If you have been injured or lost a loved one on a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation from the company and possibly other parties. The experienced New York construction accident attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, have witnessed the devastating results of construction accidents. You should not have to handle your issues alone. Let us help you get the financial assistance you need. Call (212) 986-7353 to discuss the details of your case.
Injuries commonly sustained in construction accidents are usually severe in nature. They include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Bone fractures
- Partial or total paralysis
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Knee and back injury
Even a so-called "minor" accident can result in serious consequences. An injured construction worker may be burdened with exorbitant medical bills and lost wages during recovery. He or she may lose the ability to collect wages altogether if the injury is debilitating enough. In especially catastrophic incidents, a worker may suffer an injury that requires decades of treatment, therapy, and rehabilitation, which do not even guarantee a full recovery. The associated expenses can amount to six- or seven-figure sums. The aftermath of a construction accident can be one of the most trying experiences in life.
There are essential steps you should take immediately after a construction accident to ensure you receive compensation that is rightfully yours:
- Get immediate medical attention. Your health is your first priority, and that’s why you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Your employer may refer you to a medical practitioner who has been screened by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board. It’s a good idea to write down everything that you can remember about the incident before seeing the doctor so you can provide them with as many details as possible. This will help the doctor provide you with the best possible care and it can also strengthen your workers’ compensation claim. Be sure that the doctor who treats you knows that the injury happened at work.
- Get a disability rating. Ask the doctor if your injury will temporarily prevent you from performing your regular job duties. If they say it will, make sure you get a note from the doctor specifying the date when you will be able to resume work. It’s important to start working again when you are up to it. Workers’ compensation insurance may be able to help cover your lost wages for the time you have to take off from work due to injury.
- Provide an Accident Report to Your Employer. Your employer is required to file a workers’ compensation form with its insurance company right away, so you want to provide an accident report as soon as possible. You have up to 30 days to give your employer the report, but the sooner you submit it, the sooner the claims process will begin. The report should include the time and date of the incident and where it occurred, and you will want to supply as many details as possible.
- Speak with an experienced work injury lawyer. Your legal team can investigate the accident and offer strategies for strengthening your claim. They can talk about the types of benefits that may be available for you. Your lawyer can also answer any questions you may have about the workers’ compensation claim process, such as what to do if you have a preexisting condition.
- File your claim. Workers in New York who have informed their employer about a workplace injury will be given a Claimant Information Packet that includes an Employment Form (Form C-3). Fill out the form, sign it, and mail it to the board. You can call (877) 632-4996 for assistance.
- Contact the proper authorities, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to investigate your accident.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are well over 4,000 fatal work injuries each year. In the construction industry alone, there nearly a 1,000 worker fatalities across America. That means about 1 in every 5 American workers killed on the job is in the construction industry.
The family of a deceased construction worker killed on the job can pursue compensation for their tragic losses through the employer's workers' compensation insurance. Death benefits under workers' compensation should include support for funeral and burial expenses and installment payments like those for temporary total disability benefits.
But, there is additional compensation available when a fatal accident involves a wrongful death. A wrongful death is one that results from someone else's negligence or wrongdoing. When filing a wrongful death action after a construction accident, the families of victims must prove:
- The construction company was negligent
- The worker died as a result of the at-fault party's negligence or wrongdoing
- The victim had close family members who suffered losses because of their death
A New York wrongful death claim can include financial compensation for many damages that aren't covered by workers' compensation death benefits. A wrongful death claim can result in compensation for loss of financial support, loss of love and emotional support, loss of quality of life, and the pain and suffering your loved one endured before their passing.
If you've lost a loved one in a construction accident, DO NOT accept any settlement offers until you speak with an experienced New York construction accident wrongful death attorney. Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP will fight to get you the settlement you deserve.
Your employer is required to keep workers' compensation insurance coverage for employees. A notice of such coverage must be posted in a conspicuous place. Upon request, your employer must grant you access to all records, books, and payrolls. Your employer can be fined for not keeping accurate four-year records of wages, employee classifications, and accidents. Employers are also required to participate in a mandatory safety and loss prevention program if they have an Experience Modification Factor (actual losses divided by expected losses) of greater than 1.2 and a payroll in excess of $800,000.
Employers may not discriminate against an applicant or employee simply because he or she has claimed workers' compensation in the past. Your employer is required to report any injury or illness resulting in loss of time from regular duties or medical treatment, and to report your wages or other compensation as well as changes to your work status to the chair of the workers’ compensation board. Injury reports must also be filed with your employer’s insurance carrier. An injury report must be kept on file for 18 years.
This insurance provides money for medical care and lost wages for injuries suffered on the job. Workers covered by workers’ comp may not file lawsuits against their employers; however, some businesses may try to lessen a workers’ comp claim or disprove it entirely.
If your claim is denied, you should contact an experienced workers' compensation lawyer to guide you. Once your claim is denied by your employer's insurance company, you can file an appeal with the New York Workers' Compensation Board. You will need to fill out paperwork and file it with the Board, then attend a hearing to appeal the insurance company's decision. Having legal representation can help build your case and make sure you file paperwork properly, meet necessary deadlines, and present your case professionally to the Board. The Board's ruling on your appeal is final, so it is important to do it right.
The answer to that question depends on the details of your particular accident. In general, those who have engaged in negligent conduct can be held responsible. If other parties such as third-party contractors, manufacturers of tools or equipment, or property owners, are responsible for the injuries you suffered on the job, you may be able to file a third-party lawsuit and recover damages beyond your workers' compensation benefits. For example, if a third-party subcontractor erects a scaffold used by other workers, he may be liable if improper erection of the scaffold causes injury to a worker. Liability may also exist for failing to build supports or erect barriers, storing materials improperly, improper use of hoists or cranes, lack of sufficient crane operator training, and more.
The laborer fell three stories from a defective scaffold and suffered comminuted fractures of his left calcaneus, osteomyelitis in the left heel and a painful neuroma in his foot.
Frank Lombardo obtained $11.76 million in Queens County for a seriously injured Union Local No. 1 journeyman plumber.
Phil Russotti obtained an $11.1 million verdict in Queens County Supreme Court, for a 53 year old man who was injured on a construction site at a New York City High School.
Plaintiff, a 40 year-old, undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, was working off the books for a roofing contractor when he fell through a hole in the first floor of a one family home he was working in.
Kenneth Halperin, Philip Russotti
At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, our attorneys are highly experienced at filing workers' compensation claims and handling appeals and hearings throughout New York. Contact us by using our online contact form or call us today at (212) 986-7353 to discuss your case.