December 2, 2016
Information for Construction Workers
When you become a construction worker, you likely realize that you are engaging in a potentially dangerous job, as construction is deemed one of the riskiest industries by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).1 However, construction workers are necessary to build, improve, and repair building, bridges, roadways, and much more. Therefore, it is important for construction companies to do whatever they can to keep their employees safe from harm on the job. When you are working, you should also be aware of certain information in case an accident and injury does occur.
Common Injury Causes
It is important to understand the common causes of construction accidents so you can take steps to prevent these accidents from happening in the first place, along with recognizing what caused an injury if there is a dispute. Some examples of common construction accidents include:
- Falls from heights, such as ladders, roofs, or scaffolding
- Being struck by falling or propelled objects
- Between trapped in between materials or objects
- Slip and falls due to debris or slippery boards
- Stairs or ladders without handrails or safety equipment
- Falling off stepladders
- Collapsing excavation walls or trenches
- Accidents involving power tools
- Accidents involving heavy equipment
A large number of construction accidents occur because certain safety equipment – such as harnesses or eye protection – was not used, provided, or mandated on the construction site. Injuries can also happen if other workers are ignoring safety procedures or otherwise engaging in unsafe behavior.
Your Rights after a Construction Accident
When a construction accident happens and causes you injury, you have different rights depending on the type of accident that happened and who or what was involved. In many cases, you will have the right to claim workers’ compensation benefits from your employer to cover the costs of your medical treatment and to help replace any income you lost if you must take time off of work. While many construction accident victims have successful workers’ comp claims, obtaining adequate benefits can be a lot more complicated if your claim is partially or totally denied or if you have suffered a serious disability and are offered a settlement. For this reason, it is often wise to contact an attorney for assistance with your workers’ compensation claim.
In other situations, you may be able to file a claim for personal injury to seek compensation through the civil courts. This generally occurs when a third party unrelated to your employer was responsible for your accident. In such a claim, you can seek damages for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent disabilities, and more. The legal process is complex and has many specific deadlines and requirements that you must follow to have a successful claim. It is essential to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side who understands the nature of construction accidents and injuries.
What to do Following an Accident
Whether you will follow the workers’ compensation route or the personal injury lawsuit route, there are things you can do following your accident that can help protect your rights and increase your chances of financial recovery. Some of these steps include the following:
Medical evaluation – You should always seek medical help after a construction injury. If you will be seeking workers’ compensation benefits, your employer may request that you go to a certain doctor or hospital. In this case, you often want to seek your own independent evaluation, as well.
Gather documentation – You should always be aware of what is in your medical records regarding your workplace injury and what is in your workplace file regarding the accident. These documents can help you make a successful claim.
Never sign anything without first speaking with your attorney – Your employer or an insurance company may ask you to sign a certain document, which may be agreeing to a settlement offer. This will also mean you sign away your right to pursue additional compensation, so you should always consult with a lawyer before signing anything.
Contact a Philadelphia Construction Accident Attorney To Discuss Your Rights
At The Levin Firm, we understand the complicated nature of construction accident cases and that your rights may be different from case to case. We know how to fully evaluate your case, including what caused the accident and the severity of your injuries, to properly advise you of your rights and options in the legal system. We have helped many injured construction workers in and around Philadelphia, so please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss how we can help you. Call us for a free consultation at 215-825-5183 today.