Construction & Work Injury Lawyer
Frequently Asked Construction Injury & Workers Compensation Questions
Yes, I believe you should immediately begin working with a work injury lawyer after you suffer an injury at work. There are a number of reasons I have that opinion, including the fact that the workers compensation process is confusing and difficult to navigate for many lawyers (which is why you should work with an experienced work injury lawyer), let alone someone with zero experience. Another important reason is case valuation and knowing how to properly value your claim.
For those reasons and many others, even after paying attorney fees (I handle workers compensation claims on a contingency basis which is discussed below) you will likely walk away with more money in your pocket and avoid a huge hassle if you decide to work with a workers compensation lawyer instead of handling your claim yourself.
I handle work-related injury cases on a contingency basis. In other words, I am not paid a fee until after a case is successfully resolved. My ultimate attorney fee is a percentage of the overall recovery.
No, a workers compensation claim is not a lawsuit against your employer. A workers compensation claim is simply a claim against the workers compensation insurance that your employer is required to maintain by law. In fact, you are generally not allowed to sue your own employer for a workplace injury. The workers compensation structure is a sort of trade off: employers are protected from lawsuits, but employees are still entitled to benefits assuming the injury was work-related.
Maybe, but this is a fact-dependent question. For example, if a third-party is liable for causing your injuries, you might have a workers compensation claim against your employer’s workers compensation insurance as well as a personal injury claim against the liable third-party. Third-party claims in conjunction with workers compensation claims often arise on construction projects, so don’t think you’re automatically limited to whatever workers compensation may provide you. Spotting and working through those sorts of issues make it important that you begin working with an experienced workers compensation lawyer as soon as possible after your injury.
Damages vary from case-to-case. That said, workers compensation insurance provides for temporary total disability benefits which is set at a percentage of your average weekly wage (subject to a minimum threshold and maximum limit). Temporary partial disability benefits provides an off-set when an employee is able to return to light-duty work at a lower pay scale than before their injury. In addition, workers compensation provides either permanent total disability (PTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. PTD benefits are reserved for very serious permanent injuries that leave an employee unable to work, such as the loss of two limbs. Meanwhile, PPD benefits are generally paid to compensate an injured worker who suffers from partial loss of the use of a body part. Workers compensation is also obligated to cover all reasonable and related medical expenses without requiring a deductible or co-pay. There are other ancillary benefits through workers compensation available as well.
Damages vary from case-to-case, as to the amounts of recoverable damages. That said, common forms of what the law calls “economic damages” include recovery for medical charges and wage loss. “Non-economic damages” include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of a normal life, or disability and disfigurement. You may also obtain “future damages” based in part on expected costs of treatment in the future as well as expected future pain and suffering.
The law stipulates that you are required to notify your employer within 45 days of an injury. In practice, you should make the notification as soon as possible. Also, in order to later prove that you properly notified your employer, you should try to give notification in writing.
Absolutely not! Your employer is not allowed to terminate you because you exercise your workers compensation rights. Doing so would constitute retaliatory discharge or wrongful termination.
Construction accidents and resulting injuries can occur in a number of ways. The “big 4” or the four most common causes include: (1) falls; (2) electrocution; (3) being struck by an object; and (4) being caught between objects.