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Construction Accidents

Construction Accident FAQ

Common Questions About Construction Injuries

Our New York City construction accident lawyers handle claims involving workplace injuries. Contact The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. at (212) 577-9325 for more information about our practice, or schedule a free case evaluation by completing our online form. Below are answers to some of the questions we most frequently receive in this practice area.

Is there a chance I am entitled to more than just workers’ compensation after a construction injury?

Yes. Although workers’ compensation laws prohibit you from suing your employer directly, you may bring a lawsuit against the owner of the site and the general contractor even if they had nothing to do with causing your injury.

What is a deposition?

A deposition is a statement given under oath, usually done in a lawyer’s office before a court reporter. Witnesses who are called to testify in a deposition answer questions from attorneys representing both parties. The court reporter produces a written transcript of everything said at the deposition and the witnesses read and sign the transcript, swearing it to be an accurate rendition of the evidence given under oath. If you or any witnesses on your side have to give a deposition in your case, your New York construction accident lawyer will prepare you beforehand and defend you during the deposition.

What is an expert witness?

An expert witness is a witness who has specific knowledge of a particular field, above and beyond the knowledge of the typical layperson. An expert is usually permitted to testify to his / her opinion, whereas a layperson can testify only as to the facts in question. In medical malpractice, doctors are typically called to testify as experts. In a construction accident case, an accident reconstruction expert may be called to testify as to how the accident occurred.

What does it mean to settle a construction accident case?

Settling a construction accident case means that you agree to accept money in return for dismissing your claim against the person or entity that injured you. You’ll sign documents releasing the other side of any further liability.

To help you decide whether or not to accept the settlement offer, your New York construction accident attorney can:

  • Provide a realistic assessment of whether a personal injury lawsuit based on your construction accident injury claim has merit and may be successful
  • Provide a range of possible verdict amounts
  • Estimate how long it will take to get through trial

Settlement can also take place at any point in a personal injury lawsuit, including before trial, after the trial has started but before a jury reaches a verdict, or after trial while the case is on appeal.

What are punitive damages?

In addition to compensating victims for injuries, lost wages, and future considerations, punitive damages can be awarded to penalize a defendant whose conduct is deemed particularly outrageous. In cases of negligence, punitive damages are typically awarded only when the defendant’s conduct proved to be “reckless” or “willful and wanton.”

I am not happy with the New York construction accident lawyer handling my case and want to replace him/her. Can I change lawyers?

Yes, you have a right to replace your New York construction accident lawyer at any point during your case. As a client, you are entitled to be treated with courtesy and consideration, to have your questions and concerns addressed in a prompt manner, and to have your telephone calls returned quickly. If you are dissatisfied with the legal representation you are currently receiving, you can withdraw from the attorney-client relationship and seek another attorney. In a personal injury action, your decision to hire another attorney will typically not subject you to higher fees.

How long should I wait before contacting a New York construction accident lawyer?

The sooner a New York personal injury lawyer can start working for you, the better. You have only a certain amount of time to go to court. If you wait too long, you may be barred from bringing a personal injury lawsuit. Additionally, the longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to obtain the evidence you need to support your construction accident case. If you have submitted your claim to an insurance company, the insurance adjuster you are dealing with may have settled hundreds of cases in the past year alone. He or she is highly trained at negotiations. It is important to be very careful and cautious when talking with an insurance adjuster; you may need an attorney to help you through the process.

Do I have to give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster?

Some insurance contracts do have cooperation clauses. You may not, however, be obligated to give a recorded statement. If you do, it may be used against you. Whenever you give a recorded statement, be sure to ask for a copy of the transcript.

Who is responsible for ensuring safe conditions at the construction site?

The property owner, general contractor, subcontractors, and-in some cases-safety inspectors are responsible for ensuring the safety of construction workers. The extent of each party’s responsibility will vary depending on your construction accident case. New York law is very protective of construction workers, particularly those who work at heights requiring ladders and scaffolds.

I’ve gone back to work. I can’t do the kind of work I was doing before because of my injuries, but I need the money to support my family. Do I still have a construction accident injury claim?

You may still have a claim if your injuries are preventing you from earning as much money as you did before the construction accident injury, or if your employer has forced you to take work that does not have the same potential for advancement and salary increases later on. In fact, you may still have a construction accident injury claim even if you are earning the same wages as before the accident. Speak with a lawyer from The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. to learn more about your options.

Do I need a New York construction accident lawyer to handle my construction accident injury claim?

Yes, at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. we believe this is the best way to move forward after a construction injury. Construction accident cases are often very complex. Your injury claim may involve legal issues regarding liability, compliance with safety regulations, engineering, indemnity, and the amount of damages. A lawyer who is experienced in New York construction accident law can help ensure that you receive the legal remedy to which you are entitled.

More Than $350 Million In Verdicts & Settlements For Our Clients

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C.'s team of NYC personal injury attorneys have recovered more than $350 million in verdicts and settlements for their clients. We understand the financial and emotional toll a serious accident can have on your life. That’s why we dedicate ourselves to maximizing your recovery and securing what you deserve.

See Our Results
  • $40,000,000*
    Medical malpractice. Child's brain damage.
    Construction worker fell from a ladder, jury verdict.
    Construction worker/ laborer fell from the scaffold, jury verdict.
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