Frequently Asked Questions.
- What type of construction accidents does Green & Szymanski accept?
We accept all construction accident cases.
Fall from a ladder
Fall from a scaffold
Fall from a roof
Fall through unprotected shafts
Defective and broken tools
Dangerous and unsafe work conditions
Electric shock and electrocution
Head injury and brain damage
Any other accident that occurred at a construction site
- I had an accident at work, what benefits are available to me?
The laws of New York provide exceptional protection for construction workers. If you were involved in an accident at a work site, or any work related accident, you might be entitled to receive compensation for pain and suffering, free medical treatment, free medication, and reimbursement for lost wages.
New York laws allow you recover money damages for your pain and suffering in addition to what you might be entitled to through the Workers Compensation benefits. In other words, you can have two cases. While your current medical bills are covered, and while you receive lost wages benefits, we will litigate your case in Court to obtain the maximum monetary compensation for pain and suffering.
- What if the accident was my fault?
Section 240(1) of the Labor Law provides that those responsible for the safety of the work site have a non-delegable duty to provide you with a safe work environment, and protection from any gravity related risk. It means that you cannot be found liable, or negligent for your accident, if you were caused to fall from a ladder, fall from a scaffold, or when a falling object strikes you. Even if you think that your acts might have contributed to the accident, by law it is never your fault. The safe work site, and any safety devices must be provided to you by the general contractor and/or the owner of the premises. Our attorneys have years of experience in arguing construction accident cases before the New York Courts to establish just that. Your accident is not your fault.
- My boss did not provide a safe work site, but I don’t want to sue him. Do I still have a case?
You can obtain additional protection for the negligent acts of the general contractor and/or the owner of the site through sections 200 and 241(6) of the Labor Law, even if your accident cannot be classified as gravity related. Often times, to save money or time, contractors neglect to provide necessary safety devices, or proper tools for the job. If that negligence causes injury or pain, you might be entitled to compensation. If your boss provided you with a defective tool, if the area of the work where you were told to perform your duties was not safe, or sufficiently protected, if someone else caused your injury, we would be happy to discuss your entitlement to monetary compensation.
Another benefit of the New York law is that you do not sue your boss. The claim that we bring on your behalf is against the owner of the property where you worked, and/or the general contractor, but only if they are not your employer.
- Insurance investigators are calling me, do I have to talk to them?
It is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Insurance companies hired by the contractors and building owners prepare to defend the case from day one. You don’t want to be at a disadvantage. Our attorneys will work with you to secure all necessary evidence, accident reports, photographs, witness statements, medical documentation, and expert reports to present in Court. We will guide you through every step of the legal process, help you obtain lost wages for the time that you can not work, make sure that your medical bills are covered, prepare you for the Court hearings, and depositions. You will never have to face a defense lawyer, or an insurance representative alone.
- What premises cases does Green & Szymanski accept?
We accept all premises cases resulting in an injury, including but not limited to:
spills on the floor
excessively waxed or slippery floors
broken, cracked and misleveled sidewalks
broken, cracked and misleveled roadways
broken, cracked and misleveled floors
broken cracked and misleveled stairs
fall on snow or ice
broken and slippery stairs
stairs missing railings
poorly lit premises
fast closing doors
restaurant staff negligence
hot pipes and hot water/liquid burns
electric shocks and electrocutions
subway stations accidents
bus stops accidents
apartment building accidents
accidents in hospitals and nursing homes
- First minutes after the accident
Premises accidents usually result in a fracture, or other painful injury. Whether your accident was caused by a broken sidewalk, spill on the floor, icy surface, a falling or protruding object, misleveled elevator, or by any other defective condition, and if you are in pain, always call 911. A bruise, bleeding, or back pain that you think might not be a serious injury, the following day can cause an unbearable pain. It is important that a doctor examines you right away.
If possible, always notify the owner of the premises and ask for an incident report. Take pictures, or videos of the condition that caused your accident. Often times, the owners repair or clean the condition shortly after the accident. It is important to preserve the evidence of your fall to later present in Court.
- What do I need to prove to win my case?
The standard of proof in a premises case can be tricky. It is not enough to establish that the accident took place to win your case. The Judge will require us to prove that the owner of the premises had actual or constructive notice of the condition that caused your accident. Simply put, we will need to prove that the condition remained for a sufficient period of time for the defendant to discover and remedy it before your accident. In some cases it is enough to prove that the defendant caused or created the dangerous condition. In other, we can argue a doctrine of res ips loquitur which means that the condition was not possible to occur without defendant’s negligence. If you have a witness who can testify that he, or she observed the defective condition before your accident, our case in Court will be significantly stronger. You can also win your case without independent witness testimony. We will investigate to condition, depose the parties responsible for the maintenance of the premises, and hire expert engineers to prove that the defendant failed to keep the premises safe for you.
- Who is going to pay for my medical expenses?
