The choice is always yours, but you can seek legal help after a construction accident. Whether you are a construction worker, visitor, or bystander, if you were injured on a construction site or by construction equipment, you will probably want to file a case for compensation. However, this process is often complicated.
There are numerous steps involved in pursuing financial recovery, and this process is all the more difficult to keep up with if you’re battling accident-related injuries. On your own, you may not know what to do, but with the help of a construction accident lawyer, you can claim your construction accident injury, navigate the process will prove less stressful and overwhelming.
Why You Should Seek Legal Help After a Construction Accident?
There are numerous good reasons not to pursue a construction accident case by yourself. They range from taxing your health to losing the money you are entitled to. You should seek legal help with your claim because:
You May Battle Painful Injuries
Construction accidents may result in injury or death. If you are incapacitated due to the harm you’ve suffered, you cannot deal with a construction accident case. Your physical ability to take on the demands that it requires might be significantly impaired. Simple tasks like making phone calls, filling out paperwork, or operating a computer may feel insurmountable or impossible, depending on your injuries.
There are also complex legalities involved in these cases that may be mentally and emotionally taxing to sort through. A construction accident attorney can take on the physical burdens of filing a case for you. Additionally, you and your loved ones will not have to suffer through the stress of figuring out the steps you need to take to obtain the money you deserve.
You May Not Know Who to Sue
Construction accidents are often complex due to the presence of multiple potentially liable parties. On a single construction site, there are construction companies, developers, landowners, contractors, governmental agencies, foremen, third-party service or equipment providers, and manufacturers all playing a part. Any one of these individuals, groups, or entities could have contributed to the construction accident that injured you.
In order to file a case for compensation, you need to know who was responsible for causing the accident and who is liable for your damages. The two are not always the same. Untangling the web of liability could be difficult without sufficient knowledge of who was present at the time of the accident, what each party’s responsibilities were, which safety measures were in place, and the law that affects liability in construction accidents.
All told, you may need to conduct a detailed investigation into the accident. A lawyer with experience in construction accident cases can properly investigate and determine who is liable so you can file a case, saving you time, money, and energy.
You Could Leave Money on the Table
Serious injuries mean higher medical expenses and great losses in other areas of your life, as well. Construction accident injuries, such as back injuries, broken bones, or brain trauma may put you out of work for an indefinite amount of time.
Further, your injuries may affect your ability to perform everyday tasks like lifting or walking, cause marked physical pain, result in emotional distress, and reduce your quality of life. These factors and many others make a difference to the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.
Your Demand for Damages Should Cover All Financial and Non-Economic Losses
If you are only thinking about your medical bills or your lost income, you will miss out on the other monetary compensation you have a right to claim. There are other financial losses you can recover, such as the cost of hiring others to do things you can no longer do for yourself. An injury attorney can help you understand the full extent of the financial losses you can claim after your construction accident.
Beyond your economic damages, you may have a right to claim pain and suffering, which an example of a non-economic loss. Non-economic damages present a unique challenge because they do not have existing financial values the way medical bills do. The cost of economic damages is relative to each person’s circumstances.
Lawyers and insurance adjusters who handle these cases have methods to calculate the amount of damages you should receive for pain and suffering. With the help of a legal professional, you have the added confidence of knowing you will file a case that includes all of your applicable losses.
The Liable Party May Offer a Lowball Settlement
Insurance companies and big corporations frown on spending too much money. One way they save money is by getting claimants to accept settlements far below their case’s value. It’s easy for them to get away with it when they deal with construction accident victims who do not have the protection of a legal advocate.
When they have claimants who don’t know what they deserve and don’t have the legal knowledge or experience to fight back, closing the claim for a low settlement is a breeze. You and your family may be under serious financial strain, leading you to take an offer you believe is unfair.
When you work with a lawyer, they can reject lowball offers that don’t measure up to your damages and negotiate in your best interests for the compensation you deserve.
Some Construction Workers Are Entitled to More Than Workers’ Compensation
In most situations, employees cannot sue their employers, whether they work in construction or any other field. Workers’ compensation laws provide a kind of no-fault protection to both employers and employees. Workers can receive compensation for medical expenses and lost income through their job regardless of fault. In exchange for these benefits, they also cannot sue their employer even if the construction accident was the result of the employer’s negligence. Both parties are protected.
