6 Steps for Choosing the Best Construction Site Accident Lawyer

6 Steps for Choosing the Best Construction Site Accident Lawyer

Steven Schwartzapfel -Founding Partner Jan 27, 2022

For more than 35 years, Steven Schwartzapfel, the founding member of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., has been one of New York’s most prominent personal injury attorneys. Steve represents clients in all types of personal injury cases. His experience, skill, and dedication have enabled Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. to recover hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients.

There’s always something under construction in New York City. But that also means that construction site accidents are incredibly common in this Metropolitan hub. Unfortunately, construction workers cannot always get the compensation they need to pay for their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.

Construction site accident lawyers are the answer. These legal professionals can assist in a variety of ways, ranging from helping you file your lawsuit to presenting your case persuasively in court.

But it’s one thing to hire any construction site accident attorney. It’s another thing entirely to choose the absolute best construction site accident lawyers for your case. Determining whether a law firm is worth your time and money can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for.

Today, let’s break down the steps for choosing the best construction site accident lawyer for your lawsuit.

Determine the Type of Lawsuit You’re Eligible For

Construction site accidents are among the most common in New York City, even compared to auto accidents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry has the highest number of fatalities in New York City compared to all other industries.

Furthermore, the construction industry has remained dangerous for workers as of 2019, although fatality rates have gone down since 2016. In 2020, there were nearly 500 construction-related accidents and over 500 construction-related injuries in all five boroughs of the Big Apple.

However, these accidents occur because of many different root causes. The cause of your construction site accident will determine which lawsuit you can file.

Workers’ Compensation

If a workplace or employee for a construction company is found responsible for a construction site accident, the victim may qualify for a workers’ compensation lawsuit. Practically all major businesses carry workers’ compensation insurance. The insurance is intended to cover the cost of medical expenses and lost wages for workers who are injured on the job.

However, some companies refuse to pay workers’ compensation to their employees, even if those employees are injured while performing their regular duties. Victims of construction site accidents are able to sue their employers if they don’t receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

Product Liability

In other cases, a defective product, tool, or protective equipment may lead to a construction site accident. For example, improperly made gloves could cause a welder to develop burns while performing their regular duties.

In such circumstances, the worker may qualify for both workers’ compensation insurance and a product liability lawsuit. With a product liability lawsuit, the victim sues the manufacturer of the defective product to receive compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.

Personal Injury

Even if a construction worker receives workers’ compensation, they may still qualify for a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury lawsuits are typically filed against a third-party (i.e., not an employer, manager, or product manufacturer). 

For instance, if a drunk driver drives through a construction site and hits a construction worker, the driver may be found at fault in a personal injury lawsuit.

Wrongful Death

Unfortunately, some construction site accidents lead to fatal injuries. In such situations, the family of a deceased construction worker may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. 

New York State law defines wrongful death as any death caused by another person or party’s direct negligence. Only the executor or personal representative of the deceased may file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Contact a Lawyer With Experience in the Right Area

Once you’ve determined which lawsuit(s) you can file, you can then look for lawyers who have the right experience for the case. This is important because only certain lawyers have the knowledge and skills necessary to carry your case to success. After all, it doesn’t make sense to hire a lawyer with experience in workers’ compensation if you’re trying to win an auto accident case.

To that end, you should hire an attorney who focuses on workers’ compensation, personal injuries, product liability, or wrongful death. Many New York City attorneys, such as Schwartzapfel Lawyers P. C., practice in all of these areas and more, making them excellent choices for construction site accident victims.

By hiring versatile lawyers such as Schwartzapfel Lawyers P. C., you’ll have experienced legal professionals on your team to help you file as many lawsuits as are necessary to get the compensation you deserve and need.

Call us today at 1-800-966-4999 to get the compensation and benefits you deserve. 

Find Reviews and Testimonials

Because there are many lawyers to choose from, you should only hire legal professionals who have the reviews and testimonials to back up their claims of excellence.

To that end, check review websites, including Google and Yelp.

See what reviews the law firm in question has, if any, and read the reviews carefully. Due to the nature of online reviews, most reviews will be written by former clients who were either thrilled with their experience or bitterly disappointed. In both cases, you can gain valuable information about a potential legal partnership before signing on the dotted line.

Reviews and testimonials will also give you an idea of how seriously a law firm takes its clients’ cases. No matter the specific lawsuit you plan to file, you’ll only want to partner with lawyers who treat your case as seriously as it deserves to be treated.

