When a construction worker suffers an on-the-job injury, there are several unique aspects to getting the money they need to cover their medical care costs and wage losses. While many qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, it is important to understand how construction worker compensation works and the injured worker’s rights.
If you suffered injuries on a construction site or in a construction-related job, a Los Angeles workers’ compensation lawyer can assess your options with you for free. If you live in another area, most workers’ compensation law firms provide free case reviews.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Construction Workers
Workers’ compensation in California provides several types of benefits for injured workers. This includes:
- Medical care for the injury or illness
- Temporary disability benefits (wage loss benefits)
- Permanent disability benefits
- Supplemental job displacement benefits
- A return-to-work supplement
- Death benefits for the families of those who suffered fatal construction injuries
California law requires all companies with at least one employee to provide workers’ compensation coverage. If you have any issues gaining access to these benefits through your employer’s insurance company, a personal injury lawyer can help.
Navigating the Filing Process
The workers’ comp claims process is the same regardless of the sector. You will need to seek care as soon as possible and notify your employer about the injury. Your supervisor or human resources officer should guide you through the process.
They must provide you with a claim form and participate in the filing of your claim. They generally only have one day to deliver or mail your claim form after you notify them of your injury, according to the State of California Department of Industrial Relations. You will complete the employee section and return the form.
Once you return the form, your medical bills should be covered up to $10,000 regardless of the decision on your claim. The insurance carrier has 14 days to notify you about the status of your claim. This process often goes smoothly, but there may be hiccups. If there is a problem, our team can help you challenge a denial or provide additional documentation to prove your injuries are work-related.
Construction Workers Are at a High Risk of On-the-Job Injury
Workers’ compensation is especially important for those in this sector because of the high risk of construction industry injuries. Numerous occupational hazards in construction could cause acute injuries, overuse injuries, and illnesses due to exposure to chemicals or particles.
The many hazards on a construction site can make it more difficult to document what happened and how your injuries occurred, though. If you need additional documentation to prove your claim or challenge a denial, eyewitness statements, video of the incident, and other evidence could become crucial.
Many construction site injuries are also very serious. While an office worker might trip over a torn carpet and suffer an injury, falls from an elevated height are much more common among construction workers. This could include ladders, scaffolding, roofs, and more. Dropped debris, electrical shocks, trench collapses, forklift accidents, and incidents involving power tools are also much more common in the construction industry. Injured construction workers can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Construction Workers Often Have Third-Party Injury Cases, Too
Regarding work-related injuries in construction, filing your claim for workers’ compensation might not be the end of your options for seeking and securing money to cover your expenses and losses. Many construction workers also have third-party injury cases. Filing a lawsuit and holding another party liable may be possible after a construction site injury.
Construction workers often work alongside those from other companies on property owned by someone else. Each party involved has responsibilities to the others. They must act responsibly and prevent injuries from unreasonable conditions or behaviors. To this end:
- The property owner must prevent any hazards on the grounds or in their structures
- The general contractor must ensure all equipment is handled properly,
- Other companies are responsible for the negligence of their workers
If a construction worker’s injuries occurred because of someone else’s negligence, they can sue them in civil court to recover damages, including pain and suffering losses unavailable through workers’ comp benefits. The only exception to this is when the negligent party was the construction worker’s company or a co-worker.
Recovering money based on a construction accident injury in a civil case will not affect workers’ compensation benefits.
Discuss Your Construction Worker Workers’ Comp Claim With Our Team
KJT Law Group handles workers’ compensation claims and appeals for construction workers in the greater Los Angeles area. If you suffered a workplace injury or work-related illness on a construction site, we are here to help. We provide free initial case assessments for injured workers and their families.