Commonly Asked Questions about Construction Accident Cases
When It Comes To Construction Accidents, What Components Make Up For A Viable Case?
Most people probably are not sophisticated enough to understand whether it is in violation of the law or not. Therefore, the first step they should do is just document whatever happened, take pictures of the area where they fell. If they are injured and they just fell because something collapsed, they should ask a coworker to take pictures. All these workers now have cell phones, so it is very easy just to grab a cell phone and take a few pictures or a quick video. Documenting what happened is really the key to establishing whether or not there is a viable case.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations On These Types Of Claims?
The statute of limitations in general for a construction accident is three years. If there is a municipality involved, if the construction occurred on the municipality or on public lands, such as the city of New York or it was a municipal project in general, or a New York City Transit Authority project or Port Authority project, the statute of limitations is a year and ninety days. However, you only have ninety days to file a notice to claim with the applicable authority. The other caveat is that on certain bridges, the thruway authority has to be filed with the court of claims as opposed to the New York Supreme Court. Also, a notice of intent to file claim has to be filed within ninety days and then the statute of limitations is two years. Thereafter, you have to then file an actual claim with the court of claims.
In the case of wrongful death in New York, the statute of limitations in general is two years which begins to run from the time that the estate is appointed, which means that the surrogate’s court officially issues letters of administration to the next of kin or a personal representative of the estate.
Do These Cases Typically Take A Long Time To Resolve As They Are Quite Complicated?
Definitely. Almost all personal injury cases in New York take a long time to resolve. The reason is that once a case is settled, it is settled. It is over, it is done. You cannot go back and ask for more. Typically, workplace accident attorneys do not know how someone’s injuries are going to heal right after the accident. There can always be complications and sometimes, there is even medical malpractice or a failure to treat a particular problem or even failure to diagnose an injury right away. It is not uncommon for an injury to be missed initially and then found later on. Therefore, these cases always take a long time to resolve because attorneys need to know how well someone is going to heal if they are going to have a permanent, lifelong injury or if it is something that will last six months to a year and then they are okay.
Attorneys also want to make sure before they settle the case that the injured worker is able to return to his normal work. If he is not able to return to his normal work, then they have to do an economic projection of what he can make now versus what he or she could have made in their old profession. All these factors are reasons why these types of cases take a long period of time. Also, in a number of the counties such as the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, there are Court long backlogs, so the courts just have a lot of people waiting to get to a trial. In Westchester and Rockland, these cases tend to move a lot faster, but the backlog is partially responsible for why these cases take a long period of time to resolve.
If you need answers to Commonly Asked Questions about Construction Accident Cases, call the Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC for a FREE Initial Consultation at (212) 858-0503 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.