If you sustained injuries while working on a construction site, you’re not alone. Construction workers face some of the most dangerous hazards and working conditions of any industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one in five of the occupational fatalities that occurred in 2018 were within the construction industry.
When you’re unable to work, it causes a tremendous financial burden. That’s where Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. can help. Our experienced Fayetteville construction accident attorneys know what it takes to build a strong case on our clients’ behalf. We’ll work hard to help you secure the comprehensive workers’ compensation benefits you need to pay for your medical expenses, daily living, and other costs.
In addition, if a third party other than your employer was responsible for your injury, we may be able to seek compensation from that entity in a third-party claim. We’ll explore all possible avenues of financial recovery for you.
When you hire us, we’ll protect your rights and ensure the insurance company treats you fairly. We’ll work efficiently to get through the claims process so you can focus on healing and living your life again.
Our Fayetteville construction accident lawyers are ready to meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your legal options. Call us at (770) 205-2231 today.
Common Injuries Associated with Construction Accidents
Construction workers are at higher risk of fatal injuries than most employees in other job industries. They encounter hazardous conditions every day and operate dangerous equipment and tools. Many situations could lead to an injury or fatality.
Slip/trip and falls: Whether you slip on wet flooring or trip over a hazardous object, you could suffer a range of injuries, such as:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Lacerations or wounds
- Dislocated joint
- Sprained muscle
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
Hazardous chemicals: Many construction workers are around toxic substances, such as asbestos and formaldehyde, daily. Long-term exposure can cause various diseases and medical problems, such as:
- Kidney failure
- Respiratory illnesses
- Neurological issues
- Reproductive system defects
- Autoimmune diseases
- Liver damage
Repetitive motion injury: Performing the same task repeatedly puts a strain on the body. Things like lifting heavy objects and climbing up and down a ladder can lead to injuries, such as:
- Pulled or strained muscle
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Inflamed or torn tendons
- Dislocated joint
Explosions and fires: This type of construction accident kills hundreds of workers every year and injures thousands. Common causes of fires and explosions include:
- Combustible and flammable substances
- Electrical malfunctioning
- Compressed gas cylinders
- Explosives and blasting agents
- Defective equipment
The resulting injuries typically include the following:
- Loss of vision or hearing
- Internal damage
- Crush injuries
- Smoke inhalation
Falls: Construction workers often have to complete tasks from high off the ground. They use ladders, scaffolding, cranes, lifts, and other equipment. Falling due to defective safety systems or hazardous conditions can lead to severe injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Loss of limb
- Physical or mental disability
Falling debris: If tools and other materials aren’t properly secured, they could fall. Getting hit by a blunt object falling through the air is dangerous. Items like power tools, building materials, and scaffolding can cause life-threatening injuries. Common injuries resulting from falling debris include:
- Skull fracture
- Brain damage
- Spinal cord injuries
What to Do After Sustaining a Construction Accident Injury
There are deadlines you must comply with if you want to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. If you miss a filing deadline or submit incomplete information, you could risk receiving a denial. If you suffer injuries from a construction accident, follow these steps below:
- Step 1: Report the accident to your employer. You must provide notice, in writing, within 30 days. Include your name, details regarding the accident, the injuries you sustained, and the names of anyone who saw it happen. Keep a copy of the notice for your records.
- Step 2: Complete Form WC-14 and return it to your employer. They will send it to their insurance company to begin the claims process on your behalf. However, some companies don’t provide the necessary forms to apply. You can print one and submit it to the Georgia Board of Workers’ Compensation, and additionally send a copy to your employer.
- Step 3: Request a copy of the workers’ compensation insurance policy from your employer or their insurance representative. You’ll find details such as deadlines, qualifying injuries, and coverage information.
- Step 4: Undergo an initial exam with a doctor. They will provide a diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan. You’re only allowed to see doctors approved by the state board if you want your appointments covered by insurance. If you choose to see a doctor that isn’t on the approved list, you’ll have to pay out of pocket.
