How to File a Construction Injury Claim
Due to the dangerous nature of construction work, construction injuries occur frequently. There are many safety programs, regulations, and inspection procedures to prevent injuries on a work site, but unfortunately, injuries still occur due to hazards such as falling materials, electrocution, exposure to dangerous chemicals, repetitive motion injuries, and unsafe equipment. If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, an injury claim can allow you to receive compensation. Read on to learn more about how construction injury claims work and how to file a claim.
Before Making a Construction Injury Claim - Prevention and Safety
If you work on a construction site, you should follow safety procedures at all times. The property manager and general contractor are responsible for following U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. OSHA regulations require employers to:
- Remove hazards from the workplace
- Provide safe tools and equipment
- Inform employees and display OSHA regulations
- Create a hazard communication program
- Provide a safety training manual
- Notify employees of the existence of their medical and exposure records and make those records available upon employment
For more applicable OSHA requirements for safety in the workplace, the OSHA website is a helpful resource. OSHA also provides many workers' rights, such as the right to review copies of safety standards, have access to relevant records of work-related injuries and illnesses, request an OSHA inspection, and receive copies of hazard tests performed. If you believe there are unsafe conditions in your workplace that violate OSHA standards, you should contact the nearest OSHA Area Office or file a complaint online.
Filing a Construction Injury Claim
If you’ve been injured because your employer, a property manager, or a contractor has failed to implement OSHA standards, you should first seek immediate medical attention. Once you've received treatment, you should report the injury to your employer in writing and keep a copy for your own records. At this point, you may also want to contact an attorney experienced in construction injury claims to learn more about your legal options.
Injuries that occur on a work site are typically subject to worker's compensation regulations, which can preclude your right to file an injury claim against the parties responsible for your injuries. An experienced attorney can explain how workers' compensation and personal injury claims intersect and help you determine the best course of action for your case.
Workers' Compensation Claim vs. Personal Injury Claim
Worker's compensation is a form of insurance required by law to provide a predetermined amount of benefits to injured workers no matter who caused the work-related injury. Workers' compensation programs include coverage for:
- Medical care
- Temporary disability
- Permanent disability
- Vocational rehabilitation
Most workers' compensation laws limit the monetary amount that employee can recover from their employers and prohibit injured employees from suing their co-workers. Because workers' compensation is meant to be a substitute for costly lawsuits against employers, workers' compensation will be your only remedy for a work injury unless a third party caused your injuries, such as the manufacturer of a faulty product.
Get an Attorney to Review Your Claim
If you would like to make a workers' compensation claim, contact your employer. If your injury was caused by a third party, you can file a claim in civil court for damages. However, before filing your claim, it may be in your best interest to meet with a workers' compensation attorney in order to determine your option moving forward. You can have an attorney provide a review of the facts of your claim.
Contact a qualified workers' compensation attorney to make sure your rights are protected.