Working in the construction industry can be very dangerous. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 21 percent of the worker fatalities caused in 2016 took place at a construction site. There’s a reason hard hats and closed toed shoes are always required, even when walking through the area. Usually, most injuries sustained at the construction site fall into the following categories:
- Falls from scaffolding or other height
- Strikes from falling or hanging objects
- Other negligent acts
Since one out of every five workplace injuries occurs on a construction site, you should be prepared in the case of an on-the-job injury. This includes understanding what steps to take after the accident occurs.
Step 1: Seek Medical Attention
The moment you are injured at the construction site, you should immediately see a healthcare professional who can assess your injuries. Even if you cannot sense any injuries during the aftermath of the incident, it’s still a good idea to seek a medical opinion. In many cases, internal bleeding or concussions could take several days to appear. The sooner you seek medical care, the better.
Step 2: Determine If You Can Claim Workers Compensation
If you were injured while on-the-job, you will most likely be eligible for workers compensation. These benefits work on a no-fault system, meaning you will receive payout no matter who caused the injury (even if it was your own negligence). These benefits will typically pay for part or all of your medical bills, lost wages and any long-term disability that resulted from the accident. However, using workers compensation comes with one caveat—you are not able to hold the company liable for your injuries.
Step 3: Determine If You Can Bring a Civil Lawsuit
Even if you receive workers compensation from your employer, the extent of your injuries still may not be covered. In some cases, you may want to pursue a civil lawsuit against the at-fault party. If this party is not associated with your employer, you will be able to file this lawsuit on top of your workers compensation benefits. You could be eligible to pursue a civil lawsuit if your injury was the result of negligence on the part of a subcontractor or vendor since these individuals are usually contracted by your employer and considered third-parties. Additionally, you can bring a civil lawsuit against an equipment manufacturer, if there was a malfunction due to poor design or manufacturing.
If you’re unsure if you have a case outside of your workers compensation benefits, reach out to a personal injury attorney, like a personal injury lawyer in Washington, DC from The Lawfirm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. They will be able to assess the situation and determine what damages you are eligible to receive.