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Construction Accident FAQ

Construction Accident FAQ

Were you injured in a construction accident in the Bronx, New York? Not getting the answers you need from your employer? Even if you’re entitled to workers’ compensation, the process of claiming those benefits isn’t always easy. You might also be eligible for additional compensation if a third party was responsible for your accident.

In this article, we’ve compiled some of our most frequently asked questions about construction accidents.

Do I Need a Lawyer If I Was Injured at Work?

How Can a Lawyer Help With My Construction Accident Case?

This is probably the first question that pops into everyone’s head after their construction accident, especially if workers’ comp covers them. After all, if your employer is already footing the bill, do you really need an attorney?

In most cases, it is still to your advantage to hire an attorney. Even if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you may need help navigating that process. Workers’ comp is handled by your employer’s insurance company. Despite what they might say, they don’t have your best interests in mind – they’re trying to protect their bottom line.

Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best way to make sure that you get the full amount of workers’ comp benefits you deserve. Perhaps more important, a reputable lawyer will investigate your accident to determine whether you are eligible to file a third-party claim or lawsuit.

Your accident may involve a third party that you don’t even know about. If someone else was involved, they should be held accountable.

How Can a Lawyer Help With My Construction Accident Case?

Once people realize they do need an attorney, they often ask what exactly it is that attorneys can do to help.

An experienced Bronx construction accident lawyer will:

  • Conduct a comprehensive independent investigation into your accident
  • Interview witnesses and collect evidence to support your case
  • Handle all communications with insurance companies and your employer
  • Hire experts to support the cause of your accident and the extent of your injuries
  • File and monitor your workers’ compensation claim
  • Represent you in all workers’ compensation board proceedings and appeals
  • Determine whether you can file a third-party lawsuit and represent you in court if necessary

Construction accidents are often extremely complicated. Without an attorney, you are less likely to get the full amount of money that you’re owed.

How Much Is My Construction Accident Case Worth?

It depends. Every case is different, and it’s best to consult with a reputable construction accident attorney to help you understand what your case could be worth. No attorney can guarantee or predict a certain amount.

If workers’ compensation covers you, the maximum available is determined by law. Workers’ comp generally covers your medical treatment and about two-thirds of your weekly wages, up to a certain limit.

If you are eligible to file a third-party lawsuit, you might be able to seek compensation for medical expenses, the full value of your lost wages, and pain and suffering. The total value could be thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the circumstances.

Can I Sue My Employer If I’m Injured in a Construction Accident?

Probably not. In most cases, you cannot sue your employer for negligence if you are hurt on the job. Workers’ compensation is generally the exclusive remedy for workplace accidents when your employer is responsible.

Although rare, there can be exceptions, so it’s always best to consult an attorney to determine how to recover compensation after an accident.

What Compensation Can I Seek in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Many construction accidents involve a third party who was wholly or partially responsible for an accident. In that case, you can seek compensation in a lawsuit against that party (again, other than your employer).

Generally, injured victims can be compensated for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Medication
  • Medical devices
  • Emotional and mental trauma, anxiety, depression, and PTSD
  • Disability
  • Physical pain
  • Loss of enjoyment of life activities
  • Loss of consortium

A lawyer will work to obtain the compensation that will cover all of your future medical needs and cover your lost earning capacity.

Who Could Be Held Liable for My Injuries?

Of course, if you are covered exclusively by workers’ comp, then you will only recover benefits from your employer’s insurance company.

But, if you are filing a third-party lawsuit, potentially liable parties could include:

  • Property owners
  • Contractors
  • Vendors
  • Government entities
  • Manufacturers of defective machinery or tools
  • Utility companies

Any party who contributed to your injuries could possibly be held financially accountable. Even if you are filing a workers’ comp claim, you can still pursue a lawsuit against a third party.

How Long Do I Have to File a Construction Accident Lawsuit in NY?

In most cases, you’ll have to file a lawsuit within three years. That’s the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in New York. If you lost a loved one in a construction accident, you’ll have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. There could be exceptions, depending on the circumstances of your case, so it’s always a good idea to consult with a lawyer sooner rather than later.

What Is the NY Scaffold Law?

New York Labor Law Section 240, sometimes referred to as the NY Scaffold Law, imposes certain requirements for the installation and use of scaffolding. Generally, it makes owners and contractors responsible for the safety of the scaffolding itself, along with hoists, ladders, stays, pulleys, or other equipment needed for support. The law holds contractors and owners strictly liable for gravity-related scaffolding accidents that occur during certain types of construction.

The application of the Scaffold Law and workers’ compensation can be complicated, so it’s best to consult an attorney when you are injured in a construction work accident.

My Spouse Was Killed in a Construction Accident – Can I Receive Compensation?

If you lost a loved one in a construction accident, you might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances, workers’ compensation may provide some death benefits. These cases can be extremely complicated if the worker was killed on the job.

The best decision you can make for your family is to consult with an experienced construction accident attorney as soon as possible after your spouse’s death. They will quickly evaluate your case (most offer free consultations) and let you know all of your options for helping you and your family move forward after such a tragic event.

Can I Still Recover Compensation if I Was Partially Responsible for My Accident?

Probably. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system and provides benefits regardless of who caused the accident (including you, in most cases). So, with a few exceptions (such as if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol), you are typically entitled to those benefits even if you were at fault for the accident that caused your injuries.

If you are suing a third party and you were partially responsible for the accident, then New York’s comparative negligence law still allows you to recover compensation – as long as you aren’t 100% at fault. However, your compensation will be reduced by the portion of fault attributed to you.

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