Falling Objects Cause Serious Injuries
In crowded cities like New York, the only place to build is up. Taller and taller buildings crowd the skyline. And, unfortunately, many objects can fall during the construction of these buildings, leading to serious injuries when they strike a worker or pedestrian.
At The O’Connor Law Firm, we understand that construction sites present the most dangerous situations to workers, including falling objects. About 20% of all workplace fatalities happen on construction sites.
New York has certain laws which are very favorable to victims of these accidents, but you need an attorney who understands how to use them to your advantage. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on a construction job site, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. Find out for sure as well as understand your options. Speak with an experienced construction accident attorney at The O’Connor Law Firm today.
Causes of Falling Objects on Construction Sites
Falling objects at construction sites can cause serious injury as well as death. Some falling objects may be small, but they can still cause serious injuries to workers.
Common causes of falling objects include:
- Unsecured scaffolding
- Power tools
- Steel or lumber
- Heavy equipment blowing over
Each of these accidents can cause an object, large or small, to fall on a construction site worker. This impact can cause serious injury, affecting the worker’s ability to keep working.
When that happens to you or a family member, you need to speak with a construction accident injury lawyer in New York as soon as possible. Your ability to collect maximum compensation for your injuries can depend on the lawyer you choose.
Construction Site Safety
New York has several labor laws that protect construction workers. Labor Law 240(1), often referred to as the “Scaffold Law” is one such law that protects workers from gravity-related accidents, including falling objects.
Labor Law 240(1) imposes strict liability when an object falls due to the absence of a safety device, like a net, causing injuries to a worker. Labor Law 241 might also apply.
To prove this, you will need an experienced construction site falling object lawyer. Guiding you through the complex legal process to help you recover every dollar you deserve.
Falling Objects Cause Devastating Injuries
A small, light object can become extremely dangerous when it falls from great heights. These objects gain speed and leave lasting injuries if they strike an unsuspecting person on the ground. There’s a reason why construction workers always have hard hats on.
Some of the more serious injuries caused by falling objects include:
- Head injuries
- Skull fracture
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Crush injuries
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injury
- Organ damage
- Eye injuries
In construction, being struck by an object is one of the “Fatal Four”—that is, one of the leading causes of death. Thousands of more construction workers suffer serious, often permanent, injuries.
Filing a Claim
In New York, workers injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This system was designed specifically to protect workers like you who have suffered injuries while working. But workers’ comp benefits only allow you to collect compensation for medical bills and lost wages.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim may seem like a simple task. You alert your employer to your injury, file the claim with the insurance company, and collect your benefits. Unfortunately, that is rarely the way it works. Because an insurance company’s first priority is to increase its own profits, it will often deny your claim outright or fight you on your injuries. Our founding attorney, Brian J. O’Connor, is a former construction accident defense lawyer who knows the games insurance companies play and how to overcome them to help you recover the benefits you deserve.
A workers’ comp claim only provides a portion of your lost wages and does not consider your pain and suffering after a construction accident. This is why it is vital to your case that you speak with a trusted New York construction accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident because you may be able to file a third-party claim.
Who is Responsible for your Falling Object Injuries
Depending on the details of your accident, another party besides your employer may be responsible for your accident. Pursuant to Labor Law 240(1), another party may be responsible for your injuries even if they were not actively negligent in causing the object to fall, but instead, may be statutorily liable as an owner, contractor or agent. Other responsible parties may include:
- General contractor
- Construction site owner
- Property owner
- Agent of the owner or general contractor
- Employee of another company
By filing a third-party claim against another person or company, you may be able to collect both workers comp and additional compensation to help cover your pain and suffering and complete lost earnings. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may not be able to return to work. At least not in the same capacity. This can severely hinder your ability to earn a living and provide for your family. Working with a knowledgeable construction accident lawyer in New York, you can work to get maximum compensation so you do not have to worry about how you pay your bills.
Reasons to Reach Out to The O’Connor Law Firm
New York has many attorneys. But not all of them provide the high level of service that we do. Our legal team helps injured victims obtain compensation in the following ways.
- We can analyze who is at fault. It might not be apparent, or failures by multiple parties could have contributed to your accident.
- We properly value your injuries so you know how much your case is worth. Most people have no idea they can obtain compensation for pain and suffering, as well as loss of consortium, disability, and other hard-to-calculate losses.
- We know how to document your losses so you can prove how much your accident has cost you in terms of lost income, lost wages, and medical care.
- We work with experts to fully understand your injuries and the sequence of events that led to the object falling and striking you.
- We negotiate with insurance companies every day of the week. They do not intimidate us, and we can take countermeasures if they use common delaying tactics.
- We can assist any injured worker receive workers’ compensation benefits, in addition to bringing a lawsuit.
Now is the time to reach out to our law firm. Following an accident, many defendants and their insurers are aggressive in getting you to accept a settlement. Never sign on the dotted line until you meet with us.
Time Limits for Making a Claim
Accident victims must meet certain deadlines to protect their right to compensation. If they don’t, they can lose out on necessary compensation with no ability to get more in the future.
For example, if you were injured by a falling object while working, you must notify your employer of the accident within 30 days. There really is no reason to delay. You will also need to submit a formal workers’ compensation claim within two years.
Anyone filing a personal injury lawsuit has three years from the date of the accident. Claims against public entities have much shorter time limits. Time can slip by very quickly as you rehab and go to physical therapy. Let us protect your rights by filing necessary paperwork in a timely manner.
You Deserve Fair Compensation
Our legal team can step in and seek compensation for anyone hurt by a falling object. If you were working at the time of the accident, you can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can help you recover reimbursement for the medical bills you have paid and your lost income from being out of work after your injury. But it will not help you get additional compensation if another entity played a part in your falling object accident.
A personal injury lawsuit can supplement workers’ comp benefits. These lawsuits allow victims to seek full compensation for all medical care, lost income, and pain and suffering. Many injured workers have uncompensated losses, which is why pursuing a personal injury claim is so critical. A wrongful death lawsuit might also be possible.
Compensation that may be available includes:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Rehabilitation costs
Your injuries may affect your ability to live your life. By filing a personal injury claim against another party, you can attempt to recover additional compensation to help you live the best life you can.
Contact an Experienced Construction Accident Attorney Today
Choosing the right lawyer for your construction accident falling object claim is crucial to your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. Your lawyer must have the ability to partner with medical experts as well as construction accident experts to investigate your accident and determine which parties are to blame.
You also want a lawyer with proven success in helping accident victims recover. To find out how you can attempt to get every dollar you deserve by holding the responsible parties liable for your injuries, speak with The O’Connor Law Firm today. We offer a free consultation and are available to travel to you if you are unable to visit our offices.