The construction industry, by its nature, is a risky sector. The tasks and responsibilities involved in the construction field may subject workers to perform dangerous manual labor, sometimes while stationed at great heights or using heavy equipment.
On the other hand, bystanders, visitors, and pedestrians aren’t always safe from collapsing structures and falling debris. So many things can go wrong at a construction site, some unforeseen and some due to negligence. Even with numerous safety regulations and programs, you may be a victim of a construction accident. In the case of a life-threatening or life-altering construction accident, you’ll need to file a claim.
Schwartzapfel Lawyers will walk you through the vital steps of filing that increase your chances of being compensated after sustaining an injury from a construction accident.
Seek medical attention immediately
Your safety comes first, before any compensation claims. Rush to the nearest emergency room for treatment and have a medical professional perform a check-up for any injuries you may have sustained during the construction accident. If you’re found unconscious, chances are you will wake up in a hospital. Let the medical professionals address your wounds and nurse you back to health. Don’t disregard medical advice and leave prematurely.
File a report with the supervisor
It’s imperative to let your supervisor know that you were involved in an accident at the construction site. Make sure the report comes from you, the victim, preferably within 30 days from the day of the incident.
You might want to forward the statement in writing while documenting every event that led to the accident. Details such as how it happened, when it happened, the venue of the accident, and the people present at the time of the accident may help with your case. Try documenting every event as it happened to avoid changes in your story that could potentially weaken your case.
Bring qualified lawyers on board
Accidents automatically involve the law. With that in mind, you’ll need the experts, who have studied the nuances of the law, on your side. Construction accidents may result in severe trauma and injuries that may cost your life, employment status, mental health, physical ability, and pile up your financial burden. Unbeknownst to some employees, workers’ compensation may help you cover your medical bills and may even step-in for your salary while recovering. You may also sue your employer for injury compensation, should your employer be liable for your injuries during the accident.
Good legal advice and representation give you adequate time to focus on your recovery while the lawyers tackle the case. You will also avoid making legal mistakes that may cost you financial compensation. Your legal counsel should help you understand your situation, calculate the chances of being compensated, fight for a fair compensation amount, and advise you sparingly.
Take note of any witnesses at the time of the accident
Due to the complexity of construction accident cases, many of them end up in court. The final verdict mainly depends on how you represent your case in court and the facts and evidence gathered during the investigation process.
Testimonies from witnesses tend to carry weight. This reason makes noting witnesses at the time of the accident paramount. Forward these names to your lawyer for proper judgment and advice.
In addition to noting down witnesses from the accident site, it may be in your best interest to go the extra mile and collect photographic evidence. Video footage and photos from the scene of the accident may help place people at particular locations at the time of the incident. The photographic evidence will help show the judge and jury who was really liable for your injuries and physical/emotional suffering.
Keep all your medical records
Medical records such document the state of your injuries and prescribed medications and include X-ray reports and medical bills that are crucial to building your case. These medical records serve as evidence that you suffered from injuries related to a construction accident and that you deserve to be compensated.
You may also present your doctor’s statements stating how the accident affected your physical and mental health and how long you’ve been in physical therapy to further bolster your case. Your personal injury lawyer should obtain copies of the medical records as part of the investigation process.
File a claim for workers’ compensation
With all the documents collected and your workers’ compensation lawyer hired, perhaps now it’s time to file a claim. Workers’ compensation is a legal requirement geared at protecting workers’ rights, while simultaneously protecting employers from liability.
In the case of a construction accident, you’re eligible to file a claim for financial relief after sustaining injuries at the construction site accident. Your lawyer will guide you on the process that at its bare bones, involves filling an employee claim form and sending it to the Worker’s Compensation Board. You may also sue your employer or machinery manufacturer, citing further compensation for your personal injury. You must file this claim within two years after the accident.
After filing for workers; compensation, personal injury claim, or both, your lawyers will help you with the negotiation deals and mediation clauses provided by the other party. However, if your case proceeds to court, you might want to tighten your belt and brace yourself for the battle. Experienced lawyers will guide you through the process and represent you in court to ensure you score the best deal.
What if your claim is denied?
Hopefully, the construction accident you’re involved in won’t conclude with such a tragic ending Regardless of whether or not your lawsuit is denied, you can still file for an appeal. Your lawyer will help you file for an appeal to help you receive the necessary compensation for the injuries you sustained during the construction site accident.
For more information about filing for a construction injury lawsuit, call the experts. Don’t trudge through this physically and emotionally-painful process alone.