- Step 5: Ask your medical providers for a detailed letter that includes your diagnosis, treatment plan, prognosis, and how the injury interferes with your job duties. Medical evidence is crucial in proving you deserve WC benefits. Your attorney can help you with this, as well.
- Step 6: Maintain copies of every document associated with your construction accident. That includes medical records, insurance correspondence, prescribed medications, etc.
- Step 7: Hire a Fayetteville construction accident lawyer to assist you with your claim. It’s a complicated process, and we know how to handle it.
Benefits Available Through Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Georgia law requires all businesses with three or more employees to provide workers’ compensation insurance. WC benefits cover an injured individual’s medical costs and a percentage of their lost wages if they’re unable to maintain employment or can only work to a limited capacity.
There are two main types of benefits you can apply for if you suffer a construction accident injury: income and medical.
This pays for the necessary treatment of a work-related injury prescribed by an approved physician. Your employer’s insurance company will most likely require that you undergo an independent medical examination (IME). If the doctor they choose to evaluate your injuries agrees with your doctor about the diagnosis, treatment plan, and prognosis, you’ll likely be eligible for benefit payments.
These benefits last for a maximum of 400 weeks for most job-related injuries. However, if you suffered a catastrophic injury, such as total loss of vision or paralysis, you could collect weekly payments for the rest of your life.
This replaces a portion of your weekly wages while you’re unable to work at the same level as before your construction accident. There are four types of income benefits depending on the severity of your injury and how long it prevents you from returning to your job.
Temporary partial disability is for injured workers who can return to their previous job but can’t perform to their full abilities. Someone who works fewer hours or takes on different responsibilities may end up with lower pay.
TPD pays two-thirds of the difference between your wages before and after you sustained your injury. You’ll receive weekly payments for up to 350 weeks from the date of your construction accident.
Temporary total disability covers employees who can’t work at all for a minimum of seven consecutive days. Benefits are two-thirds of your average weekly wages before you got hurt. You’ll receive payments until your doctor says you reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). That means further medical intervention won’t improve your condition.
Regardless of whether you recover from your injury, benefits can’t last longer than 400 weeks. The only exception is if you suffered a catastrophic injury, such as a severe head injury, limb amputation, or severe burns.
If your doctor places you at MMI, they will evaluate your injuries to determine if you have a permanent disability and provide a disability rating. A disability rating is a percentage between 0 and 100 that indicates the impact of your injury on your physical abilities.
Permanent partial disability is for those who may be able perform some type of job, but there’s permanent damage to a specific body part. Your payments will remain the same as your temporary total disability payments. The duration will depend on your disability rating, and the body part affected. For example, the maximum number of weeks listed for the total loss of a hand is 160 weeks. If your disability rating is 50%, you would be eligible for benefits for up to 80 weeks.
Permanent total disability covers workers whose injuries are debilitating. You can only collect weekly payments once your doctor states that your treatment is complete, and nothing further can be done. These benefits are typically for people who can’t maintain employment because of their construction accident. Examples of qualifying injuries include:
- Total loss of vision
- Loss of both hands, arms, legs, or feet, or a combination of any two
The payments you receive would be the same amount as your temporary total disability benefits. However, instead of having a maximum limit of 400 weeks, coverage will last the rest of your life.
Call Us for Help With Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. understands you’re under a lot of stress. When you’re unable to work and facing expensive medical bills, it’s an overwhelming experience. Our Fayetteville construction accident lawyers will make sure the insurance company pays you the benefits they owe you.
You won’t have to go through this difficult time alone. We’ll be by your side to guide you through the confusing legal process and provide support. When you hire us, you can feel confident knowing our experienced team will recover the maximum workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
To find out more about our legal services or schedule your free consultation, call us at (770) 205-2231. We’ll be happy to discuss your construction accident in Fayetteville and determine the legal options available.