Staten Island Construction Accident Attorney
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 a Staten Island Construction Accident lawyer to help you maximize your financial recovery, so you can focus on your physical recovery.
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/.
Staten Island Construction Accident FAQ
Construction sites are dangerous places that inherently contain all types of risk for accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Even in construction sites where workers, contractors, and other employers follow safety measures, accidents happen. In other cases, employers and workers do not prioritize safety, making dangerous, sometimes fatal accidents, imminent.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warns of the “Fatal Four,” which are those construction accidents that most often lead to death. They include falls, electrocutions, getting struck by objects, and getting caught in between objects.
If you have recently suffered a construction accident on Staten Island, you might feel overwhelmed and unsure about your next steps. It’s in your best interest to contact an experienced Staten Island construction accident lawyer. Until you have the opportunity to take advantage of a free case evaluation, we’ve provided answers to many frequently asked questions about construction accidents on Staten Island.
New York law gives you three years to take legal action after suffering injuries in a construction accident. The statute of limitations time clock begins on the date of injury. Take action as soon as possible, so your window of opportunity does not close. Although rare exceptions occur because of special circumstances, a court probably won’t hear your case once the statute of limitations has run out.
If your construction accident occurred at your workplace, you must file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s workers’ comp insurance carrier as soon as possible. New York law gives injured workers two years to file a workers’ comp claim, but don’t procrastinate. Call us for help filing your claim right now.
Yes, if your construction accident occurred while you were working, workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits to cover the costs of medically necessary treatment related to your accident. Workers’ compensation benefits also include cash payments to compensate you for a portion of the wages lost if you must miss work due to hospitalization, rehabilitation, and recovery related to injuries from your construction accident.
If you are self-employed or if you suffered construction accident injuries as a bystander, visitor, or in any other capacity not related to work, you need to contact a Staten Island construction accident lawyer who can evaluate your case and provide you with the best options for recovering damages related to your injuries.
Additionally, the maximum compensation you can receive for workers’ compensation benefits is two-thirds of your average weekly wage, and that is if your injuries render you 100 percent disabled. Taking further legal action against another party can help fill in the gap for lost wages. Workers’ comp does not provide benefits for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, reduced quality of life, or other ways your injuries have impacted your life. In contrast, a third-party personal injury lawsuit might provide you with compensation beyond medical expenses and lost wages.
You are also potentially still eligible for compensation from a personal injury lawsuit after a construction accident even if you’re partially at-fault. The insurance company involved and/or the court will evaluate liability and adjust any settlement or award based on the extent to which you contributed to the accident that caused your injuries. An experienced attorney can help determine whether you qualify for damages.
If you choose to appeal the decision on your claim, New York law requires you to do so in writing within 30 days of the denial, so call us quickly. Three members of the New York State Workers Compensation Board review the case and uphold the decision, change the decision, or amend part of the decision. If you are unhappy with the decision from the board members, you can appeal again to have the entire board review your claim.
Your best chance at overturning the decision on your claim is to consult an experienced Staten Island construction accident attorney who understands New York’s workers’ compensation policies and how to build the best case for your appeal.
Several third parties might be partially or fully liable for injuries a person sustains in a construction accident.
Some examples include:
- A property owner
- A business owner
- A general contractor
- A company who manufacturers heavy equipment or safety equipment used on construction sites
- An engineer or architect
- A subcontractor
New York’s “Scaffold Law” states that contractors, owners, and those acting on their behalf must provide proper protection and placement to employees with regard to the use of equipment such as scaffolding, ladders, hoists, braces, and more.
The law also states that the responsibility to safely furnish the above items is specific to the following types of work:
- Building erection
- Building demolition
- Building repair
- Building alterations
- Building painting
- Building cleaning
Under the Scaffold Law, workers who suffer injuries cannot hold engineers or architects accountable if they are only responsible for planning and design; engineers and architects must direct or control a particular project.
With regard to scaffolding, the law states that scaffolds more than 20 feet high or more and those suspended from overhead supports must have a safety rail that is properly bolted, braced, or secured to protect any workers. Additionally, the law requires that scaffolding hold four times its maximum weight.
If your employer was negligent, did not follow the provisions of the scaffold law, and you suffered injuries in a construction accident, you might have a viable case to bring a lawsuit against one or more of the parties previously discussed. Contact an experienced construction accident attorney to discuss the details of your case and learn about the legal options available for recovering compensation related to your injuries.
If you are unsure about your options, consult our Staten Island construction accident lawyers. We can evaluate or case, teach you about your rights, and advocate for through a claim and/or lawsuit process.
