Staten Island Construction Accident Attorneys
As a construction worker, when you show up to work, you expect to find safe working conditions. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen, and when it doesn’t, you may suffer tragic consequences.
When your employer, the general contractor, subcontractors, or construction site owners do not take the proper precautions to protect construction workers, terrible things can happen. If you or a loved one has experienced an injury at a construction site, you deserve legal representation to help you maximize your financial recovery, so you can focus on your physical recovery.
“I had an amazing experience with Jacoby & Meyers, LLP. I would highly recommend them for anyone needing a law firm.” -Paul T.
Construction Site Hazards
Construction accidents are serious, and many are preventable. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides information on the Fatal Four, which are the four most common construction site accident causes:
- Falls: Falling from objects, such as ladders or scaffolding, account for one-third of all construction site accident deaths. This underscores the importance of following proper safety procedures to keep you safe while working. In New York, due to the state’s so-called Scaffold Law, should you fall from a height you have the chance to secure more compensation than in other workers’ comp cases. Make sure to call Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, if you fell from a height, and see if the Scaffold Law applies to your case.
- Struck by object: This type of accident accounts for about 11 percent of construction accident injuries. Struck-by-object accidents can alter victims’ lives, whether it was a flying rock or a piece of debris, the speed and weight of the object determine how serious a resulting injury will be and how long recovery will take.
- Electrocutions: Electrical accidents happen when a construction worker is electrocuted or shocked because of an exposed power line. If the voltage is high enough, this could be a life-threatening situation. Electrocutions account for more than 8 percent of all construction accident injuries.
- Caught in or between: This type of accident happens when a construction worker is caught in a machine or caught between heavy items and accounts for over 5 percent of construction accident injuries.
Construction sites are unique because of the specific dangers that they allow. However, when everyone is aware of the dangers and takes proactive measures, like following the guidelines laid out by OSHA, then construction workers will stay safe. Unfortunately, contractors, construction site owners, and property owners do not always take the proper precautionary measures, which may result in unnecessary and prolonged suffering for victims of construction site accidents.
Construction Site Injuries
We’ve already discussed what causes accidents to happen at construction worksites. Now, let’s see what resulting injuries occur from those accidents. Some of the most common injuries associated with construction site accidents include:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Hearing loss
- Broken bones
- Joint damage
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Concussion and other traumatic brain injuries
While death does not always occur after a construction site accident, over 5,000 construction workers lost their lives in 2018. This shows the immense danger that construction workers face every day when their employers or construction site owners do not take the proper precautions to protect workers on the site.
More people work in construction today than ever before. Unless we hold the negligent parties liable for injuries that they cause, this will keep happening. This is why it’s so important that you speak with a trusted Staten Island construction accident lawyer immediately following your accident.
Steps to Take After Your Accident
The steps you take immediately after your construction site accident can play a big part in your physical recovery as well as your financial recovery. Your construction accident attorney in Staten Island may use some of this information in an attempt to maximize your compensation.
- Call 911. You want an objective record of what happened to you. Calling 911 means the police may create a diagram of your accident and speak with witnesses. When you call 911, you will also receive prompt medical attention. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the type of accident that caused them, you may suffer from internal and life-threatening injuries. You should be seen by a medical professional immediately after your accident, even if you don’t feel injured.
- See your doctor. Even if your injuries are not life-threatening, going to see your doctor will help you recover faster, and that is what matters most. Your doctor will also keep medical records, which helps your attorney show how your injuries are improving over time.
- Speak with witnesses. When you speak with someone who witnessed your accident, he or she can provide a different vantage point and possibly additional information that you would not otherwise have. Eyewitnesses may shed light on the moments leading up to your accident that could help us hold the negligent parties liable for your injuries.
- Take pictures. The old adage is true; a picture speaks a thousand words. When you take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and the surrounding equipment, we can help you determine how your accident happened and who is to blame.
- Keep a journal. When you are going through your recovery, you will not remember how you progressed from day to day. You will not remember your daily struggle and suffering. When you write down your daily progress, or lack thereof, your memory is refreshed about the struggle and uphill battle it took you to make a full recovery. This is important, as showing your struggle will help us hold the negligent parties liable for your injuries and maximize your financial recovery.
The last step is to find the right Staten Island construction accident injury lawyer for you. Each accident is caused by different circumstances, and each victim suffers different injuries. However, one thing in common is that someone else is to blame for your suffering. Choosing the right lawyer to help guide you through the complex legal process will aid in your recovery.
Possible At-Fault Parties
When workers’ compensation is concerned, fault is generally not at issue—workers are covered under their employers’ no-fault workers’ comp policies, although you may still need a lawyer to file a claim and make sure the workers’ comp insurance company pays you what it owes you.
While workers’ comp, pays limited benefits in most cases, if someone other than your employer contributed to your accident, you may have a third-party liability claim that could allow you to sue for a broader range of damages.
