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Construction sites are notoriously dangerous work places. In addition to the many heavy materials employed in the construction process, some of the necessary construction activities are inherently dangerous, despite all the safety precautions that might be taken.
As Dallas work injury attorneys, we have handled many cases of accidental injury or death on a construction site. If you’re a relative or friend of a seriously injured or killed worker, the immediate and long-lasting effects can be overwhelming. Below, we offer advice on what to do if your loved one experiences a work injury or death on a construction site.
Construction Injury & Death by the Numbers
Construction sites are among the top 25 most dangerous job sites in the United States. According to The Center for Construction Training and Research, fatal incidents in the construction industry have declined somewhat. Still, nonfatal accidents continue to outpace other industries.
“In 2019, the injury rate in construction was 112.3 per 10,000 full-time equivalent workers,” the report explains, “down from 259.4 in 2003. From 2011 to 2019, injuries from falls to a lower level jumped 41%, while the number of nonfatal injuries rose 8%.”
Framing, pouring concrete, and installing flooring are the construction industry subsectors that had the highest injury rates between 2017 and 2019.
Immediately Seek Medical Attention
Cuts and bruises can, of course, be handled by on-site first aid procedures. However, when severe accidents occur, those on the scene should take specific actions as quickly as possible to prevent the worst from happening.
Anyone involved in a construction site accident should get medical care at the earliest opportunity. Even if it’s necessary for a coworker or supervisor to call 911, it’s important that steps be taken as soon as possible. Trained medical professionals like paramedics will need to assess the extent of any injuries, even if they don’t appear to be truly significant at first.
It often happens that injuries sustained in the area of the spine, the neck, or the head are not noticeable in the immediate aftermath of the accident. Your loved one should not wait until the next day to see if they might feel better or to try and push through the pain. Getting appropriate medical attention as quickly as possible is essential to maximizing their chances of making a full recovery. Friends and family should encourage the victim to seek appropriate care.
As soon as they can obtain medical attention, be sure to save all documentation appropriate to the procedure if it becomes necessary to file a claim for compensation.
File an Accident Report
Some workers on construction sites are reluctant to report any injuries they sustained because they are afraid of losing their job.
However, it will always be in your loved one’s best interests to report any accidents to their supervisor or manager in charge of site operations. By reporting the accident, they’ll have documentation of what happened. They’ll also be able to bring to light any unsafe practices that may currently be in use, making work safer for their coworkers.
When they do file a report, make sure your loved one knows, and documents, who accepted the report. Be sure they record the date on which it was submitted. This could be very important for any legal action which might be necessary in the future.
Suppose the employer asks the victim to fill out additional paperwork or any extra forms associated with the accident. In that case, it may be in their best interests to consult a Dallas work injury attorney, like those at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare, before signing anything and certainly before accepting any settlement.
Obtain Contact Information
Gathering as much evidence related to the accident as possible is crucial, especially if litigation becomes a possibility in the future. Be sure to gather the names and contact information of anyone who happened to be present when the accident happened.
If your loved one cannot write down names and addresses for these witnesses, make sure that a coworker does it for them. You shouldn’t persuade or coerce potential witnesses to provide information to you; as long as you remember who they are, your attorney will handle making contact at a later date.
Assuming the victim is physically able to do so, they should take as many pictures as they can of the construction site, and especially of the area where the accident occurred. Suppose it turns out that their injuries resulted from an unsafe construction site. In that case, it will be essential for them to have visual evidence which can support their case.
Your loved one can ask a coworker to take pictures of them and their injuries, as well as any damage to their clothing and personal protection equipment. It might very well be that if their employer has failed to follow proper safety guidelines, they would be entitled to a large settlement when the time comes. Therefore, make a point of preserving all evidence in its pristine state because it might well factor into future litigation.
Keep Clear Medical Records
Many construction accidents turn out to be very serious, and they often involve continuing medical treatments and ongoing care. Victims might also require a number of medications to help with the management of pain and discomfort.
All these expenses will quickly accumulate to a level that may be beyond their ability to pay. This is especially true if they are unable to work after the accident or are dealing with the emotional trauma and stress that can result from it.
Make sure to keep track of all medical bills and any records associated with them. Document the names of doctors, any dates where services are rendered, and keep a record of all prescribed medications. Your loved one may be reimbursed for lost wages, medical care, and even the pain and suffering they have had to endure. An excellent Dallas work injury attorney will be able to evaluate their case and determine how to pursue a claim for reimbursement.
Workers’ Compensation May be an Option
Some injuries in the workplace are covered under Workers’ Compensation policies and can include the cost of medical expenses and lost income resulting from injuries. Victims of work injuries may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation if the following factors are present:
- The work-related injury was not related to the use of alcohol or drugs
- The victim was not engaged in any misconduct at the time the injury occurred
- The injuries were sustained while on the job during appropriate business hours
- The employer has Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage
To ensure they are on solid ground, it’s best that they consult a Dallas work injury attorney who can ensure their rights are being properly represented and that they receive all the compensation they are entitled to.
If there is any dispute about whether or not the victim is entitled to Workers Compensation, your Dallas work injury attorney can be your advocate and help you to secure all reimbursement available under the law.
What to Do if Your Loved One is Killed on the Job
The death of a loved one is always difficult, but it could be even more complicated if that person was killed while at their job. If you are reading this and your loved one has been killed at work, first and foremost, we want to offer our deepest condolences for your loss.
Know that a Dallas work injury attorney can help you navigate the legal and financial ramifications during this exceptionally difficult time. If your family member lost their life on a construction site, you might be struggling with the financial responsibility of end-of-life arrangements or the loss of income. although it can’t bring your loved one back, you do have rights and the ability to seek compensation on their behalf.
You even have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim on behalf of your loved one’s estate if their employer’s insurance policy covered them before they died.
Additionally, you could receive compensation for loss of quality of life, pain and suffering, future earnings, medical expenses, and more to help ease some of the financial strain you may now find yourself experiencing.
Learn More About Your Options with a Trusted Dallas Work Injury Attorney
It is important to know the actions you can take if you or a loved one faces an injury or death on a construction site.
But remember: you don’t have to do it alone: a trusted Dallas area work injury attorney can help walk you through this often difficult process. Simply reach out to the attorneys at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare to schedule a free consultation with our team and learn more about your options.