Brooklyn Construction Accident Lawyer
The construction industry is no stranger to workplace injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately 20 percent of workplace fatalities are in the construction industry.
These injuries and fatalities have a number of causes, including electrocutions, falls, being struck by falling objects, and being trapped between two objects.
If you are a construction worker and you were injured on the job, you should not have to pay for the expenses related to your injury out of your own pocket. Schedule a consultation with a Brooklyn construction accident lawyer to explore the options available to you.
After a Construction Accident
In the aftermath of a worksite construction injury, you essentially have two options available for seeking financial compensation: filing for workers compensation and suing a responsible third party.
Workers compensation is available for all workplace injuries, regardless of fault. Suing a third party is only an option when your accident was caused by someone else. If you aren’t certain which option to pursue, consult a Brooklyn construction accident lawyer for a professional opinion on what to do next.
Construction Accident Injuries and Workers Compensation
If you want to file a workers compensation claim for your accident, it doesn’t matter who was actually at fault for causing it. Whether it was you, your employer, or the weather, you have a right to workers compensation. If you have trouble filing your claim, a Brooklyn construction accident lawyer can assist you in the process.
Unlike a civil lawsuit in a personal injury case, it is not necessary to prove negligence or fault when dealing with workers compensation. This is obviously to your advantage if you had partial responsibility for the cause of the accident.
The downside to workers compensation is that it covers fewer accident related expenses and damages than a civil suit can. With workers compensation, you are entitled to receive a portion of your lost wages and have your medical bills paid for—and that’s all.
Disputed Workers Compensation Claims
If your employer or the workers compensation insurer requests that you have a medical examination, you are required to comply. Often, the result of these examinations will differ from the medical opinion of the doctor you’ve already seen.
This can cause the workers compensation insurer to reject your claim or deny you need a particular treatment or procedure.
If you were denied workers compensation benefits, you have the right to dispute the ruling and to request a hearing. During a hearing, it is wise to have a Brooklyn construction accident lawyer represent you, since you will be going before a judge.
Workers Compensation Hearings
During a hearing, the judge will hear testimony from you and other witnesses. Evidence such as medical records will also be reviewed. It is important to present compelling evidence that clearly demonstrates your workplace injury and how that injury is impacting your life and ability to work.
After reviewing everything, the judge will make a decision regarding your disability and determine if any compensation will be awarded to you. Afterward, both you and your employer have the right to appeal the decision and are given thirty days to do so.
Given the finality of a hearing and appeal, it is wise to have an experienced Brooklyn construction accident lawyer as your advocate during the process.
The first seven days you are unable to work will not be paid for unless your employer chooses to provide you with benefits directly. Starting on the eighth day, you will be entitled to a portion of your lost wages through workers compensation benefits.
How much you receive will be based on the percentage of disability awarded to you. Your workers compensation benefits are calculated by looking at your average weekly wage, multiplying that by two-thirds, and then multiplying the product by your percentage of disability.
Returning to Work
Some unscrupulous employers will attempt to hurry their employees back to work before they have fully healed. However, you have a right to recover to the fullest extent possible before returning to work. If your employer is rushing your recovery, inform your Brooklyn construction accident lawyer.
You may be able to return to work but be restricted to light duty or be unable to work full-time. When this occurs, you could be entitled to a portion of the difference between what you are earning on light duty compared to what you were earning prior to your injury.
You may be offered a Section 32 agreement, which provides your settlement as a lump sum rather than multiple payments over time.
Agreeing to this type of agreement could set you up for financial loss in the future. Once you have settled with a Section 32, any additional medical bills resulting from your injury will be your sole responsibility.
This means that if your condition worsens and you need to have surgery, you would be required to pay for it and be unable to go back to the insurance company to seek additional compensation.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability
If you are considered seriously and permanently disabled, you may also qualify for disability benefits from Social Security.
Whether you qualify for short- or long-term disability will depend on the severity of your injury and the doctor’s assessment. It will be necessary for your disability to prevent you from working for an extended time before you become eligible for Social Security benefits.
Applying for disability can be more complicated than applying for workers compensation. Consult with your Brooklyn construction accident lawyer if it appears this option will be necessary for your situation.
Construction Accident Injuries and Civil Lawsuits
If you are seeking compensation for either pain and suffering or for 100 percent of your lost wages, you cannot receive this through workers’ compensation. In this situation, you would need to file a civil lawsuit against a negligent third party.
You may be entitled to sue for financial damages beyond your workers compensation benefits if any of the following apply:
- A negligent third party caused your accident
- Your safety equipment malfunctioned
- A third party created unsafe working conditions
- You have proof that your employer purposefully or knowingly put you in a compromised or unsafe work environment
Comparative Negligence in Workplace Injury Cases
Your financial award in a personal injury lawsuit will be directly impacted by comparative negligence. Depending on the evidence, each party involved in the lawsuit will be found responsible for a percentage of fault for what happened.
Your settlement will be reduced by that same percentage of fault. Minimizing the amount of fault you are responsible for becomes incredibly important. Working with a Brooklyn construction accident lawyer will be the surest way to make certain you have collected the best evidence and constructed the most thorough case possible.
Gathering Evidence for Your Construction Accident Case
Gathering evidence to prove the other party’s negligence will include collecting anything that proves either you were not at fault or they were:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Interview other people who have suffered similar injuries
- Investigate equipment manufacturers in the event of equipment failure
- Speak with investigators regarding your case and the cause of your accident
- Review any police or accident reports
- Medical testimony from your doctor
- Any physical evidence from the accident scene
Statute of Limitations in New York
You only have three years to file a lawsuit against a third party for your personal injury claim. Once three years have passed, the statute of limitations will prevent you from filing suit without having to worry about the case being thrown out.
Three years can pass faster than you may think. Out-of-court negotiations can be lengthy processes, and your injury could progress gradually over time.
Don’t miss your chance to be compensated; speak with a Brooklyn construction accident lawyer about a civil lawsuit immediately after a worksite injury.
Get a Professional Opinion from a Brooklyn Construction Accident Lawyer
If you are uncertain whether you have a workers compensation claim or whether you should file a lawsuit against a negligent third party, you should review your case with an experienced Brooklyn construction accident lawyer from Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP.
Once we know the facts of your case, we can provide you with the opportunity to make an educated decision regarding how to proceed with your case. To get started, contact us by calling 1-800-VICTIM2 (1-800-842-8462).