What to Do After a Construction Site Injury
Construction sites are extremely dangerous locations. Even when following strict health & safety regulations, the possibility of an accident occurring remains high. With frequent working at heights, use of scaffolding, heavy plant and machinery, and numerous power tools, it is unsurprising that construction accounted for 23 of the 155 workplace fatalities recorded in Michigan in 2018.
What action should construction workers take if they have been injured in a construction site accident? What are their rights? And what compensation will they receive?
The first action to take is, of course, to seek medical treatment if needed. And even if you think you have just suffered a minor bump to the head, still ensure that you see a doctor as the effects of many injuries may not show until some time after the accident occured.
The second action you should take is to make sure that any relevant accident reports are completed. Michigan’s workers’ compensation law requires that any accident is reported to the employer within 90 days of it occurring.
However, we recommend that you make any report as soon as possible, even if initial injuries appear minor. The exception to this 90-day rule is when you have developed an illness or condition as a result of workplace conditions. In those cases, the 90 days begins from the day you discovered you had a workplace condition.
The regulations also say that only a verbal report is required but we further recommend that an injured worker should submit an accident report in writing, either by official forms if available or even by email. Employers in the construction industry are often reluctant to report workplace accidents as a high number of incidents – or regular incidents – may trigger an investigation by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
File Your Workers Compensation Claim
You have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for workers’ compensation. However, most people tend to file as quickly as possible as workers’ comp will cover lost wages if they have to take time off work.
Your workers’ compensation benefits in a construction accident case will not only cover any medical care required but also any rehabilitation treatment needed, payments in case of disability or wrongful death, and vocational rehabilitation and training if you cannot return to your former role or employer.
Your entitlement to workers’ comp insurance does mean that you cannot pursue any other claim against your construction company employer. However, if there is a third party – such as a subcontractor – who was liable for the accident, you can pursue a claim against them. Filing a lawsuit against a third party will in no way affect your entitlement to workers comp benefits.
The third action you should always consider taking is to seek the advice and assistance of an experienced workplace injury lawyer. Although many workplace injury cases are settled without problems, many more encounter some sort of hurdle. Engaging with a law firm that has the relevant experience can help overcome hurdles and ensure you receive any benefits or settlement you are entitled to. The areas where a lawyer can be of help in these cases include:
- Negotiating with insurance companies. In many cases, any initial offer from the insurance company will be lower than it should be or than you are entitled to. Your attorney can challenge any offer and fight for a better settlement.
- Investigating third party liability. If there is a suggestion that a third party caused your injuries, our expert team can thoroughly investigate the incident and collect evidence that proves that liability.
- Representing you in court. If any of the circumstances of your case leads to court action, your attorney from Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can represent you in court as well as being thorough in any preparation. That can include making sure that we obtain full medical records, seeking compensation for pain and suffering where relevant, gathering testimony, and calling expert witnesses if needed.
Knowing what steps you should take in the aftermath of a construction site accident can reduce your stress and worry as well as making sure that you receive any benefits or damages you may be entitled to. While your focus can be on recovering from injuries, our focus can be on ensuring your case has a positive outcome.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. specializes in personal injury cases and a lot of our work focuses on construction site accidents. We offer clients a free consultation to evaluate your case and to build an attorney client relationship. If you would like to schedule a free appointment, please call us today at (866)-466-9912. Our law firm never charges a fee unless we win your case.