Construction is a dangerous industry, and injuries and accidents are more common with this career that many others. Despite the possible safety threats, your employer must do everything possible to protect their employees. If you’re injured in a workplace accident at a construction site in Georgia, you’re entitled to compensation via a workers’ comp claim.
The government agency known as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the organization responsible for ensuring the safety of employees at their workplace. OSHA handles construction site safety and drafts regulations that are intended to protect employees. Despite their best efforts, injuries and fatalities do still happen.
When a construction worker is injured, it’s OSHA’s responsibility to investigate the employees’ workplace to see if the facility or work site had dangerous conditions. OSHA also checks to see if an employer was using questionable business practices or cutting corners to keep costs low. Though OSHA’s main goal is to protect employees, the agency also checks to see if the accident occurred as a result of the injured employee’s mistake or wrongdoing.
If OSHA finds that your employer used unsafe practices, they’ll impose a fine on your company. Serious safety violations can receive a penalty of over $12,000 and intentional or repeated wrongdoings face a $129,000 penalty. Unfortunately, that penalty doesn’t contribute to your workers’ comp claim.
OSHA lists the “Fatal Four” as the most common causes of construction worker deaths. These are:
2. Being struck by an object
4. Getting caught-in/between equipment, materials or machinery
Working with heavy equipment, machinery and other dangerous materials could cause many different workplace accidents, in addition to OSHA’s data. Some of the most common construction site accidents include:
All of the above accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries such as brain trauma, spinal cord injury, paralysis and loss of limbs. Death is also possible. If you’re an accident survivor or you lost a loved one in an accident, you should speak to an experienced construction accident attorney to learn what recovery options are available to you.
Georgia workers’ compensation laws allows for the coverage of approved medical expenses and reimbursement of lost wages. The benefits fall into the following categories:
Don’t assume you know what option is best for you as many factors contribute to the financial assistance you receive. Consult a Georgia workers’ comp lawyer to see which category best applies to your injury.
Part of what makes construction accident claims a bit trickier to navigate is the fact that several parties could be liable for your claim. Depending on what caused your accident, some of the responsible parties include:
Your accident may have occurred due to many contributing factors. As a result, you should consult a construction accident attorney to make sure that the responsible parties are doing what’s required of them for you to receive compensation.
Georgia’s requirements following an accident are a bit stricter than other states in terms of reporting your accident.To make sure you receive the maximum amount of workers’ compensation benefits, you should do the following if you’re injured in an accident:
The steps above are critical to your chances for receiving workers’ comp. Nevertheless, you may want to follow up with your primary care physician if you saw the company doctor in case there are conflicting medical reports.
Construction site accidents often require the expertise of a Georgia construction accident attorney due to the complexity of the case. In short, your case may require more extensive evidence as the cause of the accident and responsibility of all parties involved may not be easy to see.
A deeper background check of the construction site may be necessary, and a private investigator may be needed to interview witnesses and research the ownership of the site—including the names and job titles for the responsible parties. Your attorney may need to demand access to the facility for a reconstructionist.
Lastly, you may need an agreement with the site owner to preserve the accident site until it has been inspected by your attorneys, law enforcement or any other consulting witness. A refusal by the site owner could trigger an immediate lawsuit or injunction to obtain a court-ordered inspection.
The above may sound complicated and overwhelming, but an experienced construction accident attorney is familiar with these aspects of workers’ comp cases. The faster you hire your attorney, the more likely your evidence will be preserved.