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Hach & Rose, LLP, Obtains a $1.5 Million Settlement for an Injured Worker in Brooklyn

This case involved a 48-year-old school operating engineer who was severely burned after falling on hot water that leaked out of a sump pump attached to the school’s boiler. The worker suffered from second and third degree burns and was required to undergo surgery for his injuries.

Leading up to the injury, the worker repeatedly requested to his superiors that the pump be fixed, however those requests were ignored. Therefore, Hach & Rose, LLP, contended that the defendants’ failure to repair the pump or adequately safeguard the problem was a violation of New York Labor Law 241(6).

The New York Labor Law is a special set of rights that ensure safety for construction workers. Specifically, under New York Labor Law 241(6), property owners and contractors must provide reasonable and adequate protection for their employees when construction, excavation, or demolition work is being performed.

Hach & Rose’s dedication to hold the responsible party responsible for their negligence resulted in a $1.5 million settlement for the injured worker.

October 3rd Deadline for World Trade Center Compensation Approaches

Construction workers and others who were employed near the World Trade Center may be eligible for compensation under the new James Zadroga Victim Compensation Fund. However, those looking to secure compensation only have until October 3, 2013 to register with this fund. Anyone who worked near the World Trade Center and has come down with certain medical problems, including respiratory, gastro-intestinal, or sinus illness, may be eligible for compensation under this fund.

The legal team at Hach & Rose, LLP, would be honored to represent workers interested in pursuing compensation through this fund. Again, individuals must register by October 3 to be eligible. Individuals who registered with the WTC Health Registry, with workers’ compensation, or with the first VCF are not automatically registered for this new fund.

To learn more about the James Zadroga Victim Compensation Fund, or what the team at Hach & Rose, LLP, can do for you, click here.

Combining Cases for Multiple Accident Victims

Unfortunately, there are circumstances where an unlucky person is involved in two accidents due to no fault of their own. Naturally, the initial thought is that one claim can hurt the other because the people defending each lawsuit will blame the defendant in the other lawsuit for the injury. We have found that combining the two cases into one case is often the best strategy. For example, we represented a client who was twice injured on different construction sites, both times injuring his spine. By combining the cases, the defendants were not able to blame an unrelated case for our client’s injuries and instead had to point the finger at each other for the cause of the disability. That case settled for $2,600,000. In another case our client was involved in two automobile accidents injuring his back both times. By utilizing the same strategy we were able to secure a settlement for $800,000 on his behalf.

To learn more about your rights if you’ve been injured in an accident, contact the experienced legal team at Hach & Rose, LLP, today by calling (212) 779-0057.

Hach & Rose Attorneys Return Top 2012 Construction Accident Verdict in State of New York

Joseph P. Carfora and Michael A. Rose from Hach & Rose, LLP, secured the highest construction accident verdict in the state of New York last year for their clients Elvia Munoz and Victor Munoz.

Victor Munoz was working as an engineer’s assistant at a hotel on June 16, 2007 when he fell from the ladder he was standing on, suffering injuries to his head / brain, ribs, shoulder, and spine. Munoz sued several parties, including the hotel’s operator and that corporation’s franchisor, alleging that they violated New York’s Labor Laws. Munoz claimed that he was not provided with the proper safety equipment he needed to safely perform his job and that he was not provided with a way to safely secure the ladder on which he was working.

The jury in the case found in favor of the defendants and awarded damages totaling $13,020,856.69, for past and future medical costs, past and future loss of services, past and future lost earnings, and past and future pain and suffering. This verdict was the 11th overall highest verdict for the year in the state of New York.

Your Construction Accident Case Needs to Stand Up in the Appellate Courts

Very often we handle cases where we know the success or failure of the case falls into a “gray area” in the law. What this means is that the lower court or as we call it in the State of New York, the Supreme Court’s, decision on the interpretation of the Labor Law could be appealed to the Appellate Division which is a panel of Judges who decide whether the Supreme Court’s decision was correct. Over the last two months alone, our firm has been successful on two appeals that have dealt with interpretation of the New York Labor Law — THE STATUTE THAT EXISTS TO PROTECT CONSTRUCTION WORKERS.

One decision was granting summary judgement to a construction worker who slipped on a construction site and the Supreme Court found the defendant responsible. An award of summary judgment on a Labor Law 241-6 case is rare and one we are very proud of. The second decision was in favor of a worker who fell through a ceiling and had not been provided with proper fall protection. Both favorable decisions were due to great preparation and an eye toward the potential appellate decision. It is very important that lawyers make sure they are prepared to win cases at the Supreme Court level and in the appellate courts as well!!!

