“What goes up must come down.” – Isaac Newton
Gravity is a simple concept that we often take for granted. Ideally, things come back down to earth in a controlled manner that is safe for everyone in the vicinity.
Unfortunately, the reality is different, and many people are injured in New York City every year by falling objects, falls from heights, falls off of ladders and falls off of scaffolding.
Recent months have provided many examples of such fall-related incidents, including:
- Bricks from a high-rise renovation threatening pedestrians
- A bartender narrowly escaping his funeral when a tree falls on him
- A failed guardrail at NYC’s tallest building
- A construction worker severely injured in a fall down an elevator shaft
- A 3-year-old child falling down an elevator shaft in a catering hall
- A construction worker impaled after a five-story fall
These frightening incidents are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to injuries caused by falls or falling objects in NYC. The question is not if but when similar incidents will happen again.
More importantly, how will you respond if you or a loved one is harmed by a fall? What are your legal options after a fall? How can you best position yourself to recover the compensation you need for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost earnings, and other accident-related damages?
After The Fall: What You Need To Do
Aside from seeking medical care to have your injuries treated and documented by a doctor, the most important thing you can do is speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.
As friendly and helpful as he or she may sound on the phone when you first make contact, the representative from the insurance company is not on your side. It is in the insurer’s interest to limit the money it pays out, and that means limiting the resources you have to make as full a recovery as possible from your injuries.
An attorney can make you aware of your rights and begin the process of gathering evidence. That is a critical component of maximizing recovery, as it will be necessary to demonstrate that a party acted negligently. Depending on the specifics of an injury, negligence can take many forms.
Here are questions an attorney may ask after an accident, using the above incidents as examples:
- Were precautions taken to contain debris in the construction zone?
- Had the tree been inspected regularly by NYC arborists?
- Was the elevator regularly maintained and inspected? Was the entrance properly marked?
- Was the worker provided a harness? Were safety codes and procedures followed on the construction site?
- Were guardrails set up? Was the worker provided a harness?
- Was the guardrail properly installed? Was it regularly inspected and maintained?
An Attorney Can Find The Answers And Hold People Accountable
When safety regulations are ignored and responsibilities shirked, people can get hurt or worse. A personal injury attorney can make sure negligent parties – whether people, corporations or government entities – are held accountable.
At Block O’Toole & Murphy, we have recovered more than $800 million in verdicts and settlements for the injured and their families. This represents more than dollars and cents; it represents accountability and making things right for people hurt through no fault of their own.