Developers erect commercial buildings, schools, and residential houses on a near-daily basis, making construction a popular form of employment for many adults of working age. However, it can be a hazardous occupation, especially if it involves welding, as welders depend on dangerous machinery to complete day-to-day tasks. Equipment such as an angle grinder can cause debilitating and painful burn injuries. Construction sites also expose workers to hazards that can cause chemical burns, electrical burns, steam burns, and unexpected fires and explosions.
There are a lot of different measures of precautions that can prevent all of these negativities from happening. However, there are situations where even all of these cannot help. Therefore, injuries are inevitable. But that doesn’t mean that any worker shouldn’t be unprepared for these. One of the best things you can do that is hiring a lawyer that can take care of all things related to the injury, from the side of the law, of course. In case you are in need of something like this, take a look at Vosslawfirm and see what can be done about it.
Generally speaking, these chemical burns and explosions were avoidable. Defective fuel lines or tanks, faulty electrical wires, failure to observe safety measures, and dangerous welding practices can cause these fire-related damages and burn injuries. Suppose you get burned on a construction site due to personal negligence or the negligence of construction oversight. In that case, you’ll need to follow the steps mentioned below to ensure the safety and well-being of you and your fellow employees.
Seek medical attention
Regardless of how severe the burns may be, you should search for a first aid kit stocked with burn spray and gauze. Once you treat the wound with a first aid kit, you’ll need to visit a nearby hospital and consult with a healthcare professional. A minor burn can become a critical lifelong condition if not properly attended to by a qualified physician. To prevent chronic pain or life-long disability should request a comprehensive assessment from your physician.
Visiting a hospital boosts your chance of making a full recovery. Officially documenting the injury through medical records will serve as evidence when you file a workplace injury claim. Though receiving compensation will be a top priority, it would be wise to concentrate on your health first before you consider seeking compensation. Naturally, all of this depends on the case and how bad you’ve been burnt by the chemical.
Hire an attorney
Although you can seek compensation on your own accord, hiring experts like Schwartzapfel Lawyers who understand the ins and outs of personal injury claims and their functions will increase the likelihood of receiving compensation. With previous experience in personal injury lawsuits, your lawyer will fight for compensation while you focus on your recovery.
Consulting a lawyer before applying helps avoid mistakes, and you will give you insight into how you should proceed with the case and provide you with an informed analysis of your claim’s strength. You should carefully follow all the instructions you’ve been provided by your legal councilor since a lot of things will depend on how strong your case will be. It goes without saying that there are some legal holes that need to be filled. In case you have an experienced lawyer who has a lot of experience in this field, you will not have to worry about it.
The emotional trauma and physical pain inflicted by the burns may interfere with your sense of objectivity when filing your claim. Having an attorney whose priority is to present the facts and collect compensation will help you avoid clouding biases that can hinder the case’s progress. Such a professional introduces an informed perspective and level of experience to fight for the financial compensation you deserve.
An attorney will also represent you in court if the other party contests your claim and will dissect the defendant’s evidence, negotiate on your behalf, and present you with the best possible option. This is why it’s important to provide your lawyer with all the factors that can result in you achieving the positive outcome of the case.
Defendants are entitled to 30 days to appeal a denied claim, so if you don’t receive compensation the first time, your attorney will persist in court and work to defend your case. You can also go to court if the plaintiff offered less than what you believe you deserve. Before doing so, listen to your lawyer, weigh your options, and make an informed decision.
Familiarize yourself with your rights
Employees involved in a construction site accident have the right to seek compensation for lost wages, incurred expenses, and adjoining medical costs. An employer should always compensate the burn victim for the time spent away from work and in recovery. When you resume work, your employer should only assign duties that a burn victim can perform in their healing state.
Understanding your rights will help you act accordingly and find the appropriate ways to deal with the situation. Take time to research and try to ask an expert for clarification when unsure. Besides the basic rights, we are all perfectly aware of, there are some other ones we don’t even know exist. So, make sure that your research was thorough. Only by doing that you will receive all the rights you have. You simply need to ask for them. If not you, then your lawyer.