“I may lose my job if I report my construction accident” So I’m just going to forget about it!

Too often I hear from construction workers that they ‘did not file a report at the time of the accident because…’ they were in fear of losing their job. Of course, it’s the workers that we don’t hear about that scare us the most. Often the worker’s injury worsens to the point of disability and having not filed an accident report at the time of the incident makes the case difficult, if not impossible, to prove.

If you were involved in an accident on the job, on a construction site or elsewhere in the course of your employment, I cannot stress enough the importance of, at the very least, speaking confidentially to an attorney at Hach & Rose, LLP. If you have family that depends on you for financial support, it is even more critical that you speak with an attorney; even if you feel you are not too badly injured at the time of the accident. If your injury worsens (such as a herniated disc that eventually required surgery) and you hadn’t filed for benefits or a third party suit if one is possible, you are doing your family a grave disservice financially.

Clients that call us well after their statute of limitations had run out call to see if something can be done because their injury had disabled them from working. These are sad situations because the only people that client is helping is the insurance carrier that was gritting his or her teeth waiting for the statute of limitations to expire; once it had, they are in the clear in some instances for millions of dollars. It happens EVERY DAY!

If you are concerned that your employer might somehow find out that you spoke with an attorney and are in fear of losing your job as a consequence, let me stop you right there. You are often safer job-wise if you do in fact file for workers ‘compensation benefits, because the workers’ compensation system has an anti-discrimination statute disallowing your employer to discriminate against you based on the filing of a workers’ compensation claim. Hach & Rose, LLP, is a law firm for you; we are incredibly experienced at litigating construction site accidents and have achieved great success for our clients and we are respected as one of the top law firms for personal injury in New York. We understand the issues you face in the reality of the workplace and often can anticipate, based on prior experience with various employers, how your employer will react. We do not have a crystal ball, but we do have experience with many of the employers in New York and can counsel you as to whether it would be worth it for you to proceed and at the very least can tell you how to protect yourself should your injury worsen in the future. Even if it turns out that you do not have a case, everything we discuss is completely confidential. Confidentiality is something we take very seriously at Hach & Rose, LLP, so please, rest assured that you cannot be hurt in any way for finding out what your rights are, whether you have a viable case, and whether that case is worthwhile for you to pursue. Furthermore, if it turns out, as it has so many times in the past, that you do have a case and you had not done anything at the time of the accident to warrant fear of reprisal, we can work with you to determine whether you still have time to obtain financial compensation. Always err on the side of caution and speak with a Hach & Rose attorney; it cannot hurt you in any way to do so.

Injured? What you need to know in the event of an on-the-job injury.

As we all know, construction work by its nature is inherently dangerous. Although union construction workers have an advantage with training and safety measures fought for by their unions, accidents do still occur, and when they do, they can be both physically and financially catastrophic to both the member and his or her family. Dangerous situations are often avoidable on the sites where members work, but it is the responsibility of property owners, general contractors, subcontractors, machine & equipment manufacturers as well as equipment suppliers to provide not only a safe place to work but also to provide safe equipment to perform your work in order to make that site safer.

The New York State Labor Laws, fought for by your union leadership, protects workers when injured on construction sites. Section 240 of the Labor Law holds property owners and general contractors responsible if there is a gravity-related injury; meaning if a worker falls from a height or an object falls striking a worker, that worker can recover against a third party on or affiliated with the construction site. Sections 241 and 200 of the Labor Law hold owners and contractors responsible if sections of the Industrial Code of the State of New York is violated or if a worker is not provided with a safe place to work.

If injured on the job there are certain steps that should be taken immediately to protect your rights:

  • Always seek Medical Attention First: Even if the injury is seemingly minor, it is important that the injury is documented early so that in the event it worsens over time, the injured worker will not be in a position to have to explain why he or she did not treat when they were first injured. The longer you wait to treat, the more difficult it will be to claim the injuries resulted from the subject accident.
  • Report the accident immediately: If you wait too long to report the accident, the responsible party may argue that the accident did not occur on the job.
  • Take photographs or video: Too often, construction sites change and often dangerous conditions are fixed before they are documented. In the modern era almost everyone on a site has the ability to use a cell phone to record a dangerous condition; it is important this is done as close to the time of the accident as possible.
  • Get the names and contact information of all witnesses: People move to different jobs or work for different companies, it’s a fact of life, but the ability to contact and find witnesses is vital and should not be overlooked.
  • Do not speak with anyone from an insurance company or investigators: Insurance companies for responsible parties often attempt to record statements from injured members before they hire their own attorney. They do this to obtain information that will diminish the value of a claim or ruin the claim altogether. The insurance carrier representative may sound as though they are trying to help you; in fact many will even go so far as to tell you they are there to help when their ONLY job is to decrease the amount of money you should rightfully receive.
  • Hire a competent attorney that specializes in construction accident cases: There are many nuances and pitfalls that can mean the difference between success and failure of a member’s lawsuit. Although there are some excellent attorneys out there, there are many more that simply advertise for these cases without knowing the details and practice pitfalls under the NYS Labor Laws. Such lawyers do their clients, as well as other members and lawyers who practice in this area, a huge disservice by ultimately decreasing the case value for injuries similar to yours.

