A construction worker is injured on the job site and there are both short-term and long-term consequences to their accident. Unfortunately, this scenario is a sad and familiar one. Adding to the confusion of the moment is the fact that while the employee will be able to file for Worker’s Compensation, there may also be grounds for a Personal Injury suit as well.
What should I do first?
In the event of a workplace accident, obtaining necessary medical services should always be your first concern. This includes those situations where an ambulance is called onto the scene, as well as having a relative or co-worker drive you to an urgent care center or local emergency room to be seen by a physician. Whenever possible, make sure everything that happens is well documented for future reference. Notes, invoices and any paperwork given to you by First Responders or medical personnel must be kept for you by someone you can trust.
Consult a legal professional
Once your medical needs have been addressed, it is time to contact a law firm or attorney who specializes in Personal Injury and Worker’s Compensation suits. These individuals are more likely to spring into action as they are accustomed to working with clients like yourself. Most importantly, their legal specialty provides them with the latest of local, state and federal regulations that may be crucial to protecting your legal rights.
You or your trusted representative (if you are unable to speak for yourself at this time) are usually advised to reach out to legal representation via phone or the web pages of a law firm or attorney. Soon after your initial contact, a member of that legal group will contact you to request the initial facts and critical information about your claim. Be prepared to be able to answer their questions. Provide them with dates, times and exactly where the accident occurred. If there are witnesses, their names and contact information should also be at the ready.
Can I file a claim for Worker’s Compensation and a Personal Injury lawsuit?
In this regard, only your attorney will be able to give you a clear answer after they have reviewed the facts of your case. Much of this will come as your case is fully investigated and your medical needs are addressed. For this reason, most law firms work with private investigators who visit the scene of the accident, taking photographs and video footage for further study.
Your current employer, the corporation contracting their services and the owner of the work site may be all liable in your case. Records of prior accidents, failure to follow safety regulations and properly correct work site dangers may be “par for course” in their history. In addition, they might have been warned that such an accident could occur by inspectors and blatantly disregarded their advice. All of which will work in your favor either in the courtroom or when pursuing legal mediation to compensate you for future claims.