What to Do When You Are Involved in a Construction Site Accident

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Construction sites can be very dangerous places. In fact, studies say that the risk of being injured in the construction industry is about 20% more than that in other industries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), construction-related injuries and fatalities are usually caused by any of the “Fatal Four” factors – falls, electrocutions, being struck by an object, and being caught-in incidents. Therefore, if you are employed in the construction industry, it is very important to understand how to proceed when you are involved in a possible construction lawsuit.

Things to Do

The first thing to do when you are injured in an accident, let alone in a construction site accident, is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. It does not matter whether your injuries are minor or manageable, seeking professional help would make sure that you document your injuries. Besides, some injuries might not show the symptoms right away, and it is possible that you mistakenly assume that everything is fine. For instance, if you are hit on the head, you may sustain a concussion that would not exhibit any signs of the injury at once. Yet you would experience nausea, dizziness, headaches, and other symptoms of concussions after a couple of hours. Note that some injuries might worsen over time as well, making it difficult to treat them. So, instead of trying to deal with the injury on your own, seek proper medical attention and let the doctor examine your condition.

Another important thing to do when an accident happens on a construction site is to inform the employer right away. Most of the accidents on a construction site are covered by workers’ compensation, so notifying about the accident in time would allow you to get the right reimbursement for your damages. At the same time, it is also important to consult with a personal injury lawyer and explore all your options to claim compensation for your damages. 

A professional lawyer would investigate the accident and try to find out what caused it. In fact, determining the actual cause of the accident is very essential to figure out whether you should file a claim for personal injury or workers’ compensation. In many of the construction site accidents, a third party like a contractor, the property owner, or the equipment manufacturer can be found liable for the accident. In such cases, the workers’ compensation would not cover the injuries suffered by the employee; instead, the victim would have to file a claim for personal injury against the guilty party. 

Your personal injury lawyer can help you to determine who is liable for the accident. For instance, if the accident happened because of faulty equipment, the equipment manufacturer can be held liable for your injuries, while the contractor could be held responsible if they failed to perform the required safety checks on the construction site. Similarly, the construction company could be held liable if they did not provide you any safety gear or take adequate measures to avoid the accident. Sometimes, the property owner could be deemed responsible for the accident too, such as when they failed to inform the construction company about the potential hazards on the property or simply ignored the need to fix those.

You should also document all the details of the accident and gather as much evidence as possible to prove your case. To start, take a few pictures of the accident scene, which should include the equipment (if any) that was involved in the accident. Photographs of the visible injuries you sustained would also be helpful to support your claim. Likewise, you should also take a picture of the clothing that you were wearing at the time of the accident. Expert personal injury lawyers advise not to wash the clothing and instead keep it in the same condition, so that it can be provided as evidence in court if required. Moreover, if there were any witnesses at the accident scene, collect their contact information and give that to your lawyer. Your personal injury lawyer would take their testimonies as applicable.

You should also keep a copy of all your medical records at hand, as well as the details of the expenses you had to bear for the treatment of your injuries. This should include the doctor’s fees, cost of diagnostic tests, treatment, medications, therapies, etc. Apart from the medical records and expenses receipts, you should also note down the loss of income you suffered due to the construction site accident. This would help you to calculate the compensation amount to claim. If possible, try to document how the injuries that you sustained in the accident have affected your personal life. This should include any day-to-day activities that you can no longer participate in because of the injuries.

Your personal injury lawyer would assess all the documents and medical reports to calculate the right compensation amount for your damages. He/she would then negotiate with the guilty party or their insurance provider to get a settlement. If the responsible party refuses to pay a reasonable amount, your lawyer would take the case to the court to fight for your rightful compensation.

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