There’s no doubt about it. Construction work is dangerous. In fact, more than 300 California construction workers died in work-related accidents over a recent four-year period. Serious, non-life threatening injuries such as broken bones, and crushed or amputated limbs are also common. So what should you do after a construction accident? Keep reading to find out.
Seek medical attention
If you are seriously hurt on a construction site, you will probably be transported to the hospital by ambulance. Even if you aren’t hurt badly enough to warrant emergency transport it is important that you get medical attention as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to see your personal doctor or go to an emergency clinic if need be.
First and foremost, this is critical for your health and wellbeing. It is also critical if you want to pursue legal recourse through worker’s compensation or a personal injury lawsuit.
The next step is to let your employer know what happened. Be sure to do so as soon as you can because there is a strict deadline for making this notification in California. Specifically, you have 30 days from the date you were hurt to report the accident and injury to your employer. You also have one year from the date of injury to give your employer a completed Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1).
File a Workers Compensation claim
Carrying workers compensation insurance is mandated for any California business with at least one employee. This means you will probably be able to file a workers compensation claim for your construction injury as long as it was work-related.
Depending on the specific circumstances of your Los Angeles construction injury case, you may be able to get the following benefits through worker’s comp:
- Coverage/reimbursement of medical expenses – Including doctors, lab work, prescriptions, physical therapy and more.
- Temporary disability benefits – Financial compensation provided as long as your injury precludes you from doing you from working while you are recovering.
- Permanent disability benefits – Financial compensation provided in the event that you will never fully recover regardless of how much treatment you receive.
- Supplemental job displacement benefits – Financial support in the form of a voucher to help cover costs of retraining or skill enhancement if you’re
California law precludes you from making a worker’s compensation claim and suing your employer. However, you may be able to sue someone else who is responsible for the construction accident in which you were hurt. This is called a third-party lawsuit.
You may be able to pursue this option if:
- You were injured by faulty equipment
- You were injured as the result of an existing hazard on the property where you were working
- You were injured in a motor vehicle accident while you were working
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However, it is important that you consult an experienced LA construction injury lawyer to see if you have a viable case. This is because there are different standards of proof in this type of case and a workers compensation case.
Standards of proof
In a workers compensation case, you must prove that:
- Your injury was work-related
- California workers compensation laws apply
- You didn’t deliberately hurt yourself, and
- The injury didn’t stem from your drug or alcohol use
Note that you do not have to prove that anyone was at fault. Negligence does not come into play.
On the other hand, in a third-party lawsuit, you must prove that the defendant was negligent. Specifically, you must prove that:
- The third party was legally obligated to keep you safe or free from harm
- The third party did something to violate that obligation
- The violation of this legal obligation caused your injury
The bottom line
If you were hurt in a California construction accident, it is important to get the proper legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Our construction injury attorneys can easily assess your situation and provide thelegal advice you need to make an informed decision. Contact the Law Office of Parag L. Amin P.C. to find out more about how we will fight for you.