Working on a construction site means long days using heavy, often complex machinery with many moving parts. Whether it’s a bulldozer, crane, scaffolding, or other operating machinery, construction workers and their bosses must ensure these pieces of equipment get used carefully and that everyone follows the correct safety procedures.
Even so, accidents happen. A worker might fall, be electrocuted, or get struck by a heavy object. Sometimes these accidents are the result of carelessness or negligence; sometimes they happen due to faulty machinery. Regardless, if you’ve been involved in an accident with construction equipment, you may be able to collect damages in the form of worker’s compensation or help with medical bills.
After any accident involving construction equipment, you will almost certainly need help from an experienced attorney. That’s because construction companies, contracting companies, and other parties who may be responsible for your injury will immediately muster their legal teams to fight your case. Employers and insurance companies know how to “work the system,” so to speak, to avoid paying the amount of compensation construction accident victims often deserve. Insurance companies may even pressure you to sign away your rights as a victim. Working with an attorney who understands this complex, often overwhelming area of personal injury law can give you a better shot at getting the help you deserve.
To speed up that process and put together the best possible claim, here’s what to do in the immediate aftermath of a construction accident:
1. Seek medical attention immediately.
Even when the injury seems minimal, you should get medical help immediately following the accident. Your condition could worsen over time, or an injury that might not be obvious right away could surface in a few weeks or months. Be sure to get official records of all injuries diagnosed, medications prescribed, and follow-up care given. You will need this documentation when you and your attorney put your claim together.
Most important: seek medical attention independent of your employer. They will most likely have onsite care at the scene of the accident. Use it, then follow that up with a visit to an independent provider who will be able to give you a 100 percent unbiased opinion of the situation.
2. Take photos of the equipment.
If you are able, photograph the construction site and any equipment you were using at the time of the accident. These pictures can be examined by an expert who will be able to determine if faulty equipment is responsible for the incident or if the construction company was not following proper safety procedures. Photographs are one of the most important pieces of evidence you can use in your case. If you are too injured to take the pictures yourself, give the task to a trusted coworker or third party.
3. Gather notes and witness statements.
Documenting what happened, when it occurred, and who saw it are also key pieces of evidence in a case involving construction equipment. As soon as you are able, take your own notes on the events of the accident. You might also document your physical condition over time, to keep a record of injuries worsening or new ones surfacing. If anyone else, whether coworkers or nearby pedestrians, saw the accident, take statements from them as well.
4. Compile all documentation for an attorney.
There is no such thing as too much information in a personal injury case involving construction equipment. With that in mind, compile any and all documentation of the accident, so your attorney can use it as evidence in your case. That includes medical records, photos, witness statements, and your own notes. Provide this information to your attorney, who will use it to strengthen your claim.
Construction accidents are serious affairs. Even when they are not fatal, the lasting physical and mental harm is significant to victims and their families. The right evidence can go far when it comes to illustrating the damage incurred and getting you the compensation you deserve.
If you have questions about construction accidents, contact us at (312) 899-9090. Our team is here to support you.