No matter if you work on a construction site, drive a car, or visit another person’s property, you never know when disaster may strike. William Schwitzer & Associates specializes in tackling construction site accidents, personal injury, and car accident cases for citizens on Long Island. If a company’s or another person’s negligence results in harm, you deserve to explore your case and legal options with reputable and trusted personal injury attorneys who are dedicated to protecting your rights.
Each year, thousands of construction workers suffer injuries, often because construction companies neglect to establish vital safety measures and conditions to keep workers safe. When employees suffer because of a company’s negligence, they deserve to consult with a Long Island personal injury attorney from William Schwitzer & Associates. We have over 80 years of experience protecting our clients’ rights and helping them understand their legal options.
The most common causes of deaths on construction sites are the Fatal Four: struck-by accidents, falls, caught-between/in accidents, and electrocution.
Other causes of construction site injuries include:
Often, negligence plays a major role in construction accidents. That makes it essential for injured workers to identify all at-fault parties in an accident because they could recover damages from several individuals or entities.
Rather than the employer, a third party may bear responsibility for construction site injuries. Examples of third parties in construction accidents include equipment manufacturers, property owners, architects, and contractors. Subcontractors and contractors have a responsibility to keep worksites safe by establishing property safety measures. Failing to do so could result in employee harm and open contractors to lawsuits.
Construction equipment manufacturers have a duty to maintain and design safe products. Neglecting to use the most current and trusted equipment manufacturing standards may increase the odds of someone becoming injured or dying after using defective equipment or products. If a construction site worker becomes harmed after using defective equipment, she or he could have a third-party liability claim against a negligent manufacturer.
If you suffer harm while on the clock, you could qualify for workers’ compensation. The insurance policy covers medical expenses and vocational rehabilitation costs related to the accident, with your weekly payments based on a portion of your weekly earnings and injury severity. Your compensation also depends on whether you receive permanent partial disability status or temporary total disability status.
One vital fact to remember with workers’ comp claims is you cannot take legal action against your employer if you file a workers’ comp claim. Usually, insurance coverage does not account for all the pain and suffering and emotional distress experienced because of workplace injuries. If you wish to recover more, you may want to look into filing a third-party liability claim. Family members of construction workers who died on the job because of another’s disregard may file a wrongful death claim.
Injured construction workers may want to take legal action against the at-fault party rather than file a workers’ comp claim. Under specific conditions, a harmed employee who files a workers’ comp claim could also have grounds to file a personal injury claim. Either way, the person seeking legal damages must prove negligence and provide sufficient evidence to support the lawsuit.
To establish negligence, injured workers must prove the company owed them a duty of care to keep them safe. Then, the plaintiff must prove the at-fault party breached the duty of care and that the breach caused harm. Evidence of Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) violations, a lack of personal protective equipment, and uncovered holes are examples of proof individuals may gather to show negligence.
Even though misfortune happens all the time, that does not excuse the confusion and agony that may result from a personal injury. Injured plaintiffs deserve to work with a Long Island personal injury lawyer to know what damages they qualify for and how to recover them from the responsible party.
Examples of common personal injuries include:
No matter the type of personal injury, victims must remember that suffering harm does not always end in legal liability.
After you hurt yourself on another person’s property or because of another’s negligence, you may wonder what to do first. It’s a good idea to approach the at-fault party to see if she or he has an insurance policy that covers the suffered harm. A homeowner may have homeowner’s insurance that covers injured guests, business owners may have liability coverage in case a guest or customer sustains harm on company property and the at-fault driver could have car insurance.
If an individual only sustains minor injuries and learns from a physician that she or he does not have delayed or hidden injury symptoms, it may not make sense to hire a Long Island personal injury lawyer. For situations that fall outside of those parameters, it’s a good idea to at least consult with an experienced legal representative.
Lawyers help personal injury victims understand their rights and how New York personal injury law works. Legal advocates also help their clients investigate accident scenes and gather evidence to build their cases. This may involve interviewing witnesses who saw the incident and hiring professional investigators or accident reconstruction experts.
Lawyers may also communicate with the responsible party’s insurance provider on a client’s behalf. Insurance providers do not always have a personal injury victim’s most favorable interests at heart, which could mean the plaintiff does not receive fair compensation that accounts for all the harm suffered. Rather than the plaintiff accepting a low-ball offer that seems generous, a Long Island personal injury law yer may negotiate with the insurance company on a fair settlement.
If a person becomes injured because of someone else’s negligence, the individual should take legal action sooner rather than later. A statute of limitations assigns a time limit for how long an injured party has to sue the at-fault party. For instance, in New York, personal injury victims have three years from the day the injury happened to take legal action. The court may refuse to hear a case from those who file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations passes.
Personal injury plaintiffs must remember that the statute of limitations only applies to taking legal action in the court, not insurance policies. Usually, insurance claims precede legal action. Personal injury cases often resolve out of court, but parties should still leave themselves plenty of time to file a lawsuit if settlement talks deteriorate.
Every state allows for special circumstances that extend the statute of limitations. Such conditions include when the plaintiff is a minor, the at-fault party leaves the state for a specific period and for mentally incapacitated plaintiffs.
Sometimes, at-fault parties try to claim plaintiffs bear partial fault for suffering harm. In partial fault personal injury cases, New York relies on pure comparative negligence rules. That means the court reduces the amount of damages a person stands to receive according to her or his degree of fault in the matter.
For example, in a car accident, Driver A may exceed the speed limit and plow into Driver B, who looked down at his phone right before the accident. Even though Driver A broke the speed limit, contributing 90% of the fault for the accident, Driver B may have avoided the accident if he did not drive distracted, contributing 10% of the fault. Under pure comparative negligence rules, rather than recovering full damages totaling $10,000, Driver B only qualifies for $9,000.
No matter how safe a driver you are, you cannot account for other motorists. Even if the at-fault driver has insurance, it may not cover all the injuries and harm you suffered in the accident. A third party, such as a parts manufacturer, may bear responsibility for the collision. In both scenarios, a car accident lawyer in Long Island could help you gather evidence, strengthen your claim, and recover damages.
Even a minor auto accident at low speed could trigger injuries. Some of the most common motor vehicle accident injuries include:
A person may also suffer mental and emotional harm after a car accident.
Examples of head and back injuries include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and herniated discs. Whiplash is a prevalent neck injury resulting from car collisions.
Injury severity in an accident also depends on whether the victim rode a motorcycle or traveled on foot during the accident. Pedestrian victims could suffer foot and leg damage while motorcyclists may endure ligament damage or even severed limbs.
Another reason for car accident victims to let a doctor examine them even if they feel fine is so they know how much to seek in damages from the at-fault party. Motor vehicle accident damages include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and loss of companionship.
Medical expenses damages account for:
Car accident victims could also qualify for medical damages if a collision disfigures them.
Pain and suffering is the psychological and physical distress connected to a personal injury. For instance, car crash victims may experience anxiety at the thought of getting behind the wheel again after an accident. Accident injuries may also put victims in constant physical agony or discomfort, which may qualify them for pain and suffering damages.
Motor vehicle collisions may force plaintiffs to take time off work while healing, which could result in a loss of income. Lost wages damages compensate victims for missing work to attend physical therapy sessions, stay in the hospital and deal with mobility problems.
A married plaintiff may lose the ability to show her or his spouse affection because of car accident injuries. If so, a spouse could petition the court for loss of affection or companionship damages with help from a car accident lawyer in Long Island. Unlike other car accident damages, only the uninjured spouse qualifies for loss of companionship or affection damages. Also, the uninjured spouse may only recover these damages if the injured spouse recovers other damages.
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, you may struggle to focus on what steps to take. After checking yourself and your passengers for injuries, check everyone else involved in the accident for injuries. Call the paramedics if anyone needs medical attention, and summon the police to the scene to make an official report.
Exchange insurance and contact information from the other driver, but do not admit fault for the accident. Take pictures of the damage all vehicles sustained in the incident, and snap images of your injuries, too. Document your surroundings, including street signs, traffic signals, weather, skid marks on the road, nearby construction, and road damage.
If anyone saw the accident, ask for a written or verbal statement. Make sure you request the witness’s contact information in case you or your car accident lawyer in Long Island have follow-up questions.
Let your doctor examine you after the collision, even if you feel fine. If you tell your insurance agent or the other party’s insurance provider you did not hurt yourself in the accident but later change your story, you could complicate your claim. Let your physician be the one to tell you and all insurance representatives whether you sustained harm.
If you were in a construction site accident, personal injury or car accident on Long Island, do not delay in protecting your rights and taking legal action. Contact William Schwitzer & Associates to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced Long Island personal injury lawyers. Call one of our representatives at 800-933-1212 or submit an online form.