Greenville Construction Accident Attorney
Construction job sites are some of the most hectic places to work. Just ask any one of the plumbers, electricians, carpenters, roofers, sheet metal workers, painters, and heavy equipment operators on any given workday. Crews from a multitude of companies arrive and depart as their specialties are required — all working under the General Contractor, whose license is the one ultimately at stake. A single commercial build can last for several months, and the odds of zero serious injuries or fatalities are little to none.
In May 2017, Greenville, South Carolina, was named the 4th Fastest Growing City by the U.S. Census Bureau. With this ‘housing boom’ in progress, it’s not hard to guess what the largest available job market is; of course, it is construction. Unfortunately, construction workers are not only in demand, but they also represent nearly one-fourth of on-the-job injuries.
As a law firm offering Greenville construction accident attorney services to your community, we can tell you that even though safety laws, regulations, and inspections are built-in, simple errors or malfunctions can prove disastrous. When a severe injury takes place on a job site, it is imperative to file an injury report and get immediate medical attention to begin the process of your workers’ compensation claim. A call to Auger & Auger will launch our team into action, initiating a personal trip to the accident location to obtain witness statements and determine if there are equipment defects or third parties at fault.
Financial Recovery Is Possible
Construction site incidents take many forms and each case is unique. While you can certainly file for workers’ compensation on your own, having a South Carolina construction accident attorney on your side is always to your benefit. We can assist you in filing your claim, fighting a denial, or taking your case to court as part of a third-party personal injury lawsuit. An experienced lawyer knows what it takes to achieve maximum compensation for your losses.
When you are injured on site, you must immediately notify your supervisor to protect your rights to workers’ compensation benefits. Statutory rules dictate the amount of your benefits and when they will be received. If your incident is appropriate for a 3rd-party personal injury claim, the Greenville construction accident division at Auger & Auger will investigate your accident, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf or take your case to court and fight for a fair and equitable judgment.
Jobsite Injuries and Third-Party Claims
If you have been injured on a job site, you may receive workers’ compensation benefits, but you could be entitled to much more. While you may not be able to directly sue your employer due to workers’ compensation laws, our Greenville construction accident attorney can assist you in filing a third-party claim against the contractor or other subcontractors. You could be awarded damages for your injuries and the benefits you receive.
How Do You Know If You Might Have a Third-Party Claim?
To know for sure, you should seek a free consultation with a Greenville construction accident lawyer. In general, you may have a third-party claim if you have reason to believe that your accident was caused not by you, your employer, or your coworkers but by another party. For example, if you were using a piece of safety equipment as directed on the job site, but it failed, and you were hurt, it’s possible the equipment manufacturer might be liable. Or, if you ordered lumber or other materials for the site, and the delivery driver ran into you while backing up the truck, then the company that employed the driver might be liable.
In these examples, it would be necessary to prove that the equipment failure or the delivery driver caused your accident and injuries, and evidence could be lost over time. If you have any reason to believe a third party may be at fault, please contact an attorney the first chance you get. They will send an investigative team to research your accident immediately.
What to Do After A Construction Site Injury
See an Approved Doctor Right Away
Getting medical attention for your injuries should be your priority. Some workers make the mistake of thinking their injuries aren’t that bad, or that they can just “walk it off.” Unfortunately, this causes several problems. By delaying treatment, you could make your injuries worse. You may also run into issues when filing your workers’ compensation claim. The insurance adjuster could argue that if you didn’t seek treatment right away, your workplace accident might not have been the cause of your injuries.
The South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Commission (WCC) specifies that your employer has the right to choose the doctor you see for workplace injuries covered under workers’ compensation (with the exception of emergencies). The employer’s HR department should have a list of approved healthcare providers you can see for treatment. If you see a provider who isn’t approved by your company and it’s not an emergency, they may not be obligated to pay your medical expenses. With an approved provider, your medical costs should be covered, including surgery, hospital bills, prescriptions, and transportation costs to visit a doctor.
When you see a provider, mention all injuries you suffered in your workplace accident, not just the most serious ones. Sometimes injuries that seem minor may be more complicated than they appear. In other cases, an injury may not cause significant symptoms immediately, but the injured person may wake up the next day in excruciating pain.
