Construction workers perform some of the most dangerous jobs in our economy, whether they are using heavy machinery, working high off the ground on ladders and scaffolding, or handling hazardous chemicals and substances that could cause severe or fatal injury if exposure occurs. When construction workers get hurt on the job, they often expect the workers' compensation system to take care of all their needs. There are a couple of huge problems with this: first, your employer's workers' compensation insurer could deny your claim or deny you all the benefits you deserve; second, even if you receive the benefits you are rightfully owed, you may not receive as much money as you need; third, other parties could have played a part in you getting injured and you may be able to sue them to obtain additional compensation.
When you consider all these factors, it is easy to see why some construction workers seek legal help after a workplace injury. The Brunswick construction accident lawyers at Roden Law are well-versed in the many things involved in pursuing compensation for an injury during a construction project. We can consult experts to determine precisely why and how your injury occurred, if there was any involvement by a third-party, and the full value of your claim. Injured construction workers can meet with us for free for a no obligation legal consultation. We will answer your questions and determine if you are owed compensation, and if you decide to hire us, we will not bill you for our legal services unless and until you are compensated.
Steps to Take After a Construction Accident Injury
The tips below can help you protect your workers' compensation claim or third-party lawsuit after an injury occurs. Many construction workers do not realize how much their actions after an injury can affect their chances of recovering compensation. Failing to do something or failing to act quickly enough could cause your claim to be denied. Being proactive is always a good idea after an injury. Our Brunswick construction accident lawyers can give you more information in a free legal consultation.
Step 1: Report the Injury, Do Not Wait
Sometimes injuries do not seem so bad – they take a little bit of time to become more serious and more painful. A common example could be a slip and fall that makes you feel a little sore at first. Another example could be a repetitive stress injury, such as trouble hearing caused by a noisy work environment or having to work with loud tools on a consistent basis.
However, even with these kinds of injuries, you should report it to your employer immediately. (This is particularly important with repetitive stress injuries, since it can be very difficult to link them to your job when you wait to report them.) Things could always get worse – you just do not know what is going to happen – and if you report the injury immediately it will be more difficult for your employer or its workers' compensation insurer to claim your injury occurred outside of work or is related to some other medical condition.
While it is always best to report your injury right away, you have up to 30 days to do so, otherwise you could lose your chance to obtain workers' compensation benefits.
Step 2: Go to a Hospital or Doctor's Office
No matter how a personal injury occurs, whether it is in the workplace, out in public, or at home, you need to get it treated immediately. Delays in seeking treatment are a big red flag for employers and insurance companies, who are already looking for ways to avoid paying fair compensation or any compensation for construction accident injuries.
If the situation is an emergency, such as if you suffer a catastrophic injury, you can seek treatment from any medical provider. However, once the emergency situation has passed, you are required to seek treatment from a doctor in the insurer's Workers' Compensation Managed Care Organization.
You are also required to accept any reasonable medical treatment and rehabilitation services if they are ordered by the State Board of Workers' Compensation (SBWC) or your benefits can be suspended.
Step 3: File a Workers' Compensation Claim
Most employers in the state of Georgia are required to have workers' compensation insurance, so you should not be deterred from filing a claim just because your employer says the company has none. You can contact the SBWC to check. You do not want to lose the chance to obtain compensation for medical expenses and disability caused by your injuries.
You can get the process started by filing a Notice of Claim form with either your employer or your employer's workers' compensation insurance company.
Our Brunswick workers' compensation lawyers can assist you further with applying for workers' compensation benefits.
The SBWC has a bill of rights for injured workers that also outlines your responsibilities after suffering an on-the-job injury.
Step 4: Contact an Attorney
Injured workers often wait until a claim has been denied to contact an attorney. While an attorney can still assist you at that point, the sooner you contact a lawyer, the more he or she will be able to help you.
Our attorneys can launch an investigation of your accident. This could include working with investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) if they are sent to investigate. If necessary, we can file a court order to help preserve evidence.
Unlike your employer and the workers' compensation insurance company, our goal will be to fight for fair compensation.
We can retain the services of vocational experts and life care experts to explain how your injuries will affect you moving forward. If necessary, we can also talk to mechanical design and equipment maintenance experts to talk about how unsafe products played a role in your injury.
Our Brunswick construction accident attorneys can also guide you through the appeals process if your claim is denied or you do not receive the amount of compensation you deserve.
Another major advantage to working with an attorney is that he or she can determine if you can file a third-party lawsuit in addition to your workers' compensation claim. There are additional forms of compensation available from a third-party lawsuit, such as pain and suffering and loss of companionship.
Schedule your free legal consultation today by calling us at 1-844-RESULTS.
