What Should I Do If I’ve Been in a Construction Accident?
Construction accidents can cause a lot of uncertainty for workers. Unfortunately, they are not uncommon and often lead to serious injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, burns, lacerations, and more. Construction accidents can lead to expensive medical treatment, time away from work, and potentially long-term implications on your ability to fulfill your job duties.
If you’ve recently been in an accident, you need to make sure you follow some key steps to ensure you are protected. While it might be tempting to try to “tough it out,” your injuries may be more serious than you realize – and if you neglect to do the right things after an accident, you may not be able to receive support for the impact these injuries have on your health and livelihood.
Below, we explain what you should do after being injured in a construction accident to help ensure you recover the benefits you deserve. That said, the safest course of action is to speak with an experienced construction accident attorney who can evaluate your situation and provide guidance on how to move forward.
1. Seek Medical Attention
In emergencies, you should seek medical attention immediately at the nearest healthcare facility. Doing so is not only the best thing for your health, but it also establishes a record of your injury and diagnosis. This will be a crucial part of receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
If your injury is not an emergency – for example, if you’re suffering from back or joint pain from repetitive stress – then you should notify your employer and ask where you can receive medical treatment. Like most forms of insurance, your employer’s workers’ comp insurer will have approved doctors they will direct you to. However, in emergencies, you may receive treatment from the nearest emergency room.
Make sure you are fully transparent with the doctor, explaining in full detail what happened so they can say with certainty that your injury was work-related. You should also discuss what work-related tasks you will still be able to complete, if any.
2. Notify Your Employer
If you need to seek medical treatment before notifying your employer, you should notify them as soon as possible afterward. In Florida, you have 30 days to report an injury to your employer, but generally, the sooner you do so, the better.
Your employer will then have 7 days to report the accident. If they fail to do so, you can get in touch with the Division of Workers’ Compensation directly.
3. File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
After your employer reports the accident, the insurance company will reach out to you. They will then send you some information and forms that you need to fill out.
This will include a report of the accident, which you need to review and verify. If the details of the accident and your injuries are not correct, you should not sign this form but get in touch with the insurance company to amend the report.
They will also request information on your medical treatment, which is why you must receive a proper diagnosis and keep all of your medical records related to the accident.
4. Contact an Experienced Construction Accident Attorney
While obtaining workers’ compensation benefits might be a straightforward process, there are a few scenarios where it makes sense to get in touch with an attorney.
The first is if your claim is denied. This could be because of missing paperwork, particularly medical documentation, or because your employer is disputing the claim. Regardless, working with an attorney to submit an appeal can help make sure you understand the denial and know what to do next.
Another scenario where a lawyer can be helpful is filing a third-party personal injury claim. While you are unable to sue your employer for compensation related to a workplace accident, you may be able to pursue compensation against someone else who caused your injuries.
For example, if a piece of equipment malfunctioned and caused the accident, you may be able to recover compensation from the manufacturer of the equipment for your damages.
This is very important to consider since workers’ compensation benefits alone may not be enough to cover all of your damages. Pursuing a third-party claim will allow you to seek additional compensation.
Call Our Orlando Construction Accident Lawyer Today
While workers’ compensation provides great protection for injured workers in Florida, the system doesn’t always work as it should, sometimes leaving workers in difficult situations.
At Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter, we are passionate advocates for injured workers. Whether your claim has been denied or you believe you may have a viable third-party claim, our knowledgeable and aggressive team of construction accident attorneys are here to fight for your rights.
For a free case evaluation, please call us at 407-712-7300 or fill out our contact form.