Construction work can be difficult and demanding. There are also several potential safety hazards you could face if you’re a construction professional. You need to know what will happen if you’re hurt on the job so you can get the compensation you deserve.
Here are five legal facts you need to know as a construction worker. If you are injured, you’ll be glad you know this information.
Construction Is One of the Most Dangerous Professions in the U.S.
Throughout the United States, about one in every five employee deaths happen in the construction industry. Construction professionals, as well as those who work in material moving and transportation jobs, account for nearly half (47%) of total work-related fatalities each year.
If you work in the construction industry, you should be aware of the safety risks and take proper precautions to protect yourself.
Highway Collisions Are the Main Cause of Death Each Year
Highway collisions pose the largest risk to all workers. You will be faced with this potential hazard if you’re a truck driver or have a job that requires you to operate heavy machinery. You’re also at risk of being injured by a collision if you’re doing construction work on or near a road.
Other common causes of accidents and death include:
- Being struck by machinery and other objects
- Being crushed or caught between heavy equipment or construction materials
If you’ve been injured on the job due to any of these factors, you should get in touch with an attorney right away to see if you’re entitled to a settlement.
OSHA Violations in the Construction Industry
If you think your employer is not taking enough precautions to protect you and your colleagues in the construction industry, it’s a good idea to reach out to someone from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Unfortunately, even though the construction industry is known for requiring workers to perform tasks that cause injuries and death, many construction companies don’t stay up to date with regulations associated with occupational safety.
Common violations include failure to communicate concerning hazards, scaffolding deficiencies, failure to require or provide respiratory equipment, and not properly labeling dangerous materials.
If you are hurt on the job, you can file a workers’ compensation claim. If you file this type of claim, you are agreeing not to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.
Independent Contractors Are Different According to State
Usually, workers’ comp policies apply to employees but not independent contractors. However, if your construction company is paying you as an independent contractor, you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation if you are hurt on the job.
In some states, you can only be considered an independent contractor if you’re hired by a company by doing something that is out of the scope of work for the company.
For instance, if a restaurant or doctor’s office hires you to repair the roof or add a room to their commercial space, you are considered an independent contractor, since you’re a construction professional and not a medical staff member or part of the restaurant staff.
If you’re not sure whether you’re an employee or independent contractor, talk to a workers’ compensation attorney to help you determine your rights.
You May Have a Personal Injury Case If You Are Hurt
In some instances, you may have two cases to bring to court. If you are injured while working, you could have a right to workers’ compensation. If you are injured because of malfunctioning machines or equipment, you can also bring a lawsuit against the equipment manufacturer.
If you need to know more about filing a workers’ compensation claim, you can visit this link. You deserve a financial settlement as well as medical bill coverage after you’ve been the victim of a workplace accident. However, it can be difficult to handle a workers’ comp case on your own.
Contact a qualified lawyer to help you through the process and ensure you get your settlement funds in a timely manner.