Martime Construction Accident Lawyers Hofmann & SchweitzerNew York City construction doesn’t stop at the water’s edge. Hundreds of workers build bridges, renovate piers and docks, and repair the tunnels running under both land and water—and each one is at risk of suffering an injury on the job. While there are many different laws that can provide compensation when a worker is injured on a maritime construction project, it can be difficult to know which laws apply in each situation. Without the help of a marine construction attorney, workers and may not receive proper compensation for their suffering.

Common Types of NYC Maritime Construction Accidents

Maritime construction work combines all of the hazards of working on a construction site with the dangers of working near water, creating a perfect storm for injuries to occur. Although property owners, contractors, and construction managers have a duty to minimize dangers on the job site, many workers have suffered serious injuries and death while working on:


Tunnel work often involves blasting, drilling, excavation, concrete pouring, and removal, all of which involves spending a considerable amount of time underground while increasing the risk of ground shifting and collapse.


The nature and location of bridge work carries a high risk of falls from heights, especially if workers are struck by cranes, lifts, or hoists or are not properly strapped in to safety harnesses.

Pier and dock projects 

Building the bases and supports for piers and docks can fall under both construction or maritime laws. If marine construction workers are injured at the water’s edge, they should always consult with a maritime attorney to see who may be liable for their injury costs.

Compensation Options for Injured Maritime Construction Workers

Marine construction accidents will often involve some overlap of federal maritime law, state workers’ compensation laws, and New York labor laws. Each law can have a bearing on the case depending on where the construction took place, the nature of the project, and the classification of the worker involved in the accident.

Maritime construction injuries can involve a variety of injury laws, including:

Jones Act 

The Jones Act may apply to an injury that occurs on a vessel in navigation, but not on a fixed platform. However, the law may apply if the person injured is considered a Jones Act seaman. For a construction worker to meet the definition of a seaman under the Jones Act, he or she must work on a vessel for at least 30 percent of his or her employment.

Longshore Harbor Workers Compensation Act 

Dock and harbor workers who are injured on work platforms during construction on the water may be covered under this law, which provides greater benefits than those provided by the New York workers compensation system.

Workers’ Compensation 

Residential construction workers are normally covered under state workers’ compensation, but if they were injured because of an unsafe workplace, they could be owed additional payment through a personal injury lawsuit.

New York Labor Laws 

New York has enacted several state laws aimed specifically at the safety of construction workers. Employees who are injured by cranes, slip on wet surfaces, or fall from unguarded platforms may be eligible to sue the contractor, construction manager, or property owner who allowed unsafe conditions to exist on the construction site.

Municipal Claims 

If the injured employee was working on a government project, he or she has a limited window of time to bring a personal injury action against the municipal agency. Workers must file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the accident date in order to file a work injury lawsuit against a government agency.

Although many different laws can apply to an injury case, it is worth determining which statues apply to a marine construction injury. These accidents can cause lifelong work limitations or even result in early retirement, and having an attorney look over your claim can make the difference in your financial future. Our New York City maritime construction attorneys can examine the details of your case to get you the maximum you may be owed for your injury. Simply fill out our quick online contact form or call (800) 362-9329 today to speak with a lawyer at Hofmann & Schweitzer about your case.


Paul T. Hofmann
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Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.