Working at a construction site might be one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Construction accidents injure or kill thousands of workers every year. Construction workers account for one in five workplace fatalities in the United States. No matter what the cause or nature of the injury, the worker is entitled to some kind of compensation. A construction accident attorney diligently pursues these claims to ensure injured workers are awarded money for any and all damage suffered. If you have been injured while working at a construction site, any resulting legal claim may be affected by workers’ compensation laws, depending on your employment situation and the extent to which your employer is responsible for your injuries.
What is Workers Compensation?
If you get hurt on the job, your employer is required by law to pay for workers’ compensation benefits. You could get hurt by:
- Singular event at work. Examples: hurting your back in a fall, getting burned by a chemical that splashes on your skin, getting hurt in a car accident while making deliveries.
- Repeated exposures at work. Examples: hurting your hand, back, or other part of the body from doing the same motion over and over, losing your hearing because of constant loud noise.
If you are hurt on the job, report the injury or illness to your employer. Your employer must make sure that you have access to emergency treatment right away, whether you suffer a catastrophic injury, or just a minor injury, and may tell you where to go for treatment. Tell the medical staff that your injury is job-related.
What compensation is available other than Workers Compensation?
Under most state workers’ compensation programs, an injured employee is entitled to:
- Medical Care: You have the right to all reasonable necessary treatment to cure or relieve the effects of the injury. Included under medical treatment compensation are all medical bills, prescriptions and even roundtrip mileage to the hospital.
- Temporary Disability: If you must take time away from work due to medical reasons related to the construction accident, you might be entitled to temporary disability payments. Temporary disability is partial compensation for lost wages. Typically temporary disability payments equal about two-thirds of your average weekly gross pay and are paid out every two weeks.
- Permanent Disability: If you can’t completely recover from the effects of the injury, you could be entitled to a monetary award to compensate you for permanent damage. The amount and rate at which it is paid depends on how much limitation the injury places on activities.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: If the injury prevents you from returning to your former job, assistance in getting another job might be included in the benefits. During vocational rehabilitation, a partial income is distributed, similar to temporary disability.
Steps to Take if Injured on the Job
After notifying your employer of your injury and seeking immediate medical attention, the next step is to fill out a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1) within one working day after you report your injury or illness. Read all of the information that comes with the claim form. Fill out and sign the “employee” portion of the form. Describe your injury completely. Include every part of your body affected by the injury. Give the form to your employer. This is called “filing” the claim form. If you mail the form to your employer, use first-class or certified mail and purchase a return receipt.
Your claim may involve complex issues concerning catastrophic injury, party liability, compliance with safety regulations, engineering defects, and indemnity issues. If you’ve suffered an injury at work, contact the experienced construction accident attorneys at Stoner Grannis to pursue the legal remedies to which you are entitled.