In a popular 1980s movie, the henchman to the film’s main villain is asked by the police, “Did you see anything?” In his response, which is the movie’s last line of dialogue, the stunned and confused henchman simply mumbles, “A polar bear fell on me.”
In that movie, the accident’s peculiar nature and the henchman’s dazed description are meant to be amusing to the audience. However, when something unusual falls on you at your construction job, causing you to suffer significant injuries, it is exactly the opposite of a laughing matter. It is scary, frustrating, confusing and stressful. To take away some of that stress, fear and confusion, you need an experienced New York City construction injury attorney to help you identify your options within the legal system, and then pick the best one for your specific situation.
One thing that is important to understand about falling object injuries at construction sites is that not all injuries caused by falling objects will entitle the injured worker to compensation. (Do not dismay, though; a lot of them do trigger an award of damages.) As a recent case that began in Westchester County illustrated, success often depends on giving the court the evidence needed to show that your falling object accident meets all the requirements to be covered by the law.
In that Westchester County case, R.P. was one of the workers taking apart a “metal grid consisting of vertical posts and horizontal girders that hold plywood sheets in place while concrete is drying.” Reportedly, while R.P. was doing his job on the first floor, a 4-by-8 piece of plywood fell from the first-floor roof and hit R.P., knocking him to the ground.
The law that R.P. used to pursue his case for compensation is one that protects workers from “elevation-related” risks of harm, which includes worker falls and falling objects hitting workers. In a falling object case, you have to prove more than just that you were hurt by a falling object hitting you. You also have to prove to the court that the object was being hoisted, was being secured or required securing for the purposes of the job at hand.
R.P. had that proof, which is why he won his case before the Appellate Division court. He had testimony from a co-worker that there had been a vertical post that secured the plywood but that, about 20-30 minutes before the accident, a different worker removed the post and left the plywood unsecured in the ceiling.
Putting it all together, the injured worker had proof that an object fell, that it hit him, that the accident caused him to suffer injuries and that the object that hit him should have been secured in place but was unsecured at the time of the accident. That was all R.P. needed for a winning lawsuit in his falling-object case, and that may be all you need to win your case if you were hurt by a falling object at your construction job – regardless of whether the object was something common like falling rebar or plywood, or a more unusual type of falling-object accident.
To help you choose the best plan of response after you’ve been hurt in a construction accident, call upon the New York City construction injury attorneys at Arcia & Associates. Our experienced team has many years of handling a wide variety of construction injury cases, helping clients to tackle the process and get the results they need. Contact us at (718) 651-4363 to find out how we can help you.