Report the accident
After receiving medical attention, report the workplace accident to your employer or supervisor, as failure to do so may lead to the rejection of your workers’ compensation claim. Sometimes, minor burns can worsen over time. Due to the nature of burn injuries, it may take a while to compile a report, giving your employer room to claim that the incident didn’t occur at work. Additionally, your company’s insurance provider may question why you didn’t act in a timely fashion and report the injury immediately.
Witnesses have the potential to strengthen your claim and put you in a better position to receive compensation. Therefore, if anyone was present at the time of the accident, talk to them and collect their phone numbers, email addresses, and names, and other essential details. Keep in mind that having multiple witnesses will strengthen your case even further. In some situations, people can get careless and not reporting the accident in a proper manner. You will not be able to receive anything from the company if you don’t report the accident and you don’t have any witnesses, you can be sure of that.
Don’t admit fault
You’ll likely find yourself under immense pressure in the aftermath of a construction site-related burn. However, you should never accept liability for the accident verbally or by signing a written document. The defendant will use your confession against you and succeed in denying your claim, depriving you of life-saving compensation.
You can be sure that there are companies who are willing to turn this into their own advantage, meaning, that they will not be obligated to provide you with any kind of compensation. We can see that so many people make this mistake, which ultimately means that they will not receive any kind of compensation as a result of the accident. So, the conclusion is, don’t admit anything that can be harmful to your case. Instead, maintain the same story about how it was purely an accident and that you didn’t have any kind of say in it.
Document the injury
Video and photographic evidence are vital if you intend to make a compensation claim or dispute a dishonorable employer’s demands. Therefore, you should recruit the services of an investigator after you’re involved in a workplace accident. If possible, use your phone to take videos and photos of the scene and document any burns on your body.
Keep in mind that there’s no such thing as too much evidence, so gather as much photographic or videographic evidence of injury, signs of employer negligence, or unsafe conditions. The court won’t penalize you for being too thorough, meaning it’s an excellent idea to record when in doubt.
Ensure you store your medical records, including any payments in a safe place. After sustaining the injury, start documenting the worsening appearance of your burns, examples of how the trauma has interfered with your daily routine, and any adjustments you’ve had to make following the accident. Slowly, but surely, you will be able to create documentation that will be important to your case in court.
It’s imperative to have a record of your symptoms written on paper or saved on a smartphone or computer, as the healthcare workers who treated you won’t always document every detail. The hospital may concentrate more on the severe burns, forgetting to indicate the existence of minor ones. As a result, you’ll likely receive less financial compensation if you don’t have evidence of all the injuries’ effects.
Personal injury compensation aims to restore your physical condition to its state before the accident, document all the financial expenses, prevent the loss of a promotion, and guarantee you don’t miss out on a prearranged vacation. The evidence should help you recover all lost wages due to the burns. This is the main reason you need to have proper documentation of the case, besides having the medical bills covered, either by the company or your insurance.
Pay attention to the statute of limitations
Depending on the state where the accident occurred and details of the case, governing bodies will grant the victim a specified time frame to file your claim after a construction-site-related body burns. New York City has a three-year statute of limitations for negligence claims like construction accidents. If the injuries cause a fatality, the victim’s family gets two years to act.
Suppose the case involves a public entity or government agency, the defendant will have to file for compensation within 90 days, while an accident’s lawsuit must be filed within 12 months and 90 days. If you don’t adhere to these deadlines, you risk having your case discarded. Since personal injury claims can be time-consuming and complicated, it’s better to start early.
In a workers’ compensation claim, you don’t need to prove that your employer’s negligence caused your burns or other injuries. All you have to do is confirm that you sustained the injury at work, that you weren’t under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and that you didn’t deliberately cause the accident.
We can see that the statute of limitations varies between states. So, you need to be perfectly aware of the legal situation on your own. Only by doing that you will be able to know what to expect as a result of the whole situation. Sure, you can do research on your own, but the best way to do this is to consult with your legal counselor.