If you have been hurt on a construction site, you should know that your physical recovery may not be the most difficult challenge you will face. As you are healing, you may also have to fight to get fair payment for your medical bills and lost income—and it’s likely that you will suffer a few pitfalls along the way. Top New York construction injury attorneys discuss in the article below.
Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Construction Injury Claim
The biggest mistake people make after a New York or New Jersey construction work injury is failing to talk to an experienced construction injury lawyer. In many cases, involving an attorney early can prevent you from making any other errors in your case. Even if you are still recovering from your injuries, an attorney can make sure that your employer and your employer’s insurer treat you fairly.
Some other mistakes that can complicate your injury claim include:
- Taking an employer’s advice. Once you are injured on the job, your employer will go into damage control mode, doing everything possible to reduce the amount of compensation you receive. Your supervisor or someone from the company might suggest certain doctors for your treatment as a way to direct your care, or offer a one-time payment instead of the “hassle” of making an insurance claim. Even if your boss and coworkers are genuinely trying to help, there is no way to know if the company has your best interests at heart.
- Failing to report the injury. Construction workers may attempt to “shake off” an injury because they do not want to be taken off the job. Others may fear that they will be fired if they report the injury, while some are simply overwhelmed by their physical recovery. No matter what the reason, a failure to report the accident can have serious consequences for future workplace safety as well as your potential financial recovery. A short, simple statement to your supervisor or employer that includes the date and time of the accident should suffice.
- Neglecting to file for workers’ compensation. By law, any employee injured on the job in New York is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages and medical costs. In addition, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing a valid claim. If you are hoping to file a lawsuit for the injury, you should know that receiving workers’ compensation benefits does not impair your right to bring a third-party construction injury claim. Your attorney can help you file for benefits if you have not already done so.
- Giving the insurance company (or your employer) a recorded statement. Your employer may claim they need to hear “your version” of events before they can issue payment for your injuries. The real goal of a recorded statement is to get you to say something on record that can be used against you in the future. Instead of agreeing to a recorded statement, you should tell the person requesting the statement that you will have to speak with your lawyer first.
- Failing to follow up on medical treatment. Once your immediate medical needs are addressed, it is important that you keep your checkup appointments and continue to follow your doctor’s treatment plan. Always be truthful about your symptoms and abilities, and do not attempt to go back to work until your doctor says you can do so safely.
- Accepting a settlement without legal help. If you have reached maximum medical improvement but are still unable to perform your previous job, your employer’s insurance company may offer a workers’ compensation disability settlement. Once you accept this settlement, you will not be able to get any more money from the insurer, so it is vital that the amount fairly compensates you for all of your past, current, and future accident injuries.
Contact Top NYC Construction Accident Attorneys Today
Our attorneys will work to get you the compensation you are owed, and we do not collect any fees until after your case is won. Simply fill out our quick online contact form or call (800) 362-9329 to speak with a lawyer at Hofmann & Schweitzer today, or learn more about your rights in our FREE brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.