Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the world. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that one in five worker deaths in the U.S. happens in construction. This industry poses workplace risks such as deadly falls, objects striking workers, electrocutions, and workers getting caught in or between mechanical parts.
With heavy machinery, vehicles, cranes, tools, and a number of other threatening pieces of equipment surrounding construction workers, the odds of getting into a personal injury accident are relatively high. If you or a loved one has recently sustained an injury while on a construction site, talk to the Georgia attorneys at Butler Wooten & Peak LLP.
In Georgia, injured employees can recover damages without having to file a personal injury claim or prove someone else’s negligence. Filing a workers’ compensation claim will typically result in benefits for work-related injury expenses, including coverage for medical bills, part of lost wages, and disability benefits. The workers’ compensation system covers any type of injury a construction worker sustains while engaged in work-related tasks, unless the worker was intoxicated, reckless, or involved in “horseplay” at the time of the incident.
This type of claim can be faster and easier than a PI claim, but you might be making a compromise you shouldn’t. When you file through workers’ comp, you sign over your right to sue your employer for negligence. This means that even if a supervisor or the company was 100% at fault for causing your accident, you could not take your case to the civil courts. You must accept a settlement through workers’ compensation. You can, however, still sue third parties – another coworker, subcontractor, or a stranger on the worksite.
Say, for example, you’re at a construction site as a pedestrian by the side of the road and a distracted driver misses a corner and strikes you. As an injured worker, you could file a workers’ compensation and personal injury claim against the negligent driver. The law enables you to recover through both systems in third-party claims.
“Catastrophic” injuries are unfortunately common in construction injuries. Workers handle the most dangerous types of substances, tools, and equipment on the market, such as asbestos, high-powered electric tools, and enormous, high-risk cranes and construction vehicles. When something goes wrong on a construction site, the results can be devastating. Common construction-related harms include:
Construction workers can sustain injuries in traumatic events such as a crane collapse, but they can also suffer from exposure to hazardous substances or repetitive motion injuries. If a doctor states that your injury or illness may have stemmed from something at work, follow up with an investigation of your workplace. Seek an attorney’s assistance for this process.
Consider your options carefully before filing for workers’ compensation after a construction injury. If you have even the slightest belief that due care would have prevented your injuries – such as proper safety gear, a well-built scaffold, or better training – come to our Atlanta law office. A PI settlement or verdict could result in much greater compensation than a workers’ comp claim, including payment for your medical expenses, full lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost quality of life.
In Georgia, you have two years from the date of injury or the date of discovery of injury to file a personal injury claim. You must act faster, however, if you’re filing for workers’ compensation. After a terrible workplace injury, come to Butler Wooten & Peak LLP as soon as possible. Contact us today for a free consultation.