It is quite possible that you remember every detail, both large and small, about the moments leading up to your workplace injury at your construction job. However, it is also possible that your construction injury accident may be something that you don’t remember at all. That can possibly present a problem in your legal case, but it does not have to be an insurmountable issue. Even if you don’t remember, and even if there were only a very few witnesses to the accident, that does not necessarily spell doom for your construction injury lawsuit. Potentially, having as few as one witness can be enough; in fact, it may even be helpful to your case. The key thing, of course, is doing your “homework” before trial to identify that witness (or witnesses) who can give the court the proof that is required. To get the help you need to accomplish this and other necessary tasks in your case, be sure you have a skilled New York City construction injury attorney on your side.
To see an example of this concept in action, one needs to look no further than Brooklyn, and the recent case filed by W.W., who was working as a union lather in 2014 when he was hurt one morning at his job. The challenge the latter faced was that he had no memory of the accident itself. One moment he was working, the next moment he was knocked out.
If you are pursuing a construction injury lawsuit under New York Labor Law statutes (Sections 240(1) and 241(6)), then the law requires you to have “personal knowledge of exactly how” the accident happened. Without that, the people and entities that you’ve sued may be able to get your case dismissed. As a result, having no memory of your accident can possibly be a very stressful thing.
Fortunately, even if you have no memory of your accident, you can still succeed. W.W. was able to track down a co-worker, M.W., who saw the incident firsthand and recalled how the accident happened. According to M.W., W.W. was working and a group of carpenters was working above him. One of the carpenters was cutting a board and, when he finished, the cut piece fell through a hole in the floor, plummeted roughly seven feet down and slammed into W.W.’s head.
How ‘uncontroverted evidence’ can be a key to your success
Sometimes, having only one witness can even be a good thing if that witness’s recollection firmly supports your case. The law allows you to pursue something called summary judgment, which is a legal procedure through which you can get a ruling holding the defendants liable without you having to go through a full trial on liability. One of the most important things you can have if you’re seeking summary judgment in your construction injury case is something called “uncontroverted evidence.” What that means is that you have evidence that supports your assertions about the case, and the other side has no proof of any kind to indicate that your proof is inaccurate.
In W.W.’s case, M.W.’s testimony was uncontroverted proof. M.W.’s recollection clearly showed that W.W. was hurt because he was not provided with adequate safety protections against falling objects like carpenters’ boards. That was enough to entitle W.W. to summary judgment. His evidence showed that “ongoing carpentry work involving loose lumber pieces that are foreseeably heavy enough to cause serious injury” caused the lather to suffer an “elevation-related” harm.
Having won his summary judgment request, W.W. was able to proceed to a trial focused solely on the issue of exactly how much his compensation should be.
There may be many ways to achieve success in your construction injury case, even if you face challenges like a lack of numerous witnesses to your accident. To help select the best path forward and pursue it in the most effective way possible, be sure you have in-depth legal knowledge in your corner. Contact the New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates, where we have many years of experience helping injured workers seek the positive outcomes they deserve.
Contact us at (718) 651-4363 to find out how we can help you.
More Blog Posts:
Un Carpintero de Nueva York Gana Caso de Accidente de Construcción Debido a Materiales Desechados, Blog de Abogado en la Ciudad de Nueva York, 12 de Febrero de 2019
The Many Options that May Exist If You’ve Been Hurt at Work in New York, Blog de Abogado en la Ciudad de Nueva York, Janunary 23, 2019