Westchester County Construction Accident Lawyer
Working in construction is dangerous and accidents often result in severe injuries or fatalities. If you or someone you love has been involved in a construction accident, you are entitled to compensation. Our Westchester County attorneys at Fiedler Deutsch, LLP will represent you in your workers’ compensation claim and investigate if a third party is also liable. Contact us online or call (914) 993-0393 today for your free consultation.
Why Choose Our Westchester County Construction Accident Lawyers
- We have represented construction accident victims for over 50 years.
- Our team has successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of injury victims.
- We have a relentless work ethic and are always available for clients, 24 hours a day.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents in Westchester County
The following four accidents are the most common causes of construction-related fatalities, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), are:
Slip and falls account for the greatest number of construction accident fatalities (36.5%). They can often be the result of uneven or unstable work surfaces, a lack or misuse of fall protection equipment, or worker error.
Struck By an Object
Being struck by an object is an obvious hazard on a construction site, and accounts for 10.1% of construction worker deaths. Materials and machinery can fall, fly, swing and collide into workers. Safety gear, such as hard hats are essential to reduce the risk of death or a serious head injury if struck.
Approximately 8.6% of annual construction worker fatalities are attributed to electrocution. Electrocution accidents can happen when workers come into contact with exposed wires, defective tools, improper used extension cords, or live power lines.
Being caught in or between objects is the cause for 2.5% of annual worker fatalities. Workers can, for example, get wedged between heavy vehicles, stuck in a trench, or pinned in between objects.
Common Injuries Associated with Construction Accidents in Westchester County
A careless or reckless action at a construction site often results in severe injuries, such as the following:
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Exposure to hazardous substances
- Crush injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Eye or ear injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Wrongful death
Seek medical care immediately following a construction accident. Not only is it critical to your health, but any possible injuries must be documented to obtain compensation.
What To Do After a Construction Site Accident
If you are a construction worker injured on the job in Westchester County, you should immediately report the injury to your employer and seek medical attention. In addition to safeguarding your health, immediate medical care will also protect your right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits and, perhaps, a third-party claim. When you can:
- Write down the names and contact information of co-workers or any other witnesses to the accident.
- Keep copies of all paperwork and reports related to the accident, including the report to your employer, medical bills, and receipts for any accident-related expenses.
- Keep track of your medical treatments, appointments, and providers.
- Follow medical advice carefully and continue ongoing recommended care.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible, so they may begin investigating your accident. They can help you determine which parties are liable and collect evidence vital to a lawsuit if you choose to pursue one.
Although an injury on the job qualifies you for workers’ compensation benefits, it isn’t always a seamless process. Having a lawyer by your side will provide protection from a claim denial or your compensation being unfairly reduced.
How Our Lawyers Identify All Liable Parties After a Construction Accident
Injured workers are entitled to compensation for benefits related to medical care and lost wages. However, these benefits may not be substantial enough to cover your losses. Our experienced Westchester County accident attorneys will investigate your construction accident to determine if there is a liable third party. Third party liability allows you the opportunity to file a lawsuit against another party besides your employer who was also responsible for your injury. Those parties can include a:
- Property owner
- A defective product manufacturer, such as tools, equipment or machinery
If we discover evidence that a third party is at fault, we can pursue damages through an injury claim or lawsuit in addition to your workers’ comp benefits.
How to Prove a Third Party is Liable for a Construction Accident
Unlike workers’ compensation claims that do not require proving fault, an injured worker must demonstrate that the third party’s negligence contributed to their injury accident. Doing so will require evidence of the following four elements of negligence:
Duty of Care
A duty of care must have existed between the plaintiff (injured worker) and the defendant (at-fault party). For example, a general contractor has a duty to ensure a construction site is kept reasonably safe for workers.
Breach of Duty of Care
The defendant breached their duty of care by failing to do what another reasonable person would have done in the same situation—for instance, going back to the general contractor example, if they failed to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to workers.
There must be a direct link between the defendant’s violation of their duty of care and the worker’s injury. In other words, the injury would not have occurred if not for the defendant’s actions. For instance, a worker would not have been injured by a fall in a low-light area if the contractor had provided suitable headlamps, and there are medical records linking the worker’s injuries to the fall.
