Construction 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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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.
What can be done to prevent construction falls?
On construction sites, many hazards result in devastating accidents. Construction workers may be at risk of electrical shock, falling debris, and countless other dangers that are present on the job every single day they head to work. However, in Bronx, Queens, and across New York City, falls are an especially prevalent cause of construction fatalities and injuries. As a result, you should be mindful of the risks you face while working in high places and try to do what you can to avoid falling down. Furthermore, construction companies have a responsibility to do what they can to prevent falls.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration discusses some of the different ways that construction falls can be avoided. For example, workers should always have property safety equipment and work on the appropriate type of scaffolding or ladder. Depending on the job, harnesses may be very important. Prior to starting a project, contractors and construction companies should make sure that all steps have been taken to reduce the likelihood of a fall. All construction workers should also have the appropriate training beforehand.
Over the course of 2015, 350 construction workers in the U.S. lost their lives due to falling, which makes falls the number one cause of construction fatalities. Unfortunately, some construction workers fall because of someone else's negligence. If one of your family members fell down and was injured or passed away, or if you are trying to cope with the consequences of a serious injury after falling, you should make sure that anyone's negligent behavior is addressed. If you have any questions about an accident, call our construction site fall lawyers at 212-465-8840.
What are some of the deadliest construction accidents?
On construction sites across the country, there are all sorts of hazards that workers need to look out for. Sadly, these dangers often leave construction workers with serious injuries that change their lives for the worse. Sadly, in New York City, construction accidents have also claimed too many lives over the years. As a result, it is essential for construction workers and the companies that employ them to be aware of some of the main causes of deadly construction accidents.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration draws attention to four primary reasons why construction workers lose their lives on job sites. Known as the fatal four, these accidents made up for 64 percent of all fatal construction accidents during 2015 according to OSHA. Falling, which includes ladder falls and scaffolding accidents, accounted for 38 percent of construction worker deaths throughout 2015. However, there were other accidents that occurred far too frequently, including electrocution, becoming caught-in or between and being struck by objects. In fact, an estimated 602 lives would be saved each year in the U.S. if it were not for these four types of accidents.
If you have been hurt in a job site accident, you need to examine your choices immediately. Depending on what happened, you may have different resources to help you move forward. For example, you may be eligible for workers' comp, or you may even want to look into holding a negligent person or company accountable. Regardless, you should do everything you can to put the accident behind you and move on with your life, if possible.
Why Do Falls Happen So Often on Construction Sites?
Falls are one of the top risks on New York construction sites. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, falls are the number one cause of death on construction job sites. Anytime you are working at a height four feet or more off the ground, you increase your risk of a fall accident.
There are many hazards in the workplace that lead to such accidents. This can include not following safety protocol or regulations, such as using scaffolding. In many cases, accidents happen because workers are not using the correct type of safety protection for the situation they are working in. Some accidents may happen due to not paying attention to your surroundings or not being aware of risks in the area, such as a skylight or drop off. Misusing safety equipment is another issue. Not properly anchoring ladders, not wearing a harness correctly or trying to use improperly built scaffolding are all examples of this.
The best way to avoid a fall accident on a construction site is to get proper safety training. Your employer should offer such training to help you understand how and when to use safety equipment, along with the safety protocols you need to observe when working at heights. In addition, your employer should provide you with the proper safety gear and equipment. Finally, just staying alert and aware can decrease your risks of a fall. It is also important to report safety concerns or situations that you have seen. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.
How Can Scaffolding Injuries Be Reduced?
Construction workers in New York City have a unique struggle to face. They're almost always working up rather than out due to the limited area the city occupies, and the fact that high rise buildings and sky scrapers are common there. Unfortunately, this also means that scaffolding-related injuries are common.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has pointed out that up to 65 percent of the construction industry works on scaffolds. This translates to 60 fatal accidents and 4,500 non-fatal accidents that occur on scaffolding every year. Reducing these injuries can be difficult simply due to the environment that workers like you have to deal with. There's a lot going on all at once and just one slip of the mind or a tiny mistake can result in a fall.
If you want to reduce the potential of scaffolding-related accidents and injury, you should check out tools like a safety and health program tailored to point out the biggest hazards in scaffolding. This can help you identify potential dangers or hazardous situations before they become an issue. Additionally, you may want to keep one of OSHA's checklists on hand. They provide a different one for different types of scaffolding and list out the dangers specific to that scaffolding type. Being able to physically keep track of issues or things that need to be watched may do wonders for the safety of your construction site.
Of course, mindfulness also plays a role. Try to instruct your workers to keep an eye on their surroundings at all times. When combined with the above tools, it's possible to reduce the dangers of working on scaffolding.