What to Do If You Are Struck by an Object on a Construction Site
Struck-by accidents are a constant threat to the safety of construction workers. A struck-by accident occurs when a person is hit by a falling, flying, or moving object. It is one of the most common safety hazards on construction sites in New Jersey and throughout the country.
Due to the high number of serious injuries and fatalities associated with struck-by accidents, OSHA has labeled them one of the “Construction Focus Four.” According to OSHA, struck-by-object accidents account for a significant portion of all construction site injuries. They are also a “leading cause of construction-related deaths.”
Construction accidents should always be taken seriously. If you or a loved one suffered harm after being struck by an object on a construction site, it is important to understand your legal rights.
For a FREE case review, call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi at (201) 585-9111 today. Our construction accident attorneys have extensive experience representing workers injured in struck-by accidents and other incidents on construction sites throughout New Jersey.
Protecting Your Legal Rights If You Are Struck by an Object on a Construction Site
Construction workers are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for injuries sustained on the job. You may be entitled to additional compensation if a negligent third party caused you to be struck by a falling object.
Steps you should take if you are hurt in a struck-by accident on a construction site include:
1. Report the Accident to Your Employer
Most employers in New Jersey are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This rule applies to employers in the construction industry.
If you are eligible for workers’ comp, the first step you need to take is to report the accident to your employer. If your employer asks you to fill out an accident report form, provide as much detail as possible. Be sure not to exaggerate or write anything that isn’t completely true.
2. See an (Approved) Physician for Diagnosis and Treatment
Under New Jersey law, employers have the right to choose the physicians who treat employees who file for workers’ compensation benefits. So, when you report your struck-by accident, you should be sure to ask for a list of approved physicians.
What if you already went to the emergency room? If you need emergency medical attention due to a construction accident, you do not need to seek approval before going to the ER. However, you will need to see an approved physician going forward. To avoid issues with your claim for benefits, we recommend speaking with a lawyer promptly.
3. Document Your Struck-By Accident
In addition to filing an accident report, it is also a good idea to maintain personal documentation of your struck-by accident. If possible, we recommend that injured construction workers do the following if they are struck by a falling object on the job site:
- Take detailed notes about what happened
- Take photos of the accident site and your injuries
- Write down the names of any coworkers who witnessed the accident
- Keep copies of all X-rays, scans, and other medical records
- Keep copies of all documents you receive from your employer and/or the workers’ comp insurer
When taking notes, you should try to include details such as:
- What were you struck by (i.e., falling construction materials or debris, dumped material, or a vehicle or piece of construction equipment)?
- Where and when did the accident happen?
- Were you wearing a hard hat or other safety gear?
- What were you doing when the accident happened?
- What did the site supervisor or your coworkers say after the accident (if anything)?
4. Prioritize Your Health
After suffering a job-related accident as a construction worker, it is important to do everything you can to get better as quickly as possible. This means prioritizing your health, and it means following your physician’s advice.
It is important to continue your treatment and keep resting until you can safely return to work. If you are concerned that you aren’t getting the treatment you need or that your physician is releasing you for work too soon, you should discuss your options with a lawyer.
5. Get Help from a Lawyer Who Represents Construction Workers
Along with answering any questions you may have about your medical care, there are several other ways an experienced lawyer can help you after a struck-by accident on a construction site. For example, your lawyer can calculate your benefits, deal with your employer and/or the insurance company for you, and more. Depending on what happened, you may also have a claim outside of workers’ comp if the struck-by accident occurred due to third-party negligence.
Get Help After a Struck-By Construction Accident Today
Struck-by accidents are extremely common on construction sites. They also have a high likelihood of causing serious injury or, in the most severe cases, resulting in the death of a worker.
If you have been struck by an object on a construction site, our attorneys can help you get the benefits you deserve and any additional compensation you may be due. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi has extensive experience handling complex construction accident claims.