Compensation for a Construction Accident Injury
If your workers' compensation claim is approved, you are entitled to compensation for the following medical expenses:
- Doctor bills
- Hospital bills
- Physical therapy
- Prescription drugs
- Necessary travel expenses
The amount of compensation you can receive is unlimited, but you can only receive it for a maximum of 400 weeks. The only exception to this is for catastrophic injuries, which include injuries with a severity that prevents the employee from performing his or her prior work or any work that is available in substantial numbers in the national economy. This could include injuries like:
- Severe paralysis
- Severe headaches
- Severe burns
- Serious head injuries
You can also receive disability benefits, which essentially compensate you for lost wages while you are unable to work or are forced to work in a more limited capacity than you did previously. Disability benefits are worth 66 and two-thirds percent of your pre-injury wages up to the maximum weekly amount set by law, whether you have a total or partial disability that is permanent or temporary.
However, there are other forms of compensation available by filing a lawsuit against a third party that played a role in you getting injured. This could include pain and suffering, which compensates you for the physical pain and emotional suffering caused by your injury. Emotional suffering could include anxiety, depression or emotional withdrawal.
Our Brunswick construction accident lawyers may also be able to obtain compensation for loss of companionship, which is for the effects of your injury on your relationship with your spouse.
Contact Roden Law right now by filling out a Free Case Evaluation form.
Third-Parties Involved in Construction Sites
The trade-off with having a workers' compensation system is that you cannot sue your employer over a workplace injury. However, if your injury was caused a third party that was not employing you, our attorneys may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them.
Examples of third parties that may have liability for a construction accident include:
- Drivers of motor vehicles, such as drivers who are passing through road construction and hit a worker
- Equipment manufacturers, particularly if the equipment malfunctioned due to a design or manufacturing error
- Subcontractors or general contractors
- Prime contractors
- Janitorial companies if they failed to clean up a spill that caused a fall
If you can prove a third party was negligent, you may be able to recover compensation for the damages caused by your injuries. One way to help prove negligence is to establish there were violations of OSHA regulations, which are designed to help keep workers safe. For instance, there must be procedures for controlling hazardous energy and the safe use of ladders.
Our Brunswick construction accident lawyers can manage every step of your third-party lawsuit to attempt to recover additional compensation beyond what is available in a workers' compensation claim.
Our firm can be reached by calling 1-844-RESULTS.
Construction Accidents That Often Lead to Legal Action
There are so many different types of construction accidents that can lead to workers' compensation claims. This is why you should not hesitate about contacting a lawyer to discuss your situation. Our Brunswick construction accident attorneys can meet with you for free to determine how we may be able to help you.
Some of the more common examples of construction accidents include:
- Collapsing trenches – Some construction jobs require workers to dig into the ground or below the sidewalk. If any workers are in the trench when it collapses, they could be hit with dirt, concrete, tools or anything else near the trench.
- Falling tools, materials or debris – This is a common accident when a construction site has multiple levels. Beams, building materials, debris, tools and other objects could fall from a scaffold and hit workers on the ground or levels below.
- Fall accidents – There are two main types of falling accidents, falls from height and slip and fall accidents caused by wet or slippery floors or walkways. Either type can cause long-term injuries. This is why OSHA requires employers to use guardrail systems, among other safety measures to keep employees from falling. According to OSHA statistics, fatal falls in the workplace in 2017 were at their highest level in 26 years.
Other examples of construction accidents include:
- Malfunctioning equipment accidents
- Injuries from collapsing fences, sheds, scaffolding or other temporary structures
- Getting stuck between objects or materials, such as heavy machinery and fallen debris
- Electrocution accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents, including getting hit by passing vehicles
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Fires and explosions that cause severe burn injuries
Click on the phone number: 1-844-RESULTS right now to set up your free consultation.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Brunswick Construction Accident Lawyer
Injuries from a construction accident are often catastrophic – victims could lose limbs, suffer spinal cord injuries, become horribly scarred and disfigured, or suffer respiratory issues from breathing in toxic fumes.
Victims need compensation for their massive medical bills and lost wages when they are completely unable to work or unable to work as much as they did previously. These injuries can also cause significant pain and suffering, which is not available in a workers' compensation claim.
These are reasons why legal help can be so valuable. The Brunswick construction accident lawyers at Roden Law may be able to file a third-party lawsuit in addition to guiding you through every step of the workers' compensation claims process. We know how to build a strong case by gathering evidence about your injury, including evidence of workplace safety violations, consulting experts and applying our detailed knowledge of Georgia laws.
Every consultation with an injured construction worker comes free of charge. You are not obligated to take legal action and you do not pay us unless we recover compensation for you.