Construction work is considered one of the most dangerous types of work in the United States; therefore, construction worker injuries are relatively common. According to OSHA, one out of every five workplace fatalities occurs on a construction site. In Louisiana—like most states—construction firms are under more pressure than ever to complete jobs as quickly and cheaply as possible.
With the price of lumber and other construction materials skyrocketing due to pandemic shortages, the pressure is even more intense for those working on construction sites. To get the job done quickly, corners may be cut when it comes to workplace safety, making an already hazardous industry even more dangerous.
OSHA has identified what they call the Fatal Four—the four most common reasons for construction worker injuries and fatalities. These are: falls, electrocutions, being caught between objects, and being struck by an object. When construction worker injuries are severe, those workers need help in the form of workers’ compensation benefits. The attorneys at New Orleans Legal, LLC, help injured construction workers receive the benefits they are owed.
Injured construction workers may be entitled to medical expenses related to the construction accident, payment for a portion of their lost wages if they cannot work, and more. Getting these benefits can be much more straightforward, causing you less anxiety and stress when New Orleans Legal is by your side.
Filing for Workers Compensation as a Construction Worker
If you are injured while working on a construction site, your first step in filing a workers compensation claim is to immediately notify your employer about the accident or injury. You should always report injuries to a direct supervisor. Next, your employer will report the claim to its workers compensation insurance company, or it workers compensation claims handler if it is self-insured, and a claims adjuster will contact you shortly thereafter. This is how a workers compensation claim is initially “filed.” If the employer or workers compensation insurance company will not respond, or denies benefits, then you will need to files a “Disputed Claim for Compensation” with the Office of Workers’ Compensation; this begins the legal process which is best handled by an experienced attorney.
It is vital that you report even minor injuries that may or may not require medical intervention. Your workers compensation premiums will not be adversely affected when you report minor injuries that do not involve medical expenses or lost time. If your injury grows more serious, LWCC will already have the necessary information to process your claim.
Construction Worker Injury Statistics
As noted, construction worker injuries are pretty common and can be very serious. As stated, even though construction workers only make up 6 percent of the workforce, they make up 20 percent of workplace fatalities. Since falls account for about a third of all construction deaths, eliminating falls in the industry would save more than 300 lives and countless injuries. Injury rates in construction are 71 percent higher than the average injury rate across all injuries. Construction workers often do not report injuries because they are not getting paid when they are not working.
It is estimated that 25 percent of construction workers do not report minor to more severe workplace injuries. Even so, in 2019, more than 130,000 construction workers missed days of work due to workplace injuries. A possible reason for the high rate of construction injuries is that, on average, construction companies spend 3.6 percent of their budgets on injuries but only 2.6 percent on safety training.
Common Construction Worker Injuries
Construction work, in general, is dangerous, but following a hurricane, those dangers increase exponentially. Construction workers are vulnerable to falls, resulting in back injuries, brain injuries, foot and hand injuries, broken bones, internal organ injuries, scrapes, bruises, cuts, and abrasions. Since construction workers generally work longer hours, performing more labor-intensive tasks than usual during post-hurricane recovery, repetitive motion injuries are common. Repetitive motion injuries can cause painful, long-term damage, including neck and back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, holding, and other similar actions can result in sprains and strains. During post-hurricane repair and cleanup, these injuries increase. Following a hurricane, there are tons of debris which create more trip hazards. Pooled water can increase slip and trip hazards, resulting in minor to severe injuries. Downed power lines and damaged electrical systems are hazardous after a hurricane. These broken electrical systems could be near the areas where construction workers clean up and make repairs, leading to sometimes fatal electrocution.
Fallen tree limbs can make post-hurricane cleanup and repair even more complex and more dangerous. Ladders may be placed on uneven surfaces due to the level of debris, increasing the likelihood of a fall from the ladder. The fallen tree limbs often require chainsaws, which can cause deep lacerations to hands, arms, and fingers.
How Can New Orleans Legal, LLC Help You Through a Construction Site Injury?
As a highly qualified Louisiana workers compensation attorney, Peter J. Diiorio knows precisely how to deal with and handle the workers’ compensation insurance companies, adjusters, and lawyers. New Orleans Legal, LLC believes you deserve a strong advocate in your corner during this difficult time. We will fight for your rights and your future, never giving up or giving in. We want you to receive workers’ compensation benefits on time because we believe this will significantly maximize your recovery.
We will help you find the medical treatments you need, ensuring you are reimbursed for the cost and that you receive lost wages benefits as well. When it is time to settle your workers’ compensation claim, the New Orleans Legal attorneys will virtually always recover more than you would have on your own, even considering the attorney’s 20 percent fee. It is definitely in your best interests to call New Orleans Legal, LLC. Contact us today!