Tripping and falling on a construction site can cause serious injuries and is a hazard that should be prevented. Construction workers are at risk for serious knee, shoulder, and back injuries, and worse because of tools, materials, and trash left on construction sites.
The general contractor has the duty to keep the construction site safe (and both OSHA and the District of Columbia Industrial Safety Act require this).
Sometimes a subcontractor causes the injury by leaving behind materials where they were working, not covering up holes, or taping off areas to warn other workers who come through the area. We’ve helped people who have been seriously injured on the construction site because of unsafe conditions or negligent third-party contractors.
Many times a construction worker is carrying tools, equipment, and materials and it is difficult – if not impossible – to watch every step of where you are going, and that’s exactly why general contractors and subcontractors working in the area have to keep it safe. To allow you to do your job.
There are a lot of moving parts on a construction site, and to some extent, it is a dangerous occupation. Because of the physical work involved, the machinery, the number of other workers in the area, and the urgency of the work, construction workers are more at risk for on-the-job injuries than most other workers.
And if you’re a construction worker who got hurt at a construction site, you don’t want to lose everything you’ve worked for because you didn’t hire an experienced construction injury lawyer.
There are legal protections for workers who get hurt on a construction site. First of all, any worker injured on the job can get workers’ compensation benefits – but watch out, there are a lot of traps out there that insurance companies, contractors, and large employers have set so that they can deny, delay or limit your monetary benefits and medical treatment after you get hurt at work.
It’s critical to get your worker’s comp benefits right away after a serious injury in DC and our experienced worker’s comp attorneys will do that for you.
But if some other person or company causes your injury, they should be responsible for the harm they caused – and that’s different than workers’ compensation. It’s called third-party negligence.
You have the right to both worker’s comp benefits and the ability to sue the other company that caused your injuries – they are two different legal matters, but there is a lot of interplay between them.
You have more time to file a case against the general contractor or subcontractor who caused the injury in DC, but don’t delay. You know better than anyone that construction sites change every day.
You need to investigate the case right away – before evidence disappears, witnesses move to other jobs and the project gets built.
If another company on the job site caused your injury, you need a lawyer who uses both cases to best help you and your family.
There are a number of complicating factors in this analysis. You can get more information on the specifics of what you should do now and how to get started to make sure you get the medical treatment you need, and the benefits to feed your family, by calling us at (202) 393 – 3320.
But don’t wait. Remember, insurance companies have adjusters, lawyers, nurses, doctors, and case managers – all working against you from the moment you get hurt.
Once you have notified the employer and have sought immediate medical attention, the employer must file an Employer’s First Report of Injury with the D.C. Department of
Employment Services (a similar form in Maryland and Virginia). This form that the employer (or its workers’ compensation insurance company) files have basic information, from the employer’s perspective, regarding the work injury. It will have the name and address of the employee, the employer, and the workers’ compensation insurance company. It will have a brief description of the injury and how it occurred, including the date, time, and job site.
Remember there are forms that YOU have to file after a work injury as well. Do not rely on the insurance company or your employer’s HR department to do this. In D.C., YOU need to file Employee’s Notice of Accidental Injury or Occupational Disease or Form 7 and Employee’s Claim Application or Form 7A.
Both of these forms should be signed and filed with the D.C. Office of Worker’s Compensation. The first form includes the name and address of the employee, employer, and workers’ comp insurance company as well as the dates and time, and description of the injury. This form will formally notify the employer and worker’s compensation insurance company that you were injured on the job and the activity that caused the injury. The second form is necessary to protect your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. This will also have basic information regarding you, your employer, and the workers’ compensation carrier.
Both of these forms should be signed and filed with the D.C. Office of Workers’ Compensation. A copy of these forms should be sent to the employer of the workers’ compensation insurance company.
We have these forms if you need them – just call and we can give them to you.
It is important not to rely on your employer, coworkers, or workers’ compensation insurance company to provide these forms or to give you advice as to how to file your workers’ compensation claim.
And remember that the insurance company is NOT YOUR FRIEND. The insurance company has no duty to you to look out for your best interests – they will also protect their profit over your income and livelihood. Every time.