A Catastrophically Injured Construction Worker Reaches a $36 Million Settlement With the City of New York

In any construction injury lawsuit, getting a truly successful outcome is about more than a judgment in your favor; it’s also about an award of damages — or a settlement amount — that accurately reflects the harm you suffered and adequately positions you and your family to deal with the challenges that will inevitably lay ahead. That’s especially true if you suffered catastrophic injuries in your construction accident.

A skilled New York City construction accident attorney can help with getting that award or settlement. Your attorney can help you develop the evidence you need to prove your damages. Whether it involves photographic evidence, testimony or expert opinion evidence from medical or industry experts, your attorney can help you decide what proof your case needs. Your attorney can also help you as you make vital choices like whether to accept a settlement or continue litigating.

R.T., a journeyman construction worker, was someone who experienced that kind of catastrophic injury, according to a Daily News report. A co-worker was operating a mobile excavator (a/k/a a wheel excavator) when that machine struck an overhead utility line, with the line becoming snagged. This caused the utility pole attached to the line to fall, the pole to slam into R.T.’s head and that impact to send the man flying down some 15-20 feet, where he landed at the bottom of an excavation trench.

In addition to a traumatic brain injury, R.T. suffered head and numerous spinal fractures. These fractures left the man paralyzed in his arms and legs. As one might expect with an extensive injury of this sort, R.T. requires the aid of a wheelchair. He has also spent an extended time in the hospital, and required multiple surgeries and many hours of rehabilitation, according to the report.

According to R.T.’s attorneys, the accident happened, in part, because someone who was supposed to be taking steps to ensure worker safety didn’t do their job. R.T.’s lawsuit asserted that the wire that became entangled with the excavator machine “was obsolete and should have been removed as part of the routine preparation process of the work site,” according to the Daily News report. The wire was not removed, however, and R.T.’s life was altered permanently.

Fortunately, in New York, there is help

Laws that protect construction workers require construction site owners and general contractors on project to ensure that all workers have the safeguards they need. Section 240(1) of the Labor Law says that workers must receive all necessary protection from potential falling objects, as well as risks of falls. If the pole that hit R.T. fell due to a failure to remove an obvious hazard (in the obsolete wire,) then R.T. might have been entitled to a summary judgment, meaning that he would be required at his trial only to demonstrate how extensive his damages were and how much compensation he should receive.

R.T. and his legal team were able to reach a settlement with the defendants in which R.T. was paid $36 million. That substantial sum was enough to convince R.T. that it was in his best interest to take the payment and end his case. In your case, your attorney can use his experience with past cases to help you assess a settlement offer and decide if it is substantial enough to warrant settling, or so low as to make continued litigation the better option.

Whenever or not your New York construction accident has left you catastrophically injured, it is without question a very trying time for your entire family. You and your family may feel stress about your health and, especially if you were the sole or primary income earner in your family, may justifiably be worried about how the family is going to pay the bills and meet other financial obligations.

Don’t make worrying about your legal options and how to go about obtaining the compensation you need one of those stressors. Instead, reach out to the knowledgeable New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates for the legal representation you need. Our team has many years helping injured workers get the vital compensation they deserve.

Contact us at (718) 651-4363 today.

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