Hach & Rose is one of the top construction accident law firms in New York State and has the results and pedigree to back it up. Hach & Rose aggressively protects the rights of Union members and has unique experience handling complex construction accident cases for Union members who have been injured. Hach & Rose is never afraid to go to trial, the insurance companies know it and it’s that willingness to go to trial that ultimately increases the amounts insurance companies are willing to pay to our clients. They are a one-stop-shop that coordinates your workers’ compensation and social security disability benefits as well. If a member has been injured in a work related accident contact Hach & Rose toll free at (866) LAWS-USA (866-529-7872) or at (212) 779-0057 or visit them on the web at unionlawfirm.com to discuss any legal issues you may have.

If Injured On a Construction Site: Why Hach & Rose should Be Your Labor Law Attorneys

The New York State Labor Law generally refers to §200, §240, and §241 of the Consolidated Laws of New York. These provisions hold contractors, leaseholders, owners, and agents liable in the event an employee is injured on the job. Section 200 codifies general negligence principles, 241 analyzes violations of the Industrial Code, and 240 is a strict liability statute applying to gravity-related injuries such as a worker falling from a height (ie. a scaffold or ladder), or an object falling and striking a worker, known as falling object cases. Although these guidelines seem fairly straightforward, these three sections of the law are subject to a great deal of interpretation by the Courts.

Partner Gregory Hach routinely lectures at labor unions speaking on topics such as workplace safety. Partner Michael Rose teaches lawyers at the bar association of New York how to handle these cases. Because success or failure of a case can hinge on a small detail, choosing the right attorney is vital. Results obtained by Hach & Rose, LLP, include $13M for a painter/operating engineer who fell from a ladder; $2.1M for a laborer struck by a Bobcat; $3.475 for a carpenter who fell from a temporary roof; $2.5M for an engineer who fell because of a poorly constructed permanent ladder; $1.625M for a carpenter who tripped and fell on a piece of debris; $2.5M for a sheet metal worker, $3.5M for a mason tender, and $3.525M for a construction supervisor.

If you have been injured in any manner in your workplace, give Hach & Rose, LLP, a call at (212) 779-0057 or visit them on the web at www.unionlawfirm.com.

New York appeals court declares workers’ compensation ruling final

In a 4-1 decision, the New York Court of Appeals decided last week that a workers’ compensation ruling in a personal injury case is binding, saying “findings of fact that are necessary for an administrative agency to reach are entitled to such effect.” This means that the plaintiff will not be allowed to litigate an issue in a personal injury lawsuit that had already been decided on in a previous workers’ compensation case proceeding.

The decision stemmed from a personal injury lawsuit filed by Jose Verdugo, which sought compensation from damages sustained in a 2003 construction site accident after no longer qualifying as a disabled person in a 2006 workers’ compensation hearing.

When you’ve sustained harm as a result of a construction accident, whether caused by your employer’s negligence or not, call an accident attorney from Hach & Rose, LLP, today. By calling (212) 779-0057, you can discuss how you may be able to pursue compensation against the party responsible for your losses.

Queens Construction Crane Collapse: UPDATE

More details have emerged following yesterday’s tragic construction crane collapse in Long Island City, Queens. According to authorities, the accident occurred around 2:30 p.m. at the site of a new residential unit behind the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign in Queens.

While the exact cause of the accident has not yet been definitively determined, sources on the site claim that a cable may have snapped while moving a stack of wood on the scene, leading to the complete collapse of the crane.

Three construction workers were trapped underneath the crane following the collapse, and had to be extricated from underneath the equipment. The final injury count totaled seven workers, who were all transported to local hospitals with serious injuries.

Our thoughts go out to the families of the victims, and we wish all individuals involved a speedy recovery.

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