Heavy machinery, working at great heights, and sharp tools are part of every construction site, so it should come as no surprise that construction is well known as one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S. According to a recent study on injuries in the U.S. construction workforce, there were roughly 3.1 work-related injuries per 100 full-time workers in 2017, including 1,013 fatalities.
Causes of construction-related injuries are numerous, ranging from falling objects to vehicle defects. These accidents can also lead to significant medical bills and lost wages. If you’ve been a victim of a construction accident, a Northern New Jersey construction lawyer at Buttafuoco & Associates can give you a clear sense of your rights and whether you have a case.
After an Accident, Act Fast
After any on-the-job construction injury, there are a few steps you should take to ensure your safety and help your attorney fight for any benefits that are rightfully yours.
Step 1: Get Professional Medical Help (and Keep the Records)
An injury might seem minor at first, just a scrape or a bruise, but after receiving necessary first aid, you should seek professional medical help to find out what’s really going on. If you attempt to return to work, something minor could get worse, or there may be something more serious that isn’t immediately obvious, like a concussion. If you wait to get medical help, it could be difficult to file a worker’s comp claim or a lawsuit.
You’ll also need documentation of any medical assessments or treatments that you receive to ensure you are fairly compensated for what you paid out of pocket. This can include diagnoses, prescriptions, treatments, x-rays, or visit records at the hospital or doctor’s office. As with any piece of potential evidence, make sure these records have as much information as possible, including dates and times, as well as the name and contact information of the doctor who provided the medical care.
Step 2: Take Photos and Collect Additional Evidence
If you’re able, record as many details as possible right after it happens. Some important information includes the date, time, and circumstances of the accident. This will likely overlap with what you report to your supervisor in the next step, so keep track of any notes you make. You should also take pictures of the area where the accident occurred and any injuries you sustained. Finally, make note of any equipment involved in the accident including tools or machinery. If damaged equipment was in any way involved in the accident, write down the serial number, take clear photos showing the issue, and draw up a written explanation.
Step 3: Report the Incident to a Supervisor
As a rule of thumb, report any and all workplace accidents and injuries as soon as possible. You’ll want to be as detailed as possible in these reports so there’s ample evidence of the events surrounding the accident.
As with the medical records, you’ll want to include as much information as possible; take note of the supervisor’s name, as well as the date and time you reported the incident. This may be used later as evidence in a legal claim, depending on the guidance of your construction attorney in Northern New Jersey.
Step 4: Contact Potential Witnesses
Collect the names and contact information of anyone who may have seen the accident. This can include coworkers at the construction site or bystanders. If possible, document their account of what they witnessed.
Step 5: Seek Legal Help
Most of these steps apply to the minutes and days after your accident, and involve collecting evidence that may be useful in a legal case. How to use this evidence in your claim, however, is best determined with the guidance of a construction attorney serving Northern New Jersey.
The lawyers at Buttafuoco & Associates can help you not only build your particular claim, but also consider what other evidence might be important. This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the evidence you might need for your case, but an experienced Northern New Jersey construction lawyer will be able to advise you on what’s best in your case.
Get in touch with us today for a free case review at 1-800-NOW-HURT.