Construction work is one of the most important industries in society, and this sector continues to grow today. However, while there’s a huge demand for construction workers, there’s no denying how labor-intensive and dangerous the job can be. Even the most experienced construction worker outfitted with safety equipment and who follows rigorous safety guidelines can quickly get injured. Construction accidents can range from slipping and falling, falling from huge heights, getting hit by falling objects, equipment malfunction, electrocution, and more. This guide will explore what you should do following a construction accident, including how to seek legal help.
1. Seek Medical Attention
Your first step should always be to seek medical attention. Don’t be afraid to dial 911 or have a coworker do this for you. Regardless of how serious your injuries might be, you’ll want a healthcare professional to take a look at them. Unfortunately, head, spine, and neck injuries aren’t always noticeable at first glance. Besides ensuring your body’s health is getting taken care of, visiting a doctor can help you win your workers’ compensation claim by providing medical reports.
2. Report the Accident
Workers are sometimes hesitant to report their accidents to their employers for fear of getting fired or even losing their immigration status. It’s not uncommon for companies or supervisors to not want to deal with a workers’ compensation claim simply because it can reflect badly on the business. However, you’ll still want to report the incident and note to who you reported your claim to and whether or not it was approved. Note too the date you reported your claim.
3. Gather As Much Evidence As You Can
You’ll want to gather as much evidence as possible as long as you’re feeling physically up to the task. Some evidence to gather may include:
- Contact information of anyone involved, including coworkers and potentially passerbys
- Testimonies: Include your own written testimony of the event and any witness testimonies. While you don’t want to pressure coworkers into giving their testimonies, you can ask if they’re willing to. You can also gain testimony from your primary medical care provider and any other medical professionals involved.
- Take plenty of pictures: When possible, take any pictures, including injuries sustained. Additionally, you can take pictures of the scene, including damage to your equipment, malfunctioning equipment, etc.
4. File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Once you’ve gathered everything you need, you can file your workers’ compensation claim. You’re eligible under the following conditions:
- Your employer has workers’ compensation insurance
- The incident happened while you were working
- The incident didn’t happen to negligence on your part—such as violating safety guidelines or being under the influence.
5. Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Ideally, your employer and their insurance company should accept your claim and provide you with the necessary compensation you need before you can resume working. However, this isn’t always the case, and they may try to offer you a low settlement or deny your claim altogether. A Queens NY construction accident lawyer can help prevent these issues from occurring. Our friends at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C can handle various construction accident claims.