Working on a construction site puts you at risk of sustaining injuries on a daily basis. Whether these injuries occur because of falls or contact with equipment, they have the power to change your life in an instant. One of the most serious types of accidents you may face on a work site involved getting caught between two objects or pieces of these equipment. These accidents often result in severe injuries that may even be fatal. If you or a loved one has been involved in this type of worksite accident, you need to seek counsel from an experienced personal injury attorney immediately.
About New York City Construction Site Injuries
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational injuries in New York City are on the rise. In fact, just in 2014, 78 people died because of construction site injuries in this city. In 2015, well over 300 worksite accidents occurred in New York City, resulting in both injury and death. These injuries and fatalities were related to a variety of different types of accidents, including accidents in which a worker became wedged between objects or equipment while on the job.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also reports that the number of "caught-between" accidents has remained relatively the same nationwide since 2008, while the number of fatalities related to this type of accident has risen by approximately 10 percent since 2003.
Most Common Injuries
Construction workers often become victims of "caught-between" accidents when they are wedged between semi-trailers and dock walls, truck frames and hydraulic beds or other such equipment. Being wedged between objects and/or equipment can cause a variety of serious, crushing, injuries, including:
- Head trauma.
- Injuries to the internal organs.
- Internal bleeding.
- Severe bruising and swelling.
In some cases, these injuries lead to chronic pain, exorbitant medical bills and lifelong disability. In the worst cases, a "caught-between" construction accident may even be fatal.
Should I File a Workers Compensation Claim?
If you were injured at work when you became caught between two objects and/or pieces of equipment, you may be entitled to compensation for the associated bills. In most cases, claims related to construction accidents must be filed with your employer's worker's compensation insurance company. If your claim is successful, you may be awarded compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses related to the injury.
Unfortunately, workers compensation claims aren't always approved immediately. Even if your claim is approved, the insurance adjuster may offer you far less than what you actually deserve. For this reason, hiring an experienced attorney who can help you qualify for the maximum amount of compensation is essential.
But Can't I Sue My Employer?
Unfortunately, in most cases, you won't be able to file a lawsuit against your employer even if the employer was the direct cause of your worksite accident. The employer purchases workers compensation to protect itself from this type of lawsuit, so you must typically file your claim with workers compensation instead. However, this doesn't mean that you can never sue anyone after you are injured on the job.
If a third party who is not your employer was responsible for your accident, you may be able to file a claim against this party directly. For example, if you became pinned between a piece of equipment and the wall because that piece of equipment was faulty, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the equipment's manufacturer. Likewise, if a coworker's negligence contributed to your accident, he or she may also be held responsible for your injuries.
Hiring an Attorney
Being injured at work takes a toll on you all on its own. When you add the stresses of fighting with workers compensation, the situation can quickly become unbearable. Reduce your anxiety by hiring an attorney who understands all of the complex laws that apply in these cases. Your attorney will not only help you obtain the maximum amount of benefits from workers compensation, but he or she will also review your case to determine whether anyone else involved in the accident may be held responsible for your injuries.
Here at the Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond, we have many years of experience representing clients in personal injury cases, including those involving "caught between" incidents. If you have been involved in one of these devastating workplace accidents, please contact our firm today to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services.