Working in the construction industry is an inherently dangerous job. Your risk of injury is drastically greater than in any other occupation. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) reports that 1 in 5 workplace fatalities occur in the construction industry and it is estimated that over 80,000 injuries a year occur from construction accidents. If you are a construction worker, or your loved one is, it is crucial to know your rights and benefits if there is an injury.
All states are required to have some sort of workers’ compensation law or system in place that protects the worker in the case of injury on the job. All workers, especially construction workers, have the right to a safe work environment.
A workers’ compensation claim is a “no–fault” system meaning that you do not have to prove someone else was at fault for your injury to receive the benefits. All you have to do is prove that you were injured while on the job during your employment.
In Florida, current workers’ compensation law mandates a business or employer with 4 or more employees provide workers’ compensation. However, in construction businesses, they must carry coverage for every employee.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, you need to make sure you follow through on these four important steps to receive your workers’ compensation.
It is very important to seek medical attention even if you do not feel you have immediate and noticeable injuries or pain.
Some injuries can show up days later, while some injuries can be internal—such as bleeding or concussions—and cannot be seen. It is extremely important that you document and obtain a copy of your medical reports and expenses.
You will then need to file a formal report with your employer as soon as possible. You cannot seek workers’ compensation if you do not do this.
You could lose your rights to obtain workers’ compensation if you do not notify your employer of your injuries within 30 days.
If possible, make sure to document all evidence from the scene of the accident or injury. You can use your cell phone to take pictures.
These pictures can be of:
Additionally, if there were any witnesses around, ask them for their contact information that way you have it if needed later on.
Finally, it is very important to reach out to a personal injury lawyer, like Mickey Keenan P.A. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients who have been injured in construction accidents.
Make sure you provide all your documentation and medical information to your lawyer so they can use it to further investigate the accident. A lawyer can explain in more thorough detail what your workers’ compensation claim covers and make sure you get everything you are entitled to.
Under your workers’ compensation claim you are entitled to:
You can receive medical care and if needed temporary disability, permanent disability, or vocation rehabilitation if you have more serious or sustained injuries. Your lawyer can help you fight for the right type of disability if needed.
Under workers’ compensation you are not entitled to:
While having mandated worker’s compensation rights for construction workers is crucial and inherent to the nature of the occupation, one must also be mindful of their rights. Do not assume just because you are injured on the job you will receive everything you are entitled to. Your employer and their insurance company may try to limit your claim and injury settlement. That’s why having a skilled attorney on your side is key.
Some construction companies may try to challenge your claim by arguing that you were not an “employee” but rather an independent contractor, that your injuries were not work-related, or you were not injured as severely as you claim. And although Florida is a “no–fault” system, the law does state an employer can deny you your benefits if you were found to be high or drunk at the time of the incident.
Injured on a construction site? It is important you contact a lawyer as soon as you can; we work through your claim to make sure justice is served and you can receive your benefits as soon as possible.