Suppose a roof contractor is injured at work. They may want to know how to be compensated for their injuries. Read on to learn about the available legal options and how to make an informed decision.
Every state requires companies to acquire worker’s compensation insurance or workman’s comp. This insurance protects workers involved in accidents or suffering illness at work. It pays cash benefits while catering for any medical costs, the individual at fault notwithstanding. Worth mentioning is that worker’s compensation insurance is not a flawless system. Sometimes you’ll need accident attorneys to represent you and safeguard your rights.
Worker’s Compensation Eligibility Requirements
Every state has unique worker’s compensation laws. There are particular requirements that electrical contractors should meet to withdraw workman’s comp compensation dues. For example, an employer the workman’s comp insurance. Requirements differ depending on the total employees, work, and business model.
For employees. The term employees represent part and full-time workers and temporary and seasonal workers. However, it doesn’t cater to volunteers and independent roofing service professionals. Undocumented employees, farm laborers, and domestic workers also don’t qualify for the workman’s comp. Workers who suffered injuries while executing job-related tasks. This situation is not fixed. If workers are injured outside the workplace while executing roofing service job-related tasks are catered for.
Understanding Workplace Injuries
According to recent statistics from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over three million nonlethal illnesses and injuries in 2013. Workplace illnesses and injuries are often triggered by manual materials handling, repetitive motion injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and falls and slips. Falls are common occupational hazards for roofing workers. They can result in spinal cord injuries, severe brain injuries, broken bones, and sometimes death. Falls may occur due to carelessness, dangerous work conditions, and faulty equipment.
Repetitive motion injury occurs due to executing the same tasks like moving metal roofing supplies repeatedly for a long time. This results in tendonitis, carpal tunnel, and bursitis. These are some of the commonly reported workplace injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the US, over one million workers experience back injuries. This number represents one in every five manual material handling work-based illnesses or injuries. Back injuries result from lifting, carrying, lowering, and placing loads.
Workers’ compensation insurance doesn’t cover falls and slips unless they occur following a dangerous condition. Workers can suffer musculoskeletal injuries, head injuries, and broken bones. Injuries from a motor vehicle accident can be compensated only if the paving company workers are executing workplace-related tasks. The workman’s comp doesn’t cover workers involved in accidents while commuting to and from work.
Common Home Improvement Contractor Injuries
Injury statistics are worrying even with the rising focus on safety in the construction sector. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), four core hazards exist. The organization recommends various steps to prevent them, as seen below.
OSHA incorporates trips, slips, and falls from heights under this category. Many falls on construction sites occur due to uneven surfaces, failure to use fall protection equipment, improper ladder use, incorrect dismounting, or mounting from equipment. Trips and slips often occur due to leaks, spills, or misplaced items.
How to Prevent Falls
- Ensure the workplace is clutter-free, clean, and adequately lit
- Follow safety practices for ladders and train all workers on these regulations
- Ensure workers wear shoes with sufficient traction
- Use three points of contact during dismounting and mounting of equipment
- Use suitable fall equipment like guardrails, safety nets, and fall arrest systems
- Falls can trigger ear injury. In the event of a fall, visit your ear specialist for an extensive examination
Being Struck by an Object
According to OSHA, this injury is the collision between an object or a piece of equipment and a person. It is also the act of getting hit by falling materials or a machine. To avoid this accident, workers should always wear personal protective equipment. The workplace should also be marked appropriately to bar vulnerable areas. Other safety precautions include:
- Stacking materials correctly to avoid sliding and falling objects
- Discouraging employees from staying between moving and fixed objects
- Maintaining a safe distance from suspended or lifted loads
- Securing tools and materials well to prevent them from falling
- Don’t drive in reverse where the view is obstructed
- Ensuring a reverse backup alarm is installed and functioning well in all mobile equipment
Besides burns, electrocution results in nerve damage and cardiac arrest. OSHA laws insist on the proper design and use of electronics, covering requirements, proper insulation, and electrical protective gadgets. To reduce the risk of electrocution, use the necessary PPE and ensure your workers maintain a safe distance from energized parts. Always de-energize equipment and use proper tag-out and lockout procedures.
These accidents occur when an employee is seized between objects. For example, when a worker is trapped against a wall, materials fall on an employee, or part of their body is pulled into the machine. Being aware of your surroundings is the ideal way of preventing workplace-related injuries. Other safety precautions include:
- Avoid positioning yourself between immovable and heavy equipment
- Avoid wearing jewelry, long-sleeved clothing, or loose items
- Don’t place your hands close to moving objects
- Stay away from the swing radius of a revolving object
- Never work in unsecured excavation areas where water stagnates
What Should Contractors Do After an Accident or Injury?
Alert your supervisor immediately after the injury. Reporting requirements vary from one state to another. Failing to report a workplace illness or injury within the stipulated time frame results in the forfeiture of your legal right to launch a workman’s comp claim. After notifying the employer, they should ensure the injured worker receives the necessary medical attention. Further, employers should alert the insurance carrier before filing a claim with the state workers’ compensation committee.
