Although accidents can happen in any industry, the building and construction industry is particularly hazardous. Due to this, it’s important that construction workers know what happens after an accident and what their rights are.
While some incidents can be relatively minor, serious construction accidents can cause life-changing injuries and even fatalities. Following safety regulations can significantly reduce the risk of an incident occurring but taking legal action after an accident can help to make the industry safer in the future too.
To get an idea of what happens after a construction accident, take a look at the steps you can take to enforce your legal rights:
1. Report the Incident to OSHA
You’ll need to notify your employer when a construction accident happens, but employers must report certain accidents to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) too. However, you can report an incident yourself, even if mandatory reporting isn’t required. Often, this will prompt an inspection which can help to determine the cause of an accident or any unsafe working practices.
Remember – you don’t have to wait until after an accident to contact OSHA. If you believe your employers aren’t following workplace safety regulations, you can notify OSHA and hope that changes are implemented before anyone gets hurt.
2. Claim Workers’ Comp
If you’re hurt at work, you may be eligible to claim workers’ comp, regardless of who was at fault. This will enable you to obtain compensation for lost wages, as well as the cost of your medical treatment. In some cases, it may be possible for you to obtain specific loss benefits and other types of benefits too.
The amount of workers’ comp you’ll receive will depend on numerous factors, such as the severity of your injuries and the level of disability you’re subsequently left with. However, a thorough medical assessment will help to ensure that you get the compensation you’re entitled to.
3. Make a Negligence Claim
Employees can make workers comp’ claims following construction accidents, regardless of who was at fault. However, if your employer or someone else has behaved negligently and this led to you getting hurt, you may be eligible to take legal action against them directly.
By making this type of claim, you could obtain a larger amount of compensation. This is because negligence claims can include punitive damages, whereas workers’ comp claims don’t. Seen as a way of punishing businesses that ignore or overlook safety regulations, the inclusion of punitive damages into a claim can significantly increase subsequent compensation pay-outs.
Dealing with a Construction Accident
A construction accident can have numerous physical, emotional, practical and financial consequences. From life-changing injuries to loss of income, there are endless ways this type of incident can affect you, which is why it’s important to seek help.
By getting legal advice following a construction accident, you can find out what your rights are and what type of compensation you’re eligible to receive. Following this, you’ll be able to get your claim underway and start mitigating the impact that the incident has on the rest of your life.