Finally, after years of remaining at the same level, the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board and State of Indiana increased the financial recovery rates an injured worker can claim for their case. www.in.gov/wcb/files/PPIandTTD-benefits2023_1.3_.pdf For injuries that occur on or after July 1, 2023, an injured worker may recover more money for their PPI and TTD benefits. The schedule used by the state increases annually over the next four years. Understanding these rate tables can be complicated. Since every dollar for your work injury case is precious, you should contact Goodin Abernathy for legal help.
Worker’s Compensation Laws
Employees hurt on the job in Indiana are protected by Indiana’s Worker’s Compensation laws. Attorney Jim Browne and Goodin Abernathy regularly help our Hispanic clients navigate the legal process to protect their rights and fight for more benefits. This article highlights main points of the Indiana Worker’s Compensation process.
Each state uses different laws for their worker’s compensation (“work comp”) claims. In Indiana, a work injury is considered a civil law claim. It does not involve criminal or immigration law issues. Something a little different about work comp claims is an agency handles the legal process – not a court of law. The Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board is the agency that tracks and handles these cases. You can learn more about the Board at this website https://www.in.gov/wcb/
An important part about Indiana’s work comp law is that an employer cannot defend a case based on liability or fault. Unlike an auto accident or other typical type of injury claim, it does not matter whether an employee was negligent and did something to cause the accident. As long as the employee was not intoxicated or intended to hurt themself, Indiana requires the employer to offer benefits.
Unfortunately, we often hear that employers threaten immigration reporting or similar problems when their employees are injured. You should not be afraid of immigration issues. Indiana’s work comp law allows any worker to make a claim. Your immigration status does not affect your legal rights and does not involve notifying the U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (“ICE”) agency. Hispanic workers should not be concerned about immigration problems and notify their employer or supervisor immediately if injured on the job. Make sure to report your injury right away because waiting to do so may allow the employer to dispute responsibility.
Preliminarily, a couple legal issues we see affecting work comp claims involve whether the worker was an employee and whether the employer has insurance coverage. Determining whether an injured worker is an employee or independent contractor can be a complicated legal question. Since Indiana law does not require employers to offer independent contractors work comp benefits, let’s review some basic differences between employees and independent contractors.
Signs That Show A Worker Is An Employee
The worker is paid with a company check
Taxes are taken out of their pay checks
Worker does not work at other jobs
Worker does not have her/his own business
Worker uses the employer’s equipment
Worker regularly visits the employer’s place of business
Works the hours and schedule the employer chooses
An Independent Contractor Is Usually Identified When These Circumstances Apply
The worker has her / his own company
They work for various other companies
They do not work for the employer full time
They receive a 1099 tax form from the employer
They do not have taxes withheld from their payments
They use their own vehicles and equipment to perform the work
Worker’s compensation insurance coverage is an important part of the claim. Without insurance coverage, employers usually cannot pay the benefits they owe their injured employees. Many employers are small companies or individuals and choose not to pay for insurance. This is an important reason why you should ask if your employer has worker’s compensation insurance. A legal option that sometimes helps injured workers in these situations is if your employer is performing work for another company or contractor. Typical examples of this arrangement are found in construction and staffing agency arrangements. Indiana’s work comp law allows us to take one step up and make a claim for benefits from the general contractor or staffing agency if the primary employer does not carry insurance.
When an employee is injured on the job, Indiana law requires the employer to offer various benefits. The first and probably most important benefit is for medical treatment. If you visit the doctors, therapists and medical providers the employers offer, they must pay for all your costs. You are not responsible for deductible payments. You are not required to use your own health insurance or take FMLA time. Since your health and well-being are your primary concerns, you may seek medical treatment immediately after your work accident. If your employer or the insurance company deny you treatment, then you should seek legal help immediately. The attorneys at Goodin Abernathy understand the process and will explain your rights.
When a doctor or medical expert says you cannot work due to your injuries, you may claim Temporary Total Disability (“TTD”) payments. Indiana’s work comp law requires employers to pay two – thirds (66.66%) of your regular income while you cannot work. These TTD payments are not reduced for income tax or other typical withholdings. Before the payments start, the doctor must determine that you miss more than seven (7) consecutive days of work. If you miss thirty (30) consecutive days or more, than the employer must go back and pay you for the first 7 days of work that you missed. Sometimes, workers do not miss time off work immediately after their injury. But later, they require surgery or start treatment that keeps them off work. The TTD rules also apply to these subsequent periods of missed work.
