In cases involving workers injured on the job, a common question is “how much will I receive from my construction accident settlement?” The problem an attorney comes across in answering this common question is that every case has its own unique facts and injuries. To obtain a maximum recovery, there are certain steps that a construction accident attorney must take to prove a case. Besides familiarity with a client’s injuries, an attorney requires knowledge of the specific New York State laws and regulations relied on to prove a case.
Experience with both will ensure a client obtains the full extent of monetary damages for your injuries. Our attorneys are constantly working on obtaining the highest possible construction accident settlements for our clients injured on job sites. One of the most important things an attorney will start with is investigating an accident to determine what happened. This involves speaking with people the injured worker was with at the time of the accident. The closer in time to the accident that you speak with witnesses, the simpler it will become to get an accurate description as to how the accident occurred.
Witnesses Can Help Your Construction Accident Settlements
In addition, speaking with witnesses is important to verify the parts of the body that the client tells you he or she injured due to the accident. For example, if your client struck by a falling cinder block is claiming head injuries, a witness can confirm:
- What struck the client on the head,
- Whether he was wearing a hard hat,
- Whether he lost consciousness and
- Whether he was bleeding due to the impact.
A client with a head injury may not recall these details. This will make it difficult for an attorney when negotiating the amount a case should be settled for. When we try to negotiate with an insurance company, they may not believe a client who does not remember what happened. The observations from a witness can prove to the insurance company the areas of the body that the client injured due to the accident. They can also assist in showing why the client should be compensated for the injuries caused by the accident.
Knowledge of the State Labor Laws
In addition, a construction accident lawyer trying to settle a case must know New York State laws that apply to construction accidents. One of these laws is Labor Law § 240(1). Under this law, construction workers are protected from gravity-related risks such as falling from a height or being struck by a falling object. Proving a violation of this law is helpful in settling a case. The statute states construction site owners and general contractors are strictly liable for violations of Labor Law § 240(1). This is regardless of whether the person in charge has hands-on control of the work. Even if the injured worker was partially at fault for the accident, this law does not take that into consideration.
A violation of this law can result in an injured worker obtaining a full recovery for his or her injuries. Another law construction accident attorneys needs to be familiar with when trying to obtain a settlement is Labor Law §241(6). This law holds a construction site owner or general contractor liable for a workers’ injuries. This is when there was a violation of a section of New York State’s Industrial Code (Rule 23). The Industrial Code has numerous sections requiring workers be protected from:
- Overhead hazards,
- Falling hazards,
- Tripping and slipping hazards;, and
- Protection during all phases of construction, demolition and excavation work.
Knowledge of these sections are crucial in situations, such as a slip / trip and fall or trench cave-in, where Labor Law Section 240(1) may not apply. An attorney should therefore know the Industrial Code sections and the violation of which sections caused the worker’ accident.
Labor Law Section 200
Also, a construction accident attorney has to be familiar with Labor Law Section 200. Under Section 200, a contractor must provide reasonable and adequate protection for the worker’s health and safety at construction sites. This requires a contractor to provide a safe place to work when they have the authority to control the activity bringing about the injury. A general contractor can be liable under this section if it controls the work site and was aware of a dangerous condition that caused the accident.
The duty to provide a safe place to work includes detecting dangers that could be found by inspecting the job site. As such, when a worker obtains a maximum recovery from a construction accident settlement, you want an attorney with knowledge in the law. To win your case, you want an attorney who knows what is required. Our attorneys have years of experience understanding the Labor Laws. The personal injury attorneys at The Platta Law Firm are always working to get you the highest construction accident settlements for your injuries. Call us if you need us.