The Ways an Experienced Lawyer Can Help Maximize Your Financial Recovery
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, working in residential or commercial construction is one of the most hazardous occupations in the world, with more than 150,000 workers reporting jobsite mishaps every year. As an employee, you may think that recovering for your losses is as simple as filing a workers’ compensation claim. But more and more workers’ comp claims are initially being denied. One study found that, between 2013 and 2017, there was a 20% increase in the number of work injury claims initially rejected by workers’ compensation insurance companies.
Workers’ compensation insurance companies maximize their profits by minimizing payouts. Your employer also has a vested interest in denying, delaying, or diminishing your claim—the premiums paid for workers’ comp insurance are based on the number of claims and the amount paid out to satisfy those claims.
Accordingly, when seeking compensation for a work-related injury on a construction site, you can’t expect to get assistance from either your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance company. Your attorney, on the other hand, has a vested interest in maximizing your recovery on a workers’ compensation claim, as fees are typically a percentage of the amount you recover.
Furthermore, while it may seem like filing a workers’ compensation claim is simply a matter of filling out the paperwork and attaching a doctor’s report, in reality it’s a fairly daunting and intimidating process. You will likely have to submit to an examination by a doctor chosen by your employer or the insurance company, someone who will be looking for reasons to deny your claim. Without competent legal counsel, you may say things during your exam that compromise your legal rights.
There are also administrative hurdles in a workers’ comp claim—deadlines by which documents need to be filed, notifications that must occur, etc. If you miss them, you might face challenges getting the benefits you need and deserve.
An Attorney May Be Able to Help You Recover Additional Damages
In addition, by trying to handle your construction site injury on your own, you may fail to pursue all your legal remedies, focusing only on your efforts to collect workers’ compensation. Though your employer might tell you that workers’ compensation is your exclusive remedy (the only possible source of benefits to cover your losses), that’s not always true. Here’s why.
Workers’ compensation benefits are intended to provide benefits for injuries caused by the carelessness or negligence of your employer or a co-worker. In some cases, though, your injuries might be caused by the wrongful acts of a third party—for example, the manufacturer or designer of a tool, machinery, or equipment. Or you might be injured in a motor vehicle accident on a construction site, where the other driver is neither a coworker nor your employer. You might get hurt due to the carelessness or negligence of workers on as adjacent jobsite. In all those instances, you are not limited to only a workers’ compensation claim—you also can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover for your losses.
In fact, you can file both a workers’ compensation claim and a civil lawsuit at the same time. You cannot, however, recover twice for the same loss. If your medical expenses are covered by workers’ comp, you cannot recover them in your personal injury lawsuit. Keep in mind, though, that while a personal injury lawsuit might allow you to recover more than you would under a workers’ compensation claim, it will likely be months or years before your case goes to trial, and even longer before you see any payout.
Contact the Aggressive Construction-Accident-Injury Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we understand the impact of a construction injury on every area of your life. We offer a free initial consultation to anyone hurt while working on a construction project. For an appointment with an experienced personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 844-402-2992. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.