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Construction Injury? What Every Worker Needs to Know

Thousands of construction related accidents occur yearly in New York City. It seems we hear about a different tragedy every week. Due to the dangers that construction workers encounter on a daily basis, New York State has enacted laws and regulations to protect our workers. However, these laws and regulations can be very difficult for the injured worker to navigate without the experience of a construction lawyer. Block O Toole & Murphy is one of the premier construction accident law firms in New York. The construction accident trial lawyers at Block O Toole & Murphy have put out this release so each worker knows their rights and can protect themselves in the event of a serious accident and/or injury.

If you are involved in a work related accident, like a fall from a ladder or scaffold, there are several things that you should be aware of in order to protect your future rights:

1) Always report your accident to your employer and insist that an accident report be prepared. Many workers do not feel the need to report an accident because they are worried that their employer will retaliate against them. The failure to report an accident in a timely manner can hurt your ability to recover money damages for your injuries. For instance, the failure to have an accident report prepared can lead to a denial by an employer as to how an accident occurred or that an accident even happened.

2) Relay all of your physical complaints and an accurate history of how your accident occurred to your health care provider. If you are injured and require emergency room care, you should state all of the body parts where you are experiencing pain and how the accident occurred. Some injuries do not manifest immediately and you may not see a health care provider until a few days later. Make sure that you provide your doctor a complete and accurate history of the accident and detail all of the body parts that you have injured and experience pain in.

3) Be sure that you inform the hospital and health care providers that this was a work related accident. Do not use your health care insurance to pay for any medical bills or hospital bills. You should be entitled to workers compensation benefits, including the payment of your medical bills.

4) Get the names of all witnesses. If someone was present when your accident occurred, write down their names and contact information. Many times employers attempt to dispute how an accident occurred or even the happening of an accident. Since construction workers switch employers frequently, you should get the name and contact information of any witnesses immediately. These witnesses can be the difference between justice and being taken advantage of by a savvy employer.

5) Take photographs yourself or have someone take them on your behalf. Cell phone and disposable cameras make it much easier to take photos of an accident site, like a collapsed scaffold, an unsteady ladder or an unsafe crane. If possible, you should record the unsafe condition that may have caused your accident.

If you have been injured in a construction accident there are several rights that you should be aware of:

1) You have the right to receive Workers Compensation at the rate of 80% of your salary, up to a maximum of $500/week.

2) You have the right to receive medical care, paid entirely by Workers Compensation for the injuries that you sustained.

3) You have the right to bring a lawsuit in many instances against the Owner/Tenant and the General Contractor and/or Construction Manager if your injury was the result of unsafe working conditions.

4) If you have been seriously injured and cannot return to work, you have the right to file a claim for disability with the Social Security Administration.

5) If you are a union member, you have the right to file for a disability pension with your union.

The lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy have extensive experience litigating construction and work related accidents. Our lawyers have represented union and non-union workers. We have represented laborers, electricians, carpenters, sheet metal workers, plumbers, iron workers and steamfitters. We have also represented documented and undocumented workers. Our attorneys are members of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association Labor Law (Construction Accident) committee. We work hand in hand with some of the finest Workers Compensation and Disability lawyers in the State. If you have been injured in a construction or work related accident, please contact Block O'Toole & Murphy for a free consultation.