If you were injured in a construction accident, you should seek immediate medical treatment, even if your injury is not life-threatening. This will help document your injury before it heals, providing a diagnosis which can serve as the basis for a treatment plan to lead you toward recovery. From the perspective of protecting your legal rights, a prompt medical examination, as close in time to the happening of the accident will also provide strong evidence as to the connection between the accident and your injuries.
In general, you should also:
- Report the accident to your employer as soon as you know you are out of harm’s way. They may fill out an incident report that may be needed during your fight for compensation.
- Get pictures or video from the accident scene before it becomes compromised, if possible.
- Try to document any witnesses to the accident. Write down their names if possible, or simply try to remember their physical attributes to help you find them later. Ideally, you want their contact information, potentially allowing you to use their testimony later.
- Lastly, start looking into your options for compensation. Ideally, this would include a prompt consultation with an experienced and dedicated construction site accident lawyer. As an employee, you will probably have workers’ compensation coverage. In addition to workers’ compensation, there may be options for you to recover compensation in a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party.
Call a Law Firm After a Construction Site Accident
Expanding upon the suggestion mentioned above, you should also wish to speak with a personal injury law firm that handles construction accidents in your area. Many law firms offer free, no-obligation consultations to accident victims. Speaking with a representative of a law firm can help you better understand the obstacles you may be facing and your legal options moving forward.
Ultimately, if you do decide to work with a lawyer on your case, they will offer guidance during a confusing time, while also maintaining the ability to take your case to trial if the situation calls for it. They will use their legal training to help protect you and give you time away from the case to focus on your recovery.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-932-0400
Liability for Construction Site Accidents
There is an infinite number of negligent actions on a construction site that can potentially result in accidents that cause injuries. For example, ignoring safety measures, operating machinery under the influence, not displaying warning signs, and many, many more. In most cases, liability is placed on the individual whose negligent, ignorant, malicious, careless, or fraudulent behavior led to your injuries.
However, just because someone directly caused your injury, does not mean they will be the person held responsible for paying out damages. For example, if one of your fellow employees is using a nail gun and the tool malfunctions, resulting in your injuries, the presiding court may rule that the manufacturer of the nail gun is liable because they allowed a defective product to be put on the market, thereby resulting in your injuries.
Generally, any party that puts you in harm’s way may be held responsible for your losses.
However, the rules in this area of law can be technical, complex, confusing, and even counterintuitive. For example, under the Labor Law of New York in some construction accidents, parties that were not directly negligent may still have legal and financial responsibility for injuries suffered on the construction site. (i.e., property owners and general contractors.) Under the Workers’ Compensation laws of New York, parties who were negligent and whose negligence was the direct cause of your injuries may have a defense to any lawsuit brought against them for the damages caused by that negligence. (i.e., Since Workers’ Compensation benefits are available in almost all “on the job,” injuries, employers and fellow employees are shielded from litigation brought directly against them for those covered events.) These, “technical, complex, confusing, and even counterintuitive,” rules and their application are among the reasons that consultation with and hiring an experienced, dedicated construction site accident lawyer is a wise course of action for an injured worker.
Parties that may potentially be held accountable for your injuries will include:
- Property owner(s)
- General Contractor
- Other potential defendants who can be identified once the unique details of your case are investigated
New York’s Liability Laws
In accordance with New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules (CPLR) §1411, contributing to your accident does not bar you from recovering damages. However, your damages can be diminished according to how responsible you are for the accident. Your level culpability will be converted into a percentage, which will then be taken out of any settlement you receive.
For example, if you are awarded $100,000 after a construction accident, but you were determined to be 20% at fault, your settlement will be reduced by 20%, bringing your final award to $80,000.
Get Help from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. Today
Here at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., we understand the frustration and uncertainty that accompanies the aftermath of many construction accidents. Our attorneys want you to know that we will be there for you as your case progresses.
When we represent you, our attorneys will:
- Keep you updated on your case
- Identify liable parties
- Communicate with all parties for you
- Gather evidence
- Determine a value for your case
We offer representation on a contingency-fee-basis with no out-of-pocket fees required.
If you are wondering what you should do if you were injured in a construction accident, Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. invites you to call us today at (516) 932-0400 for a free consultation on your case with a member of our team. Our multilingual staff takes calls in Spanish, Greek, Bengali, Tamil, and Kannada.