Benefits You Are Entitled To
Worker’s compensation caters to all medical expenses for identifying and treating a worker’s illness or injury. It also covers dental veneer, surgery, prescriptions, durable medical equipment, and doctor appointments. Workers are also entitled to occupational rehabilitation benefits if they can’t return to their previous job. Workers’ compensation benefits repay workers for lost income while out of work. The compensation amount is usually two-thirds of a worker’s weekly wage. The four types of disability benefits include:
- Temporary total disability. Workers receive this type of compensation while out of work for a short period
- Permanent total disability. Workers receive this compensation if they’re permanently disabled and unable to work again. They can also qualify for Social Security disability payments
- Temporary partial disability. Workers receive this benefit if they cannot execute light job duties until they can return to their previous position at work
- Permanent partial disability. Workers receive this compensation if their body part’s partial or complete loss partly influences their ability to function
- Death benefits. A family is entitled to receive this compensation when a worker dies in the workplace. It is compensation for losing financial support
Understanding Your Legal Rights
Worker’s comp doesn’t cater to punitive damages or personal injuries, which a wounded worker may be entitled to. In some cases, workers injured at the workplace can file a case in civil court to reclaim damages. In this case, injured workers should understand their legal rights. These include:
In most states, workers can reclaim damages if their employer directly harms them. You will not receive this benefit if you work in Georgia, Alabama, Maine, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Wyoming, Virginia, and Rhode Island. Injured workers can launch a personal injury lawsuit against their employers in civil court if they don’t offer workers’ compensation insurance. They must demonstrate that their employer was at fault for the workplace injury.
The worker can sue the manufacturer if a workplace injury results from faulty pavers or other equipment. If the case is successful, the manufacturer is liable to pay for damages. Workers prone to toxic stuff can suffer from accruing long-term effects such as lung diseases, neurological damage, and cancers. Such workers can launch a toxic tort case against the manufacturer. When a third party prompts the workplace illness or injury, the worker can launch a personal injury lawsuit against them.
Things You Should Know When Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Hiring a personal injury lawyer who caters to your needs and has your best interests at heart is critical. During your introductory consultation, you want to know their experience and background. Determine their evaluation of your case and figure out whether they can manage it at that time. Know their charges as well. This is a chance to interview the lawyer to ensure they are suitable for your case.
Hiring a home improvement accident lawyer is critical after an accident. Remember, the timeframe for filing a recovery claim varies from one state to another. Contact your lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to ensure the case is viable. Unless the medical practice has barred the injury, you may be unable to cover your lost wages or medical costs. Suppose you’re offered a settlement. Consult your attorney before signing anything. Doing so helps you get the best deal for the injury.
Get Medical Attention as Soon as Possible
Seeking medical attention is the most critical thing you can do after an accident. Even when you don’t feel pain or appear uninjured, visit the doctor for a medical exam. Many injuries appear later, so recording your current condition is critical. Your doctor can assist you in filing a claim by recording the medical treatment you may need.
You can then hire a construction injury lawyer to assist with filing the claim. The lawyer will assist you in filing a lawsuit against a private firm if the accident was due to their carelessness. Usually, the deadline for filing a lawsuit against a private firm is three years. If you don’t receive notice in three years, the insurance company may attempt to recover the compensation you are entitled to. A construction injury attorney can strive to reclaim compensation for workers’ injuries and help them regain strength. Working with a lawyer helps protect your rights.
Choose an Experienced Injury Attorney
Experienced construction injury attorneys can maximize a worker’s compensation by assessing the evidence they collected from the accident. Security images and footage are crucial in creating a solid case. Cooperate with the authorities where possible. Always maintain accuracy with your evidence because the lawyer will use it to prove the case.
Are you struggling to determine whether you can file a case against a third party? The law allows an injured worker to do so. An attorney will evaluate the incident exhaustively and employ experienced experts to testify and explain the extent of the injury. Contact a construction injury attorney immediately to ensure you get a fighting compensation for the injuries.
Sometimes Injuries May Not Show Up Immediately
Suppose you have been involved in a home improvement accident. You must seek medical attention immediately. Seek medical attention even when you don’t feel sick or are uninjured. Sometimes injuries may show up later on. Hire an experienced attorney immediately, whether you have been injured or not. You can earn compensation for any suffering you have encountered at the workplace, pain, or expenses. A good attorney helps you recover all your damages.
A construction injury attorney can file a claim against the project owner, especially if they were negligent. Suppose a third party is liable for a construction accident. Workers can sue them for damages. According to the law, you don’t have to file a case against the construction manager or general contractor.
The workers’ compensation plan runs smoothly nearly always. However, sometimes employees need a workplace injury lawyer to guide and help them with the claims process. You don’t want to receive less compensation than you are entitled to. An experienced attorney will maximize your chance of getting higher compensation. Sometimes a home improvement contractor and the general contractor caters to the compensation.
Are you looking for an injury lawyer? Our experienced attorneys can help you file a lawsuit with minimal struggle. Contact us today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.