Construction workers provide an invaluable service to the city. By maintaining buildings, completing renovations, and making new structures, construction workers keep our vibrant city running smoothly. Unfortunately, construction is one of the nation’s deadliest professions. Workers are prone to injury from falls, heavy machinery, exposure to the elements, and more. By understanding the procedures that follow a construction accident, you’ll be better able to protect any right to compensation you may have.
If you or a loved one was recently injured on the job, speak to a New York City construction accident lawyer to find out how we can help.
The Workers’ Compensation System
In many cases, the workers’ compensation system will be the first avenue of recourse for an injured construction worker. The state of New York requires that most employers carry workers’ compensation insurance, which should kick in, in the event of workplace accident. This no-fault system allows injured workers to collect compensation for medical bills and missed work, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This can be a valuable resource for injured construction workers, but it also requires following certain procedures.
What to Do After a Construction Accident
Workers can protect their right to worker’s compensation benefits by taking the following actions:
Report the Accident to an Immediate Supervisor
As soon as possible, an injured worker should request that a supervisor create an accident report. When you sustain an injury while executing your work duties, tell your supervisor and provide as much information as possible. Some of this should include:
- The circumstances that led to the accident
- Any witnesses to the accident
- Any symptoms you’re experiencing
If a supervisor requires any additional information for the report, he or she will request it. A timely filing of an accident report is essential for the payment of worker’s compensation benefits.
Seek Medical Care
Next, an injured worker should see an in-network occupational doctor for medical care. Sometimes, an employer can point to an appropriate provider. It’s important to seek medical care as soon as possible and tell the physician about any symptoms. Following a physician’s prescribed treatment plan is also essential for the payment of benefits.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Next, it’s vital to follow the doctor’s instructions regarding treatment and follow up care. This is important not only to make a full recovery but also to protect your rights to worker’s compensation benefits. Don’t put yourself in a position where an employer or insurance company can question the veracity of your claims.
Find an Attorney
Finally, research and find an attorney with experience in both worker’s compensation and personal injury law. A lawyer that has specific experience with construction injury cases is also valuable. An attorney can help guide you through the necessary steps to obtain compensation. He or she can represent your rights as you pursue a worker’s compensation claim, and may also be able to identify if grounds for a third party claim exist. In some instances, you may be able to pursue damages from a third party, such as a subcontractor, when your injuries occur as the result of negligence.
When searching for an attorney to represent your interests, ask about:
- Experience with construction injuries, especially with circumstances similar to yours
- Fee structure, particularly if they work on a contingency-fee basis
- How long you can expect the process to take
- Who will update you on the status of your case
Construction accidents often lead to serious injuries and workers may find themselves out of work for significant periods. Knowing about your legal options and steps to take after an accident can help protect your right to compensation under New York law.