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Depending on how your construction accident took place and the severity of your injury or injuries, your case could be worth tens of thousands of dollars or even millions. Multiple parties, including general contractors, project owners, project managers, or property owners may be held responsible for your accident. One New York State labor law offers construction workers more protection (in the event of a work injury) than employees in other professions. If the accident that caused your injury was in violation of §240(1) of the New York State’s Labor Law (otherwise known as the “Scaffold Law”), your general contractor, project owner in charge, project manager, or property owner will be held 100% liable and their liability insurance must cover all of your damages. In essentially all other personal injury cases, liability is apportioned between the plaintiff and defendant to an amount equal to 100%. This is known as “comparative negligence”.
However, if your general contractor, project owner, project manager, or property owner did not violate the “Scaffold Law”, your case will be handled under a comparative negligence system. You may be found 30% liable for your injury whereas the property owner of the construction site is found 70% liable. Determining liability is the first phase of your case.
Your damages must then be assessed. Your personal injury attorney will employ expert witnesses such as a vocational expert who can gauge your future lost wages if you are unable to perform your work duties, a medical expert who can attest to the severity of your injuries, and a life care planner who can discuss how your injuries will affect your future (if you are in need of home assistance, long-term rehabilitative services, etc.). You’re entitled to compensation for emergency medical treatment, lost income during your recovery, current/future medical expenses, current/future loss of income, pain and suffering, physical therapy, modifications to your home to accommodate a permanent disability, and long-term nursing care for a permanent disability. The damages you receive for your losses will be proportionate to the liability of the defendant(s). For example, if your damages are found to be $1 Million in total, and the defendant is found 70% liable, they will responsible for paying $700,000 to compensate for your damages. It’s important to note that more than one party may be held liable for your damages.