With some of the highest worker injury rates, the construction industry is one of the most hazardous occupations in the nation. The hazards associated with construction work include operating or being onsite with heavy equipment and machinery and are at risk for falls from heights. There are a variety of workplace issues that can lead to injuries, such as poor safety precautions, electrical hazards, and improper training. If you are hurt at a construction job site, you may be eligible for financial compensation, even if the injury occurred while you were traveling across state lines to work.
A construction site is often chaotic; one or more entities may be legally liable when a construction worker is injured or killed. These may include the site owner, contractors, sub-contractors, or manufacturers of machinery or equipment. While employees may be entitled to compensation under their employers' workers' compensation insurance, some workers are entitled to compensation in a third party claim instead of, or in addition to workers' compensation.
What to Do If You've Been Injured at an Out of State Construction Site
If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, you should first seek medical attention. You should also inform your employer immediately. You’ll need to verbally or in writing notify your manager, boss or supervisor – anyone with authority over you. In most states, you must notify an employer within 30-45 days of an injury or illness, and a failure to notify may result in a denial of workers compensation benefits. However, in some states, the notification period is shorter -- don’t wait.
Even if you’ve traveled out of state, you are generally covered under workers’ compensation benefits, so long as the accident occurred in the course of your work. In most cases, if you do qualify for workers compensation and proceed down that path, you will collect benefits from the program established in your home state.
Important to note, by filing a workers’ compensation claim, employees are barred from filing a separate lawsuit against their employer. However, there are some exceptions. Workers can file third-party lawsuits against other liable parties that are not their employers. And, in most states, when the injury was a result of the employer’s negligence or intentional misconduct, you may be entitled to a full range of damages that are not available in the worker's compensation system, such as pain and suffering and other damages.
After you receive treatment and report the injury, you should then discuss your case with an experienced construction injury lawyer. But, keep in mind that the laws regarding these types of claims differ from state to state. Because these matters can be complicated, it’s always a good idea to reach out to an attorney to advise you on how best to proceed.
Liability in Your Out of State Construction Accident Case
If you believe your workplace injury or disease was caused by negligence or willful, reckless actions, your attorney will need to figure out liability -- that is, who is the responsible party for the negligence that ultimately caused your injuries? This means that the person or business failed to act as a reasonable person or business would have done under the circumstances. You must also show that the negligence caused your injury.
For example, if you want to hold a construction company liable for your injuries, you would need to show that the site was not maintained in accordance with the required health and safety standards. This could include inadequate or lack of safety equipment and training, insufficient warning signs, or exposed electrical wiring.
Whether or not you live out of state, it’s important that you document as much as you can while you are at the site. This might include taking photos of the scene and writing down the contact information for any potential witnesses. However, if you live far out of state from the construction site, it’s even more important to collect as much information that could be used as evidence as possible while you are there.
Should I Call a Lawyer in my Home State?
You may need to hire an attorney in the state where the construction accident occurred. If the accident occurred out of state but you live in an urban area that encompasses many states, like New Jersey and New York, it can be advantageous to hire an attorney that can practice in both states. However, if you live far out of state, you may have other options.
In some cases, businesses may conduct operations in more than one state. This means that you may be able to file where the business is headquartered, even if that is not the same state where the accident occurred. If that happens to be your home state, it may be more convenient to file there.
Brandon J. Broderick, Construction Site Injury Attorney in New Jersey, New York and Florida
If you believe your construction site injury was caused by negligence or willful, reckless actions, you should speak with an attorney. At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we are dedicated to assisting clients throughout New Jersey, New York, and Florida with their construction site injury cases. We have years of experience and the extensive resources you need to secure a fair case result. Contact us today for a free consultation.