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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.