Rebar injuries can be among the most dangerous and debilitating personal injuries, depending on where they occur and how long it is before you receive medical attention. If you or a loved one has been injured by rebar, you might wonder whether you can sue the at-fault party, especially if it’s your employer.
What Are Rebar Injuries?
“Rebar” is another word for steel reinforcing bars, which are common elements in a majority of construction sites. These steel reinforcing bars help to ensure that buildings retain their shape for a long time to come, preventing them from collapsing or degrading over time.
By its very nature, rebar is tough. But when it isn’t used or installed correctly, it becomes dangerous and even deadly. You can find steel rebar at most NYC construction sites. In many cases, one or both sides of rebar beams will probably be exposed, posing serious hazards to both construction workers and anyone else who might be on the construction site.
Some common rebar injuries include but are not limited to:
- Back injuries (e.g., disc herniations, compression fractures, etc.)
- External cuts
- Internal bleeding
- Strains, sprains, and tears
- Broken and/or fractured bones
For example, a piece of rebar might jut out from the ground at a construction site, causing a construction worker to trip, fall, and injure their head or hands. Alternatively, a piece of rebar might jut out from an incomplete wall, and someone might bump into it too hard, causing the rebar to pierce it and create severe injuries.
Frequency Of Rebar Injuries
Rebar injuries are much more common than you may think. According to OSHA, approximately 61% of construction accidents are due in part to rebar, whether by impalement or tripping hazards. Since the invention of steel reinforcement bars many generations ago, injuries because of rebar have become very commonplace occurrences despite efforts to mitigate their risks.
Because rebar injuries are so common and can occur to anyone, even experienced construction workers, it’s important to know what to do if you or a loved one is injured by rebar. You won’t get hazard pay, but you should be legally protected!
Can You Sue Your Employer For A Rebar Injury?
New York does allow you to sue your employer for rebar injuries and other worksite injuries under specific circumstances, wherein:
- It can be demonstrated that your employer was negligent
- This negligence led directly to the rebar injuries in question
Please note, however, that there are limitations that you must keep in mind. As an example, you can’t sue your employer for a rebar injury if the rebar injury occurred due to no fault. For instance, if a storm blows through a construction site, and a piece of rebar falls and hits you or a loved one on the head, your employer may not be found liable for such an act of God.
Seek Medical Attention First
While it’s understandable that you might want to sue your employer if you feel that they are ultimately responsible for your rebar injuries, there’s no need to rush into a lawsuit immediately after the incident. Instead, you should first call 911 and/or seek out medical attention.
This is critical, as rebar injuries can worsen when not treated properly and in a timely fashion. Not only can the physical damage be extreme, but exposed rebar is often covered in bacteria, which can lead to bodily infections and sepsis. Qualified personnel can treat your rebar injuries quickly. Only after you are stabilized should you think about suing your employer for financial compensation.
Let’s dive a little deeper. To successfully sue your employer for a rebar injury, you must prove that they were negligent in some way.
In this sense, negligence means:
- Your employer owed a duty of care to you and your fellow workers
- Your employer violated the duty of care knowingly or maliciously
- The violation of the duty of care directly led to or contributed to your injuries
For example, imagine a circumstance where a construction company orders its employees to move into an unfinished construction site without adequate safety gear, like thick boots and hard hats.
One (1) of the employees stepped on a piece of exposed rebar because they were not provided with proper gear. In this instance, the employer could be found liable for negligence – the employer knew about the hazards but neglected to give the employees the tools they needed to protect themselves.
Even though you might think negligence should be easy to prove, it often isn’t. Knowledgeable attorneys like Schwartzapfel Lawyers can help you determine whether your employer will likely be found negligent in court or during the settlement process.
You Can’t Collect Workers’ Compensation
If you choose to sue your employer for a rebar injury, keep in mind that you likely won’t be able to collect workers’ compensation for the same injury. Employees are barred from suing their employer for the same injuries that they collect workers’ comp for under any circumstances. You have to choose one or the other.
This decision can be more difficult than you initially expect. With workers’ compensation, you might receive payment to cover your medical bills and any time spent away from work faster than even the most expedited lawsuit process. Furthermore, there’s no telling what kind of damages or monetary award you might receive from a successful lawsuit.
If you aren’t sure whether you should collect workers’ compensation, you can speak with Schwartzapfel Lawyers right away online or at 516-342-2200. It will be our honor and privilege to provide you with tried-and-true legal advice that will help you make the best decision based on the details of your case.
Attorneys Can Assist Throughout The Process
Speaking of attorneys, it’s always wise to get in touch with legal representatives as soon as you decide you may want to sue your employer for a rebar injury. The right attorneys can provide lots of benefits to your case from start to finish. Let’s take a closer look.
For starters, personal injury or construction accident attorneys can gather evidence for you while you recover from your rebar injuries. This is extremely important, as any lawsuit or court case will likely require you and your attorneys to prevent significant evidence showing negligence on the part of your employer.
Relevant evidence often includes things like eyewitness accounts, your initial workplace injury report, medical reports, camera footage, and much more. As its gathering can be tiring or even impossible to do by yourself, your attorneys can do most of it for you.
Provide Legal Counsel
Broadly speaking, attorneys can also provide you with sound legal counsel. If you have questions about the process, such as how long it will probably take or how much money you might recover, they can answer those queries in no time.
Moreover, they can tell you whether you should pursue arbitration or accept a settlement offer from your employer or if it’s wiser to go forward with the lawsuit all the way up to trial. As each situation is different, it’s highly recommended that you hire a skilled construction accident attorney who will help you make the right choice for your family.
Represent You in Court
If your case does go to court, your attorneys can represent you instead of you having to answer questions and present evidence by yourself. On top of that, attorneys can coach you on what to say, how to hold yourself, and how to make your case as compelling and persuasive as possible.
Note: You should never assume that a lawsuit against your employer is open and shut, even if you have plenty of evidence showing negligence.
Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today
Depending on the circumstances of your rebar injury, you may be able to sue your employer if you are a construction worker or pedestrian who was injured due to a NYC construction site. In either event, you’ll be better off with knowledgeable attorneys at your side.
That’s why you should contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers right away. Our experienced attorneys have helped hundreds of New Yorkers just like you recover millions of dollars for their rebar and related injuries. To start recovering the money and benefits you deserve, simply dial 516-342-2200 or visit us online to schedule your free case evaluation today!
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!