The construction industry is known for being one of the most dangerous to work in. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), construction sites are one of the most hazardous work locations across the United States. After being involved in a construction accident, filing an accident report is crucial if you hope to recover the compensation and benefits you are entitled to and make sure the at-fault party is held accountable.
With help from a construction accident attorney, you can access the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve and pursue a third-party liability claim if another party’s negligence was the cause of your injuries. Before you get started on your claims, an accident report is a crucial piece of evidence that could be used to support your case.
Construction Worker Rights
OSHA is the government agency responsible for overseeing workers’ safety across the United States. According to OSHA rules and regulations, employees are only partially responsible for ensuring their workplace is safe at all times. With that in mind, construction workers have specific workers’ rights, including:
- The right to hazardous testing results in the workplace
- The right to review the rules, regulations, and standards of a specific workplace
- The right to review former exposure or medical records
- The right to request an OSHA inspection if they believe their employer is violating safety laws
- The right to protection against discrimination and retaliation for requesting OSHA inspections
Additionally, employers are also held to OSHA rules and regulations, including:
- Providing workers with the tools and equipment they need to perform their jobs safely
- Conducting safety training sessions and seminars
- Ensuring the work environment is safe for employees
- Ensuring construction employees are educated on OSHA regulations
- Setting up a Department that oversees workplace safety
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Filing a Construction Accident Report
After being involved in a construction accident, documenting the incident is crucial. Under the law, you must notify your employer promptly after the incident to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Your construction accident report will be a valuable piece of evidence to use if you are going to file a workers’ comp claim or pursue legal action against those responsible for causing your injuries in civil court. The incident report will detail the following:
- How the accident happened
- Who is responsible for causing it
- Circumstances surrounding the incident
- The names of other involved parties
- The day and time of the accident
- Any injuries victims sustained
However, you might be surprised if your foreman or construction company does not offer to file an accident report for you or bring up an incident report when discussing the accident. You must advocate for your rights and make sure to file an accident report immediately after the accident, wherever possible if you hope to protect your right to specific types and amounts of compensation and benefits.
Receive Medical Attention
As soon as possible after the accident, make sure you receive the medical help you need. Even if you do not think your injuries are severe, you must get evaluated by a healthcare provider.
If you delay treatment, you could find yourself dealing with worsening injuries and give the liable party an opportunity to argue that you are exaggerating the impact or severity of your injuries. Your medical records will be especially important in proving the extent to which your life has been affected by your injuries, your prognosis, and the extent of your medical expenses.
Notify Your Employer or Foreman of Your Injuries or Accident
Next, make sure to notify your employer or foreman of the accident itself and your resulting injuries. Do not try to play it off as though your injuries are not severe, or try to continue working so you can continue supporting your family.
Make sure you take your injuries seriously and do not attempt to exaggerate the severity. When you notify your employer of your construction accident injuries, you should be given an opportunity to file an incident report. If not, make sure you take the time to ask to file one.
Make Sure the Right Forms Are Filed
With help from your construction accident attorney, you can find out whether your foreman or the construction company has filed the necessary forms and OSHA documents. These forms include:
- The OSHA log on OSHA Form 300, which should include your name, occupation, the details of your case, when and where it happened, and how many days you are expected to be off of work
- The summary of work-related injuries and illnesses on OSHA Form 300-A, which summarizes the injuries you sustained in the accident you were involved in as described in OSHA Form 300
Gather Evidence to Support Your Case
Do what you can to start gathering evidence to support your case for workers’ compensation or personal injury damages. Some examples of compelling evidence to prove negligence and liability in a construction accident include:
- Video of the accident
- Photos of your injuries and the accident scene
- Copies of your accident and incident reports
- Statements from witnesses
- The names and contact information of witnesses or other involved parties
- Copies of your medical records and diagnostic test results
You should also consider keeping a personal journal that will detail how significantly your life has been affected by your injuries. Be sure to include not only the ways your daily living activities have been disrupted but how you are struggling to cope emotionally as well. You can also continue to take photos of your injuries as they heal and keep detailed notes about your medical treatment and care as you recuperate.
Connect with a Construction Accident Lawyer
Construction workers understand the risks of their occupation. When you have been critically injured in a work-related accident, filing an accident report is essential. Not only can they help you recover the compensation you deserve, but your accident could be the catalyst that helps your construction company take action to make conditions safer and provide construction employees with the proper safety equipment and tools they need to get their jobs done as safely as possible.
When you need help pursuing your insurance or civil claims, do not hesitate to contact a reputable construction accident attorney at John Foy & Associates. Schedule your free consultation as soon as today when you fill out our quick contact form or call our office.