Although the construction sector is vital to the economy, it is also one of the most inherently hazardous industries that you can possibly work in. The work environment is fraught with perils of all sorts due to which personal injuries are common. Even after taking preventive safety measures, there is still a chance for catastrophic construction accidents. Thus, you should be well aware of the steps to take after a construction accident. You should get in touch with a construction accident lawyer in New Jersey to find out about your chances of winning a compensation claim.
Construction Injury Statistics
It is sad to note that each year thousands of construction workers are badly injured and hospitalized, despite increasingly austere regulations promulgated to prevent accidents at the construction site. A lot of workers are afflicted with injuries, cuts, falls, electric shock and accidents from faulty apparatus. The numbers are truly staggering. The Centers for Disease Control (the CDC) states that over 350,000 accidents take place each on construction sites. Even more grim is the fact that over a thousand of these incidents turn out to be fatal. That’s a thousand deaths each year on construction sites.
Given the high number of accidents that take place at construction sites, there is a high probability that you might suffer an accident or two over a career spanning a few decades. Given the nature of these injuries and their high likelihood, they must never be taken lightly. You should know about a construction accident lawyer that you can rely on in case such an event eventually transpires. You should search for a reliable lawyer beforehand so that there is no need to scramble for one when you are recovering from your injuries and in poor shape.
In view of these alarming numbers, state and federal bodies have acted to pass rules and guidelines meant to reduce construction accidents that happen each year. These guidelines delineate the steps that employers and managers must take to keep their construction site workers safe. They also outline the steps to take after a construction accident to ensure that afflicted workers can successfully prove their claim and win compensation for their injuries.
What Steps You Should Take After a Construction Accident
If you or your colleague have endured a construction accident injury, then you should immediately follow the steps shown below to maximize your chances of proving your claims in court. Since the injury transpired at the workplace or as a result of job responsibilities, you may be entitled to a worker compensation injury. Make sure that you observe these steps so that you can claim the full extent of monetary benefits as well as the full duration of time off from work to recover from your injuries.
1. Medical Care
Getting emergency care right away in the event of a construction accident injury is of paramount importance. Do not make the mistake of doing it all on your own without medical assistance. While you should definitely administer first aid, you should also call up emergency medical services immediately. Contact emergency medical services right away even if the injury seems minor. Even a minor looking bruise to the head can lead to a concussion and mental dysfunction later on while an impact to the abdomen can result in internal injuries (including bleeding) that may not be apparent. Always seek professional medical care, no matter how small the injury might appear.
There may be an element of time lag between the accident and a point at which the injury is manifested. For instance, in the case of toxic chemical inhalation, your injury may not be obvious until after several days, weeks or even months.
Even for construction accidents involving a hard impact, the extent of the injury may not be obvious until after several days. That is why professional medical assistance is vital since paramedics are trained to identify serious injuries even if the incident appears minor.
2. Incident Details
Take note of all circumstances of the injury, including events leading up to the injury. You should meticulously record when, where and how it all happened. If the victim is capable of responding, you should ask them for details. Don’t make the mistake of foregoing this key step and assume that you and the victim will remember everything. Very often, important details do become murky and can fade away. This is not good because you will need all details to prove your case. You may never know which detail can have a major impact on the outcome of the case. Quite frequently, some of the most minor looking details can prove to be decisive for successful litigation. So don’t make any assumptions. Record everything on the spot and take a detailed statement from the victims if they are capable of communicating.
Recording all of this is absolutely critical since the defendant’s lawyers, judge and jury will be heavily scrutinizing these details. The outcome of the case will strongly depend on these details. The lawyers of the other party are always on the lookout for lack of evidence or conflicting details since these are often the best defenses that they can rely on to thwart your lawsuit or reduce your benefits.
1. Reporting the Injury
For claiming compensation, it is mandatory to inform superiors as soon as any construction site accident happens. Send a report containing the details of the accident to the supervisors, managers and superiors. Make a note of everyone who has received this report and the data of submission. Your construction accident lawyer will be including these details in the case evidence.
Talk to all witnesses who were present during the time of injury and who know some or all of the details. Do take their statements on the spot so that important facts remain fresh without any danger of ambiguity later on. Ask all witnesses about what they saw and heard and take down their version of the circumstances before, during and after the accident.