Majority of buildings in New York City are insured. The compensation for your pain and suffering will be paid by the insurance company. The case however will take some time before we bring it to a successful resolution. In the meantime, if you do not have your own medical coverage, we will fight to obtain reimbursement of your medical cost through a so called “med-pay” portion of the insurance policy that is available to you right away. You should always keep copies of all your medical bills, and out of pocket expenses. If your accident happened while you were working, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. We will assist you in that process.
- Do I need to bring my case in Court?
If the negligent premises owner declines to offer a fair compensation for your pain and suffering, lost earnings and medical expenses, we will bring an action and litigate your case in Court. Do not worry; we are your personal injury lawyers. We will take you through the process, and always be on your side. The case in a premises action usually requires you to only appear for only one deposition, and one-day trial testimony. We will prepare you for both, so you know what to expect and be 100% ready to face the defense lawyers.
- What should I do at the scene of the accident?
A scene of a car accident is a very stressful and hectic environment. The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you are safe. If you feel pain, or are disoriented, you should always call 911 to seek immediate medical attention. Even if you do not have immediate pain, you should always call 911 for the police to come to the scene. When you speak with the police officers, it is important that you describe the accident in as much detail as possible. Based on your description of the accident, the police officer will prepare an accident report that will later help prove your case in Court.
If possible, it is also important that you take photographs of the scene, damage to all involved vehicles, and plate numbers. The police will not take any photographs at the scene. Also, if there are any witnesses to the accident, you should collect their names and phone numbers and provide that information to the police. If you observed a video camera in any of the vehicles or overhead, point that out to the police. Finally, you should always obtain insurance information from the other drivers regardless of whether there is police at the scene.
- My medical bills are piling up. What should I do?
If you were involved in a car accident, you are typically entitled to a free medical treatment up to $50,000.00, and a reimbursement for the time missed from work up to $2,000.00 per month. Those benefits are available to you regardless of fault pursuant to the New York Insurance Law.
Often times, insurance companies take advantage of unrepresented victims of car accidents, and prematurely deny legitimate claims. We will make sure that all necessary medical treatment is provided to you free of charge, and that your medical bills are paid.
- Am I entitled to a compensation for pain that I suffered? How do I make my case stronger?
In addition to the free medical treatment and lost wages, you might be entitled to a monetary compensation for pain and suffering.
Remember, the other driver’s insurance company starts working against you from day one. You do not have to give any statements to an insurance company, or speak with their investigators. It is always helpful to consult with an attorney before making any statements to an insurance company and at Green & Szymanski, we work with you to prove that the accident was not your fault.
The extent of your injuries will determine the amount of the compensation. That is why it is so important that in the days following the car accident, your focus is on obtaining the medical treatment. We will make sure that the car insurance covers all your necessary medical expenses.
- Do I have to go to Court?
It depends on the nature of your case. While many cases settle before trial, from our experience, we are able to obtain a better result for you when the case is fully litigated before the Court. This process does not put much burden on you, as we take care of all the legal proceedings, motions, and appearances before the Court. After the Judge sets the dates of depositions, we will sit down with you to prepare you for all the questions that the defense lawyers might ask you. There is a good chance that your case will settle following your pre-trial deposition. We will fight for you to obtain the highest possible compensation. If the amount of the settlement is not satisfactory, we will try your case before the Jury. The trial in a car accident case usually takes between 1-5 days. You would need to be present in Court during that process. Of course, we will prepare you for what the defense and insurance lawyers will throw at you. In the end, we are your personal injury lawyers.
- What types of medical malpractice cases does Green & Szymanski accept?
Some common types of cases where medical malpractice may have occurred are:
Delaying your diagnosis causing irreparable harm, such as delaying a diagnosis of cancer leading to a worsening chance of survival.
Failing to properly treat your condition, such as a hospital failing to turn causing bed sores to develop during the course of a hospital or rehabilitation stay.
Failure to properly diagnose a condition, such as failing to diagnose a fracture in the hospital leading to misalignment and surgery.
Surgical errors, such performing the wrong procedure, leaving foreign objects in you, or unnecessarily damaging part of your body during the surgery.
Birth injuries, such as deprivation of oxygen, or stroke, that place during the delivery.
If any of these types of things happened to you, our experts will help determine if they were caused by medical malpractice.
- What is the maximum compensation for my medical malpractice case?
The laws in New York permit you to bring an action against your doctor or hospital when there has been medical malpractice. Unlike some other states, New York laws provide for unlimited money damages in cases of medical malpractice for your pain and suffering. There is no cap. Our office will litigate your case in Court to obtain maximum compensation.
Another benefit of New York law is that once you retain a lawyer, we can bring an action on your behalf directly with the court. Unlike some other states, there is no proceedings necessary before bringing an action in court.
If you think you may have been subject to medical malpractice, our office retains leading experts in medicine to determine whether there has been malpractice. An expert is required to prove your case in court to show that what happened to you was a departure from good and accepted medical practice.
- When do I have to file my medical malpractice case?
It is extremely important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible if you think there has been medical malpractice because there are time constraints to bring an action against a doctor or facility that committed medical malpractice. In fact, sometimes there is only as little as ninety days to make a claim. Other claims permit two and one half years to bring an action.