According to OSHA, one in every five worker fatalities in 2019 in the private sector were in construction. Every year, roughly 150 thousand construction workers get injured on the job, with fall hazards being the leading cause of most injuries and deaths. There is no doubt that construction workers have a potentially dangerous job. So what should you do if you are a construction worker who suffered an injury on the job? Attorney Barry Deacon explains the steps you should take to receive compensation after a construction site accident.
What Should I Do if I Have Been Hurt in a Construction Site Accident?
If you were injured while working at a construction site, your first step is to seek medical help right away. Even if you don’t feel like your injury is serious, it is very important to be examined by a medical professional in order to obtain a medical report and other documents that you will need to include as part of your claim. Furthermore, it is possible for symptoms of your injury to take several days, sometimes weeks to manifest themselves – which may prove to be too long to wait to see the doctor and may complicate the process of filing a claim with your employer.
After you have been seen by a doctor, you need to notify your employer of the accident as soon as you are able to. In Texas, employees have 30 days to report an injury to their employer, but it is advisable to not wait and report the injury immediately, because your employer’s insurance carrier may use this delay in reporting as a way of questioning the validity of your claim and alleging that your injury could have taken place outside of work.
Who Is Financially Responsible for My Construction Accident?
If you have been injured on the job and your employer has worker’s compensation insurance, you may file a worker’s comp claim to receive compensation for your injuries and related expenses as well as a portion of your wages while you are unable to return to work. In this case, your employer’s insurance carrier will be taking care of all payments.
If you are a subcontractor and not an employee, you are not eligible to receive worker’s compensation payments, but in some cases, you may be able to file a claim through the company’s liability insurance. In order to do that, you need to be able to present enough evidence that the company in charge of the construction site was legally responsible for your accident. This is not always easy to prove, but a skilled construction accident attorney can help you navigate this process and obtain a favorable outcome.
It is also common practice for many different vendors and subcontractors to be working at the same construction site at once. If your injury could have been caused in part by negligence from one of these third parties, you may be able to seek damages compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against that subcontractor and possibly against their employer. This does not affect your eligibility to receive worker’s compensation payments and opens up the possibility of receiving additional compensation for your injury.
What Happens if My Construction Accident Was Caused by Faulty Equipment?
In some cases, a construction accident can be a result of a faulty piece of equipment or machinery that malfunctioned in spite of being used according to the manufacturer’s specifications. If a worker can produce enough evidence to show that their injuries were a direct result of a mechanical flaw, they may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the faulty equipment.
In order to file a successful product liability claim, you will need to prove that the machine, tool, or piece of equipment that caused your injury was defectively designed or assembled and presented flaws that presented a hazard for anyone operating it. In addition, you will need to present evidence that you were using the tool or equipment in the way it was intended. If your lawsuit has a positive outcome, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injury-related losses, expenses, pain, and suffering.
What Can I Do if My Construction Accident Claim Was Denied?
It is no secret that insurance carriers will always try to find ways to cut their losses by denying worker’s comp claims or reducing the amount they are willing to pay. If your worker’s compensation claim for your construction accident was denied, the first thing you need to do is to contact the insurance carrier and ask why your claim has been denied. As mentioned above, a common reason for denials is when a worker delays reporting the injury or takes too long to initiate the claim, giving the insurance carrier room to argue about the validity of their claim.
After you obtain an explanation from the insurance company, your next step should be to contact a construction accident attorney to learn your options. Attorneys that handle construction-related injuries are well-versed in negotiating with insurance companies and can protect your rights to receive fair compensation for your injuries, especially when your claim was denied in bad faith or improperly handled. Attorney Barry Deacon has helped countless injured construction workers to negotiate with the insurance company and receive the compensation they deserve. Contact Barry Deacon Law for a free case evaluation and get the help you need today.