What Types Of Accidents Most Commonly Happen At Construction Sites?
Some of the most common accidents we see at construction sites are slip and falls, usually from lack of scaffolding or certain objects at the work site. However, as mentioned above, there are many different ways to get injured at a construction site.
Similarly, there are many different types of lawsuits that can come out of those injuries. For instance, we recently represented injured construction workers in a worker’s compensation suit. They were suing the Owners of the construction site, who were not their direct employers. This is what is called a 3rd party lawsuit. In these 3rd party lawsuits, clients often get significantly more money than what they might have gotten under standard workers’ compensation.
In the end, these lawsuits are about getting the workers adequate compensation for their injuries. We have worked with so many clients who have come to us injured by a negligent workplace. They don’t really think about whether the employer leased the premises or who actually owns the building where they were injured, nor do they generally think strategically about what 3rd parties that we could sue. That’s our job. Our procedure is for you to just tell us about the injury. We’ll think about what happened, who is at fault and exactly whose hands are dirty.
Once we bring lawsuits to court, there are also many different types of defendants, or people who could be considered liable for our clients injuries. There are many instances where it’s unclear who actually and/or effectively owns a property, who runs a work site, and where liability can and should fall. It is common for us to start a case thinking the owner of a site is one person, when what they actually own is a corporation attached to the site, which makes liability more complicated. Our research and case building frequently involves looking closely at the composition of these corporations. Sometimes there is a differentiation in the amount of shares, and sometimes there is a different family member who is involved.
There are many things at play when it comes to discerning liability, things that even some attorneys might have trouble differentiating, let alone a lay person. An experienced personal injury/worker’s compensation attorney, however, knows what they are looking for in these cases. They also know that there are usually multiple avenues open to the injured party in terms of seeking damages. This is information that our clients usually do not have when they come to our office. Likewise, if we revisit a prior question about the most common construction site injuries, workers are often unaware that their employees are required to provide them with safety equipment and a safe workplace. We help fill in those gaps in information to get our clients the best settlements possible.
What Are Some Additional Steps Someone Should Take If They Have Been Injured In An Accident At A Construction Site?
Every case is different, so the necessary steps are also usually different. However, if you have been injured in an accident at a construction site, you should always notify the manager right away. You should also seek prompt medical care, and then call an attorney as soon as possible.
Once you hire an attorney, we can get your actual case started. Some of the first steps we take is getting a full story and medical report from the injured person. Then, we find out who their coworkers are—more specifically, who they were working with that day—and find out if any of those coworkers were witnesses to the reality of the accident. A lot of times, people don’t know the names of their co-workers or how to get in touch with them. Especially in high-turnover fields, a lot of these co-workers will hop on the bus and never show up to work again, and then it’s up to us to find them. That’s our mission: we find them.
As a rule, and for future reference, we always tell our clients that it is a good idea to be aware of who you are working with and even to get their contact number, just in case. Witnesses, especially unexpected witnesses, are often crucial to our case-building. Sometimes, if a company does not believe there were witnesses to an accident, they will deny it ever happened. Then, like a needle in the haystack, a witness will come up and give crucial testimony. Sometimes it’s a coworker, but sometimes it’s someone you didn’t even know was watching, like the security guard working at the gate to the workplace. Anything and everything can happen.
Can I File A Workers’ Compensation Claim As Well As A Personal Injury Lawsuit If I Am Not An Employee?
You can’t collect workers’ compensation if you are not an employee. However, you can collect a personal injury settlement if you are getting workers’ compensation, so long as you sue a third party rather than an employer.
What Happens If Liability Is Denied In A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If an insurance company and/or the defendant is truly intent on denying liability, we threaten and then pursue litigation. An insurance company or defendant can deny liability all they want, as many times as they want, and in as many ways as they want. This doesn’t make them any less liable if we can prove their liability in a court of law.
Can A Workers’ Compensation Claim Be Settled Up Until The Point Of Going To Trial?
Usually, the best outcome for every party is settling before a trial and avoiding litigation. Though any good attorney will not be shy about going to trial when it is right and necessary for their client’s case, many clients are best served by a pre-litigation settlement. Insurance companies also have a strong incentive to avoid the additional costs of trial, as well as the potential ramifications of a loss in court.
However, due to the current environment, there is more incentive than ever for clients—especially the most vulnerable clients—to settle before litigation. The courts are backed up. They were backed up before COVID, and they are extremely backed up now. This backlog could translate to 2-5 years before the end of a trial, and before the client sees a dime of settlement money.
This is a nightmare for people who are severely injured and need the financial support of a settlement as soon as possible. In some cases, these people are unable to work and have lost many months of income. They often have children and are sometimes also caring for older family members. We advise these clients about what we think the best move is legally, but ultimately, how we proceed is up to them. Many of them need money so urgently that they will accept a $250,000 settlement today instead of waiting a couple of years for a $750,000 settlement. We recognize that need and that prerogative and do everything we can to make sure our clients are empowered with knowledge to make their own decisions.
For more information on Construction Site Accident Injury Claims In NY, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (631) 467-0700 today.
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