The construction industry is booming in Brooklyn and the rest of New York City boroughs, with thousands of workers flocking to the city each day to construct structures of all types. While construction is a viable income source for thousands of workers and their families, there is no denying the risks involved with the profession. Falls, head injuries, and electrical shocks are common in the industry and may require extensive medical care to treat.
If you were injured in a workplace construction accident, you should contact an experienced construction accident attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve. Construction workers injured on the job have trusted William Schwitzer & Associates to get them the compensation they deserve for many years. We specialize in Brooklyn construction accidents and are committed to representing all types of clients. Here is everything you need to know about construction injuries in Brooklyn.
Before 2020, the U.S. construction industry increased for nine consecutive years, providing millions of jobs to workers all over the country. In New York City, construction jobs peaked in 2015. From 2011 to 2019, construction was the city’s fastest-growing sector, and the rate of jobs available rose by nearly 45%. The industry took a hit in 2020, and the construction trade declined by almost 13%. The city stopped nonessential construction during the summer of 2020, and the overall construction spending declined significantly.
However, recent trends indicate the construction industry is starting to increase again. Construction is resuming in many parts of Brooklyn, NY, and many of the nation’s critical infrastructure buildings in the city are being upgraded. Thousands of workers still work in the New York City construction industry daily, and accidents steadily increase.
As New York City’s most populous borough, thousands of construction workers live and commute to Brooklyn construction sites daily. Unfortunately, Brooklyn’s high population has contributed to the area’s high rate of construction accidents. From March 2018 to March 2019, there were three construction worker deaths in Brooklyn. In all, Brooklyn reported almost 25 workplace fatalities from 2017 to 2019. It is estimated that nearly 25% of New York City’s construction-related fatalities occur in Brooklyn.
It is an unfortunate, but the fact that many construction accidents are attributed to the exact causes. Most accidents can be attributed to error or negligence. Frequent causes of Brooklyn construction accidents include:
While many construction accidents are caused by negligence or lack of training, some injuries are due to unforeseen circumstances. Even if a third party is not liable for your damages, you still have a right to be compensated.
While Brooklyn construction accidents often suffer from minor scrapes, more severe injuries also occur. The most common construction-related injuries in Brooklyn include:
Some construction accidents can cause debilitating, life-long injuries. Even if you can return to work after the accident, you may still suffer pain. You may be limited in the number of workplace projects or outside activities you can participate in. At William Schwitzer & Associates, we can make sure you are fairly compensated for your construction-related injuries. We can explain the legal process to you and negotiate your compensation with the insurance company.
Most construction accident victims injured in onsite incidents are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation in New York is specific benefits to which injured employees are eligible, such as medical costs and lost wages. It is meant to serve as an important safety net for employees who work in dangerous industries.
Most Brooklyn construction firms must carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees. Filing a workers’ compensation claim is similar to submitting any other insurance claim. This type of claim is not considered a lawsuit. Under New York law, an injured employee may receive the following benefits:
The injured worker is entitled to receive compensation to pay for all treatment that is necessary to cure or relieve the side effects of the injury. Medical expenses that are covered include hospital stays, surgical procedures, follow-up appointments, and physical therapy. Prescription medication is often covered as well. You may need to use your company’s doctor to receive full benefits for a specific amount of time. However, after this time period, you can often use your general practitioner.
In New York, there are two types of temporary disability benefits: temporary total and temporary partial disability. Both come in the form of medical payments after a construction-related incident. Temporary disability payments are also made if you are medically cleared to return to work, but you can only work for limited hours or at a lower wage. You can also be eligible if your doctor limits the scope of work you can perform while you recover.
In New York, there are two types of permanent disability benefits under workers’ compensation: permanent partial and permanent total disability. Permanent total disability is an injury that prevents you from working in any type of employment in the future. This type of injury is restricted to the most severe conditions, such as total blindness, paralysis, or the loss of limbs.
These benefits are typically paid at the same rate as temporary benefits for the rest of the worker’s life. On the other hand, permanent partial disability is classified as an injury in which the worker can still hold a job but not at the skill level demonstrated before the accident. Thus, the earning capacity of the worker is restricted.
