Construction sites make dangerous workplaces, and construction injuries are all too common. Who pays if you are injured on the job at a construction site, though?
In most cases, construction injuries are covered by your employers’ workers’ compensation insurance, including your medical expenses, lost wages, compensation for lost body parts, and temporary or permanent disability payments.
In this article, we will look at:
- When construction injuries are covered by workers’ compensation,
- Common types of injuries suffered on construction sites,
- When you can sue a third party for construction injuries, and
- What to do if you are hurt on the job at a construction site.
Construction Injuries are Covered by Workers’ Compensation
Construction workers face dangerous conditions on the job site every day, whether they are working on a construction site with heavy machinery, climbing buildings or scaffolding, or working on the roadside with cars and trucks speeding past them.
If you are hurt on the construction site, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should cover you if your injuries happened during the course and scope of your employment.
Common Types of Construction Injuries that are Covered
No matter where your jobsite is, most likely there are job hazards like heavy machinery, tools, ladders, scaffolding, or traffic passing by. Some of the more common sources of injuries suffered by construction workers include:
- Electrical injuries –electrical wiring, power lines, power tools, and welding machines are just a few of the possible sources of electrical shocks and electricity-related injuries suffered by construction workers,
- Heavy machinery and other equipment – bulldozers, cranes, and a variety of machines designed to cut, crush, or burn put construction workers at greater risk of injuries,
- Falls from heights – construction workers are at a much greater risk of falls than most occupations, whether it is from scaffolding, multi-floor buildings, or into ditches or holes on the jobsite,
- Use of chemicals – toxic chemicals can be found on many construction sites that can cause severe injuries when they come into contact with skin or when they are breathed,
- Falling objects – just as the climbing construction worker is at risk of falls, those below them are at risk of severe head injuries from tools or other items falling from above,
- Repetitive motion injuries – whether it is swinging a hammer or operating a machine, repetitive motions can cause damage to your hands, wrists, or feet, and
- Traffic accidents – construction workers who must work on the roadside are at increased danger of being struck by a passing vehicle.
Common injuries caused by these situations include:
- Broken bones,
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Toxic chemical exposure,
- Eye injuries,
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI),
- Sprains, and
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
Construction Injuries Caused by Third Parties
If you are injured on a construction site, workers’ compensation may not be your only option. If your injuries were caused by a third party – a motorist, vendor, machine manufacturer, or anyone not employed by your company, then you may be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible party to recover damages.
Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance, which means, as long as your injury happened during the course and scope of your employment, you are covered. Your recovery under workers’ compensation is limited, however.
If your injury was caused by a third party and you can prove negligence, you may be able to recover damages that are not available through workers’ compensation, like pain and suffering, and potentially punitive damages if you can prove gross negligence or intentional conduct.
You can file both a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party lawsuit, although you cannot be compensated twice for the same injury.
What You Should Do if You are Injured on a Construction Site
If you are hurt on the job at a construction site, you should:
- Report the injury to your employer right away – you must report the injury to your employer within a strict deadline or you will lose the right to make a workers’ compensation claim,
- Get medical attention immediately – get emergency medical attention, go to all follow-up appointments, and follow your doctors’ advice. Your injuries and the effect they have on your ability to perform your job must be well documented, and
- Get in touch with your workers’ compensation at Axelrod & Associates to find out what your next steps are.
What Axelrod & Associates Can Do For You if You are Injured on a Construction Site
Your workers’ compensation attorney on the Axelrod team will help you to:
- Investigate the cause of your injury and who is responsible,
- Decide whether to file a workers’ compensation claim, a third-party lawsuit, or both,
- Gather your medical evidence to prove your injury claim,
- File your workers’ compensation claim or third-party lawsuit,
- Negotiate with the insurance companies for a full and fair settlement of your claims, and
- Present your evidence to the workers’ compensation commissioner or a jury if your case is not settled.
Your Myrtle Beach workers’ compensation attorney on the Axelrod team will help you to determine whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage, help you to make your claim, and represent you before the workers’ compensation commission.