New York Construction Accident Lawyers
Construction accidents are always unexpected, frightening, and stressful. Medical expenses, emotional anguish, and lost time at work cause a serious reduction in quality of life. That’s why there is an opportunity to obtain compensation for accident-related injuries.
By discovering at-fault parties, proving negligence, and filing a claim on time, you improve your chances of damage recovery. Experienced New York construction accident lawyers from Jacoby & Meyers, LLP can help build a strong case and fight for the money you deserve. Below our experienced New York personal injury lawyers discuss more about how you can recover compensation for your construction accident claim?
Why Choose Jacoby & Meyers, LLP As Your Construction Accident Attorneys in New York
Construction accident cases are rarely straightforward. Proving your right to compensation can be complicated, time-consuming, and filled with nuances. You need professional legal assistance to maximize your chances of fair damage recovery.
An experienced legal team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP has served New Yorkers since 1980. Over the past decades, our attorneys have handled hundreds of cases and negotiated numerous million-dollar settlements.
By working with our construction accident lawyers, you get:
- Access to a large team of legal experts who dedicate their time to building a strong case and fighting for your rights.
- Extensive consultation about your case’s merit, common errors, filing deadlines, quality of evidence, and much more.
- Emotional support throughout the case that allows you to avoid continuous stress and frustration.
- Assistance with evidence collection, hiring expert witnesses, and filing all the necessary paperwork.
- Professional help with identifying at-fault parties and proving their negligence.
- Negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
- Representing you in court if necessary.
When you are hurt in a construction accident, your main goal is to get your life back on track. Taking legal action while you are recovering from injuries or grieving the loss of a loved one can be nearly impossible.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP has over four decades of experience handling construction accident cases. Our offices are conveniently located in Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, East Meadow, and Hempstead. If you can’t travel, we can arrange an online consultation.
Compensation in Construction Accident Cases
If you sustained injuries in a construction accident, you can seek compensation. The common damages in such accidents are:
Economic damages are expenses related to your injuries that usually include:
- Medical expenses
- Surgical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Post-op care
- At-home assistance
- Physical therapy
You can usually back economic damages with tangible evidence such as medical bills, W-2 forms, etc.
You can seek past, present, and future economic damages. For example, if you sustain a traumatic brain injury, you may need treatment long after you file a lawsuit. These future expenses should be part of your settlement.
What is an expert witness?
While you can back medical expenses and lost wages with paperwork, you may need to hire an expert witness to prove your right to future damages.
An expert witness is a professional (usually a healthcare expert) who can testify that you will need treatment or time off work in the future.
For example, a traumatologist can say that your broken bones will take half a year to heal properly. During this time, you would need physical therapy and time off work. The at-fault party should compensate for treatment and lost wages.
Non-economic damages have to do with pain, suffering, and reduction in quality of life. For example, you suffer a traumatic brain injury when debris falls from a construction site. This injury leads to significant pain during treatment. It also keeps you from participating in normal everyday activities.
The at-fault party needs to cover these damages to help improve your quality of life.
To prove past, present, and future pain and suffering, you may need to:
- Provide evidence (journals, photos, videos that demonstrate how your life has changed)
- Hire an expert witness who can testify to the extent of your pain and suffering.
To calculate non-economic damages, judges usually use a number that they multiply by your economic damages.
Wrongful Death Damages
If your loved one dies in a construction accident, you can seek compensation.
According to New York law, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit if you are the deceased’s:
- Representative of the estate
Damages you can recover include pre-death medical expenses (if any), funeral and burial costs, loss of inheritance, loss of financial support, and more.
How much is my case worth?
Damages in construction accident cases vary, and so can the compensation.
The size of your settlement depends on many factors, including:
- Extent of your damages – The more injuries you sustain in the accident, the more money you can try to recover. If your injuries lead to long-term treatment or permanent disability, the payout is likely to be higher.
- Evidence – To prove you are entitled to the damages, you have to provide extensive evidence. You need to back every penny you are seeking with evidence. The more evidence you can collect, the more your case is likely to be worth.
- Expert witnesses – To prove the right to compensation for your future injury-related expenses, you need to hire an expert witness. The insurance company or the judge will evaluate their testimony and decide on the future damages you can recover.
- Non-economic damages – Non-economic damages usually cost more than economic damages. The more evidence you have to back pain and suffering, the more likely you are to get higher compensation.
If the at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured, you would need to take the case to court. Even if the judge rules in your favor, the at-fault party may not always have sufficient funds to pay you. That’s why it’s important to identify all at-fault parties to ensure full damage recovery.
The key to maximizing your settlement is working with an experienced attorney. Construction accident lawyers know exactly what needs to be done to increase compensation. Without legal assistance, it’s easy to make unfortunate mistakes that could cost you the entire settlement.
The average size of construction accident settlements negotiated by Jacoby & Meyers, LLP is over $1.5 million.
Construction Accidents in New York
Over 40 construction accidents happen in New York every month. The majority of these accidents (around 80 percent) cause injuries. Between 10 and 15 construction workers die in New York every year.
With over 8,000 construction sites in New York City, the frequency of construction accidents isn’t surprising. While many companies and workers are implementing top safety measures, errors and oversights still happen.
Many victims of construction accidents don’t know that they can seek compensation. Some of them don’t understand the process of filing a claim. Others are too injured to think about legal action.
By speaking to an experienced New York construction accident attorney, you can figure out what your next steps are. You don’t need to wait to recover from your injuries to file a claim. The faster you begin fighting for your money, the more likely you are to receive fair compensation.
