Construction workers are the most likely victims of construction accidents, but visitors to construction sites and unknowing bystanders can be hurt, also. Construction workers injured on the job may never be able to return to work or may not be able to perform the same tasks and earn the same wage as prior to the injury. If you have been injured in a construction accident you owe it to yourself and your family to get help fast, to cover the mounting medical bills and to get a steady stream of income flowing again. You may be entitled to worker’s compensation, which is not a lawsuit, but often requires the help of an experienced attorney.
What You Should Do Right Away
Protect your legal rights and your eligibility for compensation by taking the proper action as soon as possible after your accident:
- Notify your employer of the accident in writing. Keep a copy of the report. If notification cannot be made in writing, make a note of the name and position of the person you notified. Also, write down everything that was said when you reported the accident and everything you remember about the accident.
- Your employer must provide you with a worker’s compensation form as soon as he or she is made aware of the accident. Fill it out right away and keep a copy.
- Write down the names and contact information of all witnesses.
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident and your injuries.
- Seek medical attention even if your injuries seem minor.
- Contact an experienced construction accident attorney.
- File a worker’s compensation claim. These claims take time to process. The sooner you file, the sooner you can start drawing benefits.
Construction Accident Causes
It is important to conduct a thorough investigation and determine the true cause of the accident because that will be a big part of determining who is responsible. Common causes of construction accidents include:
- Failure to adhere to OSHA safety standards
- Employer negligence
- Defective tools
- Defective heavy equipment
- Defective or improperly assembled scaffolding
- Falling materials or structures
- Negligence or inappropriate behavior of other workers
- Inappropriate behavior of visitors to the site
You should always file a worker’s compensation claim even if you do not intend to sue. A worker’s compensation claim is an insurance claim – it is not a lawsuit or welfare. Employers are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. Benefits you may be entitled to include:
- Current and future medical bills
- Temporary disability
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Permanent disability
If you were injured in a construction accident and you were not an employee, you cannot file for worker’s compensation, but you may be entitled to compensation through a construction accident lawsuit. In some cases, those who file for worker’s compensation should file a lawsuit as well. Responsible parties in construction accidents can include:
- Construction site owners
- General contractors
- Equipment manufacturers
- Prime contractors
At William J. Tinning, PC, we believe that every case is important, and no case is too small. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a construction accident, please call 361-306-8343 or email us today for your free consultation.
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