Construction is dangerous work. Power tools, heavy equipment, hazardous materials, heights, and other dangers are a daily reality no matter your role on the job site.
Due to the many things that can go wrong, construction accidents frequently result in serious injuries. It is important to know what steps to take after being hurt on the job, as well as how an experienced construction accident attorney can help you pursue the full benefits and other compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Although some construction injuries can be treated via first aid on the job site, any serious injury requires professional assistance. Call 911 right away, or get a coworker or supervisor to take you to the emergency room.
The steps medical professionals may take will depend on the nature and severity of your injury. Serious injuries common on construction sites that you should be aware of include:
Some construction injuries develop gradually, rather than as a result of an accident. The most common example is repetitive stress and motion injuries, which can lead to chronic pain and impact your ability to work.
Whether you are injured in a construction accident or develop an illness or condition as a result of your work, your health should be your number one priority. Don’t wait to see a doctor!
Notifying your employer that you have been hurt on the job is a prerequisite for qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits. If you don’t report the injury, a subsequent claim may be barred.
Workers’ compensation law in Kentucky and Indiana requires employees to report an injury or on-the-job accident to their employer in writing within 30 days.
In reporting the injury or accident to your employer, provide as much detail as possible, including:
Depending on the state, you may be required to complete additional paperwork as part of filing your workers’ comp claim. For example, the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims requires workers to fill out one of several forms depending on if they suffer a workplace injury, an occupational disease, or work-related hearing loss.
If you do not require emergency medical attention, it is worth taking the time to begin documenting your workplace injury. The best way to do this is by taking pictures.
Your photographs should capture any and all relevant information about the accident, including:
A coworker may need to assist you with taking pictures of the construction accident, or do it on your behalf if you have to go to the emergency room.
Ultimately, having photos of the accident protects your legal rights in the event that your employer or the insurance company disputes your workers’ compensation claim. The images may also reveal a dangerous condition for which you may be able to pursue a third-party personal injury claim.
As with taking pictures of the construction accident, witness testimony can support your claim for workers’ comp benefits and other compensation. Generally, your coworkers will be the main witnesses to the event that causes your injury. If you don’t already have it, get their contact information and ask them what they saw.
Whether you are able to talk to coworkers shortly after the injury happens or you need to speak with them after receiving emergency treatment, make sure to get the testimony of anyone who saw the accident. The same is true for any bystanders as well. For example, if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident in a construction zone, other drivers in the vicinity may be able to provide valuable information for your claim.
Workers’ compensation claims are complicated. They are subject to tight deadlines (1 year to file a claim in Indiana, 2 years in Kentucky), and employers and insurance companies often try to dispute valid claims. As a result, you may be denied the benefits you deserve, or your claim may be underpaid.
For these reasons, it is in your best interest to contact a construction accident attorney as soon as possible if you have been hurt on the job. An experienced lawyer can help you in many ways:
Your attorney can also advise you of potential injury claims you may be able to file against one or more negligent third parties. Although you generally can’t sue your employer for negligence (workers’ compensation is a no-fault system), the owner of the property, the manufacturer of a defective product, and others may be liable.
You depend on your job to support your family. When an injury or illness prevents you from working, you may find yourself in significant financial jeopardy.
If you are injured in a construction accident, the Karl Truman Law Office can help. Our attorneys serve clients throughout Kentucky and Indiana.