About Workers' Comp Claims
If you were injured on the job as an iron worker, you should immediately consider filing a claim for Workers' Compensation. According to federal law, virtually every employee in the US has the right to compensation when they're forced to take time off due to a work-related injury or illness. Workers' Comp does not consider fault after a work injury: injured employees are guaranteed the right to coverage and their employers are protected from lawsuits.
However, the system as flaws, as many injured workers have learned through experience. Employers and their insurance companies frequently look for reasons to limit coverage or deny claims. Employers want to keep their liabilities low, and the insurance companies are out to keep their profits as high as possible. Many workers get their claims denied the first time, and some may decide to give up rather than fight through a difficult appeals process.
Is A Work Injury Lawyer Necessary?
There is no rule stating that you need a lawyer during the Workers' Comp process. But when the other side has their own lawyers who specialize in finding ways to deny claims, it's often necessary to have your own legal representation in order to receive the compensation you deserve. At Monheit Law, our knowledgeable work injury lawyers have experience assisting injured workers with:
- Gathering appropriate evidence and documents
- Submitting paperwork by deadlines
- Filing a successful Workers' Comp claim the first time
- Appealing a denied claim
- Determining if additional compensation is available (e.g. a personal injury claim)
When Is A Personal Injury Claim Viable?
Construction job sites have unique circumstances. Unlike many other workplaces with straightforward employee-employer relationships, construction sites are made up of a variety of parties. If someone who doesn't share your employer acted negligently and caused your injury, you may be able to hold them liable for expenses in a personal injury claim.
For example, say an independent contractor working above you drops a tool which hits you and causes an injury. Since this contractor isn't considered your co-worker, you could potentially hold him or her liable for additional expenses outside of Workers' Comp, such as pain and suffering and loss of quality of life. Or if a defective tool or safety equipment caused your injury, the manufacturer could be held liable for the same damages.
Construction site work injuries are usually complex and often require an overview from a work injury lawyer in order to determine if a personal injury claim is an option.
Common Injuries and Causes
The extreme nature of iron work means that these laborers are at risk of many serious injuries. Following the proper safety guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the best way to reduce the risk of injury. Common injuries and hazards include:
- Musculoskeletal injuries from heavy lifting
- Cuts and lacerations
- Welding accidents
- Loss of limbs
- Hearing and vision problems
- Struck by objects (such as heavy machinery or tools)
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
While employers are almost always protected from work injury lawsuits, there may be an exception if your injury was the result of a gross oversight in safety standards. If someone has reported OSHA violations, your employer did nothing to address them, and you were injured as a result, you should speak with an attorney to discuss your options.
More Info On Work Injuries And Benefits