When you’re injured on the job at a construction site, you may be faced with mounting medical bills, lost income from time away from work and emotional upheaval as you try to keep your life afloat while recovering. Workers compensation is often available to any worker who is injured on the job. However, the process of actually obtaining workers comp benefits can be challenging and may not be enough to cover all of your losses.
Construction sites are full of hazards and often have multiple businesses, individuals and other entities involved with the project. In this article, we review five reasons that indicate you may need a construction accident attorney to receive maximum and fair compensation for your injuries.
1 - Workers Compensation Benefits Don’t Cover All of Your Losses
Workers compensation benefits typically include compensation for your medical expenses and some compensation for lost income. By definition, compensation for lost income only includes a certain percentage of your average weekly earnings – and up to a maximum set by the state. While workers compensation typically prevents an employee from suing his or her employer for a workplace injury, construction accidents are a unique situation.
Many times, a construction site may have many parties responsible for keeping the site free from hazards and safe for all. General contractors, the building or property owner, subcontractors and others all bear some responsibility for workplace safety. It may be possible that another party is liable for your accident in which case, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against that party. Personal injury claims offer an opportunity to recover a larger amount of compensation which would include the full damages of lost income as well as damages for intangible losses like pain and suffering or the loss of quality of life.
2 - Your Claim is Initially Rejected
If your employer or its insurance company initially rejects your claim, it’s time to speak with an attorney. Reasons that your claim may initially be rejected include failure to follow procedures like notifying your employer or seeking medical treatment within the specified time frame. Other times, insurance companies may say that your injury was pre-existing or that you were not injured at work. A construction accident attorney will investigate your case and build evidence to prove your injuries were work-related and any extenuating circumstances that may be at play.
3 - The Insurance Company Will Not Pay (or Stops Paying) Medical Expenses
In a workers compensation claim, the insurance company may require you to receive an independent medical exam (IME) with a doctor of their choosing. For some injured workers, this IME could lead to a different diagnosis or opinion than your own medical professionals. When an insurance company denies needed medical treatment, claims it's unrelated to a work injury, or determines it wasn't authorized, you should consult with an experienced construction accident attorney who can help you prove your claim.
4 - You Need to Claim Disability
If you need to claim temporary, permanent, partial, and/or total disability, it’s in your best interest to consult with an attorney. These different classifications determine the amount of duration of benefits that an injured employee may receive. If you’ve been seriously injured, an attorney will bring in experts and build a strong case to receive the maximum level of benefits by law. Oftentimes, insurance companies may improperly classify a disability in order to pay less benefits.
5 - You Got a Lowball Settlement Offer
Especially in cases of serious injury, an insurance company may quickly offer a lump sum settlement and may pressure you to accept. Insurance companies routinely fight claims and liability in accidents, resulting in denials or lowball offers that barely cover any of your needs. You need your own aggressive representation to secure your best interests.
Get Help after a Construction Accident
A construction site is often chaotic; any one or more entities may be legally liable when a construction worker is injured or killed. If you’ve been injured, you should contact a construction accident attorney who can help you understand your options.
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we are dedicated to assisting clients throughout New Jersey and New York with their injury cases. We have years of experience in both workers compensation and personal injury claims. Our top-rated construction accident attorney team has the extensive resources you need to secure a fair case result. If you or a loved one has been injured at work, contact us immediately to discuss your case.