I fell at work at a construction site in New York and hit my head. What steps should I take?

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Michael S. Lamonsoff - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Michael S. Lamonsoff

Located in New York, NYLaw Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC

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Falling at work can be a serious incident in itself, but falls that take place at a construction site tend to be much more dangerous and involve more significant injuries. Construction site injuries are often longer lasting or get worse over time. Some may not show right away but take weeks to show signs — such as a severe brain injury. 

The steps you take immediately following the incident can determine the outcome of your claim, and the compensation you can win. 

Follow these steps after a construction accident 

Seek medical help. The most important step you can take is to seek medical attention right away. Your full recovery should be your biggest worry right now. This will also get your injury on record and give you a viable idea of your quality of life going forward and the recovery process you can expect. 

Call an attorney. If you are unable to capture photos and details about the accident and incident location, there is no time to lose. Contacting a personal injury attorney will put the gears into motion while you focus on recovery. It is essential that the accident evidence be preserved as soon as possible to accurately document the conditions of the area and the people working while the accident happened. There could be valuable witnesses, security footage or elements to help bring your case to fruition. My firm utilizes a number of investigators, as well as construction accident experts, to help establish your claim. 

File an incident report. The policies on filing accident report may vary from workplace to workplace, or if you are working as a contractor. File a report on-site or as soon as possible. Alternatively, have someone help you file if you are too injured. This is a crucial move to get your accident on record with your workplace. They likely have a process in place to investigate the incident on their own — your attorney can make sure the investigation sticks to the legal standards and your rights are upheld. 

Answer questions – within reason 

Depending on the circumstances, your manager, co-workers, doctor, friends, family and maybe even the police will have lots of questions for you. Most of these people are just looking out for your best interests and how they can help. 

It is imperative that you tell your doctor the full truth so they can assist with your treatment. It is also advisable to tell the truth to others, but you do not need to incriminate yourself. Do not lie to your employer about the accident. However, how you disclose information about it is crucial. 

For example, if you recently started a new medication and then you fall at work in an unsafe area, you do not need to reveal that the drug may have made you light-headed or off balance. This type of information is private unless directly asked by a relevant party with legal rights or an official form. 

An attorney can help guide you on what questions are incriminating and which ones are legally necessary for your case. You do not want to unknowingly reduce your right to compensation just by giving a well-meaning answer to a co-worker or manager. 

Brain injuries are highly unpredictable 

Hitting your head is one of the most severe accidents you can have. These types of injuries are hard to diagnose, need second opinions and experts, and can evolve. You may think a head bump is a simple concussion, but more serious injuries can develop. 

Seek medical attention right away and have follow up appointments weeks and months later. Especially if you have suspicions of a brain injury or see negative symptoms or side effects developing over time. 

Your case may have many options for compensation 

Bringing your case against the right parties and protecting your rights along the way are precisely why an experienced attorney should help you every step of the way.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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