Check for Case History and News Articles

Next, search the law firm you are considering hiring to see if there are any historical cases or news articles concerning their successes and failures. Again, this is important to determine whether a law firm is really worth your time and money.

In many cases, news articles can give tell you about prior settlements or successful case outcomes for a law firm. Many of the best legal teams will also include testimonials or prior case results on their company websites – these provide easy links to proof of the team’s performance.

If a law firm looks like it only wins its cases rarely, it may not be the right choice for your construction accident lawsuit. That said, keep in mind that no law firm wins 100% of their cases.

Call for a Free Consultation

Any construction site accident lawyer worth their salt will provide a free consultation and give you time to ask questions before requiring any payment. In fact, many construction site accident attorneys only charge you money if they win your case.

If you think a law firm will be a good fit for your needs, give them a call. Not only does this give you the opportunity to ask important questions (see more below), but it also allows you to speak to one of the attorneys who may be handling your case directly.

These meetings are important for determining the real value and intellectual vigor of a law professional. 

Ask the Lawyer the Right Questions

When you make a phone call or get an in-person meeting with a prospective attorney, you need to ask several key questions to determine whether they’ll be the right pick for your case. These questions include but are not limited to:

  • How long the attorney or law firm has been practicing in your case’s area. Generally, law firms with many years of experience are better choices.
  • How many attorneys and staff members the law firm has on hand to handle your case. Some smaller law firms only have a couple of legal professionals in total. Others may have many team members, so they may be able to handle multiple cases simultaneously.
  • Whether the person you are meeting with will handle your case personally. Many construction site accident victims sign up for legal services from a firm, then are dismayed when they are assigned an attorney they’ve never met before. If you like the impression you got from an attorney you met with, request that they handle your case personally.
  • When payment is due, as well as how much your case will likely cost. Although some attorneys work pro bono, this is rarer than not. An honest, trustworthy attorney will be upfront about the cost of their services and won’t try to string you along with weak promises.
  • What the chances of your case’s success are.

The last question is especially important when you are vetting lawyers. A lawyer who claims that your case is an open-and-shut, slamdunk lawsuit might be lying. Even cases with the most outward or apparent conclusions may end up convoluted or confused when the time comes to present your evidence in court.

Generally, the best construction site accident lawyers will tell you this upfront. They will not promise success for your case no matter what, though they will pledge to do their best. If a lawyer provides a conservative, careful answer to the last question, they’re more likely to be the right person for your lawsuit.

When Not To Hire a Construction Site Accident Lawyer

Just like there are things to look for when hiring a construction site accident lawyer, there are also things to avoid or take as red flags. These include:

  • Claims of 100% success. No law firm, no matter its proficiency or the skill of its lawyers, wins all of its cases. Therefore, legal companies who claim to win all of their cases may be trying to scam you.
  • Guarantees of any sort. Once again, lawsuit outcomes are not entirely up to the skills and knowledge of attorneys. If a law firm promises specific results, especially certain dollar amounts in compensation, move on.
  • Cagey answers to the questions described above. You should only hire lawyers who give you direct, honest answers to your questions. For example, if you ask a construction site accident attorney how long your case will take and they give you a blunt answer, they are likely more trustworthy than a lawyer who smooths over the answer with fibs. 

If you speak to an attorney and feel that they aren’t listening to you or that they just see you as another case on a growing pile, don’t sign up for their services. It’s still a good idea to seek out legal assistance, but don’t settle for a subpar law firm when you can always get top-tier counsel elsewhere.

Key Takeaways

All in all, choosing the best construction site accident lawyer is a matter of patience, research, and trusting your instincts. When the time comes to choose a law firm, you’ll know in your gut whether you’ve made the right choice when you sign up for their services.

Let us make things even easier for you: contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers P. C. right away at 1-800-966-4999. As experienced construction site accident attorneys who also have experience with auto accidents, personal injuries, and more, we are well-equipped and more than capable of helping you get the compensation you deserve for your accident.

We also don’t require any contract signatures or commitments when you give us a call. Instead, we can offer a free case evaluation, so you know exactly what your case entails and the potential damages you could receive with the right case strategy.

Why wait? You deserve compensation for your injuries now, not later. Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers P. C. today at 1-800-966-4999, and let’s get started.

 

Sources:

Fatal Occupational Injuries in New York City – 2019 | BLS

nycosh report reveals alarming trend as new york city construction deaths continue to spiral upwards | NYCOSH.org

Construction Accident Summary | NYC Government Database

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