A construction accident lawyer at a desk and signing documents on behalf of a client.Construction work is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, with almost 1 in 5 workplace deaths occurring in the construction industry. Of these, most were related to falls, either from a high place or on the same level.

Falls are also a serious problem in the roofing industry, which is considered one of the most dangerous jobs. There are even more nonfatal construction and roofing accidents, and these can leave employees out of work for weeks or months as they recover.

In some cases, an injured employee may become permanently disabled and can’t return to work at all.

Fortunately, Workers’ Compensation exists to provide medical care and replace some of the injured person’s lost wages—but will it work for you? Workers’ Compensation claims for construction accidents can be turned down for a number of reasons, leaving the injured worker wondering what to do.

While a claim denial can be frustrating, an experienced construction accident lawyer will fight for your right to Workers’ Comp benefits.

How Can a Bridgeport Construction Accident Attorney Help?

We know how serious your injuries may be after a construction accident, and we’ll review your Workers’ Compensation claim to give you the best chance of getting approved. If you’ve already been denied, we may be able to appeal the rejection and get the benefits you deserve.

Additionally, we’ll review the details of your accident to determine if you might have a third-party claim. Although Workers’ Compensation usually bars you from filing a lawsuit against your employer for an on-the-job injury, you can still file a claim against another party who was at fault.

For instance, if you were hit by a truck that was delivering materials to your worksite, you might have a claim against the truck driver or the business that employs them.

What Should You Do After a Construction Accident?

The insurance adjuster who handles your company’s Workers’ Compensation plan will look for any reason to deny your claim, so it’s important to take steps to protect yourself:

Report the Injury to Your Supervisor Immediately

One potential problem is that you may think you notified your supervisor, but they claim to have heard nothing about your accident. Sometimes, clients will tell us that, of course, their boss knows about the accident, they were there at the time, they saw the injured person leaving in an ambulance, etc.

Or, maybe the employee told their supervisor about the injury in person before leaving to see a doctor. But the boss swears they either don’t remember the accident or didn’t receive any notification about it.

The best solution is to notify your supervisor or HR contact person in writing in a way that you can prove later. We recommend an email from a personal account or a text message from your personal phone.

The reason we suggest a personal device or account rather than a company-issued one is so you won’t lose your records if the company revokes your phone or email access.

Get Medical Attention Right Away

One common reason for claim rejections is that the insurance company doesn’t think the injury is real, or they believe the injured person is exaggerating its severity. This is particularly a problem if the worker didn’t seek medical care for several days or even weeks after the injury occurred.

We understand why this happens. Sometimes, the employee initially thinks their injuries are minor and don’t require treatment; they may have little or no pain or other symptoms at first.

However, they might get up the next morning and realize they’re in so much pain they can barely move. Or, their pain may come on gradually over several days until they can no longer work and have to see a doctor.

At that point, it’s more difficult to connect the injury with your symptoms and much easier for the insurance adjuster to dismiss your claim.

For this reason, we suggest seeking medical care right away after a construction accident, even if you think your injuries are inconsequential. Usually, you have to see your employer’s chosen healthcare provider for your initial treatment, but you may be able to choose another doctor afterward.

Be sure to check with the HR department to determine if they have a preferred medical provider for worksite injuries.

File Form 30C

This is a form you need to file with the Workers’ Compensation Commission District Office. If you’re in Bridgeport, you would need to file with the Fourth District Office.

You should also send a copy by certified or registered mail to your employer—this will allow you to prove you mailed it if they claim they never received the form.

People often have questions about how to fill out the form or difficulty finding certain information. Your Brigeport personal injury lawyer can assist you with this process and help ensure the form is filled out fully and correctly to reduce your risk of being rejected on a technicality.

Attend All Follow-Up Appointments and Keep Up With Treatments

If you don’t go to your appointments or comply with recommended treatment, the insurance company may come to the conclusion that you are faking or don’t want to get better. If you have to miss an appointment for some reason, reschedule it immediately.

Sometimes, people put off treatment because the insurance company hasn’t approved the doctor’s recommended treatment, and they can’t afford to pay out of pocket.

If this is an issue, let your lawyer know immediately so we can work on the problem for you. Otherwise, it might appear to the insurance company that you are not interested in getting better.

If Your Employer Offers You Modified Work, Accept It

Sometimes, your doctor may decide that you can continue to work on “light duty” or with modifications. In many cases, there is no “light duty” work on a construction site, and you may simply have to stay home until you recover.

If that happens, you have a right to receive 75 percent of your average pay until you’re able to return to work. However, if your boss finds some “light duty” work that meets your doctor’s requirements, you must do it in order to keep your Workers’ Compensation benefits.

If this work is still causing you pain or aggravating your injury, let your doctor know and speak with your attorney. Simply stopping work can cause issues with receiving your benefits.

What if You Are Not Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

In Connecticut, most businesses with at least one employee are required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. This coverage applies to both part-time and full-time employees from their first day of employment.

If this sounds like your situation, but your employer claims you are not covered by Workers’ Compensation for some reason, please check with an attorney right away.

Sometimes, employers try to discourage employees from filing a Workers’ Compensation claim or seeing an approved doctor for injuries. They may not want their insurance rates to go up, but you still have a right to your benefits.

If your employer suggests there might be consequences to filing a claim, refuses to provide information about approved healthcare providers you can see, tries to convince you that your injuries don’t need treatment, or otherwise tries to obstruct your efforts to obtain your benefits, please call a lawyer as soon as you leave work.

What if You Are an Independent Contractor?

If you are a contractor rather than a W2 employee, then you will not be covered by Workers’ Compensation. However, you should discuss the situation with an attorney to be sure you’ve been properly classified as a contractor.

In some cases, we find the employer has misclassified a worker as a contractor when they are actually doing the work of an employee. If so, you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation as well as other benefits like the company healthcare plan.

When you are actually a contractor, there may be other options for pursuing compensation depending on the situation. If your employer’s negligence, or another party’s negligence, caused your injuries, we might be able to file a civil suit to obtain damages.

We’ll consider all options to help you get the assistance you need to recover.

Where Can You Get Help From a Bridgeport Construction Accident Law Firm?

If you or a loved one have been injured on a construction site, please contact Bert McDowell Injury Law for a free consultation. We’ll discuss your accident and injuries, answer your questions, and review your options for pursuing damages.

We don’t charge any fees until we win or settle your case, so there is no reason to wait.

Bert McDowell Jr. is a trial lawyer who helps clients with a variety of personal injury situations. He has been featured in 40 Under 40 Connecticut, and National Trial Lawyers included him in their Top 40 Under 40.

Additionally, he has been a Super Lawyers Rising Star for four years in a row. Mr. McDowell also takes pride in his community service and is on the board of multiple nonprofits.

His efforts were recognized with the 100 Men of Color Award and the Man of Excellence Award from the organization Black People Rocks. To work with Attorney McDowell, call (203) 590-9169 today.