Navigating worker’s compensation and ensuring you receive the benefits you’re due can be a challenge if your employer refuses to take responsibility for your workplace injury.
What qualifies as an accident at work?
Any accident experienced by an employee that’s not the direct result of the employee’s negligence or intent qualifies as a workplace injury. What makes the difference? If you’re lifting a 40-pound box and you hurt your back, that would normally qualify as an accident at work. If you’re intoxicated at the time that you do it, your employer could claim that the injury was caused by your intoxication in violation of company rules.
Employers carry workers’ compensation to provide benefits to employees who experience an injury at work. The premium (the amount they pay for insurance) depends on two factors. The risks associated with the work itself. The second is the company’s claims history. Companies that experience a lot of injuries in the workplace will see their worker’s compensation premium rise. That creates an incentive for them to challenge any claim where they think they can pass the blame to you. That’s why it’s usually a good idea to speak to a work accident lawyer before filing a worker’s compensation claim.
Common causes of Workplace injury
In the construction industry, numerous risks could lead to workplace injury.
- A “slip and fall” injury is the most common type by far. This can easily occur when you’re carrying a heavy object through a construction site when you’re moving quickly on the job, or when the area you’re working in is cluttered with building materials.
- Injuries related to tools are also common on construction sites.
- Falls from a higher height can occur in the construction of multistory buildings. These can cause more serious injuries.
- Falling objects can cause injuries, especially on multistory buildings.
- Auto accidents that occur in a company vehicle while conducting company business also qualify as workplace injury. So do accidents that occur in your vehicle while conducting company business you’ve been specifically instructed to perform.
The importance of First Aid in the workplace
Most injuries that occur on construction sites require that First Aid be administered quickly. If you or a co-worker is hurt on the job site, First Aid should be rendered quickly and 9-1-1 should be called if there’s any risk of the injury being severe. Employers must ensure that First Aid materials are available on the job site. If they fail in that obligation and the lack of First Aid worsens the workplace injury, they may face additional liability.
When to contact a lawyer?
You should contact a construction accident lawyer as soon as you injure yourself at work. Although many workers’ compensation benefits are easy to access, a construction accident attorney can guide you through the process. They can also ensure you receive your benefits and protect you if your employer opts to challenge the claim. In addition, many of the workers on any construction job site qualify as independent contractors, at least by some definition. An attorney can help you to ensure you qualify for benefits. In some cases when those benefits are not available they can help you seek damages from the company you’re contracted to.
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