Construction Injuries: The Financial Impact to Workers

| February 2, 2014

worker3The economic recession and bursting of the housing bubble around 2008 brought on difficult times for those working in the construction industry. Luckily, the economy and housing market have both been in a steady recovery, so there’s finally more work to help construction workers stay on their feet financially. These hard jobs often pay well, but unfortunately, they also present dangers that aren’t common to other industries. This is why every construction worker should understand the financial impact they can face after a serious accident.

Common Construction Accidents

Just about any type of accident can happen on a construction site, and while some may not be particularly financially ruinous, such as smashing one’s finger with a hammer, there are others that can prove devastating on a person’s body and bank account. In fact, the four most common accidents experienced on construction sites are also four of the most dangerous.

  • Falling: 36 percent of all construction accidents
  • Struck by object: Can be falling or moving objects. 10 percent of accidents
  • Electrocution: Nine percent of construction accidents
  • Getting caught in or between objects: Two percent of construction accidents

These accidents can be financially difficult for several reasons. The most common reason is the medical bills that will often accompany the resultant injuries. In many cases, an individual will receive worker’s compensation benefits, but this sometimes only covers their medical bills and a small percentage of their salary. In addition, someone who experiences a long-term disability can be out of a job permanently, and since one out of every five workplace deaths in 2012 were in the construction industry, it’s easy to see how detrimental many of these accidents can be.

Overcoming the Financial Difficulties

Luckily, an individual doesn’t have to face financial ruin simply because they were injured on the job. By being a little proactive and taking the right steps, an injured construction worker can ensure that their financial well-being doesn’t go down the drain after an accident.

1. Respond Immediately

The first steps in surviving financially after an injury needs to be taken right after the accident. An individual should first ensure that their employer or at least a manager is informed of the accident. This will protect the worker’s ability to file financial claims later down the line. After this, seeking medical attention is imperative. Failing to do so can cause a minor injury to worsen while negating to collect essential medical evidence.

2. Contact an Attorney

An attorney is essential to ensure that large amounts of compensation aren’t left on the table. In some instances, a person will only be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits, but this isn’t always the case. If gross negligence on the part of a coworker or employer caused an injury, for instance, a lawsuit with far more compensatory potential can be filed. Additionally, if a third party, such as an equipment manufacturer, caused an accident, a lawsuit can also be filed against them. These cases often net far more financial recompense than worker’s comp claims.

3. Follow all Doctor’s Orders

While this may seem like a given, failing to abide by a physician’s orders can result in a loss of several types of benefits. If it can be shown that a construction worker hasn’t been listening to their doctor, for instance, worker’s comp insurers can claim that their continued injury is due solely to their own negligence. This can also be argued in a construction accident lawsuit.

Being injured on the job is no doubt a disheartening event, but this doesn’t mean that a person has to become victim to the financial difficulties that often arise after a work-related accident. The aftermath of these incidents is understandingly a hard time, but when the appropriate steps are taken and professional legal advice is sought, a construction worker has a far better chance of weathering the financial storms that follow these accidents.

Lisa Coleman shares the dangers and financial impact that can occur with on-the-job construction injuries. She recently read at the difference a personal injury attorney can make when filing such a claim.

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Category: Business, workers compensation

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