One of the most common construction injuries that a worker can sustain is a broken bone or bones. This injury can be sustained in several ways, and it can extend even after a construction site no longer employs a worker. Some of the ways that broken bones can be sustained include the following:
- Falls (e.g., scaffolding collapse)
- Slips (e.g., worker trips on an uneven surface)
- Direct impact with a hard object (e.g., worker falls off a ladder or roof)
- Injuries caused by vibrating tools Mechanical injuries.
Another common construction injury is the back injury. This type of injury can be sustained when a worker must lift or move heavy objects. In addition, it can even be sustained from the repetitive movements that a worker may do on the job.
Other common injuries include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Exposure to toxic substances
Who Is Liable?
Due to the nature of construction work, one of the questions workers may have is, who is liable if they get hurt? The truth is that there are several points of liability that a worker can pursue. Each point of liability is outlined below.
- Manufacturer - Liability against the company who manufactured a tool or machinery that caused the injury. In some cases, some injuries can also have a third-party lawsuit.
- Employer - Liability against the company that hired the worker must also have workers’ comp insurance to protect their employees. The benefits come from the workers’ comp insurance and not the actual employer.
- Worker – Sometimes liability against another worker can happen. Then that would also be considered another third-party company.
Regardless of who is being accused, however, a piece of evidence must be presented. The evidence has to connect the company and the worker. For example, if a worker says that they got injured due to defective equipment and that the company was negligent in providing them with that equipment, they must prove that the equipment was indeed faulty. Furthermore, they must prove that the company provided them with the equipment.
What to Do If a Construction Injury Is Sustained
If you sustain an injury on a construction site, you must do the following:
1. Seek Medical Attention
After sustaining a construction injury, the most important thing to do is to seek medical attention. This may seem like an obvious tip, but some people think that they can just treat the injury with over-the-counter medication and that they can just go to work. However, this can impede recovery, so one must be brought to the nearest hospital for assistance.
2. Notify Your Superior/s
If you are hurt on the job and are in your scheduled hours of work, you must notify your superior. Conversely, you must also inform your employer if you're not scheduled to work. In addition, you must notify your workers' compensation insurance so that they can start your claim.
3. Gather Witness Accounts
If you are injured in a construction site, and you suspect that it wasn't just an accident, you must gather witness accounts that can prove that you weren't just sitting on a ladder when it collapsed, and you sustained an injury. You can do this by getting testimonies from other workers but also bystanders.
4. Lawyer Up
If you believe that you have a case against the company you work for or a third party involved in your injury, you must hire a lawyer. This will help you improve your chances of maximizing a settlement or a verdict if the case goes to court.
5. File a Claim
If you sustain an injury in your work, you must file a claim. The filing of a claim gives you the right to file a lawsuit. However, you must state the grounds of your suit in your claim. For example, if your injury was sustained because you were negligently provided with defective equipment, you can state that in your claim.
6. Report to OSHA
If your injury was sustained because the site or personnel violated OSHA standards, some injuries must be reported. It doesn't mean that the worker will be penalized, but it might help your case.
7. Appeal the Claim
If you're not satisfied with the compensation that you receive from your workers' compensation claim, then you can appeal the claim. Remember that the appeal process takes time and effort, so you may want to discuss it with your lawyer beforehand.
Construction work is dangerous work, and the injuries sustained can cost a worker dearly. However, workers can still receive fair compensation and gain an advantage over the company if they know the steps to take when hurt at a construction site. As long as everything is done within due process, the affected party will get a fair amount of compensation.
If you're looking for a workers’ compensation lawyer in Oakland, Tracy, Stockton, San Jose, Sacramento or Concord, Pacific Workers', The Lawyers for Injured Workers can help! We understand the pains of the legal process, so our team of experienced legal consultants can help you get fair compensation. Contact us today at 800-606-6999 for a free consultation!