What to Do After Suffering a Construction Injury at Work
As a construction worker, you can file a workers’ compensation claim if you get injured while doing construction work. This will give you compensation benefits to help you get through your injury.
The exact system of this claim varies from state to state, but for the most part, every state has some basic things in common.
A workers’ compensation claim is a “no-fault” system. This means you don’t have to prove someone else was at fault for your injury in order to receive benefits. All you need to prove is that you were injured doing construction work and that you sustained the injury during your employment.
Keep reading to learn what you should do if you’ve sustained a construction injury.
What Is a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Every employer must have workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance is what pays for the benefits you receive after an injury.
When you file this claim, you aren’t creating a lawsuit against your employer. Instead, you’re simply requesting benefits as a result of your injury. This creates a safety net for employees.
Injured employees are entitled to things like medical care, temporary and permanent disability, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation. But because you don’t have to go through expensive litigation to file a workers’ compensation claim, you aren’t entitled to other damages, like pain and suffering.
If you get injured during your employment, you have the right to all the necessary treatment to relieve or cure the effects of your injury. This includes the medical bills, prescriptions, and roundtrip mileage for a trip to the hospital.
To get these benefits, you might have to use the company doctor. But if you prefer using your own doctor, you can submit a written request to change doctors after 30 days.
If due to your injury, you must take time away from work, you might also be entitled to temporary disability payments. This might also include compensation for lost wages.
But this pay rate won’t cover the full amount of your lost wages. For most states, this rate equals two-thirds of your average weekly pay, and you receive this money once every two weeks.
In order to receive this benefit, a doctor must verify that you’re unable to work.
Sometimes workers are unable to completely recover from their injury, meaning they can’t return to work. If this applies to you, you may also be entitled to a monetary award.
This means you’ve lost the ability to compete in the open labor market with other uninjured workers. However, the amount of benefits you’ll receive depends on how many limitations you have. This might also include things like occupation, current earnings, or age.
When you are unable to return to your job because of your injury, you might also get assistance with finding another job.
Vocational rehabilitation gives you a partial income (like temporary disability).
Receiving Compensation From a Third Party
If your injury has been caused by gross misconduct or third-party negligence, you can also file a construction injury claim.
Make sure you document everything that could be a part of your claim. This includes things like the construction site where you were injured, the exact place on the site you were injured, medical reports, witness statements, photographs of the injury or cause of injury, and any other relevant information.
Here’s a quick look at the three different types of third-party, construction accident lawsuits.
Construction Injury Lawsuit
You can file both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit if the negligence of a third-party caused your construction injury. In order to do this, you must prove the third party was responsible for your care and that they failed to provide the basic elements to keep you safe. Because of this negligence, something went wrong and you became injured.
Product Liability Lawsuit
Sometimes construction injuries are the result of an improperly labeled or defective product. If this is the cause of your injury, you might also be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. In some cases, you can even file this claim against the other people involved in distributing the product.
For example, you may be able to receive compensation from the manufacturer of the product and the retailer who sold the product to you.
Fatal Construction Injury & Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If a person has been fatally injured on a construction site because of third-party negligence, their family might be able to file a wrongful death claim. This claim can be filed at the same time as other construction injury lawsuits.
A fatal injury that was caused by third-party negligence or gross misconduct can lead a family member to file a wrongful death lawsuit, a product liability lawsuit, and a personal injury lawsuit all at once.
What to Do if You’re Injured
If you get injured during a construction job, there are several things you should do right away to address the problem.
First of all, you need to talk to your employer. Tell them about your injury, and if possible, report the injury in writing. Always keep a copy of this report for your personal records.
When you report the injury to your employer, they’re required to give you a claim form immediately. The employer doesn’t have to provide any benefits unless you fill out this form. Make sure you fill the form completely, and again, keep a copy of the form for yourself.
Your employer will then notify the workers’ compensation insurance company to get medical help.
Don’t wait to file the claim. Delays can lead to other snags and bumps down the road. Filing the claim as soon as possible will increase the chance of receiving benefits quickly.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Construction Injury
Talking to a lawyer about your construction injury can be extremely helpful. You may not realize you can file more than one claim, or you may not understand exactly what types of disability a workers’ construction claim covers. A lawyer can explain the details of your claim to you and advise you on what path you should take.
Make sure you head over to our contact page and leave us a message if you’re dealing with a construction injury. We can get you the help you need.