A construction site can be a very dangerous place when proper safety precautions are not taken. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reports that 1 in 5 workplace deaths in the U.S. happen in the construction industries. For reference, that means that nearly 1,100 construction workers are killed on the job each year. The majority (70 percent) of fatal construction site accidents are falls.
Many tens of thousands more construction workers are hurt in job-site fall accidents each year. If you were injured in a fall while working construction, you need to know how to protect your rights and interests. In this article, our Atlanta construction accident attorneys provide an overview of the steps that you should take if you were injured in a fall at a construction site in Georgia.
Step #1: Seek Immediate Medical Attention for Any Construction Site Fall Accident Injuries
Fall accidents at construction sites can lead to catastrophic, even life-threatening injuries. You could be at risk of a broken bone, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or spinal cord damage. Your health should always be the top priority. If you sustain injuries from a fall accident, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately—even if you believe that your injuries are only minor or moderate. Not only will some injuries not manifest immediately, but you must seek professional medical care to be eligible to bring a construction accident injury claim in Georgia.
Step #2: Report the Fall Accident to Your Employer
Tell your employer right away if you suffered a fall accident injury on a construction site. You can report the incident to your direct supervisor, your boss, or the human resources (HR) department. Notably, under Georgia law, an injured employer—including an injured construction worker—must notify their employer of an accident in a timely manner.
Step #3: Document the Fall Accident (Gather as Much Evidence as Possible)
Documentation is key to all types of legal claims. Whether you are bringing a workers’ comp claim, a third party liability claim, or both, the documentation can significantly impact the outcome of any claim you may file. Be sure to take photographs of the accident scene, any visible injuries, and potential hazards that might have caused the fall. If there were any witnesses, gather their contact information and statements.
Step #4: Consult With a Georgia Construction Accident Attorney
Navigating the aftermath of a construction site fall can be complex. It is normal to have a lot of questions and concerns about your rights after a construction fall. You do not have to take on insurers, employers, and other companies alone. Consult with a top-rated Georgia construction accident injury lawyer as soon as possible after a serious fall accident. Your attorney will explain your options, protect your rights, and help you take the proper course of action.
Step #5: File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
In Georgia, most employers are required to carry no-fault workers’ compensation insurance. If you have been hurt on the job in a fall accident, you have the right to file for your workers’ compensation. As these are no-fault benefits, you are not required to prove that your employer’s negligence contributed to your construction site fall to be eligible to get your claim paid. You may be entitled to workers’ comp for medical expenses, wage replacement, and certain rehabilitation costs.
Step #6: Consider a Third Party Liability Claim
If you are a construction worker who is covered by workers’ comp, you should always file for your benefits. While workers’ compensation is beneficial, it might not cover all the losses incurred in a construction site fall accident. You may also have a claim against a negligent third party. Some examples include:
- Equipment manufacturers; and
- Property owners.
A successful third party liability claim for a construction accident in Georgia provides compensation beyond what workers’ comp offers, including pain and suffering, full lost wages, and other economic and non-economic damages. To be clear, a third party liability is a fault-based personal injury lawsuit. You must be prepared to prove that the third party’s negligence contributed to your fall.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Top Construction Accident Lawyer in Atlanta
At Lourie, Chance, Forlines, Carter & King, PC, our Atlanta construction accident attorneys are skilled and experienced advocates for injured workers. We are prepared to handle both a workers’ compensation claim and a third party liability claim. If you or your loved one was hurt in a fall accident on a construction site, we can help. Contact us now for your free consultation. With offices in Atlanta and Augusta, our firm represents injured construction workers throughout Georgia.