An employee severely injured after falling 20 feet from a New Jersey residential construction site received more than $7.5 million in damages from his former employer, as reported by NJ Advanced Media. The man, who was employed by a subcontractor, suffered multiple fractures which included his ribs, and required surgery. At Lerner, Piermont & Riverol, P.A., we understand how an employer’s negligence – or a lack of workplace safety conditions – may have contributed to injuries that you sustained while working on dangerous construction sites.

After stepping backward and falling from the second floor of the building he was working on, the 56-year-old Middlesex County resident required multiple surgeries. He endured pain, suffering and discomfort while walking, standing or sitting for long periods. Unable to return to construction work, he filed a lawsuit against Atlas Homes seeking relief for his suffering and loss of income. His complaint accused the home builder of violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations that require job sites to implement safety protections to prevent employees from falling. The lawsuit alleges that the builder should have provided safety equipment and installed temporary railings on the construction site. In its defense, the company argued unsuccessfully that it was not liable because the man was employed by a subcontractor and he should have been more careful.

Although employees injured on the job are entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation, which is based on a no-fault system, it may not be enough to cover catastrophic damages. When a person is out of work for an extended period of time because of unsafe working conditions, the harm caused may require assistance in long-term recovery and rehabilitation. A civil action against an employer may be necessary to provide financial relief.

Our page on construction accidents provides more information on the most common injuries that occur on construction sites.