Industrial zones and occupations are dangerous, that is a fact. For instance, in 2015, 1 in 5 workplace fatalities was in the construction industry. With this figure, there are an average of 13 deaths a day. Most those deaths were from “common” workplace accidents: falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and being caught or crushed by an object or piece of equipment.
Given the high number of fatalities, you would expect an equivalent number of injuries. This is true. In the same year, well over 550,000 recordable cases of injury occurred in the industrial sector. If you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed, you deserve to be compensated for any medical expenses or other damages.
First Steps After the Accident
Before anything else, take care of your health. Make sure to take whatever steps necessary to get the medical help you need right away. If you were injured in any industrial accident, there are systems in place to take care of those medical bills so do what you need to do to stay healthy.
Once you are in a stable place, then you should contact an attorney for a consultation. Before you go, write down any details about the accident that you can remember, the sooner you do, the less likely it is that you will fail to mention a necessary detail.
How to Know When You Have a Case
If you were injured in an accident involving a job site or industrial workplace, the chances are high that you have a case of some kind. You may have been a worker at the site or a bystander, but that doesn’t change the fact that these areas are incredibly dangerous.
Whether it was a construction site, a mine, or a factory- accidents are expected to happen. Measures are always taken to prevent these accidents, but with the high level of risk involved in these endeavors, there is always the chance that something could happen. Because of this, systems are in place to compensate anyone harmed in an industrial accident. To find out exactly what you may be paid, it is important to consult a qualified attorney.
Though these types of accidents are called “industrial,” the category may include accidents that take place on farms or that were the result of minor types of construction or repair work as well. These include but are not limited to the fields of carpentry, utility repair, and in some cases transport accidents
If you do happen to sustain an injury while working at an industrial site but happen to be working a job in conjunction with another agency or employer, take the time to consider if this was a factor in your injury. It’s not uncommon for mistakes to be made during a collaborative project. Communication, especially during hurried jobs, can be lacking. Was the incident caused by something your employer was involved with or was it a combination of circumstances? These questions and their answers can help determine liability, as discussed in the following section.
Workers’ Comp and Liability ? Knowing What Type of Claim You Have
Depending on the how and why behind your injuries you may have either a Social Security or Disability claim, a workers’ comp claim, or the need to file a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, you may need to file for more than one type of compensation depending on the factors involved.
Be prepared to answer the following questions during the claims process:
- What are your injuries and how did you sustain them?
- Were you hospitalized? For how long?
- Do you have a witness of the accident or other evidence?
- Has there been permanent damage to your health?
- Can you continue working? When do you expect to be able to return to work?
- Do you or does your doctor foresee future health complication because of this accident?
- Who, or what, was at fault?
- Do you believe any equipment involved may have been defective?
As you can see from the questions above, the extent of your injuries and how you sustained them will be the critical factors in deciding how you receive compensation. If you haven’t done so already, it is important to review and write down any details you may remember as soon after the accident as possible.
How an Attorney Can Help
Above all, with an attorney on your side, you can rest assured that you will get the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve. Of course, this also assumes that you choose a qualified attorney- someone who has had a case like yours before and knows the ins and outs of the industrial accident claims process.
When you go into a lawyer’s office for a quote, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You have a right to be there and to know exactly what the attorney you may be about to hire will do for your case. They should also be able to tell you how strong your case is or could be, and about how long you should expect to wait before receiving compensation though there are some factors that could extend this estimate. ?
Having someone who knows what your case should be worth can be invaluable. You may not be offered the maximum amount of compensation up front. Negotiation may need to take place and an attorney who is on your side, who you chose rather than someone that was assigned to you, will fight for your best interests. If you are worried about cost, ask if your case can be taken on the contingency that compensation will only be awarded if your case is won. In many cases, this is the only way an industrial accident attorney will charge you. A small percentage of your compensation will go to them as you are paid.
When A Loved One or Family Member was Hurt or Killed
In the case of a fatality, the family can still receive compensation under most circumstances. As this situation adds a layer of complexity, it is important to contact an attorney to find out your exact rights. These rights may vary when you take state law into account.
Factors that may influence the outcome of this type of case may include the type of injury, where the liability for death lies, your relation to the deceased, and how circumstances have changed with their death. These factors may also modify the statute of limitations you have for filing, depending on your state.
If you are a direct relation or spouse, there is a good chance that compensation will be awarded provided you act quickly and consult with a qualified attorney familiar with the law as it pertains to this given situation. The loss of a loved one is hard, especially if they were the primary breadwinner. In many areas, there are systems in place to support and compensate any family that has been left behind.
Getting the Most for Your Situation
In every case, it is important that you and your attorney look at the bigger picture. This isn’t just about the pain and suffering you may be feeling now but also about how these injuries will affect your life in the future.
If you are in pain or feel like the stress of filing for compensation is too much, enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member to help you find an attorney. When you are sick, injured, or otherwise not feeling your best it can be hard to make difficult decisions. Having a strong support network now is the best thing you can do for your future.
When considering which attorney to use, choose someone with experience or specialization. Always ask as many questions as you need to, to feel comfortable. Act soon because, depending on your situation, you may only have as little as 3 to 6 months to file your claim or suit.