Working on a construction site is dangerous, and while it carries its risks, employers and job site managers are required by law to ensure a safe, healthy working environment for everyone that enters the site.
Despite staying as safe as possible, you are injured on the job. Now, you may wonder what your options are, and how you can ensure that your rights as a worker are protected.
OSHA creates numerous safety efforts and new regulations to keep people safe on the job, but after a construction site accident happens, you need to act quickly to ensure you can get the compensation you need for your injuries. By following these procedures, you make it easier for an injury attorney to not only file the claim and win, but get the compensation you deserve in the process.
What to Do Immediately after a Construction Site Accident: Seek Medical Treatment
The first thing you should do after you are injured on a construction site is to seek medical attention. Whether that means driving to the emergency room, calling an ambulance for life-threatening injuries and exposures, or visiting your family physician, you should see someone within 24 hours from the time of the accident.
While you are there, make sure you let the physician know it was a work-related injury. This is because you will need to start a record of your work injury, the medical costs associated with it, and ensure that your physician does not mark it down as an injury unrelated to your job.
Next, Report It to Your Supervisor
You have limited time to report work-related injuries, and you must let your supervisor know as soon as possible about the work-related accident. The supervisor will then complete an accident/injury report, get your statement, and you will need that report if you plan to use workers’ compensation benefits for your lost wages and medical costs.
If anyone witnessed the accident, make sure they are there when you report that accident to corroborate what you say. Your attorney may need their contact information later, too.
Start the Process of Filing for Workers’ Compensation
After you take care of the first primary steps (which are getting medical attention and reporting your work-related injury), the next step is to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is required by employers in the state of Florida, and it is an insurance program that covers your medical costs and a portion of your lost wages from a work-related injury or illness.
You will have forms to fill out, and sometimes your company’s human resources department will help you with those forms. Other times, however, you are left on your own to navigate the complex claims process and deal with the insurance company.
Hire an Attorney for Your Construction Site Accident
You might be tempted to fill out the forms and go through the claims process alone, but it is in your best interest to hire an attorney. A worker’s compensation attorney handles claims just like yours daily – even in the construction industry.
They know your rights, but they also know tactics used by employers and insurance companies to lessen compensation in work-related accident claims. You want an advocate who fights for the compensation you need and makes sure that your medical expenses are covered in the event you are permanently disabled from your accident.
You May Be Able to Seek Compensation through a Personal Injury Claim, Too
If you accept workers’ compensation benefits, you cannot sue your employer. The purpose of workers’ compensation is to ensure that you receive compensation, even if you were partially to blame for the incident on the job. The only time you can be disqualified from receiving benefits is if you were under the influence of drugs and alcohol, or if you purposely caused the accident with the intent of getting compensation later.
There are instances, however, where you can file a personal injury lawsuit while still collecting workers’ compensation insurance coverage. In these cases, a third party (unrelated to your employer) must have played a role in causing your accident or injury. For example, faulty equipment on the job site that was sold by a manufacturer, who knew there was a risk for injury, could qualify for a personal injury lawsuit. Product manufacturers and distributors of construction equipment are held to a high standard. They must ensure their products are safe for use. And when one of those devices injures a worker because of a defect, they can be held liable for the injuries and financial damages that result from that accident.
You have up to four years to file a personal injury claim, but you should not wait four years to contact an attorney about your injury. Instead, you should speak with an attorney right away about your work-related accident and if you suspect a third party. Your attorney will have time to gather witness statements, investigate the defective product, and build a case that ensures you receive compensation from the third party at fault for your injuries.
Hire a Local Attorney That Understands Construction Injury Cases
Construction accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries, including permanent disability. You might be unable to work for months or permanently disabled and unable to return to work. While you will get a settlement from workers’ compensation, you want to ensure that you receive a fair amount.
The last thing you should worry about while recovering from your serious injuries is deadlines and paperwork – let alone negotiating a fair settlement. Instead, hire an attorney who has experience handling workers’ compensation claims and construction accident cases.
The team at The Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A., can help you with your case. We understand how devastating it can be to suffer a work-related injury and then try to deal with insurance companies for the compensation you need just to pay medical expenses and cover your lost wages. Let our attorneys fight for you so that you can focus on recovery.
Schedule a free case evaluation now or request more information online.