Construction accidents happen every day. Anyone working in these hazardous fields can be severely injured. It is essential that you know how to protect your legal rights if you are involved in such an accident. This is a guide that explains those rights to you.
II. STOP & THINK
What you do after a construction accident could affect the rest of your life. Do not allow anyone to convince you not to seek necessary medical care and treatment or to give false information about your accident. Giving your correct name, address and the facts of the accident will help protect your rights. Giving false information may later be used against you and prevent you from receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits or receiving a monetary award in a law suit for personal injuries.
III. REPORT YOUR ACCIDENT IMMEDIATELY:
Report the accident to your superior. Do not say anything that might be used against you later such as “It was my fault.” Although you may think you are at fault, the law provides extremely strong protections for construction workers. As your lawyer will later explain to you, the law states that owners and contractors may be completely responsible for your injuries from an accident regardless of your actions. For example, if you are injured in an accident and were not provided with proper safety equipment, such as safe scaffolds, secure ladders, safety harnesses, and equipment designed to prevent you from falling, the owner and/or contractor may be held totally responsible for your accident. This not only applies to construction – it also applies to:
- Cleaning of a building or structure
IV. GATHER INFORMATION COMPLETELY:
It is essential that you gather and record certain information to the best of your ability at the scene of the accident. If you can’t, ask a co-worker or friend to assist you. The Accident Information Diary located at the end of this booklet details the information you will need to protect your rights.
V. CAUTION! EMPLOYERS AND OTHER CONTRACTORS WILL NOT BE YOUR FRIEND:
If you are injured in an accident, you may require short term or long term medical care. Your ability to remain at your job may be in doubt. Only your doctor will be able to tell you whether you can return to work.
VI. GO TO THE HOSPITAL
If you are injured, go to the hospital to have your medical conditions checked. If you are in need of an ambulance, ask for one. Tell the ambulance attendants and all medical personnel everything that hurts. It is important to document all areas of your body which were injured as a result of the accident. This will allow doctors to treat the affected areas and avoid disputes later as to which areas of your body were injured as a result of the accident.
VII. ACCIDENT VICTIMS BEWARE OF AMBULANCE CHASERS AND RUNNERS
Beware of people who arrive at the accident scene, emergency room, or illegally call you to go to a doctor or lawyer. A hospital will never call you and refer you to a lawyer. Lawyers are specifically forbidden by the rules governing professional conduct from contacting accident victims to encourage them to hire their services. You only have one chance to be compensated, and should not place your future in a law firm that is engaged in illegal or unethical behavior.
VIII. WHO IS ENTITLED TO FILE A CLAIM?:
If you have been injured in a construction accident you are entitled to make a claim. An undocumented illegal alien or citizen is equally entitled to Workers’ Compensation. In addition you may also be entitled to start a separate law suit for money damages for personal injuries, pain, suffering and financial loss. The law does not discriminate based upon immigration status.
IX. WHAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO:
- You may be entitled to bring a law suit for money damages for personal injuries, pain, suffering and financial expenses. Your personal injury attorney can best guide you.
- Compensation of up to 2/3 of your gross weekly salary up to $739.83 per week for the time you have missed from work.
- Full medical coverage for all medical treatment related to the accident.
- Reimbursement for all out of pocket expenses including transportation to and from your doctors office.
- Possible money awards for permanent impairment to extremities, regardless of whether or not you lose any time from work.
CONTACT YOUR LAWYER IMMEDIATELY:
Call a Lawyer! Your lawyer can advise you about how to protect your rights and what your responsibilities are. Your lawyer will also investigate your accident, photograph the accident scene before it is changed, and take statements from witnesses before their memories grow “dim.” Having the right lawyer from the beginning may have a substantial impact on the outcome of your case. A well prepared case starts at the very beginning. You only have one chance to be compensated, and you should choose a law firm dedicated to you.
Contact the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC
Contact us by e-mail or call us at 212-962-1020 (toll free at 877-MSL-4LAW or 877-675-4529) to schedule a free initial consultation.