Spokane Construction Accident Attorney
Every day, workers on Washington’s construction sites must handle dangerous tools and equipment while working under very hazardous conditions, including working at great heights, alongside busy roads and highways, and outside in volatile climates. When construction companies, site owners, and general construction sites fail to prepare a work site for every safety contingency adequately, injuries and fatal deaths are often the grim results.
Construction is a field that is physically demanding and involves heavy equipment and tools that work with great force that can easily cause injury if mishandled. It’s considered one of the most dangerous industries a person can work in. Working at a construction site day in and day out may place a worker at a higher risk of sustaining serious injuries in an accident caused by defective equipment, poor implementation of safety standards or sheer carelessness.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation
With the many risks involved in construction work, it’s not surprising that this type of work accounts for a more significant percentage of labor and industry claims than any other profession. However, in many of these cases, Washington’s workers’ compensation laws just don’t provide ample compensation to cover the full needs of severely injured construction workers. While the Washington Department of Labor and Industries does provide a short-term stream of income to the injured worker, many labor laws have fixed time limits and compensation levels for specific injuries.
Damages you may be able to recover under workers’ compensation:
- Medical expenses
Third-Party Liability in Construction Accidents
Depending on the nature of your injury and accident, there may be multiple parties responsible. When an injury is caused by someone who is not your employer or co-worker, you are still entitled to recover all of the damages you’ve suffered from the work accident injury. Usually, construction companies have very high insurance policy limits, so the chance of getting full compensation for injuries dramatically increases when an accident is caused by a third-party—like another contractor on the job, not your employer.
An example of this is when multiple contractors are working on the same job site, and a contractor from one company negligently causes injury to a contractor from another company. The injured person may be entitled to both workers’ compensation benefits from his employer, as well as compensation from the employer of the contractor who caused the injuries.
Steps You Should Take After a Construction Injury
If you’ve suffered an on-the-job injury, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. However, there are specific things you need to do after the accident in order to protect your right to receive benefits.
1) See a Doctor Right Away
Seeing a doctor immediately after a workplace injury is important both to get the medical care necessary to treat your injuries and also to ensure your injuries are properly documented.
2) Document Your Experience
If possible take photos and video of the scene. Video on cell phones works excellent at recording this information, including sounds. Obtain the names of all witnesses and talk to them about their observations, and get their contact information. Write down what you remember leading up to and after the accident.
In catastrophic injury cases, many times the companies will investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident themselves. This likely would happen on a government, mining, or other highly regulated work-site.
3) Report Your Injury to Your Employer as Soon as Possible
It’s crucial that employees report an injury to their employer as soon as possible. In many cases, employers and workers’ compensation insurance companies will try to deny claims if the injury was not promptly reported.
4) Track Everything—Missed Days of Work, Travel, and All Expenses
Any expenses related to your injury should be closely tracked and documented in the days and weeks following the incident. This includes medical bills, lost work hours/wages, transportation costs, etc.
5) Follow All Recommended Treatment Plans
To continue receiving L&I or worker’s compensation benefits, you should follow the recommended course of treatment. If you are not satisfied with the medical care you are receiving, you may be able to change doctors or get a second opinion.
Protect Yourself and Your Family and Hire An Experienced Injury Lawyer
Contact Spokane’s Personal Injury Attorney Robert Hahn if you’d like us to look at your case. We offer a free no-obligation consultation. It’s always best to be sure what your options are under the law.
For over 20 years Robert Hahn has represented hard-working Americans who were hurt, and families of those who have died as a result of unsafe premises, construction negligence, and the lack of workplace safety. We have the experience to answer your questions, find solutions, determine the responsible parties, and move forward to pursue those responsible for your injuries or loss of life. We are here to help—contact us today at (509)921-9500 for experienced, compassionate, and aggressive representation.