Should I Hire a Construction Accident Attorney?
When a construction site accident happens, it's essential to understand your legal options. Often, hiring a construction accident attorney is a smart move. This legal professional specializes in personal injury law. They particularly focus on accidents that happen on job sites. They help navigate the complexities of the construction industry and investigate whether the company followed safety rules. They will also help effectively represent you if a lawsuit comes from your construction accident.
This article gives a brief overview of hiring construction accident attorneys. If you are an injured construction worker who suffered a construction accident injury, you will want to be familiar with these topics.
A Brief Overview of Construction Accidents
Construction sites are hazardous. They teem with potential risks. Crane operation mishaps or falling objects are risks. Electrocution, trench cave-ins, and equipment malfunctions are also typical types of construction accidents. These accidents can lead to serious injuries or even fatalities. Often, accidents are preventable. They can happen because of violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. General contractors, subcontractors, or even property owners might violate OSHA's regulations.
A construction accident can lead to various injuries. These injuries can include broken bones, disfigurement, and traumatic brain injuries. These injuries not only cause pain and suffering but also lead to high medical costs and lost wages due to time off work.
Workers' compensation benefits are usually available to cover some of these expenses. But, workers' comp benefits often fall short of meeting all the financial needs of accident victims. This is especially true when the injury is severe or results in long-term disability.
This is where a personal injury attorney can help. Personal injury lawyers are experts in laws surrounding work-related injuries. They can help you file a construction accident claim. They can offer a detailed case review. They can also do an evaluation to see if a third-party claim makes sense. This option is relevant when negligent parties other than your employer should be accountable for the accident. Examples include manufacturers, architects, or other contractors on the worksite. Lawyers can help you throughout your construction accident lawsuit.
How Would a Construction Accident Attorney Help?
Having an experienced construction accident attorney on your side will help you understand how to file a civil suit. They can help you decide under what legal theories to bring the action. They can also help you with a workers' compensation claim, if applicable.
A good construction accident attorney can help you recover losses resulting from your accident at work. They can also reduce the paperwork and hassle associated with your insurance and legal claims. Hiring a lawyer can make the difference between a justly resolved case and losing money caring for your injuries from the accident.
Lawyers contribute by offering the following services:
- Case evaluation: Lawyers give an initial case review. They will look at the facts to determine the potential for a successful claim.
- Legal advice: Attorneys can explain the laws applicable to your case. They can explain your rights and your options for compensation.
- Investigation: Lawyers can gather all necessary evidence. This can include medical records, safety reports, and eyewitness testimonies. This evidence can help you build a strong case.
- Negotiations with insurance companies: Attorneys are skilled negotiators. They can get a higher settlement offer from the insurance company than you might get on your own.
- Representation in court: If your case goes to trial, an attorney can represent you in court. They can present your case to the jury. They can also work to get the largest compensation possible.
An experienced construction accident lawyer can help you get compensation. This money covers any losses incurred due to the accident. Losses include medical expenses, lost wages, and future medical needs. An attorney can also help you and your family recover when a loved one dies on a construction project. These are wrongful death cases.
These lawyers are adept at dealing with insurance companies, including workers' compensation insurance. They can help you understand your rights. They can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. They can also help you get the largest compensation possible for your construction site injuries.
When To Hire a Construction Accident Lawyer
It's best to hire a construction accident lawyer early in the process. This can help avoid costly mistakes. The deadline to file your accident claims varies from state to state. Many states have a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim. This rule limits the amount of time you have to pursue a claim after the accident happens.
Personal injury attorneys understand these timelines. They can file your case promptly. Because you may need to pay for medical bills and cover your lost wages, the sooner you contact an attorney, the better. Generally, an injured worker should contact an attorney shortly after the accident happens, within one to two weeks.
If a representative of your employer or an insurance company comes to you with a settlement offer, don't sign it without first talking to an attorney. The settlement may not be in your best interests, especially if you have more injuries or financial losses not accounted for in the offer.
Here are several factors that can prompt you to hire an attorney instead of handling a claim yourself:
- The more severe the injury, the higher the potential compensation. A lawyer can help you document your injuries and prove their severity.
