Is The Construction Law Landscape Changing?

construction law

The following is a guest post written by Laurence Banville, Esq.

Laurence Banville. Esq is the managing partner and face of Banville Law. Laurence is licensed to practice law in the state of New York. Originally from Ireland, Banville moved to the United States of America where he worked at law firms, refining his litigation and brief writing crafts. He is also the recipient of the Irish Legal 100 and the Top 40 Under 40 awards.

Construction is on the rise again, especially in the Northeast region of the U.S. The attractive landscapes of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and New York are drawing people back to the east coast. People are finding that they can get that country home feel with metropolitan access, and most are building new homes and businesses in these states for that very reason. Of course, with new and increased construction comes new and increased personal injury cases. Newer technology and methods of construction are also changing the frequency and types of injuries too. All those changes seem to be changing construction law practice.

Injuries To Construction Workers

Millions of people are working in New York and their professions cause some significant injuries that take them out of work. The most dangerous of these workplace injuries occur on construction work sites.

Injuries to construction workers are common. However, the types of injuries are changing. Instead of hitting their fingers with a hammer and screaming in pain, workers are now dealing with nail guns piercing body parts and stud welders melting body parts to welded studs. One in every 250 welding accidents ends in death, a shocking statistic considering that other causes of death are not nearly as high. These types of injuries are much more severe, as they require emergency medical care to remove the person from the scene and remove the object in the injured person's body.

If you work in construction, going a single day without so much as hammering a finger is a miracle and considered a "good day." Construction has one of the highest injury and fatality rates of 21.4%, meaning that almost a quarter of everyone who works in this field will sustain an injury or possibly a fatality on the job. Falls, electrocutions, struck by falling objects and caught in between objects or materials are considered the "top four deadliest" incidents in construction. As it stands alone, the likelihood of construction related injuries requires legal help among other things.

Increased Construction Leading To More Lawsuits

As construction increases, so will the rates of injury and possibly death. That means that lawyers need to step up and be ready for the upcoming personal injury lawsuits that are sure to ensue, as some contractors try to cut corners with immigrant help and/or subpar materials. These situations and issues also increase the probability of injury as cheaper and less-trained labor work with materials that will fall apart and drop on the heads of people below.

When the labor is not cheap and neither are the materials, then you may be dealing with cases that involve newer, high-tech materials and construction machines that experienced construction workers are not familiar with. Personal injury cases involving neglectful actions on the part of employers are now cropping up. When experienced workers are not trained to handle new machines and new materials, it is almost as bad as cheaper, less-experienced workers doing the same job.  However, legal help is expanding beyond injuries and into new technology.

Advanced Materials Changes

Advanced materials of space-age construction take construction law in new directions as well. Employees who have never seen these materials are not sure how to assemble or use them, leading to more injuries than before. Take the world's first modular plastic bridge in the U.K. Assembling a bridge with this product requires a learning curve not experienced by most construction workers before. Failure to assemble it correctly results in injuries to workers and citizens alike. Many other, newer and technologically advanced materials can have a similar impact on construction and construction law.

Many other, newer and technologically advanced materials can have a similar impact on construction and construction law. All these changes definitely require construction lawyers to gear up for the variety of personal injury related cases to come as construction increases and technology advances.