When the employer or its insurance company determine that certain benefits should finish, they are required to send you a Termination of Benefits form. The form looks like this www.in.gov/wcb/files/Blank-38911.pdf If you dispute that benefits should stop, it is important to respond to these within seven days of receiving the form. If you fail to respond, then technically the employer may stop sending you the TTD benefits.
The final type of benefits owed to an injured employee involves the Permanent Partial Impairment (“PPI”) value of your injury. Basically, this benefit pays the employee for the future impairment they will suffer from the injury. That is, how will the injury interfere with their work and ability to earn income in the future. Calculating this benefit is complicated. For instance, the doctors and work comp Board uses the AMA Guidelines for reference. https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/ama-guides/ama-guides-evaluation-permanent-impairment-overview. To understand it best, you should contact our Legalmente Hablando Indy team for representation. We will examine the medical records, show you how the government calculates the benefits and describe your legal options for maximizing recovery of PPI benefits.
Indiana law controls how attorneys charge for legal services in work comp claims. All attorneys in the state charge the same percentages for contingency fees. Since we charge a contingency fee, that means we collect our fees only when we win and you get paid money for your claim. If we do not collect money, then you do not pay. Our legal fee agreements are explained in both Spanish and English.
If you or a loved one are injured in a workplace accident, contact the Goodin Abernathy legal team. We handle death claims, amputations, orthopedic surgeries, electrocution, burns, explosions, head /brain injuries, spinal column fractures and broken bones. You will find we care about our clients and patiently explain the legal process. Count on us to aggressively represent your claim. Contact us today.
Were you in a car accident and have legal questions? Make things simple by contacting the Goodin Abernathy LLP law firm. We have a Spanish speaking team, too, who focuses on representing Hispanic clients suffering physical injuries in motor vehicle accidents. Put us on your side for recovering the maximum damages the law allows for personal injuries. We offer free, in-person legal consultations. When we take your case, our attorneys only charge for services when we win and actually collect money.
Auto accidents may include criminal acts. But when you need to recover your own damages, the process is considered a civil law claim for negligence. Sometimes our clients are concerned about making legal claims because they are undocumented immigrants. Do not let this stand in your way because Indiana allows all accident victims the right to legal access – no matter what their immigration status is. You really should not be concerned about encountering immigration problems for making a negligence claim. Our legal team will guide you through the process and protect your rights without concern for being deported or harassed due to your immigration status.
Now let’s start by reviewing basic topics our clients must deal with after an auto accident. At the scene, police often give our clients a slip of paper with the “accident number.” Although helpful, this is not the report we need. Using your information, we access an internet portal that law enforcement uses for publishing the auto accident reports. Police post their Indiana crash reports on BuyCrash.com and charge Twelve Dollars ($12.00) to download and print it. https://buycrash.lexisnexisrisk.com/ui/home The police report will supply us with the basic information needed to identify the at-fault driver. The crash report also describes the investigation results and identifies potential witnesses.
If your car was disabled and not drivable after the accident, it was probably towed to a salvage lot. We recommend addressing this immediately because each day your vehicle sits in the tow yard, they charge you around Thirty-Five Dollars ($35.00) per day. Before you can get your car out of the lot, you must pay them for the towing service and the daily rate. If you do not have auto insurance to pay for these costs, the price can quickly jump above an amount you can pay. Then, if you do not pay the removal fee, the tow yard will sell your car for salvage. You will not have a chance to fix the car, sell it or maybe even recover your personal possessions. Our legal team counsels our clients with tips for negotiating with the salvage yards to pay less and collect your vehicle. Contact us with questions before paying full price at the salvage yard.
Many people are physically injured in car accidents. Maybe you visited the emergency room for medical treatment and have questions about the bills. Or, after the accident your injuries worsened and now you want to visit your family doctor or a specialist. Attorneys are not medical doctors but we can describe how clients typically search for physical relief from pain. Often we find our clients are confused about where to go for medical treatment. The obvious response is 1) if the pain is excruciating, visit the emergency room and 2) if the pain is tolerable, consider contacting your regular primary care doctor. Of course, there are more medical treatment options that we can discuss for choosing the best path for your recovery.
