According to United States’ federal law, a catastrophic injury is something that “permanently prevents” you from “performing any gainful work.” Catastrophic injuries are something that construction workers know all too well. Construction workers also know, though, that an injury need not fit into this narrow definition to be a catastrophe for you and your family. Just because your injury hasn’t left you so disabled that you can never hold down any kind of job again doesn’t mean that your injury has not inflicted massive harm. To get the compensation you deserve, whether yours is a catastrophic injury or a massively damaging non-catastrophic injury, be sure you have the knowledge and skill of an experienced New York City construction injury attorney on your side.
A man working in Nassau County recently experienced a major injury that, while not technically “catastrophic,” will undoubtedly alter his life forever. The 39-year-old man was working as part of a road crew when a steel plate struck him. The impact with the plate severed the man’s legs below the knees and thrust him down into a 10-foot hole. Responding officers’ quick action in reaching the man and applying tourniquets to his legs may have saved the worker’s life, according to a Newsday report
Certainly, an injury like this does not mean that this man can never work again in any job. With proper education and/or training, the injured worker may be able to find a new career. However, the accident may well mean that this man will never work a construction job again. Transitioning to a new career field has the potential to be expensive, stressful and may require considerable “lead time” before the man can actually begin a job and earn an income in that new field.
If you find yourself severely injured as a result of an accident like this, you may have various options for getting the financial compensation you and your family may desperately need. New York law has certain statutes that exist to allow injured construction workers to seek financial recovery. One of these is Section 240(1) of the Labor Law, and it is nicknamed the “Scaffold Law.” Although it bears that nickname, you need not have been using a scaffold to obtain an award of damages under Section 240(1) claim.
The statute actually says that the general contractor on your site and the owner of the property (along with others, potentially) have a legal obligation to provide you with proper safety protections against “gravity-related” risks of harm. Although this often means a worker suffering a fall or a falling object striking a worker, courts have allowed certain workers to recover when both they and the object that hit them were on the same elevation, as long as the force of gravity played an integral role in the injury.
Getting full compensation may mean recovering many different types of damages
Once you’ve established liability, you’ll need to demonstrate to the court that you’ve suffered the sort of harm for which the law allows you to receive compensation. You may be able to recover damages for the medical bills you’ve racked up so far, the medical expenses you’ll reasonably incur in the future, damages for your past and future lost wages and damages for your pain and suffering.
You also be able to seek an award for your lost union benefits. For many union construction workers, suffering an accident like this Long Island man can mean never returning to your job and therefore losing extensive and highly valuable union benefits ranging from health coverage to a pension (among other things).
If you’ve suffered a serious injury at your construction job, that accident may have changed your life forever. Be sure you’re taking the steps necessary to get the compensation you need. Reach out to the skilled New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates. Our team has many years of experience helping injured workers seek the recovery they deserve.
Contact us at (718) 651-4363 to find out how we can help you.
More Blog Posts:
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, 23 de Enero de 2019
Catholic Mass to Honor New York Construction Workers Killed on the Job Reminds All of the Importance of Workplace Safety, Blog de Abogado en la Ciudad de Nueva York, 30 de Mayo de 2018