Tips that can protect your life and that of your family. Through my years of service representing workers who have been injured on the job, I have realized that the laborer is the individual who is at the most risk and has the least protection when working in construction. Our office has represented laborers who, instead of hiring a crane to lift an iron beam weighing more than 1000 pounds, were forced by their boss to lift it by hand. This resulted in the scaffolding collapsing under the weight and everyone falling to the ground, resulting in very serious injuries. Examples of worker abuse are abundant, the purpose of this article is to help you protect yourself.
1. ALWAYS WRITE DOWN THE ADDRESS OF THE PLACE WHERE YOU ARE WORKING.
Construction workers often travel from one site to another, working hard to support their families. This is especially true for those who work on changing and repairing roofs. When an accident happens, I have seen many clients who do not know the address of the location where the accident occurred. This is very important because the building where the accident occurred may be responsible for their injuries.
2. YOU HAVE TO PROVE THAT YOU WERE WORKING .
For many workers who receive payment in cash, they often cannot prove that they were working at the location where the accident happened at the time of the accident. Believe me, your boss will often forget that you work for him and he won't help you. It doesn't matter if you've worked for your boss for 30 years or just one day - when the accident happened, you only have to prove that it happened at work.
3. CALLING AN AMBULANCE IS IDEAL
Many of my clients, after suffering a work accident, are taken by their boss in a car to the hospital or to a doctor. In emergency situations, the boss gives their version of what happened and many times it's not correct. What's worse, the employer leaves my clients on their own to deal with it. Now, if an ambulance picks you up from the accident site, you can prove two important things: first, you were working when the accident happened and second, the ambulance will record the place where the accident occurred.
4. AFTER AN ACCIDENT, LET'S CALL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
A couple of years ago, a young Ecuadorian man called me after six months since his accident where he had amputated four fingers from his left hand. When I asked him the reason for his delay in seeking a lawyer, he explained to me that the Compensation Department was paying him and there was no hurry. Unfortunately for the young man, it was too late when he arrived at my office because the accident happened on a property belonging to a municipality, and under New York's laws, he had 90 days to notify the municipality in writing about his intention to sue due to the accident. Although we tried to help him, the court ruled against him, and the young man could not recover any compensation from the municipality. This is why the days after an accident are essential to obtain information (evidence) to assist you in your case. The longer it takes, the harder it is to take photos of the accident site and talk to witnesses.
A hardworking employee who has suffered an accident may receive monetary benefits from their employer called "Worker's Compensation," or better known as "Workers' Comp."
However, this compensation when working only covers medical expenses and any lost wages as a result of missed work time. So, while worker's compensation benefits the worker, the amount is not always sufficient compensation for one who has been seriously injured. There are times when it is possible to sue the owner of the building under construction to obtain more compensation. For example, the owner may be liable for the loss of their future wages, their future medical expenses, and their overall pain and suffering.
Call us now to see if you are eligible to receive more for your injuries. It's important to speak with an attorney immediately about your construction accident because the law requires certain claims to be made within a limited time frame.