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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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • I was hurt in a recent New York construction accident. Why is my employer all of the sudden calling me an independent contractor? Is this important?

    It is important. The distinction between being an employee and an independent contractor may determine whether or not you are able to recover workers’ compensation damages for the injuries that you sustained in a New York construction accident. Employees are entitled to workers’ compensation if they are hurt on the job, but independent contractors are not covered by workers’ compensation.

    Your employer may not change the terms of your employment after you are injured. Thus, if you were an employee prior to the accident then your employer cannot now claim that you were an independent contractor at the time that you were injured.

    Whether you actually were an employee or an independent contractor depends on the facts of your employment situation. It is something that an experienced New York construction lawyer will look into while protecting your right to a fair and just recovery after a New York construction injury.

    If you have been hurt then you need to know the truth and you need to fight for your right to recover damages. Please contact a New York construction accident attorney today to learn more. Our lawyers welcome your inquiry via this website or by calling 1-800-362-9329 to set up an initial consultation. We also encourage you to learn more about your rights by reading our FREE informational pamphlet, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.

  • My husband died in a construction accident and his employer says he will take care of me. Should I trust him?

    You should be cautious about trusting him. As sympathetic as the employer may be to your situation if your husband was killed on an Eastchester, Bay Ridge, or other New York City construction site, it is important to remember that you and your husband’s employer have competing interests. Even if you are both grieving your husband’s death, you are making sure that your family is protected financially, and your husband’s former employer is making sure the accident doesn’t cost his company any more than necessary.

    How to Know for Sure if You Can Trust Him

    If there is a way to settle a wrongful death claim after a fatal construction accident then that is certainly something you want do. However, before you can know if it is possible, you need to know more about your legal rights. You need to be able to identify what a fair settlement would be for your loss.

    In order to do that, you need more information. You can begin gathering that information today by reading our free pamphlet, "Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone," and by browsing the free library articles on this website. That will provide you with valuable information about what kinds of damages you may recover, but it will not provide you with a specific number. In order to know what your specific case may be worth, we encourage you to contact us directly via this website or by phone for an initial consultation.

    You can trust us to make sure that you and your family get the recovery you deserve.

  • My coworker made a mistake that resulted in my construction accident injury. My coworker is also my friend. I don’t want to get him in trouble, but I need to recover for my injuries. As a construction accident lawyer what do you think I should do?

    The first thing that you should do is to contact our experienced construction accident attorneys so that we can give you all of your options during this difficult time. We understand that your coworker is your friend and that construction sites are dangerous places. We understand that you have been hurt and that while you care about your friendship, you also need to plan for your future.

    In many cases, it will be possible to both keep your friendship and plan for your future. You may be entitled to compensation from the New York or New Jersey workers’ compensation system. These damages will be paid through an insurance company. They will not come out of your friend’s pocket, nor should his wages be affected. Alternatively, if a third party who was not your employer was negligent and that negligence caused your injury, then you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit and recover additional damages that would not be available in a workers’ comp claim.

    For more information, please contact our experienced construction accident attorneys in New York and New Jersey. We can be reached today via our website or by calling 1-800-362-9329. We also invite you to learn more about your rights and possible recovery by reading our FREE brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.

  • What if My Husband Won't See a Doctor After a Construction Injury?

    This is the man who would never go to the doctor. It is the man you had to beg to take an over the counter medication to treat a minor injury.

    Now that your husband has been seriously hurt working construction on Staten Island, he may be refusing to go back to the doctor after his initial treatment in the emergency room. You know that he needs ongoing care and that he is suffering, but how are you going to get him to accept that he needs help?

    How to Convince Your Husband to See a Doctor After a New York Construction Injury

    There’s no one size fits all answer, but here are some ideas to get your husband the medical care he needs. It can be very difficult to see your husband suffer and remain out of work when his pain and recovery time could be shortened or eased with medical care. While there is no single solution that works for everyone who has been hurt on a Staten Island construction site, you might consider:

    • Making sure he understands the consequences for himself, for you, and for your family if he fails to continue getting medical care.
    • Finding a construction worker your husband respects who has also been hurt and has sought treatment. Reach out to other construction families you know if you do not yet know someone.
    • Letting someone else try talking to him. Maybe there is a buddy, a clergy member, or someone else who can get through to him.

    Of course, you know your husband best and should consider any ideas you have to get him the important medical care that he needs.

    Let Us Help You Help Your Husband

    We’ve successfully represented injured New York construction workers for many years. We understand that this is a difficult process for many people, and for many families. Please share some of our success stories and videos with your husband so that he has a better idea of what is at stake and can hear firsthand about some other construction workers’ recoveries. And, if we can help you, please reach out to us via this website.

  • Who Investigates New York City Construction Accidents and Why?

    The construction accident that caused your injury has already happened. The damage can’t be undone, but the investigation into why the accident occurred and how it could’ve been prevented may be just beginning. As an injured construction worker it is important to know about the investigation of New York City construction accidents and what the investigations may mean for you.

    Three Possible Sources of New York Construction Accident Investigations

    After your accident injury, the following investigations may take place: 

    • OSHA. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) may investigate what happened.
    • The construction company. Your employer, or the construction company responsible for the accident, may conduct an internal investigation or hire an attorney or outside consultant to handle the investigation.
    • Local or state officials. The New York City Department of Buildings, for example, may investigate New York City construction accidents.

    While you may be interested in the outcome of all of these investigations, it is important to remember that none of these investigators are looking out for your best interests.

    Call a New York Construction Accident Lawyer to Protect Your Rights

    You have the right to have your own investigation done after a serious New York City construction accident. You have the right to hire an experienced New York construction accident attorney who will not only investigate the cause of the accident and determine what really happened but who will also advise you of your legal rights and zealously advocate for your full and fair recovery.

    For more information about your rights and about how to protect your possible recovery, we encourage you to contact a New York construction lawyer today via this website or by calling us directly at 800-362-9329. We also invite you to learn more by reading our informational pamphlet, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone, which is available for FREE on our website.

  • I am a dockbuilder and was injured on the job. What should I do?

    If your injured while working as a dockbuilder or in any construction related accident, there are a number of things you should do immediately to protect your legal rights. Simply stated you should:
    1. Report your accident
    2. Get a copy of the accident report
    3. Take photographs
    4. Get witness names, addresses and phone numbers.
    5. Go to a doctor
    6. Call the law firm of Hofmann & Schweitzer

  • Is the Settlement That I Am Being Offered for My New York Construction Accident Injuries Fair?

    Without knowing all of the facts of your case and the specific settlement offer, our New York construction accident lawyers can’t tell you whether your individual settlement offer is fair. However, we can give you some things to think about before you accept a settlement offer so that you can determine whether the offer will fairly compensate you for your injuries.

    Before you accept a settlement consider whether it compensates you for:

    • All of your past, present and anticipated future medical expenses
    • Lost income
    • Permanent injuries that you may suffer from the accident
    • Other damages you’ve incurred as a result of your construction accident injury

    Remember, once you accept a settlement it is likely binding. That means that you won’t be able to recover additional money for the same accident injuries in the future. Accordingly, it is important to carefully consider any settlement offer that is made prior to accepting it.

    You don’t have to make this determination alone. You may consult with your family, your friends, and an experienced New York construction attorney before you decide whether or not to accept a settlement. If you have been hurt in a New York or New Jersey construction accident, then we encourage you to contact us directly at 1-800-362-9329 and to read a FREE copy of our pamphlet, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.