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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  • 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.

  • The forklift operator keeps telling me he didn’t see me before he hit me. Is that a defense after a forklift accident on a construction site?

    What the forklift operator is telling you may or may not be true. However, for purposes of this question and answer we will assume that the forklift operator is telling you the truth. He didn’t see you before you moved the forklift and caused you serious injury.

    That Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Recover

    You may be able to recover damages for the injuries you sustained in a construction site forklift accident—even if the forklift operator truly didn’t see you prior to the accident and feels horribly about what happened. Here’s why:

    • Who was at fault may not matter to your workers’ compensation claim. Instead, you may be able to recover benefits regardless of who was at fault.
    • "I didn’t see you" may not be a defense if you are filing a personal injury lawsuit against someone who does not work for your employer. Who was at fault does matter in this type of action. Thus, you and your lawyer will need to consider whether the forklift operator was negligent and whether it was that negligence that prevented the operator from seeing you prior to the accident. If the forklift operator was negligent then you may be able to recover for the damages you suffered in the accident.

    Don’t let the forklift operator’s statement prevent you from getting the recovery that you deserve. Instead, find out the truth about your recovery from someone who is on your side. Read a copy of our FREE brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone , today to learn more.

  • Who Should I Submit My Medical Bills to That Resulted From an Injury on the Job?

    Construction workers and Dockbuilders injured while working are entitled to disability benefits administered under either the New York State Workers' Compensation Law or under the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, depending where the accident occurred. Doctor and hospital bills are submitted directly to the employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier. The right to workers' compensation does not require proving someone else was at fault for causing the accident. In that respect, payment of these benefits and your medical bills is "no-fault". If you are injured when not working, you may be entitled to some disability benefits under the New York State Disability Law.

  • What happens when a safety violation is found on a Manhattan construction site?

    What happens next depends on who finds the safety violation and whether anyone was hurt because of it.

    For the moment, let’s consider what happens if a government agency, such as OSHA or the NYC Department of Buildings, finds a safety violation on a Manhattan construction site before an injury occurs. The safety violation may be found as the result of a routine inspection or because a construction worker, or other person, reported the suspected violation to the government.

    In either case, the government may impose fines, require that the safety violation be remedied, and issue a stop-work order on the site. These consequences are designed to both prevent Manhattan construction site accidents and deter construction companies from committing future safety violations.

    Sometimes, safety violations are only found when there is an investigation to find out why a Manhattan construction worker was injured. In these cases, the government may issue the same consequences that were described above. Additionally, the injured construction worker may be able to recover damages from through the New York workers’ compensation system or a personal injury lawsuit.

    Safety regulations exist to protect construction workers and, accordingly, safety violations on Manhattan construction sites must be taken seriously. If you suspect a safety violation on your construction site then we urge you to talk to your supervisor and/or the government to get the situation remedied before someone gets hurt.

    If you’ve already been hurt then we extend our best wishes to you for a full and fast recovery and we encourage you to read our FREE pamphlet, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone, to find out more about what to do next.

  • My husband didn’t die immediately after his commercial fishing injury. How does that affect my family’s rights?

    Sometimes the head injury, spinal cord injury, or other injury suffered on a commercial fishing vessel seriously hurts a fisherman, but it doesn’t kill him right away. Instead, he may suffer for days, weeks, or even months before the injury becomes fatal.

    This situation is often devastating for the surviving family members. You are not only mourning the loss of your loved one, but you also had to watch him suffer.

    It Is Important to Know Your Rights

    Even if your husband didn’t die immediately after the injuries he suffered while fishing for cod, shrimp, or other fish off the Atlantic Coast, your family may still be able to recover damages for his death. The law that applies to your family’s case will depend on a number of factors, including where your husband’s injury occurred.

    However, the outcome may be the same. If you can prove that your husband died as a result of the injury that he suffered at sea then you may be able to recover damages for his death. These damages may be important to your family. The damages may help you maintain your standard of living by compensating you for the income your husband can no longer earn and by paying for his medical bills, funeral costs, and other damages.

    To learn more about what you can do to protect your family’s future during this difficult time, please start an online chat with us today. We would be pleased to give you more information about your rights so that you can make an informed decision about the future.

  • What is My Maritime Injury Case Worth?

    This is, understandably, one of the first questions that many of our clients ask. Whether they are injured maritime workers or they have lost a loved one in a maritime accident, they have suffered and they want to know whether they will get relief by filing a maritime injury lawsuit.

    As experienced New Jersey and New York maritime injury lawyers who help injured seamen, maritime workers and their families up and down the east coast, we have seen many individuals and families benefit from filing a maritime injury lawsuit.

    While each case is different, many of our clients are able to recover compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, cost of living or lost wages, and other damages.

    We encourage you to find out more about your rights if you’ve suffered from a maritime injury. Contact one of our New York and New Jersey maritime accident attorneys today via our online contact form or at 1-800-3-MAY-DAY and let an experienced maritime injury lawyer provide you with an opinion about how much your maritime injury case is worth.

  • Who Pays Medical Bills After Commercial Fishing Accident

    I was hurt working on a lobster boat. How can I get my medical bills paid quickly?

    The doctors providing your treatment are going to bill for their services. They understandably want to be paid for the medical care that they have provided you. They may be calling or writing you because you are the patient. However, if you were hurt working on a lobster boat in the North Atlantic then you might not be the one responsible for paying the bills.

    Here’s What You Can Do

    First, it is important to understand that the federal Jones Act may apply to your situation because you are a commercial lobsterman. That means, in part, that your employer is responsible for paying your medical costs, or “cure,” if you are hurt. You should forward any medical bills to your employer (while keeping copies for yourself).

    If your employer fails to pay for the medical care that you received from a qualified doctor or is unwilling to pay your medical bills up until the time that you have reached the maximum medical cure, then it is important for you to consult with an experienced Jones Act lawyer as soon as possible.

    How a Lawyer Can Help

    Generally, a lawyer can make sure that your rights are protected and that you get the recovery you deserve. More specifically, some employers may take your claim more seriously if you have a lawyer representing you and may agree to pay your medical bills. If the employer is unwilling to pay, a lawyer can take legal action to get you the recovery you deserve.

    For more information about protecting your potential recovery, please read our free publication, The Legal Rights Of Injured Seamen, Dockbuilders, Dredgemen And Other Commercial Mariners: Ten Important Questions Answered , and please follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on important news facing injured lobster fishermen and other seamen.