Construction workplace injuries are an unfortunate reality of the job. Working with heavy equipment, unstable foundations, exposed wiring, and hazardous material can lead to an increased chance of getting injured. Workers’ compensation exists for all employees in the construction industry who face these risks daily.
However, not all cases fall neatly within the lines of rightful compensation and may be subject to further compensation due to misconduct. Filing for workers’ comp does not automatically concede your ability to file a personal injury claim. Here are some basic differences between the two, and how you can tell whether you need to take your case a step further.
Most states require by law that companies have workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Doing so means employees are covered for medical expenses and other costs that were caused by an injury. Unlike a personal injury claim, filing for workers’ comp means that no one is blamed for the accident. Only proof that you were injured and that it happened on the job are required to benefit from workers’ comp.
Personal Injury Claims
While companies have insurance to ensure they are not held accountable for injuries that result from the innate risks of the job, it does not mean they are totally free of guilt in cases of negligence. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the most common safety violations by companies include proper protection from falls, respiratory hazards and improper ladder use. If your injury was the result of one of these failures, you may be entitled to a claim against them.
Negligence can stem from third parties, too, such as other people working at the construction site or outside sources like suppliers, contractors, engineers, and architects. A claim against any of these must prove that you were injured due to their disregard for safety procedures.
Important Steps to Follow After an Injury
Taking these precautions can ensure you have necessary evidence for a later claim:
- Obtain medical help: ensure your injuries are taken care of immediately, and see a doctor even if you don’t think you were hurt, as symptoms may not appear until later
- File a report: you’re required to file a report about the accident to your employer, and this can be used as a detailed account of what happened for later use
- Take photos and notes: photographing the scene of the accident can provide substantial proof of injuries and negligence, and recorded details, including doctors’ visits and other expenses, may be used to get proper compensation
The laws surrounding construction injuries can be difficult to unravel, so consult a construction accident lawyer if you think your case warrants more than the typical workers’ comp. It never hurts to get professional advice on an incident that could change your way of living forever.