When Does It Make Sense to Pursue a Construction Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Sakkas Cahn & Weiss

Most of the people who get injured on construction sites will address medical bills and lost wages through workers’ comp. They might even suffer minor injuries, such as accidentally cutting their hand with a utility knife or jamming a finger on a piece of rebar.

Some injury victims weren’t on the job; their employers and third parties injured some. If we’re describing your situation, you may wonder whether pursuing a personal injury case makes sense.

Here are a few reasons why it might be worthwhile to proceed.

You Weren’t On the Job

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Here in New York, bystanders get caught up in construction accidents every year. It’s almost impossible to stay away from construction sites, thanks to mile after mile of “sidewalk tunnels” formed from scaffolding.

Falling object accidents are common.

It’s also all but impossible to avoid heavy, dangerous construction equipment. Crane collapses are common.

Workers’ compensation isn’t coming to the rescue when a bystander gets injured. The injuries are usually severe. Do construction companies and their insurers race to pay the bills? Of course, they don’t. They look for reasons to deny their own liability and are perfectly happy to let New Yorkers pay millions of dollars out of pocket to cover their mistakes.

You Were Working With Faulty Equipment

If you were on the job, you might be able to tap into both workers’ compensation and personal injury compensation.

We recommend doing just that. WC doesn’t cover all of your lost wages, and it doesn’t cover pain and suffering.

Your employer met their part of the bargain by investing in insurance. Yet if faulty equipment caused your injury, it’s important to hold the manufacturer or distributor of that equipment accountable, too.

A Third Party Was Negligent in Some Other Way

Almost every construction site involves multiple parties. There are many opportunities for something to go wrong.

If a third party was negligent in any way, then you can sue the third party. Examples might include creating a hazard like a slippery surface, purchasing or providing substandard materials, engineering mistakes, security failures, and ongoing maintenance failures that led to a problem on the job site.

Your Employer Was Negligent, and Your Injuries Were Grave

Under the normal course of things, a worker cannot sue an employer because the workers’ compensation system exists.

Unfortunately, New York is plagued with construction companies who absolutely refuse to follow the law. They fail to provide the appropriate PPE. They fail to follow safety protocols. They knowingly expose workers to hazardous conditions.

It’s gotten bad enough that the governor recently had to increase the criminal negligence penalty from $10,000 to $500,000 just to convince these companies that it will not be cheaper to just pay the little fine and get on with their bad practices.

If you suffered any of the following injuries, you can generally sue your employer by filing a third-party lawsuit and bringing them into it by naming them as a party that shares liability.

  • Total, permanent blindness
  • Total, permanent deafness
  • Loss of a nose, ear, or index finger
  • Loss of multiple fingers or toes
  • Permanent and total loss of use of an arm, leg, hand, or foot
  • Paraplegia or quadriplegia
  • Brain injuries
  • Death

If you suffer from any of these injuries, you need to get compensation from any source you can find because your life or your loved one’s life has changed so significantly that it will take a significant amount of money to help you survive in the coming years.

Don’t Decide Without Talking to a Lawyer First

Here on the Internet, we can’t give you advice. We can only give you general knowledge painted in broad brush strokes. Personal injury suits are complex.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do guesswork. You can schedule a free consultation with us. We’ll look at the facts of your case and determine whether we’re willing to take it on. If we do, we work on contingency, which means you don’t have to worry about paying us until we’ve brought your case to a successful conclusion.

If it makes sense to file a case at all, you will need an attorney to do it. A construction site case isn’t like a car accident, where you’d at least know the name of the other party’s insurance company. You’ll need us to craft the demand letter, track down relevant evidence, calculate a fair settlement, and begin the negotiation process.

If you think you might have a case, don’t delay. Call us to schedule a free case review today. We’re ready to provide you with our expert opinion.

See also:

What to Do After a Crane Accident in NYC

How Do Scaffolding Injuries Happen?

Audit Finds NYC Department of Buildings is Failing to Protect Construction Workers on Building Sites

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