Statute of Limitations in New York
After you sustain injuries in a construction accident, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. The New York statute of limitations sets this limit at three years after accident.
Three exceptions apply this statute:
- Age – If the person who sustains an injury is a minor, the “clock” starts ticking when that person turns 18 years of age.
- Legal disability – If the person who sustains an injury is legally disabled, the “clock” starts ticking after the disability passes.
- Absence – If the at-fault party leaves the state before you can file a lawsuit and stays away for over four months, the “clock” starts ticking after their return.
If you don’t file a lawsuit before the three years are up, and none of the above exceptions apply to you, the judge is highly likely to dismiss the case immediately.
Construction Accidents: Types and Injuries
When it comes to construction accidents in New York, some are more common than others. These accidents often involve negligent behavior of workers or employees.
The common types of construction injuries in New York include:
- Falls – A construction worker falls from height due to fatigue, improper safety equipment, and poor safety measures.
- Slips and trips – Construction workers slip or trip on the ground or another surface and sustain injuries.
- Falling objects – Pieces of scaffolding, building materials, tools, and other objects cause serious damage to construction workers or pedestrians.
- Electrocution – Exposed wires and power lines cause electrocution accidents.
- Vehicle – A construction vehicle hurts a construction worker, or a passerby vehicle hits a worker at a road construction site.
- Machinery – Heavy machinery can malfunction at a construction site. Alternatively, a worker who lacks experience could hurt themselves when handling heavy machinery.
- Toxins – A worker can breathe in chemicals or toxins at the construction site.
These are only a few types of construction accidents that become the basis for personal injury lawsuits. No matter the injury you sustained at the construction site, you have a right to seek compensation.
Consider speaking to an attorney to understand whether your case has merit and what steps to take next. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we provide valuable advice to construction accident victims during the initial free consultation.
Both construction workers and construction site passersby sustain:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck and back injury
- Intoxication (from exposure to toxins and chemicals)
- Eye injury (including blindness)
- Broken bones
Even if your injury seems minor at first, you still need to see a doctor. Some serious injuries don’t manifest themselves immediately. If you wait to get medical assistance until you notice the first signs of a problem, you could lose a chance to collect valuable evidence.
Negotiations With the Insurance Company
The key element of obtaining reasonable compensation after a construction accident is negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company. That’s why many construction accident cases settle out of court.
Negotiations with an insurance company are often complicated, time-consuming, and frustrating. Insurance adjusters use every opportunity to hurt your case and decrease the settlement.
Insurance companies use various tactics to pressure victims into accepting lower amounts. These tactics work well with people who have mounting medical bills but can’t return to work due to their injuries. Eventually, many victims settle faster than they should.
Construction accident attorneys have experience with these types of negotiations. Since they aren’t emotionally involved in the process, it’s impossible to lowball them. Attorneys keep the client’s interest in mind and use a variety of tactics to achieve the highest settlement possible.
What to Do After a Construction Accident
Every step you take after a construction accident contributes to the strength of your case.
To improve your chances of getting a higher settlement, you need to:
- Collect as much medical evidence as possible (all medical bills, doctor’s reports, prescriptions, etc.)
- Make photos and videos of your visible injuries.
- Write journal entries that describe your everyday activities (this can demonstrate the reduction of quality of life as well as emotional anguish).
- Follow your doctor’s orders (if you don’t, the insurance company can use this against you).
- Don’t make any statements to the insurance company before speaking to an attorney.
While New York law doesn’t obligate you to hire an attorney for filing a construction accident claim, you should consider doing so. Can i file a claim by myself? Without an attorney on your side, your risk losing your chance of getting reasonable compensation.
What if the Claim Is Denied?
Construction workers injured on the job in New York should seek medical care from a medical provider authorized by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). Workers should also notify their employers of their injuries, and file a workers’ compensation claim with the WCB.
Sometimes, however, even when a construction worker follows all of the necessary steps, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier or the worker’s employer will deny the worker’s claim for benefits.
Common reasons insurers and employers give for denying a claim include:
- The employer or insurance company calls the injury or illness not related to a workplace injury;
- The employer or insurance company claims the employee did not meet deadlines for notifying the employer of the injury/illness, or for filing a claim;
- The employer argues that the worker had used drugs or alcohol at the time of injury, and thus disqualified from receiving benefits;
- The employer argues that the worker is an independent contractor, freelancer, or consultant, and ineligible for workers’ comp;
- The employer argues that the worker deliberately injured himself or herself, or tried to injure someone else.
Injured construction workers whose workers’ compensation claims have been denied have the right to seek review of the denial by the WCB. We urge any New York construction worker who receives notice of a claim denial to contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP or another qualified construction accident attorney as soon as possible to get a free case evaluation. The decisions you make at the beginning of the claim-denial appeals process can have a significant impact on your legal rights to receive benefits and to seek compensation from other sources.
Speak to an Experienced New York Construction Accident Attorney Today
If you sustained injuries in a construction accident, you may want to hire an attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you collect evidence, find liable parties, prove their negligence, negotiate with the insurance company, and argue your case in court.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP is one of the top New York construction accident legal teams. We have decades of experience helping New Yorkers recover the money that they deserve. If you aren’t sure what to do after a construction accident, contact us for a free consultation today.
You can call us at (212)-445-7000, fill out a short contact form, or speak to a live agent on our website.
“If it were not for the integral legal team of experts at Jacoby & Meyers I would not be where I am today with my recovery. I highly recommend hiring Jacoby & Meyers should you ever find yourself injured in an accident, and an individual or company needs to be held accountable for their negligence.” -C.J.
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Jacoby & Meyers, LLP
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New York, NY 10006