If a construction worker gets injured on the job, they can file a workers’ compensation claim. They can recover reimbursement for their medical bills and a portion of their lost income. If the worker suffered harm due to negligence, such as faulty wiring, they could file a personal injury case in addition to seeking workers’ compensation.
Construction is one of the deadliest workforces, and each day, countless people suffer injuries. If you or a loved one suffered harm in a construction accident, you could entrust your case to an injury lawyer. They can seek what you need and pursue compensation from the liable party.
A Construction Worker Could File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Most states require workers’ compensation coverage for construction workers. Here, an injured worker can seek compensation regardless of fault. They must only show their injuries happened while they were performing their job-related duties. Many workers’ compensation insurers accept claims with no problems.
Other times, filing a workers’ compensation claim and fighting for compensation gets difficult. In that instance, you could partner with a lawyer who manages these situations. That way, you can focus on healing and rebuilding your life.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
As noted, workers’ compensation generally covers your medical bills and two-thirds of your lost income. Yet, based on your condition’s severity, you could seek other types of damages, such as disability. You could also seek death benefits if your loved one passed away in the line of construction work. This compensation would cover their funeral and burial, among other things.
You Must Follow Certain Deadlines to Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation allows you to take the time off work you need to recover without jeopardizing your health. Still, to qualify, you must heed certain deadlines. For instance, if you live in New York, you generally have 30 days to notify your employer of your injuries.
When seeking workers’ compensation benefits, it’s crucial that you follow all mandated deadlines. Failing to miss a deadline even by a day could invalidate your right to damages, leaving you with few legal options.
Some Employers Dispute Workers’ Compensation Claims
For whatever reason, your employer may contest your workers’ compensation claim. They may do so if:
- They suspect you were under the influence of any mind-altering substances at the time of the incident.
- They believe horseplay led or contributed to your injuries.
- They think you were injured while off the clock or while not engaged in work-related duties.
You can contest these allegations using evidence, such as security camera footage or eyewitness testimony. Still, if your employer (or the insurer) unjustly denies your claim, you could file a lawsuit and seek compensation via that route.
A Construction Worker Could File a Personal Injury Claim
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. That means an injured person can seek damages regardless of who caused the accident. Personal injury claims are different; they hinge on the principle of negligence, meaning that because another party caused you harm, you were injured and deserve damages.
Here’s what to know about moving forward with an injury claim:
In a personal injury case, you file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer. For instance, if a defective power tool backfired and injured you, you could file a claim with the device’s manufacturer. In another situation, if you slipped and fell due to an unsafe property, you could file a claim with the property owner’s insurance provider.
You Must Meet Deadlines in Your Case
You must adhere to certain deadlines when filing your personal injury claim. Insurance companies all have their own deadlines for processing these cases, anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of years after getting hurt.
Lawsuits are different matters. Each state has its own deadline for personal injury lawsuits. If a loved one passes away, you must also follow any limitations on actions. Depending on the state, wrongful death lawsuits may have different time limits for acting.
Again, these are hard deadlines, meaning that missing them could invalidate your case. Some exceptions could give you more time to act, but you shouldn’t make any assumptions about your legal options. Instead, consulting an injury lawyer can shed light on your obligations and help you move forward.
You Can Recover More Than Medical Bills and Lost Income
In a personal injury case, you can request compensation for each of your injury-related damages, including your non-economic hardships. There’s also no limit to how much you can recover.
Compensable losses in your case may comprise:
- Medical bills, including anticipated care costs, surgeries, and medications
- The full cost of your lost income
- Loss of future earning capacity (if your injuries negatively affect your earning power)
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Any property damage costs, such as the cost of repairing your vehicle
- Scarring, disfigurement, and disability
- Loss of consortium
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Assistive devices, such as crutches or a wheelchair
You can file a personal injury case if you lost a loved one.
In that instance, compensable losses may comprise:
- End-of-life care costs, such as palliative care and life support
- Funeral costs
- Burial/cremation expenses
- Loss of the decedent’s income
There are other case-specific damages you could recover in addition to those listed here.
Pursuing an Injury Claim May Require Proving Negligence
As noted, most personal injury claims require proving negligence to succeed.
Establishing negligence requires showing:
- Another party had a duty of care. Everyone has a duty of care toward one another. For instance, property owners must keep sites free of hazards.
- Another party breached their duty of care. When someone’s actions put others at risk of harm, they breach their duty of care. A property owner who allows live wires to existing on their property breaches their duty of care.
- Another party caused your injuries. Then, you must show that because another party breached their duty of care, you suffered injuries.
- You have damages. The final element of negligence requires showing that you have injury-related losses, such as medical bills.
