Safety Tips for Working on a Construction Site
Fatalities can happen at any time and any place, but the construction industry as a whole loses more workers each year to job-related injuries and deaths than any other industry. However, that doesn’t mean that if you work in construction, you are doomed. On the contrary, taking the right steps can help to ensure that you are safe and secure while on the job and get to come home to your loved ones each and every night.
Unfortunately, even if taking extra precautions, you could still suffer serious injuries. If that unfortunate situation arises, you need the services of a skilled and experienced workers compensation lawyer who can help you maximize your compensation.
Preventative Tips to Stay Safe
Nearly 6.5 million people work at construction sites every day. While the vast majority of those workers go home unscathed, others are not so lucky—construction is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. By following your employer’s recommendations and guidelines, you can stay safe. Besides that, if you are doing work at home to renovate or remodel, following these tips will help prevent injuries to you and your loved ones.
Wear Protective Gear
Protective gear is important no matter what type of work you are doing. If you are repainting the living room, wear a mask to help you breathe cleaner air. If you are working on a new skyscraper in Miami, wear a hard hat so that when you inevitably bump your head onto a steel beam, you have some protection.
Other items to consider:
- Proper shoes
- Protective eyewear
- Back brace
- Long sleeves and long pants
Keep Work Areas Clean
A clean work area helps prevent injuries. If there are power cords, paint brushes, hammers, nails, and any number of other construction-related items just laying randomly about, injuries will happen. You may trip and fall and potentially seriously injury yourself. It’s very simple to make sure that you clean your working area to help prevent injuries to you and to others.
Know Your Surroundings
While conducting any type of construction work, staying alert is key to staying safe. Accidents happen when you are distracted or are not paying attention to what you are doing and to what is happening around you.
Prepare for Accidents
Even if you are just repainting the living room, you may inhale fumes or get paint in your eye. Knowing what to do in that situation can help prevent further injuries. That’s why preparing in advance for an accident is the best way to ensure you act appropriately if an accident happens. On construction sites, employees routinely prepare for accidents by reviewing manuals and participating in training. This way, if an accident happens, they are acting on instinct and their training and not scrambling around trying to figure out what to do.
Despite taking these preventative measures, accidents might happen. If you or a loved one has suffered a construction accident injury, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can work with you to ensure you receive the legal assistance you deserve to help you make a full and complete recovery.
Common Construction Accident Causes
The cause of your specific injury may vary, but construction accidents occur because of:
- Improper training
- Poor safety precautions
- Mechanical accidents
- Failure to maintain machinery
- Scaffolding accidents
- Improper use of machinery
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Slip and fall
- Defective equipment
- Improper use of tools
- Electrical accidents
- Falling objects
Regardless of what specifically caused your accident, you have suffered an injury through no fault of your own. Your injury may result in a mountain of medical bills in addition to lost work. You deserve to receive compensation for your pain and suffering. But you also deserve to recover your lost wages.
You may be out of work temporarily or possibly permanently, never able to return to work in the same fashion. This means you have additional stress on you and your family wondering how you will pay your bills going forward. This should not be your worry. Rather, this burden should be placed on the at-fault party who acted negligently, recklessly, or carelessly and put you in this tragic situation.
Typical Construction Site Injuries
What injuries an individual suffers, and how severe they are, depends greatly on the type of construction work that he or she is doing. If you are simply repainting a room in your house, your injuries might not be as severe as a construction worker building a new skyscraper. However, that doesn’t mean that less severe injuries are necessarily less damaging and don’t deserve adequate compensation.
Depending on the type of construction accident in which you’ve been involved, you may suffer from the following injuries:
- Cuts and scrapes
- Eye injuries
- Broken bones
- Joint injuries
- Neck injuries
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Injuries from toxic chemical exposure
While it’s usually possible to recover from most construction accident injuries, other injuries are more severe and may leave you with injuries from which you never fully recover. That is a tragic situation and why it’s so important for you to speak with a seasoned workers’ injury lawyer as quickly as possible. Your injuries are not your fault, and when your life changes because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or carelessness, you deserve to hold them accountable for your suffering.
Filing a Construction Site Accident Claim
Small businesses employ more than 90 percent of all construction workers. All of these employers, both large and small, have a legal requirement to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few exceptions, but most employers must carry this insurance coverage to protect workers like you who may be suffering from an on-the-job injury.
