Humans have been constructing since at least 9000 BC, creating pit houses out of mammoth bones, antlers, hides, and stones. Through the Romans and the invention of concrete to 20th-century rebar, humans have never stopped constructing. Yet, construction can be a dangerous business. In the United States, there are approximately three construction fatalities a day, and for every fatality, there are, on average, 100 injuries that result in loss of work.
Construction employers pay insurance premiums into a workers’ compensation fund to help workers who have been injured in accidents. This insurance pays the worker’s costs of the injury, like medical bills and lost wages. In California, state law makes these insurance funds mandatory, and below are steps to follow to help make sure your claim is successful.
What Steps To Take After The Injury
Inform your supervisor right away – It is important to get the injury documented promptly so your employer’s report can be detailed and accurate. Request a copy of the report to ensure it is correct.
Immediately seek medical attention from an approved physician – Even if you think you are not hurt badly and do not need to see a doctor, you still should. It is important not only to make sure you are not hurt; it is part of the documentation process for filing a strong workers’ compensation claim. Your employer will have a list of approved physicians.
Create your own record – Document the incident for yourself. Your employer’s incident report, while accurate, may not include all the facts and circumstances that you think are important. In particular, note who else witnessed the incident.
Keep in contact with your employer – If your injuries prevent you from working, you will have to provide supporting documentation to your employer. It is also the employer’s responsibility to file the insurance claim, so you need to confirm whether it is done, and if not, why.
Why Consult An Attorney About Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
An employer or insurer may deny or dispute your claim for a number of reasons. For example, an employer could claim the injury occurred outside the scope of work. They could point to something like horseplay during a break or argue that it was a pre-existing injury that was not aggravated by any actions at the construction site.
Joseph Kritzer’s legal advice can be pivotal when your employer questions your claim. There are also requirements, like the steps discussed above, and deadlines to making a claim. Attorney Joseph Kritzer will help you navigate those hurdles as well as evaluate if there are any other claims that should be made in addition to the workers’ compensation.
Workers’ Compensation Is Your Right
If you have been injured working on a construction site, you are entitled to workers’ compensation. California recognizes that construction work, while vital to the growth and prosperity of our state, is dangerous accident-prone work. That is why construction companies in California are required to have it for the benefit of their workers.