6 Steps to Take After a Construction Site Accident
Undoubtedly, construction sites are one of the riskiest places to work. This is not surprising as the risk of an accident is enormous. When you consider trips, flying objects, heavy pieces of machinery, the possibility of falls, etc., the chance at a construction site is alarming. As a result, thousands of workers are hospitalized yearly for construction site injuries like falls, cuts, and sometimes-fatal cases.
High-risk materials like chemicals, electricity and a lackadaisical attitude to safety also increase the risk on a construction site. According to the CDC, there are over 360,000 non-fatal and 1000 fatal construction site accidents yearly in the US.
Check out the causes and effects of an Accident at Construction Site, a study for the construction industry in Bangladesh.
While no one hopes or wishes for an accident, it sometimes happens. However, knowing what to do, alongside the steps to take, is essential. This article will walk readers through necessary and helpful steps that need to be taken after a construction site accident.
1. Report The Accident
It is common for workers to avoid reporting their injuries due to fear of losing their job or other reprimanding actions from their boss, even though some firms might shy away from reporting cases that reveal their poor safety culture.
However, reporting your accident to the supervisor is in your best interest. This comes with many advantages like compensation, documentation, and exposure to unsafe or poor work habits, which will prevent future accidents.
It is not only about reporting but about noting the date submitted and the party you reported the event to. Such info could come in handy for future legal action. One might need to complete some forms like worker's compensation as directed by the employer. It's recommended to contact a personal injury attorney before signing any document.
2. Get Legal Help
You might qualify for some compensation when involved in a construction site accident. However, such construction generally occurs in two ways:
Workers’ Compensation ClaimThis insurance form gives wage replacement and medical benefits to injured employees while working. Such laws, however, vary from state to state. This makes it essential to be updated on the laws relating to your state before commencing the filing process. However, filing a worker's compensation claim waives all rights to a personal injury lawsuit, making it an exclusive remedy.
Personal Injury Lawsuit ClaimSometimes, you might not have a worker's compensation claim available. As a result, one will have to file a personal injury lawsuit to get the benefits and compensation from the party at fault. When you have a construction site accident, you can get compensation in two ways. However, regardless of whichever option you desire to use, you need to work with a reputable construction accident lawyer who will help and guide you throughout the legal process.
3. Gather Documentation and Medical Reports
All injuries sustained alongside medical reports must be appropriately documented and recorded so investigators and employers can access them easily. Such documentation must contain vital info like the name of the physician, treatment date, types of treatment gotten, and whatever medications you took.
Such documentation, alongside medical reports, will come in handy when claiming expenses for the medical bills incurred. Also, such documentation will be invaluable when filing a claim with the construction firm. One might be entitled to compensation for pain, suffering, medical care, and lost wages. Moreover, an experienced personal injury lawyer will evaluate the claim and guide you towards your rights and how to move forward.
4. Identify Witness For The Case
A typical construction site is always filled with many people working at any time. As a result, there is a massive chance of witnesses, which could be guests, fellow workers, or supervisors, during the accidents. Such people might help provide their account of the accident based on what they saw.
Also, some ignored safety hazards might be present on the work site. Giving such a statement is also a way to protect your colleague and ensure that you are compensated adequately due to your employer's negligence. Besides witnesses present during the accident, family and friends who knew about your struggle might help you claim compensation. For instance, if you find it difficult to use any part of your body after the accident, your spouse might be a witness to this.
5. Gather Evidence
One of the first and most important things after an accident is gathering evidence. It will go a long way to strengthen your case and improve the chance of getting approval for your compensation claim.
If you can, ensure you take pictures of the accident scene or have someone you trust do this for you. This is important, especially if your accident was due to unsafe job conditions, defective equipment, etc. Ensure someone takes a picture of the injury or the damage caused to you. This might qualify you for a massive settlement if your employer is not following the proper safety culture. All such evidence should be preserved as it could be helpful if you have to go to court.
6. Get Medical Help
Getting medical help is one of the topmost steps after an accident. Ensure you stay calm, check for injuries, and call for help. For someone stuck in rubble or under heavy equipment, breathe and scream for help. You must prioritize getting medical help as soon as possible to get you out of your plight.
One cannot be too careful on a construction site. Accidents happen; it calls for caution, and taking the right step is essential for everything to proceed correctly.