5 Crucial Steps to Take After a Construction Site Accident
Did you know that injury rates in the construction industry are around 71% higher than those across any other industry?
Each year, a staggering amount of more than 200,000 construction workers experience non-fatal injuries in the U.S.
Most commonly, these injuries are a result of workers falling from ladders and rooftops, operating dangerous machinery, being exposed to faulty wiring or gas leaks - or even being hit by vehicles due to the exhaustion-caused distraction.
If you or someone you know has experienced an injury at a construction site, and this injury is a result of someone else's negligence, you may be eligible for compensation.
So, what are the steps that you should take to ensure that you're properly compensated? Don't worry, we got you covered on that.
Get the right medical treatment
Regardless of how severe your injuries initially appear to be, you should always seek medical attention first.
Even if it seems like you've gotten away with only bumps and bruises, you might have experienced an injury to your head, spine or another internal organ that you may not be aware of at first.
To avoid any additional future consequences, have a medical professional look into your injuries and prescribe you a treatment.
Document your injuries, names and dates of doctors treating them, treatments and medications prescribed to you, as well as medical bills you've paid. Your medical records can serve as useful evidence in case your claim ends up before the court.
You'll want to choose a reputable specialist with a lot of experience with construction site accident injuries. This way, you can be sure that your doctor knows which kind of information will be needed for your claim.
Report your accident to the employer
Fear of losing a job is the number one reason for construction workers not to report work-related accidents. However, this step is crucial for a couple of reasons:
- By uncovering unsafe practices of your employer, you're lowering the risk of those accidents happening to you or someone else in the future.
- Reporting the accident to your employer leads to the creation of documentation regarding the accident. This can serve as a precious piece of evidence in court and positively impact the validity of your claim.
- The sooner you report the accident, the faster your compensation claim will get processed.
In some states, reporting is a mandatory step for injured parties to take and it often has to be done within a certain timeframe. Law SB construction accidents attorneys can help you determine whether the statute of your state has such a timeframe and what it is.
Are there any things you should pay attention to when filling out these reports?
The answer is yes. It's advised to keep your report as detailed and precise as possible and have it in a written form. It should be accepted by your employer or their representative and marked with the date of submission.
Finally, make sure to copy this report for your attorney to look into, as it will be an important part of your compensation claim.
Was there anyone present when the accident occurred who could testify to your injuries? If yes, you should try to get their contact information.
Be sensible about approaching potential witnesses because they may also be afraid of losing their job and, therefore, unwilling to testify. You may also consider having your attorney communicate with them instead of you.
Other evidence which could prove useful are photos of the accident scene or videos from surveillance cameras - if there are any. This also includes photos of your injuries. It's okay if you acquire these materials from someone else, in case you weren't able to take them yourself.
Find an attorney experienced in construction site accidents
The sooner you hire a legal professional, the more time you'll have to prepare the case together.
As you may have probably noticed, in personal injury accidents, time is of the essence. You want to make sure that your evidence is obtained before it gets lost, as this will put you in a better position during any potential negotiations.
As for negotiations, it's best if you don't initiate any without an attorney by your side.
An attorney who has had a large volume of similar cases will know what your case is worth, which may get you a higher compensation. Moreover, this will prevent you from signing any settlement or other documents without properly understanding them first.
Last but not least, a construction site accidents attorney will know what damages you're entitled to.
You may think you're entitled only to compensation for your physical injuries. In reality, you may also be eligible for compensation for pain, emotional suffering, medical bills, loss of salary due to inability to work or any other financial losses.
File a claim (and an appeal, if necessary)
Worker's compensation and Personal injury claims are the two remedies most commonly filed by construction workers who have experienced a work-related injury.
These claims and deadlines for filing them may differ from state to state, so make sure to seek legal help in this step of the way. This is important because these claims work as a sort of insurance against injuries at your workplace.
Which of these two claims should you opt for? That depends on several things.
The main one is whether your employer is the reason why you got injured or if a third party (for example, a co-worker) is at fault. Another one is that your employer may not have opted for worker's compensation insurance.
In case your claim gets denied, you may still have a chance at receiving compensation. The right to an appeal is a constitutional right and your attorney can help you with this process.
comments powered by Disqus