Construction workers here in New York expect that their employers will provide them with safe working conditions and, in the event of injury, will provide them with compensation to cover medical costs and lost wages. But when a construction site is considered illegal, workers might start to wonder if there are other laws that the employer might be violating, like having workers’ compensation insurance. This might cause them to wonder what they should do if they are injured and in a similar predicament.

Our readers can see a very similar case playing out in Pennsylvania this month where a construction worker is trying to recover from near-fatal injuries that were suffered in a work-related accident. According to reports, the 35-year-old man was working on a roof when he accidentally came into contact with some electrical wires. A likely jolt from the wires caused the man to fall from the roof, fracturing his back in the process. Doctors say the man is currently in a medically induced coma while his heart stabilizes, at which time his will be prepared for surgery.

What might make this situation particularly frustrating for the victim’s family is the fact that the builder, who was running the construction site, had not paid or filed proper permits for the property until after the accident occurred.  According to the city, an inspection should have been conducted on the site, which would have revealed the safety hazard before the man was injured.   Because of this negligence, the victim’s family may want to file an injury claim against the builder.  Unfortunately, if the builder had paid such disregard to the building permits then the same attention may have been paid to insurance as well, meaning there may not be workers’ compensation benefits available for the injured man.  It’s important to point out though that compensation could still be sought, especially with the help of a skilled attorney.

Source: Philly.com, “PhillyDeals: Worker hurt at what city calls illegal construction site,” Joseph N. DiStefano, Dec. 5, 2013