During the last week of May of this year (2010) alone, there were two serious construction site accidents involving falls from significant heights. One involved a worker at a residential building falling fifty feet while he was working on the building’s steel framework. The other involved a worker at the Throgs Neck Bridge.

The first worker died after falling fifty feet. The bridge worker fell 15 to 20 feet off a ladder and was seriously injured.

With respect to the worker that died, officials indicated that it seemed as if he was not wearing a safety harness ! It is precisely this point to which we direct our attention.

There are several facts that make accidents at construction sites unique in the area of Personal Injury Law in New York:

  • Construction site accidents are among the most frequent accidents that occur;
  • The resulting injuries are among the most serious that occur;
  • Public policy is very inclined to seek protection for injured workers and their families;
  • the law, especially with respect to liability (who is responsible for the accident that occurred) is not at all necessarily what the layman might think it is–the law can be extremely complex.

The fact that the worker that fell and was not wearing a safety harness should not, and does not, eliminate the possibility that the worker or his family will have a THIRD PARTY LAWSUIT available to him. This would be in addition to any workers compensation claim the worker or his family might have.

It is truly esential when dealing with a construction site accident that a personal injury attorney, in addition to a workers compensation attorney, be consulted. As we have noted on previous blog postings, this could mean very substantial differences to the injured worker and his family. Because of the law’s complexity in this area, be very certain the Personal Injury Attorney chosen is well experienced in this important area of law.


Staged Accidents: Insurance Fraud | Manhattan Personal Injury Attorney


The police chief of Hackensack, NJ was recently striped of his 15 year position after being charged with insurance fraud–he filed a false insurance report. An upstate New York man was recently also charged with the same crime: all he did (!) was take out an automobile insurance policy AFTER the date of his car accident and then made a claim under the policy changing the date of the accident so that the policy would cover it.

People in all walks of life, for a variety of reasons, but virtually always grounded in the desire to reap rewards to which they are not legally entitled, participate in what is almost a national pastime: insurance fraud. There are numerous forms that insurance fraud takes, but perhaps the most insidious is the scheme involving staged accidents. (See the instructive video: ).

The staged accident phenomena is becoming more prevalent. It involves claims under a state’s no-fault provisions relating to medical costs, where medical providers of all sorts have been found to participate in these schemes.

It also involves claims for bodily injury that find their way into court cases, reaping enrichment for unscrupulous lawyers and thieves acting as clients. The two states with the highest rates of staged accident fraud are, in order, Florida and New York..

While the claim may be that “only” insurance companies are hurt, in reality it is everyone that owns a car that is hurt. Fraud has a significant effect on insurance premiums, which affects every car owner in his or her pocketbook.  And make no mistake about it, engaging in any type of insurance fraud changes what would normally be a civil matter involving claims for money damages, into a criminal matter, where the penalties faced by those engaging in this nefarious practice will include incarceration!