Be sure to notify your supervisor in writing of the injury. This may seem silly, especially if you told them in person or if they were on the site at the time, but sometimes managers claim they were never notified of a worker’s injury and question whether the accident even happened. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have “receipts,” such as a copy of the email you sent reporting the injury.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
After you’ve received treatment, the next step is to file Form 50 with the WCC. This must be done within two years of your injury, although most people file a claim well before then. Your employer may tell you that they’ve already filed a report with the commission, but in order to secure your benefits, you will also need to file Form 50. If you are unsure how to answer some of the questions, check with a Greenville construction accident lawyer. The form can be confusing, and one possible reason for a claim denial is simply making an honest mistake on the paperwork.
Receiving Lost Wages
If your doctor wrote you a note saying that you can’t return to work for more than seven days, you have a right to temporary lost wages under the workers’ compensation system. These should start to pay out on the eighth day that you’re out of work, or on the first day if you are off work for more than two weeks. If approved, these benefits are paid at two-thirds of your average weekly pay, with maximum weekly rates that change over time based on average wages in the state. You can learn the current maximum amount on the WCC’s website.
In some cases, your healthcare provider may allow you to return to “light duty” work. If this pays less than your normal job, you can seek temporary partial compensation. It’s important to know that if your employer offers you a “light duty” job, you have to accept it, or you will not be eligible for temporary lost wages.
In certain ways, the workers’ compensation system removes some of the difficulties found in a typical personal injury claim. You don’t have to prove that your employer – or anyone else – was negligent or caused your injuries. You can still receive workers’ compensation benefits even if you made an error that led to your accident. Personal injury claims outside of the workers’ compensation system often take a long time to resolve because both parties make a significant effort to prove the other was at fault. Eliminating this step usually saves time and stress for both the employee and the employer.
However, that doesn’t mean that every claim is automatically approved. Many companies don’t want their insurance rates to go up and will look for reasons to fight your claim. Others may discourage workers from filing a claim, in some cases implying or even blatantly threatening that the employee’s job may be at risk. For the record, this is illegal – if it happens to you, call a Greenville construction accident attorney as soon as you leave work.
Sometimes the efforts to thwart a claim are more subtle. The employer may fail to file a claim with the Commission, or they may refute your version of what happened. Although you can’t be denied for being at fault, there are a few exceptions, as well as other reasons you could be denied:
● Intoxication. If your injuries happened because you were under the influence while working, your claim may be denied. Most workplaces will send an employee for blood tests right after an accident for this reason. If this doesn’t happen, it may be difficult for the employer to prove you were intoxicated.
● Horsing around. Anyone can make a mistake on the job, but if your error happened because you were engaging in horseplay and failing to take your job seriously, your employer or their insurance carrier may have grounds to deny your claim. Again, the company’s description of what happened may differ from yours. If your supervisor claims you were horsing around when you weren’t, speak to an attorney immediately.
● Intentional injuries. If your boss believes you hurt yourself on purpose to get out of work and receive benefits, they can deny the claim for that reason. Your lawyer will help you gather evidence to show that your injuries truly stemmed from an accident and not an intentional act.
● Disagreement about your diagnosis. Sometimes the employer or insurance company doesn’t agree that your injuries are as serious as you know they are. They may claim you didn’t need all the treatment you received or that you should be ready to return to work even though you’re not. This can be a very frustrating situation, but getting into a heated argument with your boss or the insurance adjuster will not help matters. Instead, call your lawyer immediately and we’ll work to refute their claims.
● Pre-existing conditions. In some situations, the insurance company will concede that your medical condition is valid, but disagree about how it happened. They may argue that your injury or illness existed before your accident, or was caused by some factor outside of work. For example, sometimes when a worker is diagnosed with a repetitive injury like carpal tunnel syndrome, the insurance adjuster may claim that it was caused by playing video games at home rather than by repetitive motions at work. In other situations, an injury on the job legitimately worsens a condition that already existed, and it’s necessary to prove this decline was caused by the worker’s injury.
Auger & Auger Greenville Construction Accident Attorneys Are Your Best Choice
As a family business, we understand the financial impact that a work injury can have on your household, and we think you deserve a free consultation with our Greenville construction accident attorney, not an assistant. When we agree to pursue your claim, we offer a Zero-Fee Guaranty because we plan on winning your case.
As the injured party, you have enough to worry about, with medical treatments, rehab sessions, and trying to stay calm for your family. Auger & Auger Accident and Injury Lawyers is here to do all the work while keeping you informed at every turn. We promise to focus on your case and treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve. If you have been injured in a construction accident, turn to our team for the assistance you require.
Call (864) 991-3532 today for your free consultation, with no fees due until recovery!