Your attorney can negotiate a settlement if you have a viable case. When settlement is not an option, a good attorney will fight for you in court so you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
If your loved one suddenly passed in a tragic construction action, you have some options to recover compensation for your loss.
First, if your spouse/partner lost their life while engaging with their duties of the employment at a construction site, you might be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits, which include:
Weekly cash benefits for a surviving spouse and/or minor children that equal two-thirds of the average weekly wage a worker made in the previous year
With no surviving children, partners, grandchildren, or siblings, parents and grandparents might be entitled to $50,000. Additionally, workers’ compensation might cover funeral costs up to $12,500.
If your family member died as a result of a construction accident, you may sue one or more responsible parties. New York law permits eligible survivors to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against negligent individuals or businesses whose negligence caused the death of their loved ones. In addition to pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and funeral expenses, survivors may also recover medical expenses and lost wages up until the time of death.
Your Staten Island construction accident lawyer can answer specific questions about a wrongful death lawsuit and determine your eligibility for receiving compensation.
Since its founding in 1972, our firm has been dedicated to developing innovative solutions toward improving our clients’ lives. We are committed to empowering injured victims to make informed decisions to hold others accountable and seek the compensation they deserve. With years of experience helping construction accident victims, we know that our clients find themselves in a predicament at no fault of their own.
In the past, our firm has successfully resolved thousands of claims, resulting in millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. We have seen the devastating impact that accident injuries can have on families, and we are willing and ready to take on the most challenging cases. Our experienced team has handled cases in a range of practice areas, including personal injury accidents, catastrophic injury accidents, nursing home accidents, car accidents, truck accidents, wrongful death accidents, drunk driving accidents, and so much more.
When necessary to strengthen your claim, our qualified attorneys can:
- Collect valuable evidence: To present a successful claim for recovery, injured victims must gather evidence to demonstrate what caused the accident and identify responsible parties. At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we know that critical evidence can be time-sensitive, so you want our team to start collecting evidence as soon as possible. We may obtain all documentation related to the accident, interview relevant witnesses, and investigate the scene of the accident to learn how the accident may have been avoided.
- Retain accident experts: Sometimes complex claims may benefit from the knowledge of experts across various industries, including medicine, engineering, accident recreation, and economics. Expert testimony can help demonstrate what caused an accident and who is responsible. With our expert’s opinions, we will work to build the strongest claim possible for our clients to maximize their recovery.
After a construction accident, some people choose to deal with workers’ compensation and other insurance companies on their own. Although this is an option, our dedicated legal team at Jacoby & Meyers LLP is willing and ready to stand in your corner and ensure your rights are protected while advocating on your behalf. We understand that insurance companies may try to take advantage of unrepresented victims, and we have years of experience negotiating construction accident claims.
Our attorneys may enhance your accident injury claim for several reasons:
- Insurance adjusters will try to elicit statements from you that get to admit fault for your injuries. Then they use your statements against you to devalue or deny your claim. Simply letting Jacoby & Meyers LLP handle all communication between relevant parties protects the value of your claim and helps you get the compensation you deserve.
- Workers’ compensation claims do not always go as smoothly as they should. Also, some employers try to retaliate against employees who file a claim. Our firm can ensure you take the right steps with your claim, so you get the benefits you deserve.
- Insurance companies like to make lowball settlement offers shortly after an accident and injury occur. When you accept an offer, you waive your right to take future legal action and you typically accept far less than the value of your claim. The experienced team at Jacoby & Meyers LLP are skilled negotiators who know how to work with big insurance companies. Letting an experienced lawyer review any offers and negotiate with relevant parties gives you the best chance of receiving the maximum settlement or jury award possible for your construction accident injuries.
When you hire a Staten Island construction accident attorney at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, to represent you in your accident injury claim, you do not have to pay an upfront retainer as you do with many other types of lawyers. Our construction accident attorneys take cases on a contingent fee basis and deduct attorney fees from any compensation you receive for your injuries. You have nothing to lose by calling us today.
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) 488-1707.
“After my accident I contacted a law firm and explained the situation. They told me about cases they’ve had in the past and the most compensation they got for clients. They made me aware that they were not interested at the time but, I could contact them in the future if anything changed. After my surgery 2 years later my wife suggested I contact an attorney. Since it happened in a different state I contacted an attorney in that state and was told the statute of limitations was up. My wife told me not to give up, that’s when I contacted Jacoby & Meyers. They were able to figure out how to proceed with the case and settled it for 15 times the amount that the original law firm had said might be possible. I highly recommend Jacoby & Meyers, they were professional and kept me informed throughout the entire process.” -Charles D.
Check out some of our other reviews.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP
26 Watchogue Rd Suite 1
Staten Island, NY 10314