Being injured can be devastating; however, when it involves your workplace, you might feel worried about how you will recover your losses. As a work accident lawyer in New Jersey, Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., has been helping injured workers to gain compensation for their medical care, lost wages, and other expenses. For a consultation with a New Jersey work accident lawyer, call Rispoli & Borneo, P.C.
The 5 Steps to Take When Injured on a Job Site
Working on a construction site, or any other job site, can be risky. You are constantly surrounded by heavy machinery and a dangerous work environment. While there are rules for workplace safety, accidents do happen, and when they do occur, it is necessary to be prepared to handle the situation in a calm and direct manner. Therefore, when an accident happens, it is recommended that you follow these five essential steps to ensure your safety and the safety of your coworkers. If you have any further questions, call a work accident lawyer in New Jersey.
Get to Safety
The first thing you need to do after an accident is to find a safe place to assess your injuries. While you might be safe in the area where the accident occurred, it is better to gather yourself and move to a space free of debris and other potential risks. The only way you should stay where you are at, is when you are seriously injured or if movement could make your injuries worse.
Once you are clear of any further danger, seek medical treatment. If you are okay to walk, then get up and seek medical treatment either from a nurse’s station or the hospital. However, if you cannot walk, contact 911 and request transportation to the local hospital. It should be noted, that even if 911 is not called, getting medical attention must be a priority.
Once you know that you are okay to move, or after you have received treatment, notify your employer or managerial department of the accident. By informing your employer, you can begin using workers’ compensation to cover medical costs and possibly lost wages.
Photograph and Document the Scene
In order to make a claim, it is essential to document the accident. Therefore, once you have received medical treatment, attempt to go back to the scene and document as possible. Also, if there were any witnesses to the accident, you may want to gather their contact information in case it is needed during an investigation into the cause and liability.
Contact a Work Accident Lawyer in New Jersey
Last, you should contact a New Jersey work accident lawyer. Your employer may have a workers’ compensation policy, or they might be a nonsubscriber, but in either case, you need to protect your interests. Therefore, discuss your potential claim with an experienced attorney to help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
The above five steps serve as useful guidelines for how to handle yourself immediately following an accident on a construction site, especially when that site is your place of work. However, for more specific details on how to file a claim, or when to file a suit, it is better to talk to an experienced work accident lawyer in New Jersey from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C.
Compensation for Missed Work After an Injury
For many people, there simply isn’t time to be injured. Missing work means missing paychecks, right? This assumption might not be as true as you think. In the United States, there is a system in place that is meant to protect workers from this exact situation. This system is called workers’ compensation (commonly shortened to “workers’ comp”). While not every worker is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits (for example, independent contractors generally need to file a personal injury suit when hurt on the job, as they aren’t covered by workers’ comp unless they’ve been misclassified), most workers in the U.S. are eligible to receive compensation for medical bills and lost wages in the event they are hurt on the job. For better and for worse, there tends to be an exception to every significant workers’ comp rule, so it’s important to speak with an experienced New Jersey work accident lawyer from Rispoli & Borneo P.C. before making any assumptions about your eligibility, claim, claim status, and benefits. That way, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about how best to move forward.
What Workers’ Comp Is
Workers’ comp is exactly what it sounds like. If someone is injured while working, workers’ comp will compensate for many expenses related to the injury. However, in order to qualify for workers’ comp, there are generally two requirements that must be met:
- The injury must be work-related
- The injured worker must be an employee of a company required to have this coverage
Let’s examine these two requirements closer, one at a time. First, the injury must be work-related. This means the injury must have resulted on the job. Typically, the injured worker needs to be working at the time of the injury, but workers who are on break and injured as a result of co-workers’ work-related actions may still qualify. No matter how the injury happened, the most important aspect is whether the actions that lead to it were done in the interest of the business or not. Again, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, you may be able to work with a New Jersey work accident lawyer to receive benefits even if you sustained an injury during a car accident on the way to work, provided you were running an errand for your boss at the time, even though you weren’t on the clock.
The second requirement is simpler. There are multiple classifications a worker can have, such as volunteer, independent contractor, and freelancer. However, workers’ comp only applies to employees. The easiest way to tell if you are an employee is to look at your paychecks. If a portion of your paychecks are withheld for tax reasons, then you are an employee. It’s worth noting that many independent contractors are misclassified and should be treated as employees. If this situation applies to you, a New Jersey work accident lawyer can help you evaluate your legal options.
What Workers’ Comp Covers
Workers’ comp covers many financial expenses resulting from the injury. This includes:
- Hospital bills
- Missed wages
- Miscellaneous purchases
Workers’ comp does not provide compensation for any non-financial losses. For example, you cannot be compensated for the pain and suffering you had to endure when injured or during the following medical procedures. To be compensated, a loss needs to have an exact dollar value associated with it, such as a $500 hospital bill or a $100 wheelchair. The first thing you should do if you suspect you might not receive workers’ comp for your work injury is to contact a New Jersey work accident lawyer to preserve your legal options and explore them in turn.