In 2019, there were over 1,000 fatal injuries in the construction industry due to falls, crane accidents, falling objects and other hazards. The construction industry makes up about 20% of all work-related fatalities. While OSHA requires employers and construction managers to maintain a safe environment and provide safety training to prevent construction accidents, not all employers do their due diligence to ensure their construction workers remain safe. If you suffered severe injuries and lost wages due to a construction-related accident, it may be due to your employer’s negligence. In addition to contacting a construction accident lawyer NY workers trust, there are multiple steps to take following your accident.
1. Seek Medical Attention
Before you contact a construction accident attorney that New York residents rely upon, you should seek medical attention. Some of the most common factors behind workplace injuries include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Struck against objects
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Falls from heights
Falls are among the most significant risks leading to construction site accidents. You may fall due to uneven surfaces, improper mounting and dismounting from equipment, lack of fall protection equipment, and improper use of ladders and other equipment. On the project site, construction workers also risk being struck by objects, whether a machine or falling materials.
While OSHA has regulations on handling electrical equipment and how to utilize protective devices, insulation, and equipment, electrocution is still a significant risk on the job site. If you suffer from an electrocution accident, you could suffer from severe burns, nerve damage, or cardiac issues.
No matter how you became injured, you should see a medical professional as soon as possible. In emergencies your main priority should always be your health. For severe injuries, paramedics may be called to the site. However, if you feel like you do not need immediate medical attention, you may choose to wait.
You should never wait very long to see a doctor. Even if you feel fine, some symptoms may not manifest until later that day or throughout the next few days. Traumatic brain injuries, for example, have delayed symptoms. Likewise, injured workers may not recognize pain from bone fractures, sprains, or internal injuries with the adrenaline often felt following the accident. Waiting too long can lead to worse injuries and higher medical expenses down the road.
2. Inform Your Employer
Once you take care of your medical concerns, contact your employer to report the accident right away. In many instances, if your employer already witnessed the accident or was informed about it, he or she may have already reported the accident. In New York, employers must report the incident to the company’s insurance company promptly.
Any injury that appears to cause the construction worker to lose time from regular duties or requires the worker to undergo medical treatment must be reported on within 30 days of the incident to be eligible for workers’ comp. If the accident was serious and there were witnesses, your employer has no excuse not to know what happened. Your report may help you financially, but it also helps establish your case.
3. Consult with a New York Construction Accident Lawyer That Contractors Trust
Some people mistakenly believe that they do not need the help of a construction accident attorney, or they put it off, thinking that they don’t need a lawyer as they go through the claim. Having experienced construction accident attorneys on your side provides you with insight on how to file a personal injury lawsuit and what you need to prove. You may have an idea of how much your case is worth, but your lawyer will use a formula to judge the value of the case and whether it is worth fighting. At William Schwitzer & Associates, we understand the ins and outs of a workers’ compensation claim, particularly regarding construction accident injuries.
When you work with a construction accident lawyer NY, you’re working with someone who has a clear understanding of the workers’ compensation laws and the types of injuries contractors suffer daily. When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you may be entitled to medical care, vocational rehabilitation, and permanent and temporary disability payments. We work tirelessly to ensure that you receive all of your benefits and help with your medical bills.
Most people do not have experience in personal injury law. On top of recovering your health, you may not have the time or energy to dedicate yourself to learning the ins and outs of the law. It’s easy to miss deadlines and to lose paperwork. Attorneys keep your case up to date and allow you to breathe easier knowing that it’s being taken care of. Those who file a claim tend to have better outcomes with the help of a New York City construction accident attorney than those who do not hire one.
4. Identify Witnesses for Your Case
There are various workers on construction sites at any given time. Odds are your injury was witnessed by colleagues or guests on the site. Make contact with friends and coworkers who may be able to write a statement about what they saw. Likewise, if there are any known safety risks on site, ask for an account. By making statements about the safety of the site, your colleagues protect themselves too. NYC construction accident attorneys will need this information.
In addition to those who witnessed the accident, you can also call upon friends and family who saw you struggle following the incident. For instance, if you have trouble with daily activities at home, your spouse or family can vouch for you.
5. Document Evidence of Your Injury
After a construction accident, you have several components to prove in court. The first is your injury and the second is negligence by the employer. From the day of the incident, you should be building evidence of your damage through hospital or other medical care visits.
Evidence from the Accident Site
When you meet with a construction accident attorney, he or she will assist you in collecting appropriate evidence for your case. In the meantime, you want to begin to collect documentation immediately following the injury. While it is critical to have photos of the construction site, do not spend much time on the property. On the one hand, your project manager or employer may become upset with you, but also it could harm your case if the employer tries to spin it that you aren’t really as injured as you are. It will help you to have a couple of pictures or videos of the area where the incident occurred. If you cannot go to the site yourself, you may ask your colleagues to help you gather evidence. Additionally, a high-quality construction accident lawyer citizens trust can help you gather evidence from the scene.
Medical Records from Your Injuries
The success of your claim may hinge on your medical records. Working with an experienced construction accident attorney in New York can help you access your documents. Your lawyer can assist you in obtaining your records and will further use the forms to investigate the claim and evaluate the value of your injuries.
When it comes to your medical records, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects your privacy. While you have the right to copies of your medical records, others cannot access them without your permission. In addition, HIPAA establishes rules for things such as fees charged for copying medical records, how long medical providers have to respond to your request for medical records, and the locations where you can view the records. You can request your medical records in writing or in person at the health care facility. If you plan to send the documents to your lawyer, you will need to provide his or her address and must sign the request. In some instances, the institution may ask for notarization.
Consider keeping a journal along with your official medical records. Write a detailed log of your symptoms, along with information on how your injury affects your daily life. Write down how long it takes you to perform various activities and how the accident has affected your mental health. In addition to recording your injury’s progress, make sure to date and time the journal to create a timeline.
Keep track of all financial records associated with your injury. This includes all of your medical costs, including any medications, mobility aids, and anything regarding your injury. Additionally, track all financial decisions directly impacted by the accident. For example, if you need to pay for transportation for treatment or extra costs to care for the injury, you need to list all those charges.
Likewise, keep track of all of your pay stubs. If you lost hours or wages because of your injury, you need to have evidence of it. Compare your current financial situation to your previous situation before the accident to prove a loss of income. Log all of your expenses and make sure your bank statements can back up the losses. You need to consider current, past, and future costs.
Employers are required to maintain safety on a construction site. Workers’ compensation benefits should cover the injuries if an employee has an accident, but the coverage may not be enough for more devastating accidents. If you were recently involved in a construction accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Follow our steps and work with a construction accident lawyer NY workers trust. At William Schwitzer & Associates, we provide free consultations for all of our potential clients. Schedule one with us today to help you receive the compensation you deserve.