What is The Process of Claiming Worker’s Compensation After a Construction Site Injury?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides a worker with cash benefits or medical care in case he/she gets injured or becomes ill in the course of doing his job. The claims of construction accidents are mostly based on accusations of negligence of another. Worker compensation laws only cover those injuries that are caused by carelessness of the employer or any co-employee. The types of injuries that can occur at a construction site include:
- Falling from height – While performing tasks at elevations at construction sites, there is always a threat of injury. Protective measures should be taken for safety of the workers. In cases leading to injury, safety devices may be improperly installed or unmaintained.
- Falling Objects – Construction workers are at a risk of getting hit by falling objects like building materials, tools and equipment, debris or trash and even crane loads.
- Faulty tools, machinery or equipment – Power tools, heavy equipment and powerful machines are mostly used in construction projects. If the equipment is poorly maintained or improperly designed, it can cause injury to the worker.
- Neglectful hiring, training or monitoring of workers – Contractors at construction sites may hire workers who are not proficient in operating heavy machinery and equipment or fail to supervise or monitor workers leading to construction site injuries.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents – Any vehicles on the construction site also pose a threat to the workers if pathways are not properly marked on the site.
The financial recovery of an injured worker mostly gets limited to the available compensation claim under the worker’s state. The laws of the worker’s compensation benefit both parties participating in a work injury claim. The injured party is supposed to file a lawsuit in order to recover the loss. A claim can also be submitted directly to employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. It is not necessary that the employer will face a large damage award because the compensation law for workers has fixed specific amounts on the basis of the injuries caused to the worker.
Steps to Process Worker’s Compensation Claim
1. After an injury has occurred, the necessary medical treatment is provided to the injured and their supervisor is notified about the accident as soon as possible within 30 days.
2. The employee should file a claim with the board on form employee claim. The form should be mailed to the Board district Office. The doctor finalizes an initial medical report on Form Doctor’s Initial Report and mails it to the appropriate District Office. Copies of the form should also be mailed to the employer or its insurance carrier, the injured worker, and their representative, if any.
3. The employer should report the injury to the board or the insurance company within 10 days of the notification of the accident.
4. The payment of benefits is done by the insurer. In case the claim is being disputed, the insurer is supposed to inform the worker’s compensation board. Payment, if delayed or not made for any specific reason, should be notified to all the parties.
5. The injured employee continues to receive payments of benefits from the insurer. Any change or modification in payment should be notified to the board.
6. The doctor submits recovery reports to the board. Based on these reports, the insurer decides whether to continue payment benefits or not.
7. In case any injured worker failed to claim or notify the employer, they may not receive the compensation.