If I Was Injured on the Job, Do I Have to Use the Union Lawyer?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Block O’Toole & Murphy has a long and proud history of fighting for union workers. They have obtained some very significant multi-million dollar results on behalf of hardworking union member. Often, union members will call the Injured Worker Attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy and ask whether they are required to utilize the services of the “union lawyer.” The frequency of this question suggests that there is some confusion about the issue. Below, the Injured Worker Attorneys clear up the misconception.

Trade unions in New York City provide builders and developers with the assurance that the work on their projects will be done by skilled laborers and craftsmen. The unions also provide the union members with many protections and a measure of job security other laborers do not enjoy. As a result the members of the City’s trade unions share an intense feeling of brotherhood and loyalty to their respective unions.

Iron workers, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, operating engineers, excavators, sand hogs and other tradesmen look to the union shop steward or the business agent from their local when they have questions about benefits, job details, sick time and a host of other questions that come up.

Most of the City’s trade unions have longstanding working relationships with law firms that specialize in labor practice. These firms earn the union’s loyalty and business by negotiating union contracts and providing support for the union members in the event they have grievances to be brought to the Labor Board. Understandably, most union members look no further than this labor law firm when any job related legal issues arise. In some instances, like when you have sustained a serious work-related injury, this can be a grave mistake.

Just as you would not expect a union plumber to be expert in rewiring the electrical outlets in a structure, many law firms that specialize in labor and employment practice are far from expert in the proper handling of jobsite accident cases. If a union member is injured on the job he owes it to himself and his family to find a law firm that specializes in maximizing a recovery for injured construction workers. Perhaps the union has a personal injury lawyer that they recommend. You better be sure that this is the right lawyer for you because you don’t get a second crack at getting this right. Learn as much as you can about any lawyer or firm you are considering. How often do they represent union workers? Do they have a track record of taking verdicts? This is important because it will catch the other side’s attention immediately. What is their reputation? Do other lawyers send them cases to handle? This speaks to the respect they are afforded among the legal profession. Have they handled significant cases in the past with success? This is not a guarantee but perhaps a good indicator for what will happen with your case. How many cases do they have? How many lawyers work in the firm? The lower number of cases and the highest number of lawyers is good for you as a consumer. It means increased personal attention for you and your case.

Make sure you are comfortable with your lawyer; not whether your shop steward or union brothers are comfortable with your choice. It’s your life and your future.

Block O’Toole & Murphy LLP has a well-earned reputation as a team of lawyers that are willing to fight for injured union workers. Their results, including more than $700,000,000 in verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured victims, many of whom are union workers, speaks for itself. We are proud to handle cases for every trade union in the City, from plasterers to asbestos removers, to sandhogs, to operating engineers, plumbers, electricians, etc. We have a tried and true approach for putting forth the strongest possible evidence to demonstrate an injured union worker’s lost earnings and future medical expenses. We have consistently achieved some of the highest verdicts and settlements for New York City’s trade union members.

If you are a trade union member and you have questions about whether you are receiving the right rate of pay or enough vacation days, your questions are most likely best answered by consulting with your union’s labor and employment firm. However, if you are seriously injured as a result of a falling object, a faulty ladder or scaffold, an unsafe slippery walkway or any number of other jobsite hazards, you need to speak to an expert. You and your family deserve nothing less.

To learn more about the Work Injury Lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy, please see the firm website at www.blockotoole.com. For a free consultation, please call us now at 212-736-5300.


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