Construction Accident Lawyer
Construction is statistically one of the most dangerous injuries. Many of the workplace injuries and accidental deaths reported in the US each year come from the construction industry. It’s possible for anyone working in this field to face innumerable risks of injury on the job every day. Construction often entails working in and near unfinished structures that do not have the safety features of finished buildings. Workers must also handle heavy equipment, specialized tools, and sometimes harmful substances.
If you or a loved one work for a construction company in the Gilbert, AZ area and sustained an injury on the job, Arizona’s workers’ compensation laws ensure some level of protection when it comes to recovering from your injury. However, many injured workers, unfortunately, encounter problems with their workers’ compensation claims. Some have their claims unfairly denied, while others are unable to secure fair settlements to their claims for benefits. It’s also possible for an injured construction worker to have grounds for legal recourse outside of workers’ compensation. It is also possible for a bystander who is not working to suffer injuries from an unexpected construction accident nearby.
Whatever your case may entail, Luis P. Guerra, LLC can provide the comprehensive legal representation you need to make informed decisions about your recovery from a construction accident in Gilbert, AZ. Attorney Guerra has years of experience representing injured workers in the area in all their recovery efforts, from their initial workers’ compensation claims to subsequent third-party claims and other personal injury actions.
Why Do I Need a Gilbert Construction Accident Attorney?
It is technically possible to file your claim for workers’ compensation benefits on your own without an attorney. However, doing so is likely to be far more challenging than you expect. Additionally, if you encounter any unexpected problems with your claim that you do not know how to address on your own, this will further delay your receipt of benefits. Hiring a Gilbert construction accident attorney as soon as possible after your injury will significantly streamline your road to recovery.
An experienced attorney can make your workers’ compensation claim filing process much easier and more likely to produce suitable results. If you have grounds for further legal action aside from your workers’ compensation claim, you will also need legal representation to file and win a civil suit against the party who caused your injury. Ultimately, while it is not technically a requirement to hire an attorney, doing so will not only make all of your recovery efforts more likely to succeed, but you are also more likely to maximize your final recovery as much as state law allows.
Common Types of Construction Injuries
Construction workers across Arizona face many risks at work each day due to the inherently dangerous nature of the construction field. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the national agency responsible for enforcing workplace safety laws throughout the US. OSHA and various other agencies and organizations collect workplace accident data each year to create reports of the biggest risk factors facing American workers and the most common causes of workplace injuries. In the construction industry, a few of the most common causes of workplace injuries and missed days from work include:
- Slip and fall incidents. A “slip and fall” may sound minor, but the reality is that any fall can potentially result in catastrophic injuries. Depending on the location and height of the fall, the victim could suffer bone fractures, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and more. Falls account for most of the missed days of work from the construction industry in the US each year.
- Electrocutions. Many construction workers must do their jobs in unfinished structures with incomplete electrical systems. They must also use complex electrical equipment for their tools to function correctly. All of these variables create risks of electrocutions. These injuries are not only extremely painful, but they also have a high chance of causing nerve damage and cardiovascular interruptions.
- Crushing injuries, or injuries from being caught in-between heavy objects. When a crushing injury occurs to a limb, amputation could be necessary to save the victim’s life. Crushing injuries to the body and head can be life-threatening without immediate emergency care.
- Heavy equipment injuries. Many construction workers must use inherently dangerous tools to complete their job duties each day. When equipment malfunctions or when someone mishandles dangerous equipment, serious injuries are likely to follow.
- Acquired illnesses. Construction work often entails working near environmental hazards, and some materials used in construction pose acute health risks. When a construction worker acquires an illness or develops any serious medical condition due to their work responsibilities.
These aren’t the only serious risks construction workers face at work every day, and many accidents happen for unpredictable reasons. However, depending on how the accident happened, the victim may have more options for legal recourse than just a workers’ compensation claim.
Employers are legally required to create incident reports of all workplace injuries brought to their attention. They are also obligated to provide injured workers with all of the materials needed to file their workers’ compensation claims. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation insurance is just like any other insurance; too many claims against a policy could lead to the policyholder facing a higher premium rate. For this reason, some employers will attempt to convince injured workers not to file their claims or, in extreme cases, directly interfere with their claims.
If you believe your employer has interfered with your workers’ compensation claim in any way, or if they do not have workers’ compensation insurance as required by state law, consult a Gilbert construction accident attorney as soon as possible.
Filing Your Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Arizona
Arizona state law requires almost every employer in the state to have workers’ compensation insurance that covers all of their part-time and full-time employees. Certain workers are exempt, such as independent contractors and certain domestic workers. Due to the inherently dangerous nature of the construction field, it is all but certain you are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim through your employer in response to a recent construction accident.
