Construction Accident FAQ
Answers to your questions from an experienced attorney
Even people who work dangerous jobs never really expect to get seriously hurt. If you’ve been injured on a construction site, you probably have a flurry of questions. How can you get your medical bills paid? What if you can’t work for a while, or ever again? What will happen to your life and your family?
At Keogh Crispi, P.C., we understand what you’re going through, and we’ve put together this list of commonly asked questions and answers.
- What should I do if I’m in a construction accident?
- Can I sue if I’m injured on a construction site?
- What is New York Labor Law 240?
- Won’t my injuries just be covered by workers’ compensation?
- How long does it take for a construction accident lawsuit to settle?
- How much time to I have to file a construction accident lawsuit?
- Why do I need a New York construction accident lawyer?
Remember, these are general questions and answers, not specific advice about your situation. If you’ve been in a construction accident, the best option is to speak with an experienced attorney directly about your injuries and your legal options. We would be happy to meet with you and hear your story in a free consultation. There’s no cost and no pressure to hire us; we just want you to know your rights.
Report the accident to your supervisor or employer, not just a coworker. Seek immediate medical help, even if you think your injuries are minor; tell the doctor about every symptom and follow all your doctor’s orders. Then, talk to an attorney right away — and remember, you get to choose your lawyer, rather than having one assigned by your employer or union. Make the right choice to protect your rights.
You generally can’t sue your direct employer for a job-related injury, but you can sue another company whose negligence caused your injury. For instance, if a property owner, subcontractor, or equipment manufacturer was responsible for your injury, you can file a lawsuit (called a third-party claim) to get their liability insurance company to pay up.
Labor Law 240, commonly known as the “Scaffold Law,” is a New York law that makes property owners and general contractors responsible for the safety of workers at height. The law sets specific standards for protective measures and safety equipment depending on the height above ground level. This responsibility cannot be delegated to another entity, such as a subcontractor; the owner and general contractor are always responsible for those safety precautions. Violations of Labor Law 240 are often responsible for accidents involving falls, as well as falling objects.
You can and should get workers’ compensation if you’re injured on the job, but that only covers your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. Filing a third-party personal injury claim can get you compensation for additional costs that workers’ comp does not cover, such as pain and suffering or the full value of your lost wages. Depending on the circumstances and the extent of your injuries, that can make the difference between tens and hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. It’s in your interest to at least speak with an attorney about the potential value of your case.
It varies widely depending on the complexity of your case, the severity in your injuries, the number of parties involved, and how cooperative the insurance company chooses to be. Some cases can be settled in a matter of months, while others may take a year or more. When we handle a case, we’re always prepared for the long haul, but that approach helps us put pressure on the insurance company to hopefully reach a settlement sooner. We can’t guarantee a specific timeframe – but we can guarantee we’ll be there for you every step of the way.
In general, the statute of limitations (legal deadline) for most injury claims in New York is three years from the date of the injury. However, much shorter deadlines may apply if the negligent party was a government entity like the City of New York. Regardless, it’s in your interest to talk to an attorney as soon as possible so that we can secure evidence, take over communications with the insurance company, and start building your legal strategy.
As soon as you’re injured on a construction site, the responsible parties and their insurance companies will go to work protecting their own interests. You need your own advocate to protect your legal rights. We can investigate your accident, find out who was responsible, and pursue the full monetary compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. We can also deal with the insurance company day-to-day while you focus on getting better. Don’t go it alone, and don’t choose the wrong lawyer. Put experience and a proven track record on your side. Contact us for a free consultation.