5 Next Steps When You’ve Been Injured by a Scaffold Collapse At Work
Scaffold-related accidents cause around 4,500 injuries and 60 fatalities every year. The high rate is partly because 65% of the workers in the construction industry work on scaffolds.
If you’re one of these workers and you got involved in a scaffolding accident, you need to know what to do after. A scaffold collapse is a serious incident likely to give you permanent injuries.
Read on and learn the right steps to take after scaffolding incidents today:
1. Consult a Doctor After a Scaffold Collapse Accident
Before thinking about compensation, seek medical attention right away. If you have severe injuries, go to the emergency room. Also, ask your employer if you must see a certain doctor. Depending on their policy, you can choose your doctor as well.
In emergency cases, go to the nearest medical establishment. For follow-ups, you have to know your employer’s worker’s comp classification. It may be in-network, out-network, or non-network.
Either way, don’t forget to inform the doctor you have a work-related visit. Some insurance companies might deny the claim if the medical report doesn’t mention anything. Of course, it isn’t the case for most claims, but it’s best to be cautious.
Don’t skip this step even if have no obvious injuries. You can sustain internal injuries. It means the wounds won’t create any outward symptoms.
Fatalities happen because of internal injuries from accidents, often without feeling pain. Internal bleeding might not manifest within a few hours or days. It’s why you might have to schedule future visits with your doctor even when you feel fine.
Car accidents, slips, falls, and other kinds of blunt trauma cause internal bleeding. A scaffold collapse and other types of workplace accidents are some examples. Regardless, keep a detailed record of your diagnosis, prescriptions, and medical reports.
Consider getting a second opinion when you’re not satisfied with the first doctor. Worker’s comp may or may not pay for a visit to a different doctor. However, it’s best to go for your peace of mind.
2. File an Accident Report
File an accident report right away. Even if you’re unsure of your injuries, send an email or written notification to report the accident. You can even come in for a verbal report if you’re able.
The email is important as it serves as proof of an accident report. It avoids a “he-said-she-said” situation, ensuring your eligibility for worker’s compensation insurance.
When you experience symptoms days, weeks, or even months later, the report can save you. It can also protect you and future employees since it prompts the company to improve safety measures.
Don’t forget to do it since many states have short deadlines for reporting accidents. If you miss the deadline, you might become ineligible to claim worker’s comp.
Employers require you to complete an incident report. If yours don’t, request the form. Keep a copy of everything you submit as backup records.
3. Report Your Workplace Injuries
Do it while filing the incident report or as soon as you discover your injuries. As long as you did the previous step within the allowed timeframe, you can report injuries later on.
Your employer needs a report of your injury to file a worker’s compensation claim if they do it on your behalf. They can’t unless you let them know. Your attorney can also file a claim if the employer’s policies don’t cover it.
4. Don’t Speak with the Company Attorneys
After your accident, the company attorneys will try to speak to you as soon as possible. Avoid talking to them. It’s within your right to refuse a meeting until you know what to do.
These people represent the company’s interests, not yours. They’ll find ways that might not benefit you. They’ll always prioritize the best interests of the company.
They want to minimize the compensation or even discourage you from filing for worker’s comp. In some cases, they will threaten you with shady practices.
It’s best to go to an attorney first since they will represent your interests. Your company might recommend some lawyers. However, don’t take their recommendation to heart.
Stay away from company lawyers too. Look for someone with expertise on your specific case. Find specific scaffold accident lawyers to make the most out of your benefits.
5. Discuss with a Workplace Injury Lawyer
You don’t have to file a lawsuit against your company to claim worker’s compensation. Speaking with an attorney only ensures you’re getting what you deserve.
Some give a free initial consultation, where they’ll discuss your entitled benefits. As worker’s compensation laws vary by state, find a local lawyer already familiar with these.
The intricacies of worker’s compensation laws might be hard or even impossible to understand for the average human. It’s why you need someone with lots of experience working with these laws.
To help you better, the lawyers need a full account of the accident. Relay all the what, who, when, where, and how of the incident to help paint a better idea of your compensation. Be as honest and factual as you can.
Submit your medical reports to your lawyer. It can help them get a better grasp on the extent of your injuries, which will factor into the total compensation amount. Give them access to any of your doctor’s observations during your treatment.
Learn More About Worker’s Compensation Now
Although your attorney can help you clear up everything about worker’s compensation, it helps to read up on these topics as well. It allows you to ask about any information they or your employer might have missed.
However, knowing what to do and your compensation after a scaffold collapse is half the battle. Find a good lawyer to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Are you looking for more valuable tips and tricks? Read our other guides and enrich your knowledge today.