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NYC Excavation Accident Lawyers

After a Trench Collapse, Contact an NYC Excavation Injury Attorney

Excavation is a common occurrence on NYC construction sites. Workers dig into the ground to create utility trenches, lay a foundation, flatten the surface, or install support structures for buildings. Unfortunately, this excavation can sometimes go awry when trenches collapse, and workers become injured. Federal and state laws regulate excavation operations, but some job sites do not follow the rules.

If you were injured in a trench accident, contact an NYC excavation injury lawyer at our firm today. We fight for the rights of injured construction workers and would be happy to discuss your case as well.

Excavation Injuries

Excavation injuries often result when the ground caves in on unsuspecting workers, burying them under earth. Some of the more serious injuries we have seen include:

  • Fractures
  • Back injuries
  • Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Internal organ injuries

It is also common for workers to be buried during a collapse, leading to a wrongful death.

Other injuries stem from defective excavation equipment, which can lead to falls and debris raining down on workers. Properly identifying the cause of the injury is an important first step to fighting for the legal remedies our clients deserve.


Excavation work is closely regulated by federal and state law, such as the Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) and the New York Industrial Code. Contractors should adhere to these regulations; otherwise, preventable excavation accidents can occur.

OSHA identifies a trench as an excavation made below ground that is deeper than it is wide. Part 1926, Subpart P provides the relevant regulations regarding the design of ramps for access to the trench, as well as what emergency rescue equipment is necessary.

Subpart 23-4 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations provides state rules regarding excavation. These rules identify the proper methods for preventing a trench cave-in, including sloping, shoring, and bracing, among others. New York’s code also requires that sufficient ladders or ramps are installed for access and egress. The state has the authority to impose its own fines when a construction site violates its laws.

Compensation for an Excavation Injury in NYC

Workers injured in an excavation accident must identify who or what is to blame. This identification is critical because it can determine who to sue for compensation.

Generally, workers injured on the job must settle for workers’ compensation benefits, which cover necessary medical care and provide a portion of lost wages for those who are temporarily or permanently disabled. Lawsuits against an employer are prohibited.

However, a construction worker could have been injured by defective equipment on the job site, or by the work of another subcontractor who is not the worker’s employer. In these cases, individual lawsuits (called third-party lawsuits) are sometimes possible.

Speak with an NYC Excavation Injury Lawyer Today

Trench collapses and other excavation accidents are tragic. Many workers have no idea what went wrong but must focus on their recovery instead. Let us handle the legal investigation and analysis.

Call Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman to schedule a free consultation at 212-285-3300 or submit our contact form.


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"This law firm has great lawyers!" I had an accident and they got me what I deserved for my injury. They treat you like you are part of their family. If anyone needs a lawyer I will recommend this firm."