Every occupation has its own set of hazards and risks, but according to multiple reports, construction work poses a significantly higher risk of injuries than other industries. All it takes is a simple act of negligence on the part of the employer to cause serious injuries that can lead to the death of several onboard construction workers. More than 92,000 construction workers sustain work-related injuries per year, and these injuries are often severe enough to cause them to stay out of work.
While being in the construction line may be deemed one of the most dangerous professions, most workers are not aware of the dangers and risks they’re exposed to daily. Regardless of the profession, everyone is entitled to a safe working environment.
Although most construction injuries are covered under the workers’ compensation laws, there might be a need to pursue personal injury litigation in some cases. For this reason, it’s crucial that everyone should be well-versed with steps needed to be taken if you find yourself or another colleague in an unfortunate construction site accident.
Let’s learn the key steps to take following a construction injury to ensure that nothing adversely affects your chances of getting proper care and compensation.
Table of Contents
#1 Get Proper And Immediate Medical Attention
In case an unfortunate accident occurs at the workplace, immediately ensure your well-being and safety. Start by trying to stay calm, checking the magnitude of injuries, and then calling for help if needed. Although construction sites are usually crowded, if you’re alone when you get stuck in debris, rubble, or heavy equipment, take a deep breath and shout for help. Always seek medical attention as soon as you can, preferably from a reliable healthcare institution.
#2 Inform The Supervisor
Another crucial step is to inform the superiors on-site, preferably within thirty days at most from the time of the accident. Ensure that you have every critical detail about the accident documented precisely, including how, when, and where it took place. Submitting the notice ASAP generally can help avoid forgetting intricate details about the incident.
#3 Note All Witnesses
While it’s not always the case, but a significant number of construction accident lawsuits so end up in the court’s premises. In order to help the verdict of your compensation claim be on your side, you will need to gather and present credible evidence and facts to the jury or judge rather than relying on logic alone.
This is why you should have a list of contact details with names of bystanders, co-workers, or others present at the scene as witnesses, as their sworn testimony may play a massive role if it is considered as admissible evidence in the court of law.
#4 Legal Assistance
Sometimes, when construction accidents end up in personal injury lawsuits, it can lead to notorious legal battles. This is especially true for those cases where the accident led to the worker being unable to work or provide food to their family due to the injuries. Such incidents lead to frustrations, suffering, pain, and financial hardships, and ideally, the workers’ compensation should cover costs of treatment and medical bills along with a huge chunk of the salary you earned for a specific time period.
Strict timelines are involved if you get severely injured due to negligence on the employer’s part. This is when you should consult with reputable construction accident attorneys so that you can receive fair compensation for the suffering and pain caused by the accident. Hiring a reliable legal advice firm can allow you to focus on your own recovery and well-being while the attorney can help you with everything needed to get the claim processed.
#5 File A Workers’ Compensation Claim After Reporting
In many states within the USA and worldwide, contractors, employers, and construction businesses need to have workers’ compensation insurance as a legal requirement. This law basically protects employers from liability plus the employee’s rights.
If you were injured on the job and want to file for much-needed financial relief, you have to report the incident and file the claim by filling the employee claim form within 24 months from the time of your accident that led to the injury. If you want to sue the equipment manufacturer or the contractor to seek more compensation beyond the worker’s compensation benefits, consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your options.
#6 Consider Reporting to OSHA
Since some construction accidents may be more severe and cause serious injuries or death of one or more individuals, such major accidents should always be reported to OSHA. Based in the USA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is part of the Department of Labor. They are tasked to enquiring about workplace safety which is why the accident should be reported within a few hours of the fatalities or hospitalization to them.
What Happens If My Workers’ Compensation Claim Gets Denied?
Sometimes, just like any other lawsuit claims, your personal injury claim may also be denied. Don’t worry; in such cases, the workers still have the right to file for an appeal within thirty days of being denied the claim after a worksite accident has occurred. However, you may require the assistance of an expert personal injury lawyer who can guide you about the specific requirements and time restrictions involved in filing the appeal.