The claim filing process is simple, but unfortunately, many injured workers encounter unnecessary problems with their claims. When you are injured at work, you should report it immediately and seek medical care. Your employer can provide a list of local physicians approved by their insurance carrier to perform medical examinations. While you may see any doctor in an emergency, remember that you are likely required to visit an approved workers’ compensation physician to receive a disability rating for your injury.
The disability rating you receive is based on the scope and severity of your injuries and the long-term damages they are likely to cause. When an injured worker is expected to make a full recovery in a relatively short time, their disability rating is likely to be rather low; they will receive benefits in proportion to their injury. More severe injuries that cause permanent harm lead to higher disability ratings. These ratings are used to determine the scope of benefits a claimant can receive and how long those benefits continue.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Injured Gilbert, AZ Construction Workers
Workers’ compensation claims typically yield two forms of compensation to an injured worker in Arizona. First, they will receive full coverage for all of their medical expenses. They may only secure repayment of approved treatments and therapies until they fully heal from their injury. Workers’ compensation can also cover the cost of medications, medical devices, and other treatments necessary for managing symptoms in recovery. If the claimant requires extensive long-term rehabilitative care, physical therapy, and any other ongoing treatment to fully recover, workers’ compensation will pay for these medical expenses as well.
The claimant can also receive disability benefits if their injury prevents them from working. If they are able to perform light duty but cannot earn as much income as they did prior to their injury, workers’ compensation may provide partial disability benefits to account for their diminished earning capacity. Alternatively, if they cannot work at all because of the severity of their injury, workers’ compensation can provide total disability benefits until they are able to return to work. Permanent disability benefits are possible for severe workplace injuries that cause permanent damage, but most insurance carriers will attempt to settle such claims with large lump sum settlement offers.
Your Gilbert construction accident attorney will be an invaluable asset when it comes to sorting out your claim settlement and ensuring a fair determination of benefits for your construction injury. Luis P. Guerra, LLC can assist you in filing your workers’ compensation claim in Arizona and then help you determine whether further legal action is possible and necessary for your situation. If so, our team can help you file a civil suit against the party responsible for your injury.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Construction Injury
The workers’ compensation laws of Arizona typically do not allow injured employees to sue their employers for damages after suffering workplace injuries. The purpose of the state’s workers’ compensation system is to provide injured workers with the benefits they need to recover from workplace injuries while shielding employers from civil liability. This is especially important in inherently dangerous fields like construction; without the promise of workers’ compensation should an injury occur, few would be willing to take on the risks this work entails.
An injured worker may not sue their employer in every case, but there are situations in which it’s possible for an employer to face direct liability for an injured worker’s damages. If the supervisor or a coworker of the victim intentionally caused the injury in question, the victim would still be able to file for workers’ compensation benefits since it happened while they were working. However, they would also be able to file a civil suit against whoever intentionally caused their injury. These situations could easily escalate to criminal proceedings against the party responsible for causing the injury in question.
It is also possible for a third party outside of your workplace to bear fault for a recent construction injury. Construction workers must sometimes work near roads and in congested metropolitan areas. When a third party caused your construction injury, you could file your workers’ compensation claim for some immediate compensation before filing a third-party personal injury suit against whoever caused your injury.
If you succeed with a third-party personal injury suit after a construction injury, you could secure compensation for the damages that workers’ compensation can’t cover. For example, while you can typically rely on workers’ compensation insurance to pay for all your medical expenses and provide a portion of lost income when you cannot work during recovery, a personal injury suit may help. This process enables you to recover the remainder of your lost income as well as compensation for pain and suffering. The right Gilbert construction accident attorney can enhance your recovery substantially when you have grounds to file a personal injury suit in response to your recent workplace injury.
What to Expect From Your Attorney for a Gilbert Construction Accident Claim
The aftermath of any construction injury can be very difficult for the victim to navigate. They may face not only a very painful injury with a demanding recovery process but also financial strain from medical bills and inability to work. This can quickly create a desperate financial situation for the victim and their family. When you choose Luis P. Guerra, LLC to handle your recovery efforts after a construction injury, you can expect personalized, compassionate legal representation through all stages of your proceedings.
Our firm takes time to learn each client’s goals, expectations, and concerns regarding their injury claims. We know the unique challenges facing those injured while working in the construction field, including the workers’ compensation claim filing process and dealing with difficult insurance adjusters. Rest assured that when you secure our legal counsel for your construction injury claim, we will develop a comprehensive and individualized strategy that aims for maximum compensation.
Luis P. Guerra, LLC offers the legal counsel you need to recover from your recent construction accident. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation with a Gilbert construction accident attorney you can trust with your case.