Preserve all evidence that can help to prove the case. For instance, if the accident happened because of a faulty tool, then keep it in a safe place so that it can be inspected later on for evidence. Tell everyone about the faulty equipment that led to the accident and ensure that no one uses it. Inform everyone that it will serve as evidence and must therefore not be touched. Take as many pictures as you can of the faulty equipment.
You should also take pictures of the victim’s injuries and the worksite. Take as many pictures as you can to capture all the necessary details. This key step has now become quite convenient because almost everyone now has smartphones with high resolution cameras that can record evidence.
4. Medical Reports
Besides getting emergency attention quickly, you should also take care to document everything about the care provided. The injuries, in particular, should be documented fully and evidence should be preserved for easy retrieval later on. As part of the medical evidence, you should note down the names of doctors and paramedics involved in providing medical care, treatments and prescriptions. All prescriptions that doctors give for treatment should be kept in a safe place.
5. Experienced Construction Accident Lawyer in New Jersey
After getting all necessary medical care, recording evidence and taking all steps mentioned above, you should get in touch with a construction accident lawyer in New Jersey as soon as possible. You can mention all facts to the attorney so that you can receive a realistic assessment right away about your chances of successful litigation. A trustworthy lawyer will give you an accurate appraisal of your prospects and will likely take fees only after winning the case for you. Thus, the lawyer has a strong interest and motivation in ensuring that you win. A tough and seasoned lawyer can vigorously argue for your rights and present facts in a way that will help you to claim full compensation.
You will need a strong ally on your side to stand any real chance of claiming your compensation. A proficient construction accident lawyer can help you to successfully navigate all legalities and related complexities that can be hard for the layman to comprehend. Your lawyer will be fully cognizant of sneaky tactics that defendant lawyers apply as well as the loopholes that they exploit to foil your claim or to greatly reduce your benefits. Thus, your lawyer can take powerful preventive actions to defeat such tactics.
How a Construction Accident Lawyer Can Protect You
Don’t underestimate the level of opposition that you will be facing when you demand your rightful compensation. Nobody likes to pay up for accidents even if they are at fault. Thus, there is a strong chance that your employer might downplay your injuries or flat out refuse to pay up. They can even resort to pressure tactics to coax you into giving up your claim. But with an aggressive lawyer on your side, you will have no reason to fear any pressure tactics or intimidation. In case your employer resorts to any unethical measures to force you into giving up your claim, your lawyer will step in to defend your rights and use available legal remedies to prevent such things from happening.
Employers can also use sneaky tactics to con you out of your rights. They may cajole and entice you into an out of court settlement promising to pay what you deserve. Don’t fall for such tricks. It is very much possible that they are simply trying to get you to agree to an amount much smaller than what they owe you. Do not negotiate directly. Tell your construction accident lawyer right away about any such overtures. Your lawyer has the knowledge about how much you deserve under the law and will know whether or not it is a reasonable amount. Your lawyer may even negotiate aggressively on your behalf for maximum compensation. Under threat of a lawsuit from a lawyer with a strong track record, your employer might succumb and agree to maximum compensation. But if they refuse to give you your full legal rights, your lawyer can take them to court and fight your case so that they can no longer deny your rights. Your lawyer will prove to be a staunch supporter who can take a brave stand for your rights even in the face of strong resistance.
Your employer will take you much more seriously if you have a tenacious and aggressive construction accident lawyer to deal with them. Your employer will know better than to resort to any unscrupulous measures since your lawyer can reveal all in court as further incriminating evidence.
Construction work is one of the most hazardous occupations as is evident from the high rates of injuries and fatalities. Hence, state and federal governments have enacted legal requirements that your employer must follow to ensure your safety. If your employer falls short on these rules, then you are in a strong position to claim your rightful compensation. Even in cases where employer responsibility may not be apparent, you may still be entitled to compensation since this is a job-related injury. Thus, no matter what the nature of your construction accident injury, you must get in touch with a good attorney and communicate all the facts surrounding the incident.
Have you suffered a construction site accident? Don’t waste any time. Get in touch now with the top construction accident lawyer in New Jersey. The lawyer has helped many others before you to claim maximum compensation and can do the same for you. You can call for a free consultation and get advice on how to proceed for a successful lawsuit.
Contact us today.