- If your injuries need long-term care or have resulted in permanent disability, an attorney can ensure that these costs are fully covered in your claim.
- If the responsible party or insurance company disputes their liability, a lawyer can collect and show evidence to support your claim. Sometimes insurance companies refuse to make a fair settlement offer or any offer at all. An attorney can negotiate and fight for your right to compensation.
- If someone other than your employer caused your injury, such as a subcontractor or equipment manufacturer, a lawyer can help you file a third-party claim.
- A lawyer can file your claim within the time limit or the statute of limitations.
Questions To Ask a Construction Accident Attorney
You want to find an experienced construction accident attorney who is well versed in the relevant state and national workplace safety, transportation, negligence, or product liability laws, knows how to deal with workers' comp, as well as insurance and health care companies, and knows how to prepare and settle a case effectively.
During this consultation, you should ask some preliminary questions to get to know the attorney and their experience, for example:
- How long have you been practicing law? How long with construction accident cases?
- What percentage of your practice is construction accident cases? How many construction accident cases have you handled? How often have they settled? Have you gone through litigation?
- What is a typical settlement range for cases like mine?
- What is your fee structure? What out-of-pocket expenses am I responsible for?
- Do you have any references?
These questions should help you get a better idea of your lawyer's talents, skills, and expertise.
Preparing for Your Initial Consultation
Many attorneys offer free, short consultations to decide if they can take your case. Before coming to speak with a prospective lawyer, you should have as much detailed information and facts about the construction accident and all your injuries and financial losses as possible. You should bring your employment contract or other paperwork. You should also bring pictures of the scene, your injuries, and your medical records. Bring any record of days you missed from work, among other things. These will help your lawyer determine the merit of your case and the best first steps to take.
If the lawyer's office isn't convenient, ask if your lawyer can meet you at your home or closer to your home, such as at a satellite office nearby. This is important if you're still recovering in the hospital or rehabilitation facility when you decide to hire an attorney.
In cities like New York City, with a booming construction industry, labor law specifically protects construction workers. A law office with personal injury attorneys experienced in these laws can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
The verdicts in personal injury cases can vary a lot. But a skilled attorney can increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome. They can help show the negligent party's fault. They can help prove your injuries. They can also detail how the accident has affected your life. In some cases, the compensation awarded can cover not just medical expenses and lost wages but also pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and even punitive damages.
How Much Does a Construction Accident Lawyer Cost?
The cost of a construction accident attorney is a concern for many people. But, most personal injury lawyers operate on what's known as a contingency fee basis. This means you pay no upfront costs for their legal services. Instead, the attorney will receive some of any settlement or court award resulting from your case. This is usually a percentage of the award, which can be anywhere from 25% to 40%.
If the attorney does not win your case, you generally do not owe them anything. But, some attorney agreements may include that the client may still be responsible for paying for administrative costs, such as court filing fees or investigative costs, even if you do not win your case. This contingency fee arrangement allows everyone, regardless of their financial situation, to have access to legal representation.
The eventual cost of an attorney can indeed be worth it for several reasons. For example, you have a better chance of higher compensation. Navigating the legal process can also be time-consuming and complex. An attorney can handle all aspects of your case, allowing you to focus on your recovery. Lawyers are also experienced negotiators. They have knowledge of the law and procedural rules that affect your case. For these reasons, a construction accident attorney is worth it.
Should I Hire a Construction Accident Attorney? Talk to One Today
Should you hire a construction accident attorney? The answer is usually yes. From ensuring OSHA compliance to understanding the intricacies of labor law and workers' comp benefits, a skilled personal injury law firm is your best bet for navigating the aftermath of an accident. This is true whether your accident was as commonplace as a car accident or as specialized as a construction site injury.
If you'd like to make a workers' compensation claim, contact your employer. If a third party caused your injury, you can file a claim in civil court for damages. A personal injury attorney can help with a personal injury lawsuit. But, before filing your claim, you should talk with a worker's compensation attorney to determine your best option moving forward.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Contact a qualified workers' compensation attorney to make sure your rights are protected.