If you have been injured in a construction accident, you have a limited time to file your claim. It is important to act quickly and take the appropriate steps after your construction accident to ensure that you are compensated fairly for your injuries and lost wages.
There are specific laws in Michigan that relate to construction accidents. Work-related injuries are more common on construction sites than in any other industry. As such, laws are in place to protect the workers in these dangerous environments. Our firm has years of experience helping construction workers after their accident. Contact us today, or keep reading to learn what steps you need to take next.
Your first priority after a construction accident is to seek medical attention. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room for treatment. Make sure you follow up with any doctors who are recommended for future treatment while you heal. You should also make sure to follow all doctor’s orders, both on and off the job.
Although Michigan gives you some time to report to your employer and file your claim, medical attention and continuing medical treatment shouldn’t wait. Most healthcare providers will bill you or your health insurance while you are waiting for a worker’s compensation claim to cover the bills.
Construction sites change daily, so you need to gather as much evidence as you can as soon after the accident as possible. You may not be able to return to the scene of the accident on the same day if your injuries are severe. If that is the case, ask a coworker to take pictures and videos for you.
Primarily, you need to document the hazard that led to your injury. Make sure you take video of the site in a panoramic view, as well as photos of the precise area where the injury occurred. Make sure you also get pictures of specific hazards that led to the injury, as this is necessary for your claim.
You may need your coworkers or others on the construction site to collaborate on the events in order to pursue your worker’s compensation claim. Memory is fickle, so this should be done as soon after the accident as possible. You need to get full names, phone numbers, addresses, and a statement of what occurred.
It can be a good idea to gather statements via text messages or emails so that you have written statements. You can also talk to your coworkers and write down their version of the construction accident. Have them sign so that you can prove that you didn’t fabricate the story.
Just as employers have responsibilities under Michigan’s Worker’s Compensation law, so too do employees. You have 90 days to report your injury to your employer. If your injury will cause you to miss more than one week of work, the employer must file a worker’s compensation claim on your behalf. If they don’t, you can file a claim on your own.
Even though you have 90 days to report, you should report your accident to your employer as soon as possible. Acting quickly strengthens your claim. It also ensures that you begin receiving payments as quickly as possible, which is important if you are unable to return to work in any capacity while you recover.
You have two years to file a worker’s compensation claim, but again, you shouldn’t wait so that you can receive payments as soon as possible. Worker’s compensation allows you to regain some of your losses and pays for your injuries after a construction accident, and this insurance is required of every construction company in Michigan.
A worker’s compensation claim can compensate you for:
If your injuries are so severe that you are unable to return to work at all, you may be entitled to additional compensation. A grossly negligent employer may also pay additional damages. If your worker’s compensation claim is denied, you must file an appeal. If the appeal is denied, you can file a personal injury claim.
You should contact an attorney as soon as possible after your construction accident. An attorney can help you ensure that all of the necessary steps have been taken to gain compensation for your injuries. In addition, hiring an attorney early in the worker’s compensation process decreases the chances that your claim or appeal will be denied.
Our firm has years of experience helping construction workers after their accidents. We hold employers accountable for grossly negligent practices that lead to construction accidents and ensure that you do not incur financial losses. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.