Accident and Injury Frequently Asked Questions

Many accident victims are overwhelmed by their injuries, and the thought of a legal case can seem daunting. At Hofmann & Schweitzer, our legal team understands these feelings, and we’ve compiled our thoughts on many common worries here to help you get started finding the answers you need to protect yourself and your family. If you’ve been hurt in a construction, maritime, or railroad accident, browse our FAQs today.

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  • I don’t remember much from the day of my construction accident injury. If I don’t remember, can I still get a recovery? Is there still a reason to contact a construction accident lawyer?

    When traumatic events, such as a construction accident, occur it is not unusual for the person who was injured to forget what happened in the accident. Whether or not you retained consciousness, you were understandably preoccupied with your own physical safety and, likely, pain. Your priority was not finding out what caused the accident or remembering details of the accident, but rather protecting yourself.


    That does not preclude your recovery. You may be able to recover damages for your New York or New Jersey construction accident injury even if you don’t have a clear memory of what happened at the accident scene. An experienced construction injury lawyer will help you by investigating what happened at the accident scene, advising you of your rights and advocating for your full and fair recovery.

    Your recovery may include compensation for past and future medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, out-of-pocket costs, lost income, and pain and suffering. However, you and your New Jersey construction attorney may have to fight hard to get the recovery that you deserve.

    To find out more about protecting your rights after a construction accident, please contact our construction accident law firm today via our online contact form or at 1-800-362-9329. We also encourage you to read our publication to learn about your rights and how a construction accident attorney may be able to help. Our publication, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone, is available for FREE on our website.

  • Does My Employer Have to Provide Me a Hard Hat?

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that hard hats be provided to all employees when there is a potential for head injuries due to falling objects. The hard hat must comply with certain requirements defined by either the American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection or the American National Standard for Personnel Protection, or be at least effective as hard hats designed to meet those specifications. Hard hats designed for sports or other purposes do not meet these specific construction hard hat requirements.

    In addition to OSHA requirements, local or state governments may also have requirements about when hard hats are necessary and the standards that those construction hard hats must meet to prevent construction head injuries.

    If you have suffered a head injury on a construction site, then it is important to contact a New York construction accident attorney as soon as possible after your injury. One of the first questions your New York injury lawyer will ask you is about your hard hat. For more information about how a New York accident attorney may be able to help you, please contact Hofmann & Schweitzer at 1-800-362-9329 or via our online contact form.

  • How Common Are Construction Trench Accident Fatalities?

    Cave-ins and other trenching accidents take the lives of construction workers each year in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 271 people lost their lives in trenching accidents from 2000 – 2006. In the period immediately prior to that from 1992 – 2000, 488 people died in trenching accidents in the United States.

    These statistics are important and give us an idea of just how dangerous trenching work can be for construction workers. However, each New York accident attorney at Hofmann & Schweitzer understands that for each person who died in a trenching accident died too soon, and many left behind grieving families.

    Who is a Competent Person to Check New York Construction Trenches?

    Construction trenches are dangerous places where serious accidents can occur. Accordingly, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that a competent person check trenches at least daily to see if they are safe and if potential accidents can be avoided.

    According to OSHA, a competent person is one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards, who can identify unsafe, unsanitary or hazardous conditions for construction workers, and who has the authorization to take prompt corrective measures if a problem is detected. Typically, a competent person must be appropriately trained in trench work and have the backing of the employer to make necessary changes.

    Our experienced New York construction lawyers know that trenching is dangerous work, but we also know that most trench accidents are avoidable. If you have been hurt in a New York construction accident, you may be entitled to a potential recovery. Please contact a New York construction attorney today at 1-800-362-9329 to schedule a free consultation, and please read our FREE publication, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You're Not Alone, to learn more about your rights.

  • Who pays for a construction worker’s injuries after a building collapse in New Jersey?

    As a construction worker who has been hurt in a building collapse in Teaneck, Jersey City or on any other New Jersey construction site, you are already paying. You are the one who can’t work; you are the one who can’t enjoy the things you used to enjoy; and you are the one who is experiencing the pain.

    You’ve Already Paid Enough

    The price of the construction accident that hurt you is already too high. You shouldn’t also have to bear the financial consequences of your injury. You shouldn’t have to pay your medical bills and use your life savings or credit cards to pay your rent or utility bills. You shouldn’t be left homeless by your inability to work.

    New Jersey Law May Make Someone Else Pay

    If you were hurt while on the job at a New Jersey construction site then someone else may have to pay for the injuries you sustained when the building collapsed. In many cases you will be compensated through workers’ compensation. However, if someone other than your employer or one of your employer’s workers caused the accident then you may be entitled to additional damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

    While someone else may be legally responsible for paying for your injuries, the responsible person or insurance company may not pay unless you are assertive and serious about protecting your rights. To find out more about how you can do just that, please read our FREE brochure, "Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone," and please start an online chat with us today.

  • I refused medical care at the scene of my construction accident, but now I’m in pain. Is it too late for me to get help?

    The short answer is no, it is not too late for you to get help. Sometimes medical care is not necessary at the scene of a construction accident. For example, you may not have been in a significant amount of pain at the time the accident occurred, or you may have decided to refuse emergency treatment so that you could see your own doctor.

    Regardless of Why You Refused Medical Care, You Should See a Doctor Now if You’re in Pain

    The most important reason to seek medical care now is also the most obvious reason: you are hurting and you deserve help. You do not want your injury to worsen, nor do you want to suffer if there is a treatment for your pain. The only way to get a proper diagnosis is to see a doctor now. It is not too late.

    It Could Also be Important to Your Legal Recovery

    We don’t yet know the specifics of your case. We don’t know if you were hurt yesterday or if you were hurt weeks ago. We don’t know if you’ve gone back to work since the time of your accident. However, if you were hurt while working on the construction of a building, road, or other structure then you may be able to recover damages either through the New York or New Jersey workers’ compensation system or through a personal injury lawsuit.

    Today should be the day you begin protecting your rights. Once you get the medical care that you need, we encourage you to begin finding out more about your legal rights by watching our free videos and reading our FREE pamphlet, "Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone."

  • My employer wants to put me on light duty work before I have surgery for the injury I suffered on my construction job. Should I do it?

    You should only return to work if you have medical clearance to do so and if you are confident in your doctor’s assessment of your condition. If your doctor determines that you can do light duty work without significant pain and without risking further injury then you may be able to do so. However, if returning to work—even on light duty—would jeopardize your potential recovery or cause you additional pain then you shouldn’t go back to work quite yet.

    Employers Don’t Always Recommend the Right Thing

    Your employer may be eager to have you back on the job in any capacity and may genuinely believe that putting you back to light duty work will not interfere with your recovery. That doesn’t mean your employer is right. Instead, you are going to have to advocate for yourself. You will have to tell your employer directly or through your construction accident lawyer that you are not returning to light duty work prior to your surgery for medical reasons.

    Don’t Feel Bad About Protecting Yourself

    Your decision not to return to work yet is based on the medical opinion of your doctor. You are not saying that you will never return to work. Instead, you are protecting your long-term health so that you can maximize your working potential in the years to come. It is your right to do this. It is your right to protect your own future and to take the necessary steps to recover as completely as possible.

    If you would like more information about how to protect yourself after a construction accident, please browse our related links and read a free copy of our brochure: Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.

  • Do I Always Need a New Jersey Maritime Attorney if I'm Hurt in an Accident While Working at Sea?

    Generally, it is a good idea to contact a New Jersey maritime lawyer if you are injured at sea. An experienced New Jersey Jones Act lawyer will review the facts of your case and help you understand whether you have the right to recover legal damages for your accident injuries. In other words, you have nothing to lose by contacting a New Jersey maritime attorney. If you do not have a case or the right to recover damages, then the lawyer will tell you so and you will be no worse off.

