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What Should I Do After an NYC Construction Accident?

New York City is the city that never sleeps—and that applies to both nightlife and labor. In fact, the state is home to the fourth-largest construction industry in the United States. The construction trade has grown substantially in the last decade and created almost 400,000 new jobs.

The construction industry accounts for a large percentage of the workforce in New York City. Construction spending surpassed $60 billion in 2018 and contributed $84 billion to the local economy—that last figure represents 10 percent of the city’s total economic output. 

Along with the promising opportunity to move to New York City and find steady employment in the construction trade, however, come risks. The number of NYC construction accident injuries and deaths has surged over the last several years, making it extremely important to know and understand your rights. 

According to city data from 2019, work site deaths were up 33 percent compared to five years ago and injuries were up 221 percent during those same 5 years  It is safe to say The city has seen a noticeable rise in NYC construction accidents since 2012, including a surge in accidents that resulted in death.  This report from CBS News New York, highlights the problem. 

While workplace accidents are possible in any industry, they’re particularly common in the construction trade. These workers operate in dangerous and hazardous conditions. There are occasions where they fail to receive adequate training, are forced to operate defective equipment, or become injured because of the negligence of a coworker or employee of another contractor on the job site.

You need to take the proper steps if you or a loved one is injured on a construction site. Following these steps enables you to keep your options open and consider legal action if you fail to receive fair worker’s compensation for your injuries.

Steps to Take Following a Construction Accident in New York City

What Should You Do After an NYC Construction Accident?

1. Ask that 911 be called and an ambulance take you to the hospital.

2. If you can, gather and preserve evidence on the accident scene. If not,  ask a trusted co-worker to do so. Make sure you know the name of your employer and the names of the other companies who were working at the job site. 

4. Get the names and employers of anyone who saw your accident or knows of the condition that caused your injury.

4. Contact an experienced trial lawyer.

Following these steps will help you greatly if you pursue legal action. While worker’s compensation is designed to cover your medical expenses and missed time from work, you are also entitled to recover for your pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of your life.  The companies responsible for causing your injury will not give that to you voluntarily. If you are facing opposition from a construction company or supervisor, contact an NYC personal injury attorney immediately.

1. Make Sure Someone Calls 911

Workplace accidents are severe and often require immediate medical attention. This is especially true of construction accidents because the injuries are often serious, if not life-threatening.  Often times OSHA or the NYC Department of Buildings will come to the scene and investigate the incident.  This will help the attorneys prove your case later on.

If you are injured on a job, you should not resume working even if a supervisor is pressuring you to return to your tasks. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need emergency medical assistance.

Don’t be afraid to request medical help if you need to go to a hospital. If you are afraid of being unable to afford the service, know that any medical service, including an ambulance, is an expense that the Worker’s Compensation will cover EVEN IF YOUR EMPLOYER DOESN’T HAVE COVERAGE OR YOUR WORK OFF THE BOOKS.

2. Gather and Preserve Evidence on the Accident Scene

When you get injured on a construction site, word of mouth testimony is not enough. You need concrete evidence to prove that you were injured on a construction site because of the negligence of another individual.

In order to prove negligence, you need evidence. The types of evidence vary based on the construction site and what exactly happened.

Regardless, it is best to document absolutely everything about the episode. Make sure you write down your account of the events while the memory is still fresh in your head. Also, calling an attorney as close to the time of injury will allow the attorney to gather documentation from your about the accident.

Photos and videos are immensely helpful in any workplace accident. If there were other witnesses of the accident (and they are willing to talk), make sure you have their names and contact information.

3. Make Sure You Know Who Was At the Site

Many times at construction sites in New York City there are a number of different trades and contractors on a site at any given time. In order for your attorneys to make sure the company responsible for your injuries is held responsible you can help by making sure you know which companies were on the site. No one expects to get hurt on the job, but it is always good to know who is working on a site on any given day. It is especially good to know the name of the general contractor and the company that pays you and that supervises your work. 

It is common for someone who is injured not to have this information and it is ok if you are unable to get it. The attorneys at Greenberg & Stein have 75 years combined experience investigating these companies and can get the information even if you don’t get it before your accident.

4. Get in Touch with an Experienced Trial Attorney

Construction accidents often result in serious injuries or death. They may prevent you from returning to work and even affect your future earning capacity. How do you cover expensive medical fees and your own bills without a paycheck?

The problem is only amplified when an employer delays the process. Consequently, speaking with an NYC construction accident lawyer is vital. 

Every NYC personal injury attorney at Greenberg & Stein has the knowledge and expertise to fight on your behalf. Our lawyers can help gather evidence and medical records while you recover from your injuries and wait for an outcome regarding worker’s compensation.

Navigating the Aftermath of a Construction Accident in NYC: Essential Actions

Undocumented Worker Rights

What if you are an undocumented worker? Do the same laws apply to your construction accident?

The short answer is yes. In New York, an undocumented worker or a worker who is working off the books has the same rights as any other worker on the job site

Do not listen to a supervisor or the construction company if they tell you that you cannot receive worker’s compensation because you are an undocumented worker. Sometimes employers do this as a threat because undocumented workers are afraid of being deported.

However, in New York, you have the same workplace rights as citizens of the United States. Therefore, undocumented workers cannot be deported for pursuing a personal injury claim. We’re here to fight on your behalf and secure the compensation to which you’re entitled for your injuries.

Post-Accident Guide: How to Respond to a Construction Incident in New York City

Contact Greenberg & Stein Today

The attorneys of Greenberg & Stein have decades of experience with personal injury cases. We care deeply about the residents of New York and have assisted many hard-working construction employees who have been seriously injured at work.

Whether you’re an undocumented worker unsure of your rights or you need assistance filing a construction accident lawsuit, we want to help. Contact Greenberg & Stein today to set up a free initial consultation.