Between January 2015 and December 2019, 3,045 construction workers were injured on the job in New York City. Many of those workers had spouses and children.
If you just received the call that your husband was injured at his construction job, there is help available. Take a deep breath, read this quick post to make sure you are clear on what to do, and then give us a call.
1) Get Medical Treatment and Take Photos
Unfortunately, the stereotype that men are less willing to seek medical treatment is often true. Men may want to “walk off” a workplace injury because they worry that their job will be put at risk.
All too often, this makes injuries worse. Prompt medical treatment is always the best option, no matter how small the injury may seem to be.
If your husband has been hurt at work, get him to a doctor as soon as possible. Symptoms can often escalate in the hours after an incident, so time is of the essence. Even if he doesn’t want to go to the emergency room, you have to get him to a licensed medical professional anyway.
Once he is receiving treatment, take any photos of the injuries that you can. Then, when a diagnosis has been made, all doctor’s orders should be strictly adhered to. This documentation will only support you in future insurance claims.
2) File a Report with the Construction Company or Subcontractor
Paper trails are vital! Just as we mentioned above, the more documentation you can have, the stronger your case will be.
Filing swiftly will keep your options open as you go through the legal process. The employer should have completed a First Report of Injury Form.
Take some time to go over this report with your spouse, line by line. You want to make sure the report is completely accurate and no details are left out.
Even if your spouse doesn’t feel comfortable saying that his employer was at fault for the accident, it is crucial that a report be filed anyway. This will only help you in the long run.
3) Hire a Trustworthy Lawyer
Workers’ compensation cases, especially in construction, are tricky. Insurance companies are not on your side. They are only concerned about their own interests and will go to great lengths to give you the smallest amount of compensation possible.
Experienced, trustworthy attorneys make all the difference in these cases. They will walk you through, step-by-step, what is strong or weak evidence, what legal processes exist and are applicable to your case, and what additional protocols you need to have in place to protect yourselves from further harm.
4) Building A Case Outside of Workers Comp
Many employers will have employees sign employment agreements that prohibit them from suing the employer if they get injured. Normally this makes filing a Workers Comp claim a logical first step.
However, in certain circumstances there is still a way to file a lawsuit. It won't be against your employer, but against a third party. Often this will be the property owner that is responsible.
Note that you can still file a regular Workers Comp claim in any case, and any potential lawsuit you file will be in addition to that.
5) Prepare for a Long Wait
You can’t afford to wait around for your husband’s employer to do the right thing. And you can’t rely on the insurance companies to take care of you.
You have to act fast now because the legal process is slow enough on its own. Insurance litigation and court proceedings take time.
So let our family take care of your family. Our New York City Personal Injury Law Firm, Smiley & Smiley LLP, has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in combined compensation for clients since its founding more than 53 years ago.
You deserve top tier legal support so that you can focus your energy on helping your spouse heal. We understand how tough this time is in your life, so we don’t charge any upfront fees. We only get paid when we win.
Give us a call today at 212-986-2022 for a free consultation.