What Happens After a Fall on a Construction Site?
What happens after a fall on a construction site is often up to the injured party. Those who take the proper steps can pave the way to receive compensation for their injuries.
However, many who can potentially suffer injuries in a fall on a construction site don’t know what they should do after such an accident. Understanding the essential steps to take can help them protect their rights and maximize their compensation.
Contact an Orange County construction accident attorney. Legal representation can ensure that victims take all the proper steps for a successful injury claim.
Promptly Seek Medical Assistance
After a construction accident, such as a fall, get medical attention immediately. Even if your injuries seem minor initially, underlying and severe trauma may appear days later.
Delaying medical attention can exacerbate injuries and, in some cases, lead to fatal consequences. Therefore, seek immediate help.
Obtain timely medical treatment to support your case, particularly when dealing with insurance claims.
Insurance companies may undermine your claim, and any delay in seeking medical assistance can provide them with grounds to argue that your injuries are either insignificant or resulted from a separate incident or pre-existing condition.
Fortunately, seeking immediate medical attention enables healthcare professionals to document your injuries promptly. This documentation, found in medical reports, becomes invaluable evidence for your attorney, establishing a clear link between the accident and the trauma you endured.
This proactive approach strengthens your case, offering solid proof of the direct correlation between the construction accident and the injuries sustained.
Notify Your Employer Promptly After the Fall
After addressing your medical needs, promptly tell your employer about the accident and report it to the proper parties without delay. Depending on the state where the incident occurred, there might be specific time constraints within which employers must report accidents to the insurance company.
Failing to adhere to these deadlines can potentially jeopardize the injured employee’s ability to secure the compensation they rightfully deserve.
Be sure to provide a comprehensive and detailed account of what happened when reporting the accident to your employer. Include details about what was going on before, during, and after the fall.
This detailed record can serve as crucial evidence in supporting your case, particularly in situations where disputes may arise regarding the circumstances of the accident.
Keep a copy of this report for your personal records and share it with your construction accident attorney to strengthen your case.
Consult a Well-Versed Construction Accident Attorney
Some individuals may mistakenly believe they don’t need legal help after a construction accident because they think they can handle this claim alone or that workers’ compensation will provide them with all they need.
However, without an experienced construction accident attorney fighting on your behalf, you may lose out on significant compensation that can help ensure you and your loved ones are taken care of, and you get the medical treatments you require now and in the future.
Engaging the services of a seasoned construction accident attorney offers several advantages.
First, upon retention, these attorneys can systematically gather evidence to substantiate your legal claim.
This may include acquiring photographs and videos showing the damages you sustained, the accident scene, visible injuries, torn clothing, or damaged safety equipment. They can also potentially obtain witness accounts of your fall to help strengthen your injury claim.
Legal Options Following a Construction Accident Injury
After a construction accident, injured individuals typically have two main legal avenues they can pursue:
A Workers’ Compensation Claim
Employees who sustain injuries in the regular course of their employment can seek benefits through their state’s workers’ compensation system.
Regardless of fault, workers’ compensation provides coverage for work-related injuries. However, pursuing this avenue generally means forfeiting the right to file a lawsuit against the employer for the same injury.
Workers’ compensation benefits may include:
- Medical and healthcare expenses related to the accident injuries
- Lost income due to the injury, covering temporary or permanent disability
- Funeral costs in case of a fatality resulting from the accident
- Coverage for repetitive stress injuries
- Cash benefits and compensation for travel expenses
In cases where the construction accident and resulting injuries are due to the negligence of a third party, not the employer, individuals may pursue legal action. This involves filing a personal injury lawsuit against all responsible parties.
Legal action can be applicable when:
- The accident happened due to a party other than the employer, such as a subcontractor or equipment manufacturer.
- Negligence or wrongful conduct of a third party contributed to the injuries.
To determine the most suitable course of action for a specific case, consult an experienced construction accident attorney. These legal professionals can assess the details of the accident, identify available legal options, and guide individuals in pursuing the maximum compensation warranted by their circumstances.
Seeking legal advice ensures a comprehensive understanding of the available remedies. It facilitates the pursuit of just compensation for construction-related injuries.
Can I Receive Pain and Suffering from a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Unfortunately, you can’t receive pain and suffering for your workers’ compensation injury. In most states, it’s a no-fault liability system, which means you can get workers’ compensation benefits no matter who caused the accident. Under your state’s workers’ comp laws, you should have medical treatment coverage through the insurance carrier.
Suppose you aren’t working at the advice of your authorized treating physician or were placed on light duty restrictions, and your employer can’t or won’t accommodate them. In that case, you should receive partial income replacement, otherwise known as indemnity benefits.