The nature of the accident and the extent of your injury dictate which type of workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to receive.
Workers’ compensation refers to the claims process between the direct employer and the injured employee. Although most employees receive workers’ compensation benefits, the benefits are generally not enough to pay for all medical expenses, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Construction accident victims have the right to file a personal injury claim with a construction accident attorney. An attorney can help you identify which groups or people whose negligence caused your injury. Under New York law, the person deemed liable for the damage must provide additional compensation to the injured party.
While your construction accident lawyer will inform you of the best way to file your personal injury case, here are the basic steps involved:
Your first concern after suffering an injury should be seeking medical attention for your injuries. Even if you feel fine, you should still seek the advice of a doctor. Some injuries are not immediately apparent and take the expertise of a doctor to diagnose. Further, a doctor is an individual responsible for gathering medical evidence to support your personal injury claim.
After suffering injuries due to the negligence of another individual, you must seek legal representation as soon as possible. An attorney can help protect your legal rights and help you understand the compensation you need. An experienced construction accident lawyer will consult with you to understand the full details of your accident. You should be prepared to recall all elements of the accident, including dates, times, medical treatment, and people involved.
After your initial consultation, your attorney typically conducts a comprehensive investigation of your construction accident case. Your lawyer should review all details of the incident to see if the lawsuit holds merit and how to pursue the case while keeping your best interest in mind.
Your attorney will need to understand the extent of your injuries and how the actions of others may have caused those injuries. Your attorney may obtain this information by conducting interviews with co-workers, family members, your employer, and your doctor.
Following the initial investigation, the attorney will let you know if they can represent you in court. If you both agree, you should sign a representation agreement. Most personal injury lawyers will allow a contingency fee agreement, which requires you to pay legal fees only if there is a favorable verdict.
Under New York law, construction accident lawsuits must be filed with the local court system within three years of the accident. If you are within this time frame, your lawyer will file a summons and a complaint on your behalf. This paperwork starts the legal process and lets the court system know you plan to seek compensation.
Once the lawsuit is filed, lawyers from both sides start the discovery process. During this step, both legal teams exchange legal documents and information regarding the case. Each lawyer has the right to ask questions and request documents such as medical records, insurance contracts, and witness statements. The discovery process is generally the longest step in the personal injury case process, lasting several weeks to months.
In personal injury cases, both sides must submit sworn testimonies before the trial process. This is an essential step in the process where each side can ask questions to the other side, and all statements are recorded to ensure consistency. These sworn statements provide critical insight into the strength of your opponent’s case. Additional evidence can be gathered after the deposition period if gaps in the case are determined.
Before the case goes to trial, both sides participate in negotiations to settle the claim. During the discussions, your attorney should make demands on your behalf. The defendant’s lawyer may accept the offer or propose another amount. Settling the case out of court can save time and effort, but you may not get the whole amount to which you are entitled.
If no settlement is reached, your case goes to trial. However, negotiations can continue to take place while the trial is taking place. During the trial, both sides present evidence to the court to support their claims. Evidence can include witness testimony, photographic proof of the accident, or medical records. You may be called to the stand to provide testimony by your attorney during the trial. However, you must also be cross-examined by your opponent’s lawyer if you testify.
After your trial, the jury deliberates and pronounces a judgment. However, some personal injury cases are not debated in front of a jury. In those cases, a judge will make the final determination. The judge will either decide in your favor or in the favor of the defendant. After the verdict, both you and your opponent are entitled to file post-trial motions or appeals. Be prepared to respond to a request from your opponent if you win the court case.
New York personal injury trials can take anywhere from several months to a year or more. However, most cases are settled before the trial begins. It is essential to be ready for a lengthy legal battle if you decide to file a lawsuit regarding your construction accident lawsuit.
Are you looking for a lawyer to represent you in your construction accident lawsuit? When you’ve been injured in a construction-related accident, it is essential to know your rights so you can get the proper compensation.
Contact William Schwitzer & Associates today to set up a free consultation with one of the Brooklyn construction accident lawyers. Our lawyers are well-versed in New York construction law and can help you get the compensation you need after a construction accident.