New York Construction Accident Attorney Jeff Antin

This video features Jeffrey S. Antin, a Personal Injury attorney based in New York.

What To Do After an On-Site Injury

Video Transcript:

Jeff Antin:

You can't be too sure that somebody is gonna make things right unless you have a lawyer.

Judy Maggio:

If you're a construction worker who gets hurt on the job, what are your options to get help? We are going to find out on this episode of Ask the Lawyers. Hi everybody, I'm Judy Maggio with AskTheLawyers.com, and my guest today is New York attorney Jeff Antin, who has been helping injured New Yorkers for nearly 30 years. We do have a quick reminder before we do get started though, and that is, if you wanna ask Jeff specific questions about your situation, simply go to askthelawyers.com, click on the top of the page, that Ask the Lawyer's button, and it will walk you through what you need to do to ask Jeff a question. So Jeff, if a worker is injured on a job site, I'm wondering, is this a personal injury issue or a workers' compensation issue? Explain the difference there, how you know?

Jeff Antin:

Okay, so here's the deal, anybody who's injured on the work site has a workers' compensation claim. Workers' compensation claim, you don't have to prove that anybody did anything wrong. The fact of the matter is if you're hurt on the job, it doesn't have to be to anybody's negligence, you could have tripped over your own two feet, you automatically have the workers' compensation case, okay? If you're on a construction site and you work for a sub-contractor and you fall from a ladder, for argument's sake, you can bring a case against the owner of the property, assuming it's not a one, two or three-family house, and the general contracter, and depending upon how it happened, there are statutes that make the owner and/or a general contract absolutely liable for what happened.

Judy Maggio:

What is the general contractor's responsibility though, if a subcontractor is injured on a job site, do they have to say prove fault by another worker?

Jeff Antin:

Basically what the cases have come down and said, If you get injured as a result of the force of gravity, is really what the cases say now, then generally speaking, you more than likely have the case against the general contractor and the owner of the property pursuant to the law under those statutes for failing to provide proper and adequate equipment that would have prevented the accident from happening.

Judy Maggio:

Do you think a worker should trust their employer or the general contractor to take care of them if there is an injury claim?

Jeff Antin:

Listen, you obviously have adverse interests to your employer and the general contractor, if you get hurt on the job, in other words, both are gonna try to minimize either the extent of your injury or how it happened. I mean obviously, they're gonna wanna minimize what happened or how it happened to make you the sole... make it appear as if you are... You being a worker... That your actions were the sole proximate cause of the accident, in other words, that nobody else did anything wrong, but you. And if you didn't do X, Y, and Z, then you wouldn't have been injured. Now, it's not easy, I don't think to do that, but in any event, everybody's interests are gonna be adverse to you.

Judy Maggio:

I'm curious about workers who are members of unions. Do they provide the attorney or do you choose your own? How does that work?

Jeff Antin:

No, they don't hire the attorney for the work. the worker has an absolute right to hire any lawyer that they choose. Now, for some reason or another, some unions do put pressure on the worker to hire a certain lawyer. And to be honest with you, I don't really understand why that is the case, or what power they have over the worker for them to choose the lawyer that the union suggests, but I've been in situations where I've had clients who were originally... Who were represented by attorneys that the unions, I wouldn't say provided, but the unions introduce them to, that wanted to change lawyers come to me for argument's sake and they encountered problems with the union in terms of not wanting these individuals to act to switch lawyers. In one case, the individual was in a union and his brother was also in the same union, and while this person was hurt really badly and was very unlikely ever to go back to work, his brother was still working in a union, and the union said to this person that if you change lawyers, your brother will never work again or something like that, we won't find work for him again, and obviously in that situation, I mean, he wasn't gonna change lawyers, so I don't understand what's in it for the union, I don't really get it, but that's unfortunately a reality, so.

Judy Maggio:

Final question, why do you think an injured worker should talk to an attorney or hire one, knowing that attorneys take fees out of the actual claim?

Jeff Antin:

If an injured person doesn't have an attorney, he's not gonna know what can hurt him if he were to answer questions about an incident. It's not necessarily about them saying that the accident didn't happen or anything like that, it's just about the fact that any type of statement, any kind of deposition, the other side is only gonna use the part that helps them, they're never gonna use the part that helps you, that helps the worker, that is. So the point is, generally speaking, nothing you say, nothing the worker can say if he's not represented by an attorney is gonna help them only because Whoever he's speaking to is only gonna look for the holes in his story and hang on to that.

Judy Maggio:

So much great information today, Jeff, thank you for answering our questions. That will do it for this episode of Ask the Lawyer. Our guest has been New York attorney Jeff Antin. Quick reminder, if you have a specific question for Jeff, just go to AskTheLawyers.com, click a button at the top of the page that says ask the lawyers, and it will walk you through that process. Thanks so much for watching, I'm Judy Maggio with Ask the Lawyers.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

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