The final element is damages. The plaintiff must have suffered financial or personal losses from the injury (e.g., medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.).
Construction accident cases often require expert testimony as to how the accident occurred, how the defendant violated the standard of care expected of them, and the severity of injuries caused.
Available Damages in a Construction Accident Claim
Workers injured in accidents due to a third party’s negligence may be entitled to the following types of compensation by filing a construction accident lawsuit:
- Total lost wages and benefits (for the difference that workers’ compensation does not cover)
- Loss of future income and diminished earning capacity (if you are unable to make the same level of income compared to before the accident)
- Current and future medical expenses related to the injury, including hospital stays, surgeries, doctor’s appointments, physical rehabilitation, prescription medications, home modifications for disability, etc.
- Property damage if you require repairs to or must replace any personal property that was damaged in the accident, such as your cell phone, tools, or clothing.
- Pain and suffering for the physical pain and mental anguish suffered because of the injury.
- Emotional distress for the psychological impact the injury has had on daily life.
- Loss of enjoyment of life if you are unable to engage in activities you were able to enjoy before the accident.
- Loss of consortium for a spouse or family member if the injury has caused a loss of love, affection, companionship, comfort, society, or sexual relations that the victim provided before the accident.
On top of these damages, the defendant may be ordered to pay punitive damages. However, this type of compensation is reserved for cases involving a defendant who exhibited extreme recklessness.
Is There a Time Limit on Filing a Construction Accident Claim?
Different factors play a role in the amount of time you have to file a construction accident claim in New York. For example:
- Third-Party Liability Claims: you have three years from the date of the accident to file a Westchester County personal injury lawsuit.
- Wrongful Death: surviving family members of a construction worker killed can file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the accident or date of death.
- Workers’ Compensation Claim: injured workers must report a construction accident injury within 30 days of the accident. If the worker suffered an occupational illness, they have two years from the date of diagnosis to notify their employer.
- Cases Against the City or State: if a construction accident claim involves a city or state employee or agency, you must notify the agency that you intend to sue within 90 days of the accident and you have one year and 90 days to file a lawsuit.
Summary of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Westchester County
New York workers’ compensation benefits are generally divided into five basic categories. These include:
- Medical Care: You are entitled to coverage for emergency care and follow-up care after your construction accident. That includes medical evaluations, treatments, surgeries, prescription drugs, rehabilitation, medical devices, transportation costs, etc., without a deductible or copays.
- Temporary Disability Benefits: Benefits for the income you lose due to the injury if you are unable to work for more than seven days or your pay is reduced because you cannot work as many hours or must do other work. It pays two-thirds of your average weekly wage, tax-free, up to a maximum of $1063.05. The benefit rate you receive will be based on the degree of your disability (e.g., mild (25%), moderate (50%), marked (75%), total (100%). How benefits are calculated is ⅔ x average weekly wage x % of disability. For example, if you earn $600 per week and are totally disabled (100%), you will receive $400. If you are partially disabled (50%), you would receive $200 per week.
- Permanent Disability Benefits: If your injury resulted in a permanent total disability (100%) based on medical evidence, there is no limit on the number of weeks you can receive benefits. When an injury results in a permanent partial disability, there are two types of benefits available depending on the nature of the injury and the part of the body affected:
- Schedule Loss of Use (SLU) benefits are limited to a certain number of weeks based on the disability severity and a schedule set by law.
- Non-Schedule benefits are payable as long as you suffer from the disability that results in wage loss.
- Vocational Rehabilitation Services: These benefits assist injured workers with retraining or skill enhancement if they cannot return to their previous job.
- Death Benefits: Compensation for the spouse or dependents of a worker who is killed due to a work-related accident.
New York’s workers’ compensation system is based on an employer-employee relationship, regardless of who was at fault for an accident. That means that any worker is entitled to benefits when injured on a construction site, and virtually all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Contact New York Construction Accident Attorneys at Fiedler Deutsch, LLP
If you would like one of our attorneys to review your construction accident claim, Call (914) 993-0393 for a free consultation in Yonkers, New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, White Plains, Peekskill, Rye or anywhere else in New York. Contact us online to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation.