Construction site accidents happen all the time in New York City, and if you were injured in an accident, you may be confused about what steps to take next. Following an on-the-job accident, it is imperative you safeguard your interests at all costs.
Depending on the nature of your accident, you may even find it helpful to consult a New York construction accident lawyer who understands exactly what an injured construction worker needs. An attorney can also help you choose the best course of action and take the right steps to ensure your rights are honored.
What To Do After a Construction Accident?
If you are injured in a New York City construction accident, there are steps you should take to preserve your interests and legal rights. In the wake of an accident, be sure to do the following:
- Obtain medical treatment for your injury. Even if you feel fine, you may be injured. Numerous types of injuries take time to present themselves, and if you do not seek medical care, you could end up permanently injured and unable to file a claim.
- Report your injury to the construction site manager or your employer. Take note of the position and name of the person you notified. By notifying your employer, you can be sure your injury is on record.
- Get the contact information and names of anyone who may have been a witness to your accident.
- Attempt to preserve any evidence related to your injury by taking photographs. You may also want to keep the tool or equipment responsible for your injury.
Once you have taken the steps above, you should contact a New York construction accident attorney. An attorney can help you take the next steps if you decide to file a personal injury claim or file for workers’ compensation.
Personal Injury Claims vs. Workers’ Compensation Claims
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury, you will have the choice of filing for workers’ compensation or filing a personal injury claim. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance the vast majority of employers must carry.
It protects workers financially if they are injured on the job. It also pays for vocational training injured construction workers will be prepared to resume their professional duties once their injuries heal.
You may file for workers’ compensation no matter who is responsible for your construction accident injuries. You may even file for benefits if you caused your injury.
Once your claim for workers’ compensation benefits is processed, you will begin to receive benefits in a relatively short time. It is important to note, however, that workers’ compensation does not cover non-economic damages, such as loss of quality of life or pain and suffering.
If your injury was caused by a grossly negligent employer, third party, or a defective tool or device, you may want to consider filing a personal injury claim with the help of NYC construction accident lawyers. Unlike filing a workers’ compensation claim, you will need to prove another party is responsible for your injuries. If your construction accident personal injury lawsuit is successful, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages.
Filing for Compensation After an Accident
If you have been injured in a construction site accident, you may be wondering if you are entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. If you choose to file a personal injury claim against a responsible party, you may be able to recover a variety of economic and non-economic damages. Depending on the nature of your construction accident case, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, current and future medical bills, and everyday living expenses.
You may also be able to obtain compensation for pain and suffering and loss of quality of life if your injury leaves you permanently disabled or in pain. In general, the more extensive your injuries are, the more compensation you will obtain.
The court may also decide to award punitive damages. Punitive damages are a type of non-economic damages meant to punish the responsible party and prevent them from engaging in negligent behavior in the future. Punitive damages are typically awarded in cases where gross negligence is a factor.
Common Construction Site Hazards
Despite the efforts of construction site owners, accidents will still happen due to the nature of construction work. Common workplace hazards at construction sites include:
- Slips and falls
- Scaffolding accidents
- Exposure to chemicals or asbestos
- Falling equipment or machinery
- Injuries caused by defective products
- Repetitive motion and lifting injuries
If you have been exposed to any of the previously mentioned hazards and sustained an injury, you may be able to file a personal injury claim or obtain benefits from workers’ compensation.
Construction sites are among the most dangerous worksites in the U.S. Whether you are an employee, contractor, or third party, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if you experienced a slip-and-fall accident at a construction site. To determine whether you should call a slip and fall injury lawyer, the following should help you.
How Serious Are Slips and Falls?
A slip and fall on a construction site can result in severe injuries. About 36% of all falls on a construction site occur on the same level, whereas 24% involve ladders.
A slip-and-fall injury may result in soft tissue injuries, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries. The construction industry is the most dangerous, with some workers suffering fatal falls from scaffolds and ladders or building girders.
You may deserve compensation if you suffered an injury that resulted in the following :
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Prescription costs
- Travel expenses
- Permanent, total, or partial disability
- Property damage
Construction accident law firms can assess your injuries, and the negligence involved and decide whether your slip and fall accident was serious enough for you to take action.
How Can You Take Action?
To hold the construction company liable for the injuries suffered, you need to prove negligence in the slip-and-fall. Your first option is to prove that the property owner, employee, or other agent caused the hazardous condition that led to your slip-and-fall.
For example, someone left an obstacle on the path and you tripped over it. In this case, any reasonable person would know that someone could fall due to the condition.
Another way to prove negligence is to prove that the property owner or employee should have recognized dangerous conditions on-site. For example, did you trip over a pothole or uneven surfaces?
In this case, would any reasonable person know to make repairs to prevent the accident?
To file a lawsuit based on negligence, the property owner or employees should have had a reasonable opportunity to notice the hazard and fix it.
With the help of a construction site accident lawyer in New York City, you can file a lawsuit against the responsible parties.
These parties may include:
- Property owners
- Construction workers
- Contractors or subcontractors
- Construction company
Additionally, you can base the lawsuit on:
- Product defects
- Vicarious liability of an employee
- Premises liability
In all personal injury lawsuits, the defendant had to owe you a duty of care. Next, he or she had to breach it, causing substantial harm. When you file a lawsuit, the other party or the party’s insurance carrier may argue that you were at fault for your accident.
In addition to proving the construction company or other parties negligent, you need to prove that you were not acting negligently. For example, trespassing on clearly marked property and injuring yourself may not give you the right to take action.
How Will Representation Increase Your Chances for Compensation?
When another individual or institution is responsible for your accident, you have every right to hold the party accountable. In general, you should receive compensation for every aspect of the recovery process.
Unfortunately, the process doesn’t always go so smoothly. Instead, insurers may try to deny your claim. If you file a claim and the insurer denies you, do you know what to do next?
Construction accident firms know the types of documentation that you need, the deadlines that you need to meet, and the challenges involved with your lawsuit. Most people aren’t well-versed in how to make a construction accident claim. It may be clear to you that you deserve to be compensated for your injury, but you still have to present your case and fight for your rights.
We know your rights and the options available to injured workers. In construction accident cases, you either file a third-party lawsuit or you file a workers’ compensation claim if you happen to be an employee. Lawyers guide you through the process and ensure that you have all of the proper paperwork filled out and filed on time. In addition, a lawyer can help you gather evidence and make sure that it is to present your case.
If you know little about construction cases, you may feel confused or overwhelmed at the start. A lawyer can ease that and is willing to not only negotiate with insurers but to take your lawsuit to court if necessary. Keep in mind that personal injury lawyers do not take your case unless there is a shot to win.
If you need a slip-and-fall injury lawyer, we are here to guide you through your construction accident lawsuit. As construction site lawyers, we have pride in our knowledge concerning New York labor law. For those injured in a construction accident, we are committed to your representation. Schedule a free consultation with William Schwitzer & Associates law firm today!