This all makes construction accident injury cases complex. They require the keen eye of an experienced construction accident lawyer.
Multiple third parties may face liability for your injuries. Consider the following potentially liable parties:
- General contractors. Under New York law, general contractors are obligated to keep a construction site safe by providing reasonable and adequate protection to all workers. The law requires general contractors to take proactive steps to ensure worker safety, which includes providing proper safety training to all workers.
- Construction site owners. The same laws that apply to general contractors also apply to construction site owners. They must take proactive steps to ensure the safety of workers while on the job. When potential dangers to worker safety arise, construction site owners must address and resolve those dangers. Owners must also provide construction workers with the proper safety equipment to do their jobs.
- Subcontractors. The nature of a construction site is constant movement. Even small construction sites may have multiple large machines moving at once, completing important tasks simultaneously. These machines are often owned by different companies. It is not uncommon to see workers for multiple different companies working at the same construction site at any given time. These companies are responsible for their workers’ safety, just like the construction site owners.
- Engineers. Engineers help to design buildings, and when engineers engage in such work, they must account for safety standards of the people building the structure. The law also requires engineers and architects to make sure a construction site is regularly inspected to ensure worker safety.
- Equipment manufacturer. Every construction site has multiple pieces of equipment, many extremely large and powerful. Operating or being near these large and powerful pieces of equipment can cause serious injury if the equipment is not operating normally. When a piece of equipment malfunctions, the manufacturer is liable for your injuries.
Whether you suffer a small injury or a life-threatening injury, you deserve to receive compensation for your suffering. This section discusses parties who may face liability for your on-the-job injuries. The best way to find out for sure is to speak with a Staten Island construction accident lawyer whom you trust.
No amount of money will take away your pain and suffering. No amount of money will make your injuries disappear. What money will do is make sure you don’t suffer financially.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could face time out of work and numerous doctor visits. The combination of high medical bills and not working (and thus not earning an income) can lead many construction accident injury victims to financial ruin. The best way to avoid this situation is to work with an attorney who has your best interests at heart.
Your lawyer will work to secure compensation for the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Rehabilitation costs
- Medical bills
Many victims of construction accidents do not consider their future needs when assessing settlement offers. Such individuals often see the medical bills sitting on the kitchen table and are wondering how to pay them. What these individuals often fail to consider is their future medical needs.
That’s where a good construction accident injury lawyer in Staten Island can help. Your lawyer should provide you guidance and work with you to create an accurate estimate of your future medical needs. This is important, because it gives you a good idea of what you will need to make a complete physical recovery. Without this knowledge, you may end up having to pay out of pocket for medical expenses for injuries that you did not cause.
Settlement Offers May Not Cover All of Your Costs
Many clients get excited when offered a settlement. They want to put the suffering behind them and a great way to do that is to not focus on the legal claims. Our goal is to make sure your focus is where it should be: on your physical recovery. However, to do that properly, we need to focus on maximizing your financial recovery.
Soon after your construction site accident, the insurance company of one of the negligent parties may attempt to contact you. The company likely wants to settle your claim as quickly as possible, just like you. The problem is that it also wants to settle your claim for less than it’s worth. That is not in your best interest.
If you receive a settlement offer, and you have not spoken with a Staten Island construction accident lawyer yet, now is the time to do so. Your lawyer can review the settlement offer from the insurance company and make sure it covers your future medical needs. If you sign a low-ball settlement offer, you will likely also waive your right to bring any future claim against the insurance company for your injuries. This means that you could end up in financial hardship as a result of an accident that you did not cause. That is simply adding insult to injury.
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, when you work with us, you can have the peace of mind knowing that your claim is in good hands. While we want to help you settle your case quickly, we do not want to settle unless it’s right for you. Most claims do eventually settle out of court, but sometimes, an insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement. That’s where you need an attorney with the resources to take your case all the way to trial. We always prepare for this possibility, but only recommend you go to trial when we believe that it’s necessary to maximize your financial recovery.
Moreover, we can draw on the resources of our sister firm, which has focused for more than 50 years on helping injured workers with workers’ comp and Social Security disability claims. You can learn more about their work at https://www.foalaw.com/.
Contact a Lawyer Soon
After your injury, you do not have endless time to decide to bring a claim. In New York, the statute of limitations for you to bring a personal injury claim for your construction accident injury is generally three years. This might seem like a long time, but when your focus is on your medical procedures, your rehabilitation, and getting back on your feet and back to work, that time can pass quickly.
Just like multiple machines simultaneously run on a construction site, you can work on your physical recovery while we work on your financial recovery. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner you can put this traumatic experience behind you.
We are standing by, ready to show you how we can provide you the guidance and support you need during this challenging time. You can reach us for a free case evaluation via live chat, online message, or at (877) 565-2993.