Construction Injuries FAQ
Construction work is filled with potential hazards. Understanding your legal rights and obligations if you are injured on the job is essential. This FAQ will help answer frequently asked questions about construction injuries. If you have been in a workplace accident, this FAQ can serve as your starting point.
How do I take steps to assert my rights to a safe workplace?
You have the right to a safe workplace under your state's Workers' Compensation Act. If you believe your workplace is unsafe, you should first make your supervisor aware of the danger. Follow up in writing. If you are still unsuccessful in correcting the safety hazard, you can file a complaint and report the conditions to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Can I get more than workers' compensation if I am injured while working on a construction site?
Workers ' compensation laws may affect your financial recovery against your employer. Remember that other parties may be legally responsible for your injuries. This can include third-party contractors, property owners, or equipment manufacturers. It can also include subcontractors. Workers' compensation laws will not affect your recovery from those parties. In most states, you must repay the worker's compensation carrier from your third-party settlement.
If your injury is due to a third party's negligence, you may file a personal injury claim against them in addition to your workers' comp claim. Consult a personal injury lawyer or workers' compensation attorney for legal advice.
Who is liable if a person is injured by debris from a construction site while walking on a public sidewalk?
In some circumstances, the injured person can recover damages from the construction company. The company must take reasonable steps to keep public sidewalks near its construction site safe, which means free from bricks and other debris. If the company fails to remove such obstructions, the company may be liable for damages.
Construction companies should also tell pedestrians they could get injured if they stray from the sidewalk. More than posting a sign is required. If a company fails to place barriers and warning lamps by a building pit, for example, it may be responsible if anyone falls into it and gets injured.
Depending on the case's specifics, the construction company, property owner, or another party could be held liable. The injured person should contact a personal injury lawyer to explore their options. They may have a viable personal injury lawsuit to pursue.
I was injured while working on a large construction project. Can I sue the person who owns the property?
The property owner may be legally liable for some or all of your injuries. You can typically sue the property owner if they were negligent. However, in most cases, your first avenue of recourse will be through your workers' compensation insurance.
Does workers' compensation cover all on-the-job injuries?
Most work-related injuries should be covered, but there are exceptions. Injuries that occur while you are not performing your work duties or violating company policy may be covered. However, the claim can be denied if the injury was a direct result of an enforced prohibited act. Occupational diseases can also be covered under certain conditions.
The workers' compensation system is designed to benefit injured workers. This is regardless of whether an injury is caused by the employer's or employee's negligence. However, there are some limits. Generally, injuries caused because an employee was intoxicated or using illegal drugs are not covered.
What happens during an OSHA inspection?
During an OSHA inspection, a representative will visit your workplace to ensure all safety standards are met. They may review injury records, inspect the site, and interview employees. The OSHA inspector will meet with the employer to explain the inspection's nature. They will also review employer documents about workplace injuries and hazards. At the end of the inspection, the inspector will tell the employer of any possible violations.
I was injured on the job, and an investigation showed that my employer violated OSHA regulations. What will this do to support my case?
The answer will depend on whether the violation caused your injury and where your case is heard. Some courts have held that violating an OSHA regulation is plain negligence where an injury results. Proof of OSHA violations can strengthen your workers' compensation case. It is evidence that your employer failed to maintain a safe work environment.
Who handles ensuring that the construction site where I work is safe?
Employers are primarily responsible for ensuring the safety of their workers. However, everyone, including employees, property owners, and independent contractors, shares responsibility for maintaining safety. The extent of each party's responsibility will vary depending on the case.
What benefits can I receive from my workers' compensation claim?
You can receive workers' compensation benefits. Benefits can include medical care for your injury. This means the insurance will cover your medical expenses. It can also cover lost wages (usually two-thirds of your average weekly wage). An employee might also be entitled to disability benefits. This disability can be a permanent partial disability or temporary total disability. Dependents of workers who die due to work-related injuries may also receive benefits.
What if my employer is self-insured?
If your employer is self-insured, they will still have an insurance carrier. This insurance carrier handles their workers' compensation claims. You will follow the same process of reporting your injury and seeking compensation.
How do workers' compensation benefits interact with Social Security Disability benefits?
Receiving workers' compensation benefits may reduce your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Consult a lawyer for more specific advice on your situation.
How can I learn more about my injury claim?
Attorneys are not cheap, but the cost of not hiring an attorney can be far more costly. Still, you may be reluctant to pay legal fees if you are unsure whether you have a strong claim. Fortunately, you can have an attorney provide an initial claim review. That way, you will know more about your case and the process involved moving forward. Lawyers will review your eligibility for workers' compensation reimbursement for your medical bills. They will also help you should you need to file a personal injury lawsuit instead.
Getting Legal Help With a Construction Injury Claim
Getting the right legal advice is essential if you are injured in a construction accident. A workers' compensation lawyer can guide you through the process, help you file your claim with the insurance company, and help you appeal the denial of benefits, if necessary. Do not let confusion about the workers' compensation case process overwhelm you. A knowledgeable attorney can assist with securing medical benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and more.
Do not hesitate to seek legal advice to protect your rights as an injured employee. You should receive the necessary medical treatment and benefits you are eligible for. They will help you get the workers' compensation coverage you deserve. As a disclaimer, this FAQ is just a starting point. Each case is unique and deserves personal attention from an experienced professional.
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