Workplace injuries can occur in nearly any type of job setting, but one of the most common workplaces where such injuries occur is the construction industry. The work is highly physical, includes intricate operational machinery, and often involves carrying out work in high-risk situations, like tall heights or cramped quarters. Because of the heightened potential for workplace injuries to occur, most construction companies offer workers’ compensation benefits to their employees.
If you’re a construction worker who’s been injured on the job, it’s important to understand when your construction injury warrants a valid claim or lawsuit for workers’ comp, as well as what to expect when you move forward with doing so.
Common Construction Injury Scenarios
Because of the nature of the job and its required activities, there are several types of injuries that commonly occur on construction sites:
- Overexertion, or when a person lifts, pulls, pushes, or throws something that causes an injury. It most often results in pulled muscles or unnatural joint movements leading to sprains. Lifting heavy construction equipment and supplies can cause overexertion. Many of these types of claims extend to long-term conditions as well.
- Slip/trip and falls arise from slipping on wet surfaces or tripping over loose and scattered debris around the construction site. Debris is common on most types of construction sites, and proper precautions about its placement and disposal should always be taken.
- A fall to a lower level can result in drastic injuries. These often occur when a worker falls from something like a ladder, roof, upper level, or flight of stairs. It can also occur on ground that’s thought to be stable, but perhaps wasn’t constructed correctly.
- Bodily reactions, or when the skin or other tissue comes into contact with harmful substances and chemicals sometimes used on construction sites.
- Struck by an object, like when construction materials or tools fall from a high level, are dropped by another worker, or slip from a piece of machinery.
- Machinery accidents in which large, heavy equipment has injured a worker by crushing or otherwise mutilating a body part. This can happen when equipment isn’t properly operated or maintained, or when certain safety protocols aren’t adhered to.
- Workplace violence, or when things get physical between coworkers. Arguments and differences can sometimes turn physical between employees, and if someone gets hurt, it could be the responsibility of the employer to compensate for those injuries.
- Wrongful death, or when a construction site accident leads to the death of the victim. This can stem from any one of the above-mentioned injuries if they are severe enough.
If you’re a construction worker who has suffered injuries as a result of any one of these or similar scenarios, you may have a workers’ compensation claim to file.
Determining Fault for a Construction Workers’ Comp Claim
If you employer has workers’ compensation insurance in place (which we recommend making a stipulation for taking any type of construction job), the policy should feasibly cover many basic work-related injuries when proper proof of injury and medical expenses are provided. However, there are occasions when either the construction company may be held directly accountable for the accident that caused the injuries and owe further damages to the victim, or another party entirely may be found liable.
Details surrounding the cause of the workplace injury are usually the determining factors for who to hold liable. If it is the misbehavior of fellow workers or failure to follow certain protocols and safety requirements, it is likely the construction company that can be held directly responsible. But in some cases, it may be a piece of equipment that was faulty, leading to issue with its manufacturer. Or it could be a third-party service that caused the injury, meaning they and their company might be held responsible instead. It’s about conducting a thorough investigation that definitively shows what and who caused the injury, and how doing so breached an owed duty of care.
In many instances, there are limits to the amount of damage a workers’ compensation insurance provider will pay out based on a policy. If the injuries call for medical attention that is more extensive than covered by the policy, it may be necessary to file a more extensive lawsuit against the party deemed at-fault. Taking this kind of action should never be considered without the assistance of a practiced workers’ compensation attorney. Even in the case of an insurance company being difficult to work with on fulfilling a straightforward claim, the right lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What to Expect from a Construction Workers’ Comp Claim
In an ideal world, if you’re a construction worker who’s injured on the job, you take the time needed off from work, see medical professionals who help treat your injuries, file a claim with your workers’ comp insurance provider, and have all your medical expenses reimbursed in a timely fashion. But insurance companies rarely operate on “ideals,” which means you may be in for a long haul to have even the most basic of your medical expenses reimbursed.
First, it’s important to keep seeking the medical attention you need no matter how delayed compensation on the other end may seem. Recovering after your injury is the most important thing you can do, and keeping ample record of all necessary medical processes will be needed as evidence for securing your coverage. It’s also important to know that you should never be fearful of filing a workers’ comp claim. This type of insurance exists for a reason.
Next, and especially if your employer or insurer are being less than forthcoming, you should seek out the assistance of a practiced workers’ compensation attorney. They can help you not only keep track of your medical records, but gather other valuable evidence surrounding the accident. This includes witness statements, police records, construction company records, and investigation and review of the accident site and items in question by related professionals. Your lawyer can also step in and interact with your employer and the insurance company on your behalf so they receive all the information they need to make the right and just decision.
A successful workers’ comp claim or lawsuit can gain you damages for items such as:
- Medical expenses and bills
- Loss of wages, both current and future
- Ongoing care costs
- End of life expenses
- Additional pain and suffering
The Whisler Law Firm has decades of experience helping construction workers and a variety of other employed individuals seek the justice they deserve after they’ve been injured on the job. Being a construction worker comes with its share of known risks, but that doesn’t mean you should be left to fend for yourself when something goes wrong.
Schedule a free consultation with our team so we can learn about the accident and your injuries, as well as your construction company’s workers’ comp policies, then advise you on the next best steps to take. This time around, let someone else do the heavy lifting so you can focus on your recovery. Call 833-529-5677 or fill out our online form to connect with our experts.