Establishing just one of these elements could prove difficult on your own. That’s why many construction accident claimants partner with injury lawyers. This alleviates them of all legal burdens associated with their claims or lawsuits.
You Could File a Both Workers’ Compensation Claim and a Personal Injury Claim
As previously noted, if you were hurt in a construction accident, you could seek compensation through multiple avenues. You could file a workers’ compensation and personal injury case if:
You Suffered Serious Injuries
To seek damages, you must prove that you suffered serious injuries that affect your everyday life.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken or fractured bones
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Spinal cord trauma
- Soft-tissue injuries, such as whiplash
- Road rash
- The loss of one or more limbs
You could also seek damages if you developed a work-related illness while on the job. Suppose you worked on a building site that contained asbestos. You breathed in these particles, and now you have lung cancer. In that instance, because you have a life-threatening condition, you could pursue workers’ compensation and a personal injury case.
You Have Damages
You can’t file a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury claim without having damages. To have a successful case, you must show that you suffered harm and have expenses related to that injury. You could use medical bills, receipts, and other documentation to assert your right to compensation.
What Should I Do After Suffering a Construction Accident?
While weighing your legal options, you may have many questions about what you should do after a construction accident. The following considerations do more than promote your well-being; they can promote your injury case’s outcome.
Get Prompt Medical Care
Seeking medical attention is critical, whether you’re filing a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. Workers’ compensation has a deadline for seeking medical attention. Your personal injury claim doesn’t come with a firm deadline for getting healthcare but doing so immediately is in your best interest.
Visiting a doctor puts you on the road toward maximum medical improvement. It also creates evidence that could support your claim in the future. For instance, you could use your imaging scan results to assert the severity of your condition. You could use your treatment plan as proof that you have injury-related losses.
Keep Evidence Related to Your Case
The other party may request evidence of your accident, injuries, and damages.
Some of this information may include:
- Any correspondence between you and your employer
- Receipts, bills, and invoices
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
- Testimony from witnesses
- Accident reconstruction data
- The accident report
Regardless of whether you’re filing a personal injury claim or workers’ compensation case, you must show that you were injured and have damages. The information above could prove both of those things.
What Should You Not Do?
Your next steps are critical to your case’s outcome. You don’t want to do anything that could jeopardize your right to damages or otherwise impede the claims process.
You should avoid:
- Sharing information about your case on social media. Your employer or the claims adjuster could see your posts and think twice about paying your claim. That’s because anything you share could jeopardize your allegations. Even something small, like a years-old picture of you, could stall the claims process.
- Giving a recorded statement. You’re not obligated to give anyone, including the claims adjuster, a recorded statement. The other party could edit your words out of context and use them against you.
- Discontinuing medical care. It’s true: undergoing treatment can prove stressful and time-consuming. Still, you should do everything possible to better your condition. This shows the liable party that you’re serious about recouping damages and deserve compensation.
You Can Partner With a Lawyer After Your Construction Accident
A construction accident can transform your life. You deserve this time to focus on your health and future—not on building a complex injury claim. You can entrust your case to a lawyer who can negotiate a settlement with the liable party and advocate for what you need.
Reputable law firms:
Operate on a Contingency-Fee Basis
You have enough financial concerns after your construction accident. You shouldn’t have to stress about attorney’s fees, too. So, many attorneys offer their help on contingency, meaning you pay nothing if your case doesn’t yield damages.
Payment for their time, resources, and efforts comes from your settlement. You can learn more about this arrangement when you connect with a construction accident attorney in your area.
Offer Comprehensive Legal Help
Right now, your priority should be on healing. In the meantime, your lawyer can focus on:
- Investigating your case
- Calculating your damages
- Interviewing witnesses
- Reviewing the liable insurance policy
- Managing all case-related communications
- Negotiating for what you’re owed
- Filing your case within all applicable deadlines
Your lawyer can also keep you updated on your case’s progression. So, instead of wondering about your options, you can remain in the loop.
Protect You From Aggressive Third Parties
After getting hurt on a construction site, there are many parties that could try to upend your case. These parties could include your employer, the claims adjuster, the liable insurance company, and others. You shouldn’t have to devote time and energy to these arguments when you’re supposed to focus on healing.
A construction accident attorney can:
- Protect you from bad faith insurance practices
- Field all emails and phone calls from others involved
- Dispute allegations of fault and liability
- Hold the insurer accountable for your losses
You’re Not Alone After a Construction Accident
You may have many concerns about what happens after a construction accident. Just know that you have legal options; you could file a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim to recoup your losses.
Remember: these are time-sensitive matters. To preserve your right to damages (regardless of what route you take), you should consider the value of partnering with an injury lawyer. They can initiate prompt legal action and protect your right to compensation.