If you are hurt while on the job, your subsequent injuries are covered under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Workers’ compensation insurance is broader than other insurance, and it does not require your employer to have acted negligently in any way. You simply have to have suffered from an injury while on the job, and you qualify.
Workers’ compensation insurance will provide you with benefits for your medical bills, lost wages, and disability. However, getting these benefits is often much harder than it sounds, and we routinely see workers’ compensation insurance claims denied. Getting help from an attorney can help you with your workers’ compensation insurance claim. Your lawyer can help make sure you have a valid claim, attach all of your documentation, and help you battle any appeal in the event the insurance carrier denies your claim. Even if your claim has already been denied, a lawyer can help, but you must act fast.
If someone other than your employer is at fault for your injuries, then you can bring a personal injury claim against that individual or company. If you were working on a construction site owned by a property management company or an architecture firm overseeing construction, that company is not your employer, so you would need to file a lawsuit against that company to recover for your injuries.
As with a workers’ compensation claim against your employer, collecting damages from another at-fault party is not as simple as holding out your hand.
To prevail, you must prove the following:
- The third-party owed you a duty to keep you safe.
- The duty-bound party breached that duty by being negligent, reckless, or careless.
- As a result of the breach, you suffered an injury.
- As a result of your injury, you have suffered damages.
These are important points that you must establish to prevail in your personal injury claim. With the help of a trusted workers’ injury attorney, you can give yourself the best chance of maximizing your compensation, so that you do not end up having to pay out of pocket for any of your medical expenses. That is a situation that your lawyer should work hard to avoid; you did not cause the accident or your injuries, so you should not bear any responsibility for the costs associated with your recovery.
Your lawyer may try to secure compensation for the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost earning potential
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
Take into account your future needs as well. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may never be able to ever return to work, or you may be unable to return in the same capacity. This may reduce your earning potential over the course of your life, for which the at-fault party should compensate you. Also, make sure to account for your future medical needs. Your injuries might require multiple surgeries, long hospital stays, many doctor visits, rehabilitation in a facility, extensive in-home care, and expensive prescription medication. Calculating these total costs may seem overwhelming.
A workers’ accident lawyer can help you create an accurate estimate of your future medical needs. This can give you a better understanding of the total value of your claim and will help your lawyer know how much compensation you need to properly recover. The last thing an attorney wants to see is for you to suffer financially after you have already suffered so much physically.
Construction Accident Claim Settlement Negotiations
Many people try to negotiate with insurance companies on their own. That is a mistake. Insurance companies are massive corporations that do not see you as an individual who is suffering. Instead, they see you as someone who is trying to take their profits.
The insurance company does not share your goals. Your goal, and ours, is to ensure that you have coverage for your medical bills. The goal of the insurance company is to maximize its profits. It does that by paying out as little to you as it possibly can. The best way for it to do that is to offer you a low-ball settlement before you hire a lawyer. Without a lawyer to help you calculate your future medical expenses and to review the settlement offer, the insurance company hopes you sign the offer and don’t think twice. That decision could leave you in financial hardship down the road, however.
When you sign a lowball settlement offer, you will likely waive your right to bring any future claims against the insurance company for this accident and your injuries. This means that when you realize the settlement funds were not enough to cover all of your bills, it’s too late to seek additional compensation.
That’s why your lawyer needs to work hard and aggressively to negotiate with the insurance company and maximize your compensation. While it’s true that most personal injury cases settle out of court, your lawyer should only settle if it’s right for you. You may need to take your case all the way to trial to maximize your recovery. Look for a law firm with the resources and experience required to do just that.
A Florida Workers’ Comp Lawyer Can Help You
If you or a loved one suffered an injury while doing construction work, our experienced team can help you recover for those injuries. Your workers’ compensation lawyer may help by:
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim
- Filing a third-party lawsuit
- Appealing a workers’ compensation denial
- Speaking with experts
- Collecting and reviewing evidence
- Negotiating with insurance companies
- Defending your rights at trial
Most of all, an attorney can help ease your suffering. By letting go of the legal stresses on your shoulders, you can focus all of your effort and energy on your physical recovery, and that’s exactly where your focus should be at this time. Let your workers’ compensation lawyer deal with your legal claim and work to maximize your compensation.