Recovering Compensation Through a Third-Party Lawsuit
Just because you can’t sue your employer doesn’t mean that you are only restricted to workers’ compensation benefits. If the construction accident that injured you occurred due to the negligence of a third party, you can file a lawsuit against them. Machinery failure, defective trench supports, and exposed wiring are just a few third-party negligence issues that may lead to a construction accident lawsuit.
Exceptions That Allow a Lawsuit Against a Construction Employer
In some states, like New York, you may even sue your employer for certain negligent safety issues that cause harm if you suffered a grave injury, which includes death, permanent and total loss of use or amputation of an arm, leg, hand or foot, loss of multiple fingers, toes or other enumerated body parts, paraplegia, quadriplegia, blindness, deafness, or brain injury resulting in permanent total disability.
Seek the help of a lawyer familiar with construction accidents in your state to find out if any exceptions to workers’ compensation laws apply where you live.
Potentially Liable Parties in a Third-Party Construction Accident Lawsuit
You could file a civil lawsuit against any number of individuals or entities who had a hand in your construction accident. Construction zones bring together a variety of tradesmen working for different organizations along with a host of equipment, vehicles, and heavy machinery manufactured or owned by different companies. As a result, any one of them could have contributed to your accident.
Potentially liable parties for a construction injury accident include:
- Construction machinery manufacturers
- Equipment manufacturers or sellers
- Construction site owners/developers
- Construction engineering inspection companies
- General contractor or other subs
- Other third parties onsite
What Construction Accidents Can a Lawyer Help With?
A construction accident lawyer can assist you with a multitude of cases involving construction sites, equipment, and injury.
You may seek legal help if any of these situations hurt you:
- Forklift accident
- Trench collapse (cave-in)
- Fires and explosions from leaked gas or combustible liquids, or other causes
- Hazardous chemicals and gases
- Construction vehicle accidents
- Falling or swinging objects and debris
- Falls from scaffolding and other heights
- Slip and falls or trip and falls
There are numerous ways construction accidents occur. Regardless of how that is, you may benefit from having the assistance of an injury lawyer, especially if you suffered a catastrophic injury.
A lawyer can file a case for injuries including but not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Fractured or broken bones
- Crushed extremities (arms, legs, fingers)
- Severed limbs and digits
- Burns from fires and explosions
- Chemical burns
- Nerve damage
- Paralysis or another spinal cord injury
- Back injury
- Neck injury
How an Attorney Can Help You After a Construction Accident?
A personal injury lawyer can take on all the duties of filing a construction accident case for you.
- Investigate the accident that occurred on the construction site to find out what caused it and if negligence was at play.
- Determine the liable parties so that you can go after the right person for the money you deserve. Sometimes more than one party may have contributed.
- Calculate your total economic and non-economic losses to determine the value of your case. Knowing what your case is worth helps ensure you receive the amount of compensation you are due.
- Handle communications with the defending party and their insurance company as well as witnesses, police, doctors, and others involved in your construction accident case.
- Hire experts to support your claims of physical or emotional injury. Expert testimony is especially useful for substantiating your non-economic damages.
- Negotiate with the insurance company to obtain a fair settlement that covers all your losses.
- File a lawsuit against the negligent party if negotiations do not yield satisfactory results.
- File your case before the statute of limitations expires. Your state only provides a limited amount of time to sue the liable party. If you don’t make that deadline, you may lose your legal right to seek compensation.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Lawyer for a Construction Accident?
Most people assume that hiring a construction accident lawyer will cost them a lot of money. However, most attorneys who handle construction accident cases work on a contingency-fee basis. They only charge you for their services when they win or settle your case. You pay no upfront or out-of-pocket fees to start. The law firm’s legal fees come out of the settlement or award you receive. Your contingency fee agreement sets the percentage. In some cases, state law sets or limits the percentage.
You take on little to no financial risk. If your lawyer doesn’t win you compensation, you don’t owe them anything for their work.
You Can Focus on Your Recovery While a Lawyer Focuses on Your Construction Accident Case
If you were injured in a construction accident, you have the choice to seek legal help. You can try to handle things on your own, but a personal injury attorney in Long Island can file your claim or lawsuit to get the money you and your family deserve.
Construction accident injuries are painful and take time to treat. Give your body the chance to heal. It may be in your best interest to find a legal professional who can handle all the legwork while you rest and recover.