What To Do After A Construction Accident

Guest Post: by Anastasios Koutsogiannis

Providing the construction workers with a safe environment to work in is a legal responsibility of contractors and developers. However, many times, construction accidents still occur, despite all the guidelines in place.

A large number of construction workers are at risk of many types of injuries and fatalities, with one of the primary reasons for it being the nature of the job itself. Apart from the unsafe work environment, however, there are also several other factors that may lead to accidents, such as defective equipment, or even the workers being unskilled, untrained, reckless or fatigued.

Construction Accidents In Numbers

Before we dive into more details regarding what are the best practices to follow after a construction accident, it would be a great idea to refer briefly to some shocking numbers concerning injuries in our industry:

As you can see, there are many ugly numbers in construction which have to be changed. Below, you can find some advice on how we can achieve that.

Here’s What You Can Do

If you’re a construction worker, you need to know what steps you should be taking if you suffer from an accident. Only in the US, several laws have been issued by the federal and state government to protect the rights of construction workers who suffer from injuries.  

The benefits range from financial help to the injured worker’s family to appropriate legal action against the parties responsible for the accident due to their negligence.

However, making sure you get all the benefits you should get in case of an injury can be a complicated process. But if you’re aware of the process you should follow in case of a worksite accident, you may not find it as challenging to obtain all the benefits that you’re allowed by the law. In a nutshell, here are the steps that you have to follow after a construction accident:

Seek Medical Attention

Nothing is more important than your own health. Simple as that! For that reason, the first thing you should be doing after suffering a worksite accident is seeking medical help. Even if the injury doesn’t seem major, you have to ask for the opinion of an expert. It’s hard to be sure whether the injury you have suffered is life-threatening or not without getting medical attention.

File a Report

Once you get the medical help, you need to file a report with your employer about the accident, if it’s physically possible for you. You need to be as detailed as possible, and mention everything you remember about the accident. In that way, you can avoid any long and costly legal disputes. A well-written report can be your most valuable ally and can potentially “clear” your name in cases where the accident isn’t your fault.

Take Photographs

Documenting everything that took place on site can offer a better understanding of the conditions under which the accident occurred.  If possible, you should be taking photographs of the equipment that you were using (if any) and your surroundings. It serves as visual information that you may need when you have to explain and describe your “accident” story better. Especially in cases where a legal dispute has emerged or a disagreement with your insurance company, photos can be a great asset for you.

insurance company, photos can be a great asset for you.

Consulting a Personal Injury Attorney

Usually, you have to follow a specific legal procedure following an accident, in order to make sure you get all the benefits that you are entitled to. You can consult a personal injury attorney who specializes in construction accidents to assist you with filling out forms and meeting other legal requirements. It can be a time-consuming and confusing process so a professional piece of advice is always welcome.

Taking Notes

As a continuation of the previous point about well-documented accident reports, it is never a bad idea to maintain a journal and note every single thing related to the accident in it. That could be doctor visits, symptoms as well as serious discussions with others about the accident. In that manner, you can monitor the whole situation more efficiently. It can truly save you from a lot of trouble in certain cases.

Reviewing the Report

You need to also request for a copy of the report from your employer, and review it thoroughly to make sure it’s accurate. Similarly, ask your employer to correct the information that’s not accurate enough. This probably is the last but extremely crucial step of the whole procedure. Despite its importance, though, it can be extremely short and simple if you have carefully  followed the aforementioned advice.  

A Final Word

Your employer may assist you in getting the help you’re promised under workers compensation. It will likely help you get the financial help to cover the loss of income, as well as to recover fully from the accident until you’re fit to return to work.

In case of any violations, you can file a lawsuit against the employer, or even any third party (if involved and are the primary cause of the accident) through your personal injury attorney.

About the author: Anastasios Koutsogiannis is content manager in GenieBelt, a construction management platform.