Even if another party’s negligent actions cause your injuries, you aren’t entitled to receive pain and suffering through workers’ compensation. However, you can have a third-party case if the person who caused the accident worked for another party.
However, you still can’t recover money for pain and suffering through a workers’ compensation claim. Therefore, don’t hesitate to reach out to a construction accident attorney to find out what your rights and options may be.
Injuries from Work-Related Falls
Work-related falls are a severe problem in America. They can cause numerous injuries and sometimes even fatalities. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that 211,640 occupational falls, slips, and trips occurred in a recent year.
Construction is Among the Industries with the Highest Number of Falls
The highest rate of fall-related deaths happens in the construction industry. Non-fatal injuries are most prevalent within the health sector as well as wholesale and retail industries.
Employees in these industries are the most at risk of experiencing a fall in the workplace:
- Transportation and material moving
- Construction and extraction occupations
- Healthcare support
- Building cleaning and maintenance
The Financial Burden of Workplace Falls
Falls in the workplace come at a price to both employers and employees. Medical costs and workers’ compensation benefits have cost an estimated $167 billion annually in the United States.
Employers in the United States pay, on average, nearly $1 billion per week for direct workers’ compensation costs, including:
- Workers’ compensation
- Medical expenses
- Legal services
The indirect costs of these injuries include:
- Worker downtime
- Training replacement employees
- Accident investigation
- Corrective measures
- Lost productivity
- Repairs to damaged equipment
Unfortunately, many employers and insurance companies can make it difficult for employees to receive workers’ compensation benefits due to the high expenses of fall injuries in the workplace. If you find this true in your case, it’s time to talk with a well-versed construction accident lawyer.
Common Injuries from Workplace Falls
A fall itself is not an injury; it is an occurrence with a high potential to lead to injury. Workplace falls have the potential to cause several different injuries of different severities.
How far you fell and what kind of surface you landed on will significantly affect your injuries. The most common injuries sustained from construction site falls include:
Falls at construction sites often result in head injuries, ranging from concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The impact can occur when a worker falls from a height, such as a ladder or scaffolding, and strikes their head against a hard surface.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Construction falls can lead to spinal cord injuries, which may result in paralysis or other long-term complications. The force of the fall or the landing impact can cause damage to the vertebrae, leading to injuries such as fractures, dislocations, or compression.
Broken Bones and Fractures
Fractures and broken bones are common injuries in construction falls. The impact of hitting the ground or another surface can cause fractures in various bones, such as arms, legs, hips, or wrists.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Falls can also result in soft tissue injuries, including whiplash, bruises, lacerations, sprains, and strains. These injuries may occur due to the impact of the fall or contact with objects during the descent.
The force of a fall can lead to internal injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding. These injuries may not be immediately apparent but can pose serious health risks and require prompt medical attention.
Contusions and Bruising
Contusions, or bruises, are common injuries from falls. Impact on the ground or other surfaces can cause blood vessels to break, resulting in visible discoloration and swelling.
Sprains and Strains
Falls can cause sprains and strains to joints and muscles. Twisting or hyperextension during a fall can lead to these types of injuries, affecting the ankles, knees, or other body parts. While they might seem relatively minor, these injuries can be quite painful and take quite some time to heal completely.
Cuts and Abrasions
Contact with sharp objects or abrasive surfaces during a fall can cause cuts and abrasions. These injuries may result from the initial impact or contact with debris on the ground.
Beyond physical injuries, construction falls can also have psychological consequences. Workers may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression as a result of the trauma associated with a fall.
Do I Need a Construction Accident Lawyer After a Fall on a Construction Site?
Regarding construction accident cases, workers’ comp and personal injury laws can be highly complex. If you suffered an injury in one, you need a construction accident attorney who can determine fault for your accident.
If you wait too long and the statute of limitations expires, you cannot recover any damages.
Always meet with a well-versed construction accident attorney as soon as possible after a fall at a construction site to learn about your rights. Doing so will also give you the best chance of recovering fair compensation to cover all your losses.
Call a Construction Accident Attorney for Help Receiving the Benefits and Compensation You Deserve
A fall in the workplace is usually a scary experience. You must contend with serious injuries, symptoms, and extensive medical care. Financial concerns grow quickly, especially if you cannot work, you must learn what compensation you can expect.
Sustaining an injury in a fall can be the start of a battle for getting the financial benefits you deserve from your employer. You shouldn’t have to fight this battle in the first place, but if you do, hire a skilled personal injury lawyer in Orange County to look out for your best interests. They can also identify your rights to file a third-party claim when applicable.
Seek your free consultation today.