Construction sites are rife with hazards. Common construction injuries continue to affect a number of construction employees.
Workers are at risk of hurting themselves in a number of ways from falling from heights and suffering electrical injuries to being struck by objects and/or equipment.
When workers are injured in a construction accident, they are required to draft an incident report.
These incident or accident reports are crucial after a construction accident because they detail the time, place and details involving the incident. Under California law, construction companies are required to report worksite accidents.
From a worker's point of view writing an incident report is an important part of the claims process.
Key Points - Table of Contents
- Your Rights as a Construction Worker
- Do Not Delay Making the Report
- How to Make a Construction Accident Report
- When Does an Accident Report Need to Be Completed?
- What to Do After Making the Construction Accident Report
- Construction Accident Lawsuits
- Our Work Injury Lawyers Can Help
Your Rights as a Construction Worker
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requires all employers to provide a safe workspace for all employees. This law covers construction workers as well giving them the right to review their employer's workplace requirements including rules, standards and regulations.
Workers also have the right to review results of hazard testing in the workplace and even request an OSHA inspection if they suspect their employer is violating workplace safety law. In addition, workers can seek protection against retaliation and discrimination on the part of their employer.
Employers for their part must make sure that their worksites are safe and healthy for employees and provide them not only with job training, but also training on safety and how to use safety equipment.
This training must be provided to workers in a language they can understand. Workers should be equipped with personal protective equipment such as fall arrest systems, steel-toe boots, goggles, hearing protection, hard hats, etc.
Do Not Delay Making the Report
Construction accident reports should be filed in a timely manner. It is important to report your construction accident injury within 30 days of the accident.
While the details of the report are critical, time is also a crucial factor because failure to report a construction injury within 30 days of the incident or after you discovered a medical condition that worsened over time may result in the loss of your right to collect workers' comp benefits.
You should report your construction site accident to your employer and/or supervisor as soon as possible. One of the reasons is that the longer you wait to report an accident, the more challenging it may get to remember the details. Report it when all the details are still fresh in your mind.
How to Make a Construction Accident Report
Documenting how a construction accident occurred is important at many levels. While it helps substantiate your work injury claim, it also helps strengthen the employer's safety measures to prevent future occurrences.
It is important that injured workers have an experienced work injury lawyer on their side when they make a report.
A construction accident report can help pinpoint the factors that caused the accident. It could also help workers seek immediate and proper medical treatment.
Once the accident report is made, the incident will be investigated. The investigation is crucial to help determine the cause of the accident and to help ensure that similar accidents do not occur in the future.
Your employer or company should have its own claim form that needs to be completed in order to request workers' compensation benefits. Read the form carefully and fill out all sections of the form. Check for spelling mistakes or typos.
The following details are important to have in your construction accident report:
- The date, time and location of the accident
- How the accident occurred
- The nature of your injuries, symptoms and how it impacts your ability to do your job and live your life.
- Were other parties involved in the accident?
- Whether others - co-workers, bystanders - witnessed the construction accident
- Any medical treatment and care you may have received after the accident
- Doctors' diagnosis and/or recommendations for treatment
When Does an Accident Report Need to Be Completed?
It is critical to document the case as soon as possible. If time passes, important evidence could be tampered with or lost, producing an inaccurate report or one that does not give the whole picture. An accident report might take days to complete. It must almost always stat with collecting evidence or witness statements. It is best to retain the services of an experienced work injury lawyer who can get this work started for you.
What to Do After Making the Construction Accident Report
Once you have successfully filled out the construction accident report, submit it to the appropriate person in your company. It is imperative that you retain a copy of the report for your own records.
You may need this as part of getting compensation in a construction accident settlement. After you notify your employer about you injury, retain copies of all the forms you fill out and all documents and communications.
Also, maintain a journal or notes on how your construction accident injury is affecting your day-to-day life as well as your ability to do your job.
It is also important that you keep all pay stubs, checks and receipts for doctors' visits, prescription and other medications, medical equipment, treatment, diagnostic procedures, physical therapy appointments and so on.
You may be reimbursed for all out-of-pocket expenses connected to your construction accident injury. Do not post online about your accident or injury.
Don't post any information on social media or other spaces that could be used against you.
Construction Accident Lawsuits
Construction accidents often result in major injuries ranging from traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord damage to broken bones and internal organ damage.
In such cases, workers may have to endure lengthy hospitalization and rehabilitation. They may never be able to return to work, depending on the severity of their injuries. Construction accidents also result in fatalities.
In these cases, in addition to workers' compensation, workers may also be able to file a third-party lawsuit seeking compensation for their losses from responsible parties other than their employers.
Examples of third parties may include general contractors, sub-contractors, construction companies, property owners and manufacturers of defective products. Learning how to file a construction injury claim may be a critical step.
For example, if you are injured by a piece of defective equipment, you may be able to file a third-party claim against the manufacturer of the equipment.
Regardless of what caused your injury, it is important to document it as soon as possible and file a report with your employer so the workers' comp process can begin without delay.
This will also ensure that you have access to prompt medical care and treatment.
Our Work Injury Lawyers Can Help
The counsel and guidance of an experienced Los Angeles construction accident lawyer can be invaluable when it comes to seeking compensation after a construction accident.
The construction accident lawyers at Greenberg and Ruby have a successful track record of fighting and upholding the rights of injured construction workers and families that have lost loved ones to construction accidents.
Call us to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.