protective eyewear based on the nature of your work and the specific risks associated with your activities. Safety glasses come in various materials, including plastic, polycarbonate, and Trivex™, but for the highest level of impact protection, opt for polycarbonate lenses.
Here are different types of eye protection:
- Prescription and Non-Prescription Safety Glasses: These glasses are specifically designed to safeguard your eyes, featuring lenses and frames much sturdier than standard eyeglasses. It's essential that safety glasses meet the standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to ensure their effectiveness.
- Safety Goggles: Offering protection against impacts, dust, and chemical splashes, safety goggles are highly resistant to impacts and provide a secure shield around the entire eye. They effectively shield your eyes from hazards coming from any direction.
- Face Shields and Helmets: Full-face shields are ideal for safeguarding workers exposed to chemicals, heat, or bloodborne pathogens. Helmets, on the other hand, are essential for those engaged in welding or working with molten materials. When using face shields or helmets, it's important to wear safety glasses or goggles simultaneously to protect your eyes when lifting the shield.
- Specialized Protection: For protection against optical radiation, such as when welding or working with lasers, ensure you use helmets or goggles equipped with special filters. These specialized options are specifically designed to shield your eyes from potential optical hazards.
If you encounter any eye-related discomfort or issues, it is crucial to promptly seek medical assistance. Here are specific steps to take while waiting for professional evaluation.
Perform the following first aid steps until medical professionals can examine you:
1. First aid for chemical injuries:
- Quickly rinse the affected eye with water for at least 15 minutes.
- Position the eye beneath a faucet or shower and employ a garden hose or a clean container to pour water into the eye.
- If you wear contact lenses, remove them before rinsing the eye.
- Do not introduce any other substances into the eye.
- Avoid bandaging the eye until medical help arrives.
2. For foreign particles in the eyes:
- Refrain from rubbing the affected eye.
- Rinse the eye with an artificial tear solution.
- Attempt to gently lift the upper eyelid to remove the foreign object.
- If the particle cannot be removed, close the eye, lightly cover it, and promptly seek medical care.
- If you are uncertain about the nature of the object in the eye, it is imperative to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
3. For eye injuries caused by blows:
- Apply a cold compress to the affected area without applying pressure to the eye.
- Place crushed ice in a plastic bag and hold it over the injured eye to alleviate pain and reduce swelling.
- If you experience pain or blurred vision, seek immediate medical attention.
4. For cuts and punctures to the eye or eyelid:
- Do not attempt to wash the eye or remove any objects embedded in it.
- Shield the eye with a rigid object.
- Seek immediate medical attention without delay.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information reported that around 20 percent of occupational eye injuries occur at construction sites, and the workers who experience the most injuries are:
If you are construction worker, remember that accidents causing eye injuries can be prevented by using personal protective equipment to help you perform your tasks safely. Always wear protective eyewear to minimize the risk of accidents that could lead to eye damage. Take care of your health.
If you need the help of our New York construction eye injury lawyers, Gorayeb & Associates have over 35 years of experience working to protect construction workers. Just call 212-267-9222 and request your free consultation.