Determining how long it takes to settle a construction accident case requires understanding the many complex factors that could affect a settlement and negotiations.
These cases can sometimes resolve relatively quickly. “Quickly,” in this context would be in the 6 to 18-month time range. However, for a variety of reasons, in order to achieve an outcome that results in a payout equal to the true value of the case, a case may take longer.
Building a Case Against the At-Fault Party
When our client has suffered serious or catastrophic, life-changing injuries, we are typically seeking to recover very significant amounts of money to properly compensate them for what they’ve been through, and what they can reasonably anticipate going through in the future.
Experience has shown us, time and again, the insurance companies for the at-fault parties have the goal of paying nothing at all or as little as they can. The adversarial nature of this process and the legal system guarantee fairness to all parties involved in the dispute, lead to a process that can be lengthy.
It is important to understand what it takes to build a case and prove to the insurance company and the liable party that they are responsible for compensating you fairly. In some cases, despite compelling evidence of injury and fault, the parties we believe are legally responsible refuse to take financial responsibility. Simply stated, they refuse to pay what we think is due to our injured client.
This is why every case must be prepared as if it will be presented to a judge and jury at trial. While the pain of the accident injuries and all the life disruption it caused is bad enough, the frustration of waiting for one’s “day in court,” is frequently necessary if your goal is to recover the compensation you need and that you are entitled to.
One of the primary factors in determining the length of time it takes to resolve a construction accident case is the complexity of the accident itself. For example, if a construction worker trips over a cord that another tradesperson carelessly left out after use, but should have rolled up and put away, the cause of such an accident would typically be much more simple to determine than if, again, for example, the floor of a building under construction collapsed.
The latter example might require extensive expert investigation, involve a “perfect storm,” of shared liability among multiple parties, and even once a theory of liability is developed, involve a great deal of, “it was your fault, not mine,” finger-pointing between the various defendants.
A case that involves three defendants will generally move along more quickly than a case that involves twice as many defendants. Looking at this a bit more deeply than a surface view of just noticing that there are more parties in the case, the fact that our legal system offers abundant guarantees of fairness to prevent a party being held responsible for causing harm for which it should not be liable means that the system provides named defendants in a lawsuit many opportunities to challenge different aspects of the claimant’s case.
As a case winds through the court system, on the way to the goal of a “day in court,” that is, a trial before a judge and jury, defendants can make numerous requests (“motions”) of the court, each of which can take months to resolve.
Additionally, “discovery,” the portion of a case where each side learns the details of the other side’s case, through deposition and physical examinations, becomes considerably lengthier as more parties are involved.
Another factor that can lead to delay in resolving a case has to do with an aspect of the case that is generally not visible to the injured construction worker. The various contracts that create agreements about which party must “indemnify and hold harmless,” another party, (whose insurance gets triggered to cover who in the event of an accident,) can also be extremely complex and initiate a secondary level of fighting beyond who caused the accident. When such disputes arise, they must be resolved before there is a voluntary settlement.
Because of the above potentially complicating factors, (i.e., number of defendants, the complexity of insurance agreements between parties to the construction sites,) having experienced, dedicated legal representation fighting for you is very important.
We fight, at every stage of a case, to move the claim forward. Defendants, their insurance companies, and defense lawyers are generally content to deny, delay and defend, hoping that even if they have to make a payout that they will be able to pay later rather than sooner.
We work tirelessly to:
- Investigate every relevant detail of the accident, working, as needed, with a network of expert witnesses
- Thoroughly research all laws that can be applied to support the claim;
- Either generate the best possible settlement offer or, where indicated, promptly commence suit and move the case, carefully yet expeditiously, through discovery toward trial.
We consider it a privilege to represent injured construction workers. We understand that when a construction worker is injured, or worse when they are disabled as a result of their injuries, they need the compensation that a claim seeks to recover for them. While some delay is built into the claim process and legal system, our pledge to our clients is to fight relentlessly to win as much as possible as soon as possible.
Whether you are seeking compensation for yourself or on behalf of a loved one who suffered a construction accident fatality, we are ready to help. If this is your situation, please accept our condolences and allow us to offer legal support. It will be our privilege to provide a patient, compassionate and thorough case review.
If we represent you in your case, we will do so on a contingency-fee-basis. You will not need to pay any attorney’s fees upfront.
Call us Today to Discuss Your Construction Accident Case
Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. provides complimentary case consultations for victims of construction accidents. We will meet at the location most convenient for you anywhere in the New York metropolitan area, including anywhere on Long Island.
Call us today at (516) 932-0400. We have a team member available to speak with you. Our multilingual staff members are passionate advocates for the injured, including those hurt in falls on construction sites and in similar accidents.