The construction industry is a necessary but dangerous business. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), falls represent the leading cause of construction deaths nationwide, resulting in 1,102 worker deaths in 2019 alone. In California, 79 construction workers lost their lives in 2021, based on the Department of Industrial Relation’s most recent figures. Thirty-three of those workers died because of slips, trips, and falls, and 24 employees lost their lives because of exposure to harmful substances or environments.
If you’ve been injured on a construction site, you may wonder how to report a construction accident in California. In this post, the Henderson Law team provides some guidance to help you protect your physical health, financial stability, and legal rights.
Henderson Law advocates for construction accident victims throughout California. We help you navigate the complex realm of filing a benefits claim so you can recover the compensation you need to help you regain your health and ability to work. Contact us today!
What Are the Benefits of Reporting a California Construction Accident?
After a workplace accident, you may have a lot on your plate. You are dealing with the trauma of the event, your injuries, your mounting medical bills, and trying to assess whether and when you can go back to work. It may seem overwhelming to also figure out how to properly report the accident. But doing so can help you get the treatment you need, safeguard your financial security, and protect your legal rights.
Get the Treatment You Need
The primary advantage of reporting a construction accident in California is that you can receive the medical treatment you need. Construction work injuries can be quite devastating, causing a range of injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Broken bones,
- Respiratory diseases,
- Musculoskeletal disorders,
- Soft tissue injuries,
- Eye injuries, and
- Hearing damage.
Early identification and treatment of these conditions can help set you up for a successful recovery. Further, by reporting the injury to your employer, you can help increase your chance of receiving the financial assistance you need to see the doctor, have surgery, or participate in physical therapy.
Safeguard Your Financial Security
The second benefit is to help safeguard your financial security. As a construction worker, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation if you suffer an on-the-job injury. The types of benefits you may receive include the following:
- Reimbursement for medical expenses,
- Compensation for injury-related travel expenses,
- Disability benefits, and
If your loved one passes away because of their work injuries, you may be entitled to receive death benefits.
By reporting the accident early on, you can help ensure you receive the financial assistance you need to get better and get back to work. A construction accident attorney can help you meet your reporting requirements under California’s workers’ compensation laws.
Protect Your Legal Rights
The last but equally important reason to report the accident is to protect your legal rights. Under California law, employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover workers who suffer job-related injuries. To receive these benefits, you must be a covered employee, have been acting within the scope of your employment, and file a claim within 30 days after the accident occurred or you discovered the injury. The law may bar you from receiving benefits if you fail to meet this deadline.
How to Report a Construction Accident in California
Reporting a construction accident in California may sound daunting, but you can accomplish this by completing the following steps. You can contact a construction accident attorney to help you fully understand what you need to do and when. Your attorney can also help you complete the process so you can focus on healing and attending to other important matters.
Get Medical Attention
First, you should seek medical attention and inform your doctor that you were in a work-related accident. They can help identify and treat your conditions and note the impact of the injury on your overall ability to function. Typically, they may categorize this as a type of disability rating, which your employer and their insurance company may use to determine the benefits for which you are eligible.
Inform Your Supervisor
Next, you should inform your supervisor or the construction company you work for that you were in an accident. You do not need to provide this notice on a particular form. Still, it may be beneficial to notify your employer in writing (even if you hand-deliver it) so you have documented evidence that you met your reporting obligations under the law.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
California law requires employers to provide workers with a claims form within one working day of the worker informing them that they suffered a work injury. You can also locate this form on the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s website. Before you submit this form to your employer, make sure to make and keep a copy to prove you submitted the document.
After you give this record to your employer, they must complete the “employer” section of the form and submit it to their workers’ compensation insurance company. Within 14 days, the insurance company should notify you about their decision regarding the claim.
Contact a Construction Accident Attorney
Construction accident benefits are crucial to helping workers recover physically and financially from their injuries. Attorneys can help employees understand this sometimes complex process and help ensure their employer and their employer’s insurance company give them the compensation they deserve.
If the insurance company denies the claim, work accident attorneys can help dispute the denial by filing an action with the Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Henderson Law: We Can Help You Report a Construction Accident in California
Being in a construction accident can be a terrible and challenging event. Instead of being able to work and support your family, you must contend with bothersome physical symptoms and resting periods. Henderson Law understands the difficulties you face and is here to help.
Michael Henderson has over 25 years of experience helping injured workers recover the compensation they need. Over the decades in practice, he has helped clients secure tens of millions of dollars in financial awards for work accidents and other injuries.