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.
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.
How to Make a Construction Accident Report
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
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.