After a painful and chaotic construction site accident, it can be difficult to know what to do in order to protect your legal rights as an injury victim. With a little bit of preparation, injury victims can protect their legal right to be compensated for their financial losses. The experienced personal injury attorneys at the Dolman Law Group have decades of experience in representing construction workers, passersby, and other innocent victims who have been injured near construction sites.
The First Step: Medical Needs
As soon as an injury occurs, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Injuries which are not treated properly can become worse. This can cause a victim to sustain more suffering – and incur further medical expenses – which are not necessary. It can also reduce the amount of an injury victim’s personal injury award. If the defendant is able to argue that the plaintiff’s pain and suffering were related to a failure to seek medical treatment, and not due to the defendant’s negligence, then the defendant may be able to avoid liability for the increased pain and suffering. More importantly, failure to seek medical treatment can leave an injury victim with permanent pain, scarring, or other lingering effects for years to come.
Consider emergency medical treatment as soon as an injury occurs. An ambulance is always the first line of defense for emergency medical treatment. If you do not feel that an ambulance is necessary, but wish to access emergency treatment, consider an urgent care center or hospital emergency department. Be aware that many urgent care centers cannot provide the level of care necessary for severe injuries. Head and brain injuries, in particular, need immediate medical attention at a high level of care. An urgent care center may not be able to meet all of these needs.
Once emergency medical treatment has been rendered, your medical providers will make recommendations for continuing care. This may consist of a follow-up appointment with your primary care provider; consultations with specialists; diagnostic imaging or testing; or pain management through chiropractic care, physical therapy, or other such treatments. Be sure to follow all recommendations for continuing care to ensure that your injuries are properly monitored throughout the treatment process.
The Second Step: Legal Needs
Once your immediate medical needs have been met, it is important for injury victims to seek legal advice as soon as possible. The sooner an attorney becomes involved in your case, the sooner he or she will be able to protect your legal rights. For example, many insurance companies want to take statements from the victim in order to determine who was responsible for causing the accident. But these statements can also be used against the victim in later litigation. It is therefore important to have an attorney’s advice about whether or not to make such a statement (and if so, what should be said).
Next, injury victims will need to file a claim in a timely manner. Statutes of limitation prevent claims from being filed after a specified length of time has passed after the accident. Notice of claim requirements can make this timeline even shorter for cases involving public entities. In these cases, legal notice of the claim against the state agency must be given before a lawsuit is filed. If notice is not given within the set deadline (which occurs well before the statute of limitation lapses), the plaintiff again loses his or her claim. A personal injury attorney can ensure that all claims and notice requirements are met and that no further procedural matters prevent a victim from filing his or her legitimate claims.
Injury victims are not just those unlucky enough to be near a construction site when an accident occurs. A large number of construction accidents affect the workers who spend time on these sites. In such cases, the injured worker’s employer may be liable for failing to maintain a safe workspace. The injured worker may be entitled to workers’ compensation coverage or may have the right to file a civil lawsuit against the employer. The vast number of construction accidents raises an important question: why, exactly, are the number of accidents so high in the construction industry?
Construction Industry Has the Highest Number of “Struck By” Fatalities
Safety and Health Magazine reports on the findings of a study by the Center for Construction Research and Training. This study found that 804 construction workers were killed between 2011 and 2015 as the result of being struck by a vehicle, object, or equipment. No other major industry in America had as many “struck by” fatalities during this time period. The study also made note of other important findings about safety in the construction industry. Fatal accidents were divided fairly evenly between workers who were struck by vehicles and those who were struck by objects or equipment. Of the approximately half of the fatalities caused by auto accidents, 57 percent of these occurred in work zones. This means that about one of every four workers who is struck and killed in the construction industry dies in a construction zone on the roadway.
Interestingly, construction workers aged 65 and older were most likely to sustain a fatal “struck by” injury. This corroborates other data which has found that injury rates across many different industries increase as workers get older. Slower reflexes, diminished hearing and vision, and other symptoms of aging can all make a worker more prone to sustain an injury while on the job.
Experienced Representation For Your Construction Accident Case
The Dolman Law Group protects residents and visitors of St. Petersburg to ensure that accident victims are fairly compensated for their injuries and losses. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have decades of experience in negotiating and litigating personal injury claims arising from construction accidents in and around the St. Petersburg area. Whether you were working on a construction site or just passing by, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call (727) 222-6922 to schedule your free consultation with a personal injury attorney today. Our friendly, professional staff offers personalized service to help you through this difficult time.