Regardless of the safety regulations and protocols enforced, it is estimated that 1 in every 50 construction workers is injured on the job. Electrocution, trip hazards, dangerous chemicals, falls, and muscle strains are a few dangers facing construction workers. A construction accident lawyer is the best way to ensure maximum compensation for injuries experienced on a job site.
Ask a Construction Accident Lawyer: 5 Steps for Building a Case
1. Receive Medical Attention
According to the US Bureau of Labor, there is a disproportionately high rate of injury amongst construction workers when compared to individuals employed in other industries. Therefore, the first step in any work injury claim is to ensure that those injured seek appropriate medical care. Seeking medical care ensures that injuries are cared for properly and creates an easy-to-follow paper trail and record of the incident.
Hospital, urgent care, or emergency room records create evidence supporting the damages and injuries suffered. Some of this evidence can include x-rays, test results, and testimonials from health care professionals. All of these records serve to strengthen the construction accident case.
2. Seek a Lawyer
While the steps that are taken to receive compensation after the accident may vary according to the details of the case, construction accident lawyers in Houston TX will take steps to ensure maximum compensation is received. Accident lawyers will review details from the incident and advise the injured party on what type of claim should be submitted. Lawyers will also advise which damages should be listed and whether multiple claims can be made.
The attorney sought after a construction workplace injury should specialize in personal injury law. The attorney should also have experience dealing with construction accident cases specifically.
3. File the Right Kind of Claim
The legislation dealing with workers’ compensation cases is engineered to provide a relatively quick way of receiving benefits while avoiding lengthy and costly legal battles for employers. However, workers’ compensation claims have fewer opportunities to maximize payouts as compared to personal injury claims.
Most states require employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. However, Texas allows employers to not participate in this system, allowing them to be non-subscribers. After experiencing an on-the-job injury, an attorney will advise which claim should be filed: workers’ compensation, non-subscriber, or personal injury.
Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation insurance companies generally prevent workers from suing co-workers and pressing charges against employers. The employer’s insurance company issues benefits after the claim has been processed and approved. Medical expenses, rehabilitation, temporary disability, and permanent disability are generally among eligible damages.
Employers who do not have workers’ compensation insurance and are responsible for injury due to negligence will require non-subscriber claims. Completing a non-subscriber claim is often less straightforward than a workers’ compensation claim. However, a non-subscriber claim does have the potential for higher maximum compensation.
A non-subscriber claim is a subtype of a personal injury claim. This allows the injured party to include compensation for emotional damages, reduced earning capacities, compensation for pain and suffering, a more significant portion of lost wages, and more.
Third-Party Personal Injury Claim
If the injury was caused by a third party rather than an employer while at work, the injured party may file a third-party personal injury claim. These claims may include work completed with equipment manufactured incorrectly or fall injuries while on client property. Third-party personal injury claims are similar to non-subscriber claims and are not limited in the same way a workers’ compensation claim would be.
There are some cases in which individuals may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim and pursue a third-party claim simultaneously. A construction accident lawyer will know best what can be filed.
4. Report the Accident
Workers’ compensation claims allow 30 days to report an accident in writing and one year to file the required paperwork in order to receive compensation. The countdown begins at the date of injury. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in the state of Texas is two years. Speak with an attorney as soon as possible to accommodate delays in the claims process.
5. Document the Case
A construction accident attorney will work with the injured party to ensure the proper documentation is in place for the case. Evidence will include medical records such as x-rays and testimonials from medical professionals, proof of missed wages, paystubs, witness statements, and tax returns. Ensure documentation is kept in a safe place where it will not be lost.
Most personal injury cases, including construction accident claims, are settled outside of court saving time and litigation expenses. An attorney will review the compensation offered by the liable party or the insurance companies to determine if the injured party is receiving enough. After this review, the injured party may accept or reject the offer, renegotiate or take the claim to trial.
Construction workers deal with hazardous conditions daily and should not suffer from negligent oversight. A construction accident attorney will help those injured in workplace accidents recover financial compensation and hold responsible parties accountable.