The construction industry is among the most dangerous today. In fact, an overwhelming number of workplace injuries and illnesses occur in construction workplaces. When a person is injured on the job, he or she needs to take certain steps to protect the worker’s compensation claim and obtain the compensation he or she deserves. Nevertheless, certain mistakes are frequently made by individuals in this situation. Following are five common mistakes and how to avoid them if you are injured or become ill while working on a construction job site.
Failing to Inform the Employer:
Under current law, an employee must alert his or her employer to any injuries or illnesses that occur in the workplace. A failure to do so can invalidate the employee’s claim if compensation is pursued. This notification must take place within a certain time period and the proper documentation must be filed. In the event the employer does not take action when he or she is alerted to the injury or illness, the employee must take additional steps to make certain the information is recorded.
What can an employee do when his or her employer is failing to perform the required duties? The first step would be to contact an attorney to make certain this step is carried out on behalf of the employee. As there are time limits for reporting the accident, the attorney needs to be contacted promptly to ensure the deadline does not pass. To learn more about this time limit and other steps the employee must take, find out at Frekhtman & Associates what is required, what is helpful, and what to avoid at this time.
Not Seeking Medical Care:
Make an appointment with a medical professional as soon as possible after the injury occurs. Be sure to obtain copies of any medical records related to the accident so both the doctor and the employee know what was found during the visit. This information will need to be shared in the future with the employer, the worker’s compensation insurer, and an attorney if one is retained. Employees should never rely on others to obtain this information. It’s best for each party to have their own documentation.
During this visit, be sure to share with the doctor exactly what happened when the injury occurred if possible. He or she also needs to be aware of any preexisting conditions that the person has to determine if they contributed to the illness or injury. Although a person may be tempted to not reveal this information at the time of the visit, it will likely come out later in the case and could hurt the victim’s claim. A failure to share all of the facts suggests the victim is trying to hide something and those responsible for deciding the outcome of the case may wonder what else isn’t being revealed.
Not Speaking to an Attorney:
Speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following the incident. Any delay can be costly, as the insurance company will begin putting pressure on the victim to accept the lowest settlement possible. When the victim is trying to recover from his or her injuries and is worried about how medical bills and other expenses are to be paid while he or she isn’t working, the insurance company tries to take advantage of this vulnerability. By contacting an attorney soon after the incident, the victim can turn all communications with the insurer over to the attorney and focus on his or her recovery.
Furthermore, anything said to the insurance company can and will be used to weaken the victim’s case. Inconsistencies in the victim’s statements will be highlighted, and it won’t be taken into account the victim may have been on prescription medications to control pain and other symptoms resulting from the incident. The attorney works to ensure everything said to the insurance company is meant to strengthen the victim’s claim rather than weakening it.
Failing to Investigate the Accident:
Workplace injuries of any type need to be fully investigated. Not only does this help to prove the victim’s case, but it can also be of great assistance in ensuring similar things do not happen to others in the future. Sadly, any delay in this investigation can lead to witnesses going missing, evidence disappearing or being removed, and more. The sooner the investigation begins, the easier it is for the attorney to gather information related to the claim and build a strong case. He or she has trained investigators who know what to look for and what needs to be collected at this time.
Insurance companies don’t want to pay out money. They operate to make a profit and will take whatever measures necessary to deny a claim. In the event the claim is initially denied, a worker may feel he or she has no other options and give up trying to pursue compensation. Don’t make this mistake, as an attorney can be of great help in moving the case forward in the shortest time possible.
Speak to an attorney right away to begin the appeals process. The attorney works to bolster the case and force the insurance company to provide compensation. When an attorney is brought in to assist the victim, insurance companies often give in and offer more compensation. They recognize the victim is willing to do whatever necessary to obtain the funds he or she deserves, such as going to court to achieve this goal. Doing so would be costly for the insurer so he or she is willing to increase the settlement to avoid this from happening.
Compensation is deserved when any person is injured on the job through no fault of their own. Make certain you know exactly what to do if you find yourself in this situation. You want to protect your right to obtain compensation while getting the help you need to recover from your injury or illness. With the right attorney, doing so becomes a much easier task. Be sure to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible and protects your rights and your claim throughout the process.