What to Do After a Construction Accident

Next Steps After a Construction Accident | Patrick Daniel Law
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Construction sites are among the most dangerous workplaces in the country. Accidents on the job are commonplace, with many construction workers suffering serious injuries and even death each year. Nationally, the latest statistics from OSHA reveal that construction deaths account for an alarming one in five workplace fatalities.

Given the seriousness of construction accidents, workers need to be aware of their legal rights if they get hurt on the job site. A construction accident lawyer can discuss your options for compensation.

You should take these steps immediately following a construction accident:

1. Get Medical Care

Some construction injuries can be treated with first aid. However, if you are seriously injured, it is crucial to seek immediate treatment.

Your best option is to call 911 (or have a coworker or supervisor do it for you) and wait for the ambulance to arrive. Paramedics will assess your injuries and transport you to the hospital.

Medical treatment after a construction accident can be a daunting and lengthy process. You will likely be examined by multiple doctors who will run a battery of tests. Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may need to have surgery, be hospitalized, and undergo physical therapy and other forms of rehabilitation.

Throughout the course of medical treatment, it is important to remain calm and get the care you need. Your health should be your number-one priority after a construction accident.

2. Notify Your Employer of the Accident

Although a supervisor or project manager may have been informed of the accident at the time it happened, this is not the same as reporting a construction accident. In Texas, workers are required to report an on-the-job injury to their employer in writing no more than 30 days after an accident.

Prompt reporting of a construction accident is vital for two reasons:

  1. Reporting the accident within 30 days preserves your right to workers’ compensation benefits
    AND
  2. A written report creates a record of the construction accident

Texas is the only state that does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Unfortunately, many construction companies choose to go uninsured, leaving workers with no access to benefits in the event of an accident.

However, the widespread lack of workers’ compensation coverage among employers in the construction industry does leave workers with an expanded ability to sue for the injuries and damages they sustain. A written report outlining how the construction accident occurred is a key starting point for your claim.

3. Collect Evidence

Although your top priority after a construction accident should be to get medical treatment, it is also important not to overlook the steps you can take to begin building your claim. The best time to gather evidence is immediately following the accident.

If your injuries are not serious and you can move on your own safely, consider taking photos of the accident site and interviewing witnesses. This information could be of the utmost importance for the successful resolution of your claim.

Realistically, however, your injuries may be too severe to stay at the construction site and perform these tasks. If this is the case, stay still and wait for help to arrive. Meanwhile, try to focus and make note of the following:

  • Where the accident took place
  • What you were doing at the time
    • Establishing the sequence of events is crucial for determining if a construction accident was caused by someone’s negligence. For example, you may be able to sue if your employer created unsafe working conditions, if you were injured by a defective product, etc.
  • Any evidence of what caused the accident, such as damaged safety equipment, improperly erected scaffolding, defective tools, etc.
  • The names of anyone who saw the construction accident

Evidence of a construction accident is often short-lived. If you cannot collect the evidence on your own, you should seek legal assistance promptly.  

4. Speak to an Attorney

Because construction workers generally have to sue to recover damages after an accident, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can review the circumstances of the construction accident and identify options for recovery of damages.

If your employer has workers’ comp insurance, a lawyer can help you fill out the Form-041 (Employee’s Claim for Compensation for a Work-Related Injury or Occupational Disease) sent to you by the Division of Workers’ Compensation. Completing this form establishes your right to medical and income benefits.

Your construction accident lawyer can also investigate to determine if the negligence of one or more parties contributed to your injuries. In Texas more than any other state, it is crucial to explore issues of fault – a lawsuit may be your only option to recover damages.

Hiring an experienced attorney is the best way to preserve the integrity of your claim while you focus on recovery from your injuries. A knowledgeable lawyer can assist you with any and all aspects of your case, whether that involves appealing denial of workers’ comp benefits or taking a personal injury or product liability case to court.

5. Keep All of Your Records

Staying organized is a must in the aftermath of a construction accident. Workers should keep track of all paperwork and electronic documents related to their injuries and medical treatment, as well as their legal claim.

After a work injury, you should maintain an ongoing file with all of the following records:

  • Communications with your doctors and other medical professionals regarding test results, imaging, rehabilitation, etc.
  • All medical bills and invoices
  • Communications with your employer
    • NOTE: After reporting the accident, it is generally in your best interest to let your lawyer handle communications with your employer and/or the workers’ comp insurance carrier (if applicable).
  • Documents from the Division of Workers’ Compensation
  • Pay stubs showing your income prior to the construction accident (an attorney can use these records to calculate damages for lost wages)
  • Receipts, billing statements, and other records of expenses related to the accident and your injuries, including:
    • Prescription medications
    • Travel for medical care
    • Assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, crutches, canes, etc.
    • Home and technological modifications for issues related to disability

Documentary evidence is essential in any construction accident claim. With this in mind, it is important to share these and other records with your attorney on a regular basis.

Contact Construction Accident Lawyer Patrick Daniel Today

If you work in construction, you know the dangers you face on the job every day. The majority of construction workers suffer some form of injury over the course of their careers. In many cases these injuries are serious, potentially resulting in permanent disability and significant financial losses.

Patrick Daniel Law is Strategic, Meticulous, and Merciless in the handling of construction accident claims. We closely review the facts of your case, develop individualized legal strategies, and aggressively pursue the benefits and compensation you and your family deserve.

To speak to an experienced construction accident lawyer, please call (713) 999-6666 today for a free review of your case. Patrick Daniel Law serves clients throughout Houston, all of Texas, and nationwide.

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