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Evacuation of unstable building shows some of the dangers construction workers face

Nine buildings in the Bronx had to be evacuated on April 21 because a building under construction became unstable. The building is on Southern Boulevard near Freeman Street. The MTA suspended train services in the area as well.

This situation highlights the dangers of construction work for workers and other people in the affected area. This hazardous, yet necessary, industry causes considerable numbers of injuries every year. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), construction has a fatality rate that is higher than the national average for all other industries.

What happens if a building collapses?

An unstable structure is extremely dangerous. Whether part or all of an unstable building collapses, workers and bystanders may be seriously or fatally injured. A building collapse can cause:

  • Crush injuries
  • Amputations
  • Entrapment and suffocation
  • Internal organ damage
  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries

If the collapse results in a gas leak, fire or explosion, people may also suffer burns and inhalation injuries.

Injured construction workers can apply for workers' compensation benefits for medical coverage and partial wage replacement. In cases of catastrophic injuries and death, however, workers' comp will probably not be enough.

Many construction injury cases involve negligent third parties such as property owners, subcontractors and equipment manufacturers. To find out whether you may have a third-party case, speak with a lawyer.

In a third-party case, you file a personal injury or wrongful death suit against the negligent third party. If you receive damages from this lawsuit, they are in addition to the workers' comp benefits you receive.

Workers and their families often need this additional compensation after a serious or career-ending injury. It is important to learn whether a negligent third party is involved in your work injury case.

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