Construction sites are often hazardous locations, both for workers and passersby. Even the most skilled construction worker can have an accident that leads to severe injuries. In 2019, construction accidents were the cause of 20.7% of all workplace fatalities in the U.S. Additionally, falling debris may strike pedestrians in the wrong place at the wrong time, or someone may forget to put a barricade around an open pit.
Whether you are a construction worker or a non-worker who sustained injuries on or around a construction site in New York, you may benefit from a construction accident lawyer. Though a workplace injury may seem like a workers’ comp case on the surface, it could also be a personal injury case. A pedestrian injured while passing a construction zone may have a premises liability claim.
Why Injured Construction Workers Benefit From a Lawyer’s Assistance
In 2019, 79,700 construction workers sustained injuries in on-the-job accidents. The top five injury sources were:
- Parts and materials: 15.3 thousand workers injured
- Tools, instruments and equipment: 14.8 thousand workers injured
- Structures and surfaces: 14.3 thousand workers injured
- Persons, plants, animals and minerals: 12.7 thousand workers injured
- Vehicles: 5.7 thousand workers injured
The nature of the construction industry puts workers in hazardous situations with a heightened potential for accidents. Many of these are truly accidents, while others are due to another party’s negligence. The challenge is discerning which is true in any given case and what to do to recover damages.
Assessing Your Case
A construction accident lawyer with experience handling these cases can evaluate the factors that contributed to your accident to determine your options for obtaining fair compensation. If you are an employee, you must know whether you have a workers’ compensation claim or a third-party lawsuit. It isn’t always easy to know the right path to take.
As an employee, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits when a worksite accident results in injuries. Your employer is legally required to carry the insurance, and the insurer is supposed to pay for your medical expenses and a percentage of your wages if you miss more than a week of work. You can’t sue your employer, even if your injuries cause permanent physical conditions and pain and suffering.
However, your accident may also be the result of third-party negligence. Any of the top five injury sources could be the fault of someone other than your employer or a co-worker. If so, your workers’ comp claim may be denied, but you may also be able to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit. If you are an independent contractor, your possibilities are similar, except that your options would be between private insurance and a personal injury lawsuit.
Informing You of Your Rights
No matter your situation, you have rights you might not be aware of. A construction accident lawyer has an in-depth understanding of the New York laws impacting construction workers. At Cellino Law, we are adamant about ensuring those who come to us know their rights. Even if we can provide you with no other services beyond an initial evaluation, we want you to walk away understanding what you are entitled to receive in compensation and how to protect your rights.
If you have a valid personal injury or premises liability claim and decide to hire us, you can count on us to defend your rights. One of the most important aspects of a construction accident lawyer’s job is protecting clients’ rights and looking out for their best interests. After all, the only way we can get you the compensation you deserve is to stand up for your rights throughout the process.
Building Your Case
Any time you file a personal injury or premises liability claim, the onus is on you to prove that you deserve the compensation you seek. These cases generally rely on proof of negligence, and a construction accident lawyer knows precisely what is needed to establish fault. Proving that another party was responsible for your injuries requires you to substantiate the following:
- The other party was obliged to act with the same care for your safety that a reasonable person would in the same situation.
- The other party failed in their responsibilities.
- The failure directly or indirectly caused the accident that led to your injuries.
- You sustained observable injuries from the accident.
Your attorney will gather the evidence to support each element required to prove negligence. If any are missing, you can’t win your case.
Filing the Paperwork
Filing the paperwork is not as simple as it seems. Before submitting it, you need to ensure it is complete and accurate. The legal forms for filing a lawsuit require you to divulge information about the accident, your injuries, the amount you seek in compensation and justification for filing against the other party (including specific laws). Your lawyer completes the forms and submits them to the courts.
Negotiating With the Defense
It is doubtful that the other party will accept the responsibility and agree to the compensation amount. However, before a lawsuit goes before a judge and jury, both sides usually enter negotiations. It’s often in everyone’s best interests to settle out of court. You get compensated quickly, saving money in the process. The defense avoids a potentially high-profile court case. Furthermore, the other side generally doesn’t want to risk leaving the outcome up to the courts.
That said, negotiations don’t mean you need to settle for less than you deserve. A construction accident lawyer has the skills to negotiate while keeping your interests front and center. When an attorney starts with a strong case, negotiations can still come out in your favor and provide you with a fair settlement.
Representing You in Court
If the defendant does not agree to compensate you sufficiently, your construction accident attorney will represent you in court. When choosing a lawyer, selecting a firm with demonstrated experience in the courtroom is essential.
Why Injured Pedestrians and Other Non-Workers Benefit From Legal Help
If you sustained injuries on a construction site as a pedestrian, vehicle occupant or cyclist, you might need a construction accident lawyer’s help to pursue compensation for your losses. When non-workers sustain injuries on or around a construction site due to activities at the site, they potentially have a premises liability claim.
Construction accident lawyers can offer you the same services they provide to workers whose injuries result from a third party’s negligence. In a premises liability case, you need to establish that someone involved in the construction project or the building owner was negligent in their obligation to maintain a safe environment.
The challenge in these cases is proving that the other party knew or should have known there was a hazard to passersby and did nothing about it. You also need to prove that you had a legal right to be in the location where the accident occurred. A construction accident lawyer assesses your case, helps you understand your rights and the law, and walk you through the process of filing a claim if you wish to pursue a lawsuit.
Who To Contact After a Construction Accident in New York
Cellino Law’s construction accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience you need to help you understand your rights and your options. We understand the complexities of construction accidents and the challenges you face in recovering from your injuries and getting the compensation you deserve. Let us focus on pursuing your compensation while you concentrate on healing. Contact us today for a risk-free initial consultation.