Construction Accident Checklist
Construction work has long been recognized as one of the most hazardous occupations in America. Workers are exposed daily to dangerous conditions including the weather, falling objects, uncovered holes, moving cranes, unsafe scaffolds, toxic chemicals, live wires, explosions, the lack of safety guards, slippery surfaces and the negligence of contractors from other trades.
Contractors have an obligation to provide a safe working environment for their employees and other workers as well as conducting regular safety meetings and encouraging the reporting of potential hazards. What to do after an injury on the job can determine if your injury claim will be accepted or even the amount of compensation you may be awarded.
By following this construction injury checklist, you can preserve evidence and give investigators a clear indication of how the accident happened and the nature of your injuries.
- Initially, seek medical attention immediately. If you delay, there may be an issue whether you were injured on the job or if it was non work-related.
- As soon as practicable, notify your supervisor of the injury.
- Injury accidents must be reported to OSHA. Confirm that your supervisor did make a report or do it yourself.
- Write down what you recall about the accident. Was there equipment involved, other contractors or did the weather play a role? Note the time and exact location of the accident, the names of workers in the vicinity and your actions leading up to the accident.
- You will be asked to give a statement. Do not make any conclusions regarding fault or minimize your injuries.
- Take your own photographs if you can. If the site has been altered, make a note on the photos as to what has been removed, changed or otherwise altered since the accident. Be sure to note the date and time you took the photographs.
- Allow the employer’s physician to examine you but be examined by a health care provider of your own.
- Follow all instructions from your doctor regarding rest, treatment, medications and limiting activities.
- Cooperate with the OSHA investigator.
- Do not sign any settlement documents or any other documents from your employer.
- Be aware of what workers’ compensation benefits are available to you.
- Contact a construction accident injury lawyer.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you were injured in the course and scope of your employment, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of fault. Benefits include:
- Partial disability-up to 5 years but payments may be extended
- Temporary total disability—60% of average weekly wage up to 3 years
- Permanent disability-receive two-thirds of maximum state average weekly wage for duration of disability
- Medical expenses
- Expenses for prescriptions and mileage to and from appointments
- Permanent loss of function
- Permanent disfigurement
- Vocational rehabilitation
You can also negotiate for a lump sum settlement as well but you should discuss this first with your construction injury accident lawyer.
Third Party Claims
There are occasions where a construction accident was caused by defective machinery or equipment, materials or the negligence of a party other than your employer. It usually takes an investigation undertaken by OSHA or your own attorney to discover that a third party’s wrongful or negligent conduct was a factor in your accident.
A third party claim is a separate proceeding though the workers’ compensation insurer can cooperate with your injury attorney since the insurer has a right to seek some reimbursement from the third party or from the claim settlement.
These claims may include product liability, premises liability or motor vehicle negligence. Your injury lawyer will handle all aspects of your claim in conjunction with your workers’ compensation proceeding.
Damages in Third Party Claims
Regardless if a workers’ compensation claim is filed, you can recover compensation for damages sustained as a result of the third party’s negligence. This includes:
- Medical expenses not paid by workers compensation insurer
- Wage loss not covered by workers’ compensation
- Pain and suffering (not included in a workers’ compensation claim)
- Emotional trauma
- Spousal loss of consortium
Consult with Paul Tetzel, a Boston construction injury lawyer, will fight for your legal rights. Trust your workers’ compensation and third party claims to Mr. Tetzel and call today for a free consultation.