You are probably already aware of just how dangerous the job can be. You work long, arduous hours, and it’s exhausting, to say the least – just learning to navigate the hazards that come with the job can be taxing. Whether you’re working with complicated electrical wiring or have to balance yourself from scaffolding at a precarious height, the job can be dangerous, and you have every right to receive workers’ insurance compensation in case something happens. Your workplace must have legal mandates in place protecting workers from on-site accidents. If you’ve recently been hurt on the job and wondering if you should demand workers comp or file a personal injury claim, then read on for more information.
First Course of Action
As with any job – particularly one full-time and salaried – you will need to report the accident to your supervisor. If you’ve been injured while completing a construction job, you should be eligible for straight-on workers’ compensation benefits, helping to cover your medical bills and even provide you with a few paid days off the job. However, said benefits might vary according to the state in which you reside since the company in question is only legally bound to answer to that which they are required to do. That being said, the rollout of workers’ comp benefits share a few commonalities across the board, regardless of where you reside.
The first difference is that you can report the issue without a hitch; it’s different from filing a personal injury claim. You do not have to prove that the other party was negligent or did something to intentionally harm you while on the job. You also don’t have to prove that you were injured and that it occurred precisely under the broad terms of your employment. The second issue to keep in mind is that the employer is definitely required to carry out the compensation and follow through with the insurance company to get the injury claim paid. In this scenario, there is precious little that the injured employee needs to go about approving.
Following Another Path
While the process for filing a workers’ comp claim is fairly straightforward since employers are legally obligated to care for their workers, especially when it comes to construction jobs, there are a few gray areas that might force you to take another path. In this case, filing a personal injury claim would be your main course of action. As Douglasville personal injury lawyers mention, this is often the case when the employer is negligent, goes out of their way to discount your claim, or simply refuses to cover your medical bills. Of course, you need to be aware of the laws in your state before attempting to file a personal injury claim.
Most construction jobs involve other vendors and perhaps other subcontractors you may be beholden to, as opposed to simply working with one main employer, which can complicate matters. Perhaps your injury is due to an architect or engineer working on the site; maybe even a supplier who came by to make a quick drop-off ended up causing harm. If any of these individuals made a mistake that contributed to your harm, it would be remarkably difficult to ask for workers’ comp from your employer. This is where the personal injury claim process will help, and precisely when you should ask for help from an experienced lawyer.
Rules and Procedures
The process for filing a personal injury claim basically entails the total opposite of how the workers’ comp process works. You will definitely need proof of your injury, and you will need to do everything you can to show fault on the part of the other party. You will need to collect eyewitness accounts, keep all documentation of doctors’ visits, and so on. Your lawyer will need to work to prove that harm to your person was done and that conditions at the construction site were unsafe. They will also campaign hard on your behalf to prove that you deserve to be compensated for all medical bills, any time off during which you were unable to work, and even sue for a larger sum depending upon the circumstances and the nature of the injury.
Most employees will be able to receive a fair settlement by filing for workers’ comp. However, the through-line isn’t always clear, and if there were too many cooks in the kitchen, so to speak, at the site of your injury, you might need to get a lawyer to help you. In all cases, you must seek expert legal advice to know which recourse to pursue, and never let an employer make you feel powerless in the event of an accident that occurred under their watch.