What to Do After a Construction AccidentGet a Free Consultation
Construction is the most dangerous industry in the United States. Construction zones are replete with serious inherent injury risks for workers, from heavy equipment and machinery to electrocution hazards. If you get injured in any type of construction accident in Tampa, there are certain steps you should take to protect yourself physically, legally and financially.
Get Medical Care
Put your physical safety and well-being first. After a construction accident, seek professional medical care right away. Go to the nearest hospital, even if you think you were not injured or your injuries are not serious. You may have adrenaline from the accident that is masking the signs of a serious injury. A checkup from a medical professional can ensure that you do not have any injuries with hidden or delayed symptoms. This can lead to a prompt diagnosis and the treatment that you need to recover.
In addition, immediate medical care can help you protect your legal rights by showing an insurance company that you did what you could to mitigate your losses. Delaying medical care, on the other hand, can give an insurer a reason to diminish your benefits based on the argument that you exacerbated your injuries.
Choose the Right Doctor
If your injuries constitute an emergency, you have the right to visit any urgent care center or emergency room you wish. After the first visit, however, you typically have to receive care from a doctor who is on your employer’s approved provider list to qualify for workers’ compensation insurance benefits.
Report the Accident
In Florida, every employer with four or more employees is required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Workers’ comp insurance gives financial benefits to workers who are injured on the job without requiring proof of fault or negligence. To qualify for workers’ comp, the injured employee must report the injury to his or her employer as soon as possible but no later than 30 days, or the claim may be denied (Florida Statutes Section 440.185).
Tell a supervisor or manager about your accident without delay. File an accident report in writing. If your construction accident was caused by a code violation at work, report the issue to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This government agency can review your complaint and may visit your workplace for a safety inspection. If any code violations are discovered, your employer could face fines. Any action taken by OSHA could serve as evidence for a personal injury claim later.
Collect Information and Evidence
You will need to collect certain information to file a workers’ compensation claim. This includes details about the construction accident, medical records and documents proving your injury, and employment information and pay stubs to establish lost wages. If you have reason to believe that someone negligently caused your construction accident, such as a careless employer or co-worker, you may also need to collect evidence to support a work injury lawsuit. This may include photographs of the scene of the accident, video surveillance footage, eyewitness statements and expert testimony.
Review Your Legal Options With an Attorney
If someone else caused your construction accident, a personal injury claim could result in greater financial compensation than a workers’ comp settlement. Discuss all of your legal options with an experienced construction accident attorney in Tampa before accepting a settlement or signing anything. A lawyer can review your case and help you fight for the financial outcome that you deserve. Contact Vanguard Attorneys today at (813) 680-2007 for a free consultation about your construction accident case.