    Of course, there are some situations when a call to a maritime accident lawyer may be unnecessary. For example, if you suffered a minor injury while at sea that you were able to treat in minutes and that did not require any medical treatment and that did not result in you losing time from work, then there is likely no reason to call a lawyer.

    In other cases, however, when you did incur medical bills and when you did lose income due to your inability to work, your call to a New Jersey Jones Act attorney may be one of the most important calls that you will ever make.

    To find out more, please call our New Jersey maritime accident law firm at 1-800-362-9329 and please read our report, The Legal Rights of Injured Seamen and other Commercial Mariners, which is available for FREE on our website.

  • Do I Have to Give a Recorded Statement to Recover Damages Pursuant to the Jones Act

    No. There is nothing in the Jones Act that requires seamen to give a recorded statement to their employer in order to obtain benefits. In fact, if an employer or insurance company is trying to get you to give a recorded statement then it is very likely that the questioner will try to get you to say something that will hurt, rather than help, your claim.

    While our New York and New Jersey maritime accident lawyers encourage seamen who have been injured to promptly report the accident to their employer and to follow all reasonable procedures, we also encourage seamen to be suspicious if a recorded statement is requested.

    If your employer, or an insurance company, has requested that you provide a recorded statement, or has insisted that you must provide a recorded statement in order to recover benefits, please contact a New Jersey or New York Jones Act lawyer before you provide such a statement. You can be confident that your employer and the insurance company are being advised by counsel. Give yourself the same benefit before you provide any recorded responses

  • I Felt Pressured to Work Faster at My Construction Job And Was Injured, Should I Call an Attorney?

    We are sorry to hear of your construction accident injuries. New York workers’ compensation law allows New York construction workers to recover damages if they are hurt on a construction site for any reason. That includes compensation if you are injured after taking a safety shortcut to save time regardless of why you took the shortcut.

    In some cases, the insurance company that is responsible for paying you damages such as medical expenses and lost income may fight against your fair and just recovery. It can be difficult and frustrating to fight against the insurance company for the recovery that you deserve when you have been hurt and you are trying to recover from your physical injuries.

    Accordingly, it is important to contact an experienced New York construction accident lawyer for help. You might not get a second chance at a fair recovery. Your New York construction lawyer will fight hard to get you the fair and just recovery that you deserve, even if it was your shortcut that caused your injury. For more information, please call our New York construction accident attorneys today at 1-800-362-9329 and please read our FREE informational brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.

  • When is The Right Time to Call a Lawyer About a Ruptured Spleen I Suffered on a Construction Site?

    When you call a construction accident lawyer to discuss your ruptured spleen injury is up to you. Some people make the call on the day they are hurt while others wait to see just how serious the injury is and how long and costly the recovery will be. While there is not one time that is right for everyone, there are some reasons to consider calling an attorney as soon as possible.

    Why Make the Call Early

    If you call a construction accident lawyer soon after you are hurt then you can:

    • Stop wondering whether you should make the call. You can remove the uncertainty and stress from your life by talking to a lawyer.
    • Make sure your rights are protected. You can learn about your rights and make sure you are doing everything to protect your future.
    • Make sure you don’t make any mistakes. You can find out about common mistakes people make and take appropriate actions so you don’t make the same mistakes yourself. This may include, for example, waiting too long to file a claim or trying to negotiate with an insurance company on your own.

    There is no downside to contacting a lawyer early. If the lawyer believes you have a claim worth pursuing, you can get started right away. Alternatively, if the attorney believes you should wait, he or she will tell you that.

    Do You Even Need an Attorney?

    If you were hurt on your construction site, you may benefit from consulting a lawyer about your rights. An attorney can make sure you receive the workers’ compensation or third party damages you deserve. For more information, please contact us today via this website or at 1-800-362-9329.