Four Steps to Take if You Are Injured on A Construction Site
Construction sites are inherently dangerous workplaces. The physical labor, machinery, and hazardous materials make the work risky for even the most skilled laborers, and so workplace injuries are not uncommon. Despite taking every measure possible to stay safe on the construction site, faulty equipment or someone else’s mistake could result in a costly injury.
If you are injured while working on a construction site, it is vital to take the right steps not only to recover but also to protect your rights should you choose to pursue a legal claim.
1. Document everything.
When you are injured at work, it is critical to a record of every detail of the accident, your injuries, and your related losses. Over time, we can easily forget small details or confuse the order of events leading up to an accident. These inevitable memory lapses can be damning in the context of personal injury litigation, where every minute detail matters. Therefore, begin your record-keeping by promptly documenting the exact circumstances surrounding the accident from the weather conditions to the time of day and who was present on-site.
Your employer may ask you to complete a standard incident report following a worksite injury. However, this incident report may ask for only certain information pertinent to your employer’s safety standards and any applicable insurance policies. As such, it is wise to also keep a personal record for your reference, including every relevant detail you can recall.
Additionally, keep a record of your medical visits, symptoms, treatment plans, medications, and the effect of your injuries on your day-to-day activities. Examples of items to track include, among others:
- The number and dates of your missed workdays
- Pain, suffering, and other symptoms you’re experiencing and how they have changed over time
- Your medications, their dosages, and how (and if) they have helped
- Your healing progress, from broken bones to lacerations
- Your medical appointments and what you discussed at each one
- Your underlying or aggravating condition, if any
- General thoughts on how your injuries have impacted your daily life, work, health, and relationships
By keeping detailed notes and tracking your daily progress, you will create a thorough picture of how the accident has changed your life. This will help you build your case later, especially when it comes time to quantify your damages.
2. Locate any eyewitnesses.
Witnesses to the incident will prove invaluable should you pursue litigation. Make a list of everyone present at the scene and gather their contact information. Locate the names of their employers and supervisors, and if possible, ask them to provide a short written or recorded statement about what they saw.
3. Seek a medical evaluation.
Depending on the severity of your injury, it may be standard procedure for your employer to order a medical evaluation for you. However, even if your employer does not require it, you should still seek medical attention for any injuries sustained in a worksite accident aside from minor scrapes and cuts that can be self-treated. Even if you think your injury is minor and will heal without medical treatment, it is still wise to schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor for an evaluation. If necessary, your doctor can refer you to the appropriate specialist to treat your injuries.
It is important to keep a record of any diagnosis, treatment instructions, and medical bills related to your accident injuries. To recover damages for any accident-related legal claims, you must establish a link between the accident and your injuries. Therefore, promptly seeking medical care and following the recommendations of your health care provider for treatment are essential to proving the on-the-job accident is the cause of your injuries.
4. Contact a personal injury attorney.
While the construction industry tends to pose a number of safety hazards, that does not mean you are not entitled to a safe workplace. Federal and state laws exist to promote safe working conditions by holding employers to strict safety standards. This includes compliance with various regulations for equipment, machinery, tools, and protective gear.
If you have been injured while working on a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation and should contact an experienced attorney to discuss your options. You may have a workers’ compensation claim or a claim for personal injury if a third party was responsible for the accident that resulted in your injury. In some circumstances, you may even have a products liability claim against the manufacturer, designer, or seller of defective material or equipment.
The amount of compensation you can recover depends on the circumstances surrounding your injury as well as what kind of claim is filed against whom. Generally, you can recover lost wages, reimbursement for medical expenses, and pain and suffering for your injury claim. If you were injured while working on a construction site, time is of the essence as there is a time limit for filing claims.
Skilled North Carolina Personal Injury Litigators
At Green Mistretta Law, we proudly serve clients across North Carolina and help them resolve their disputes through mediation and litigation. We are particularly experienced in representing those injured in construction site accidents and are well-versed in North Carolina law governing personal injury plaintiffs’ rights. To speak with a member of our firm about your accident, fill out our contact form, or call our office (919-278-7453) to schedule a consultation. We look forward to serving you.
This article does not establish an attorney-client relationship and must not be construed as legal advice.