In 2019, the construction industry employed over 11 million people. According to the BLS, the year saw approximately 1,000 construction industry fatalities accounting for 20.7% of all workplace-related accidents.
The chances of an accident resulting in severe injuries or even death are relatively high due to the nature of work and the equipment used on construction sites.
Luckily, you will be eligible to recover compensation if you get injured in the scope of your employment, regardless of fault.
But, You May Need a Lawyer
Not all workplace-related injuries are worth getting a lawyer for. For example, if all you have suffered in a constriction accident is a few bumps and bruises that heal within days, you may not need a lawyer for your injury claim.
However, getting a lawyer is a good idea if the accident results in injuries that keep you from work for an extended period and requires costly medical interventions. A lawyer may also be necessary if your employer or insurer has denied liability.
How a Lawyer Can Help
1. Evidence Collection
After an accident, it is always important to document the scene as part of evidence collection. Documentation can include taking photos of the scene and recording video footage. But this is only possible if your injuries are not severe.
If you suffer catastrophic injuries, gathering evidence can be the last thing on your mind. At such times a lawyer can be of great help in collecting evidence.
While they may be a little late in documenting the scene, lawyers have enough skills and resources to track down witnesses. Besides compelling them to share any photos or videos they may have collected from the scene, lawyers can talk witnesses into appearing in court to give an account of the incident.
2. Help to Assign Liability
Employers are not always to blame for workplace accidents. Sometimes the liability may fall on a third party, such as an independent contractor.
Unfortunately, recovering damages from an independent contractor is not as easy as collecting workers’ compensation benefits. That’s perhaps because, unlike workers’ comp claims, recoverable damages from independent contractors include non-economic damages, which are often not easy to quantify and prove.
In such cases, having a construction accident lawyer can help you pursue a civil case against your employer where you could recover both economic and non-economic damages. You may also be awarded punitive damages, especially if gross negligence or intentional or malicious conduct was a factor in the workplace accident.
3. Helping You Get the Maximum Compensation Possible
Insurance companies make every effort to ensure they settle for the least amount. When you do not have a lawyer, they may try to trick you into settling early.
There are two main problems with settling early; the at-fault insurer rarely makes a good initial offer, and there is no telling how the treatment and the recovery period will play out. So, taking an offer could mean settling for a figure that may not cover the full extent of the damages suffered.
Calculating and estimating the value of damages suffered is a preserve of a skilled construction accident lawyer. Besides helping you pursue the compensation you need, a skilled construction accident lawyer helps put you on level ground with the opposing side, so they cannot trample on your rights.
4. They Keep You from Making Costly Mistakes
The opposing side will be looking for mistakes they could use to lower the credibility of your claim and its value. Some actions may not look like much, but they can adversely affect your case.
Such actions include posting information about your injuries on social media, failing to turn up for a doctor’s appointment, discussing your condition with the other party without a lawyer, and many such mistakes. The earlier you get a lawyer on your case, the less the chances of making costly mistakes.