We know the medical treatment is not free and you want to know who pays the costs. GA’s legal team will explain how the law applies to this important question and show you how we step in to work with the medical billing departments. For instance, you want to know if the at fault driver’s insurance company will pay each bill. When will they pay the medical bills? Under Indiana’s negligence law, the process typically does not require a responsible driver or their insurance to pay for medical costs as you treat. Instead, they pay when you are finished with medical treatment. Even if it is an option, rarely is it a good idea to settle parts of a claim as it goes along. It is typical to settle the whole case once you finish medical treatment and know what all your damages are. Unfortunately, we know the bill collectors do not want to wait and they put pressure on you and your family. Call Goodin Abernathy, and we will step in to handle the bills and relieve you from the immediate financial pressure.
Another option for handling medical bills can include using your own auto or health insurance. If you have the right auto insurance coverage, you may be able to use your own policy to help pay bills. This coverage is typically called Medical Payments or “Medpay”. GA’s Indy legal team will review your own insurance to identify if you have this option. You may also use your own health insurance to cover medical bills for treating your injuries. We will explain how the health insurance company then has a legal and financial interest in collecting their payments from the responsible driver. If you do not have health insurance, Legalmente Hablando Indy is familiar with various hospitals and medical doctors that use payment systems you can take advantage of for continued medical treatment. For instance, Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis offers applications for the popular “Advantage Plan.” Patients work with financial counselors to qualify for assistance under the plan. https://www.eskenazihealth.edu/programs/financial-counseling
When you miss time at work due to an injury, you likely lose income and we understand this is very stressful. Goodin Abernathy’s legal team will explain how Indiana law applies to this part of your damages. The law for accident victims allows them to claim lost income for damages in their case against the responsible driver. We describe how this is calculated and inform you about what to expect for a lost wages claim.
Another initial concern includes how to deal with the insurance companies. Understandably, our clients visit us because they are concerned about how the negligent driver’s insurance company is treating them. Clients want to know the law and make sure they are being treated fairly. This is where an attorney at Goodin Abernathy helps. Remember, insurance representatives are trained and experienced with handling claims to save their companies money. Insurance companies are in business to make money – not pay it out. This is why you need professional legal help. Our experienced team will represent you and fight for your legal rights. Choose to have an attorney on your side (and if necessary, that speaks Spanish), cares about your recovery and is experienced with challenging insurance companies to win the best recovery for your case.
Our attorneys handle personal injuries on a contingency fee basis. You only pay for legal fees when we win and collect money. There are no up-front fees that you pay to open a case with our law firm. Legalmente Hablando Indy enjoys supporting Indiana’s Hispanic community with quality legal services. Our contingency fee rates are typically less than big advertising law firms. Instead of trying to pay the cost of marketing, we save our clients money and provide excellent legal services. Our initial consultations are free. We will sit with you, review your photos, accident reports and medical treatment. If you are in the hospital or unable to travel, we can visit your location or set up a video conference. Contact Goodin Abernathy’s legal team to schedule an appointment today!
One person dies every 52 minutes in a drunk driving crash in the United States. That is over 10,000 lives yearly. Here in Indiana, 124 people lost their lives in alcohol-impaired accidents in 2020. These are tragic numbers for something entirely preventable. Goodin Abernathy represents victims who experience injuries due to a not-at-fault drunk driving accident. There are ten things that victims can do to protect their interests and rights after the accident.
1. Stay Calm
Accidents are jarring and potentially frightening. Adrenaline and emotions tend to run high after an accident. For those under the influence of alcohol, their emotions and actions become even more unpredictable. It is important for you to stay calm to accurately assess the situation and avoid further conflict with the intoxicated driver. In addition, if the other driver is drunk, they may not make the smartest or safest decisions that could further endanger you.
2. Get Out of Traffic
Assess yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle. If you are able to maneuver your vehicle out of traffic safely, do so. This aids in preventing further accidents. If the vehicle is undrivable, but you can move, remove yourself from the vehicle and get out of traffic to safety. This reduces your risk of further or greater injury. Do not attempt to move anyone seriously injured, as you risk injuring them further.
3. Seek Medical Care
If there are seriously injured people, call emergency services so that they can receive immediate treatment. If you do not need immediate medical care, plan to visit a doctor after you leave the accident scene. Do not wait to seek medical care. You may not realize immediately what your injuries are. Waiting to seek treatment could bar you from recovery later. Seeking medical treatment immediately establishes your injuries and condition, making it easier to prove their relevance to the accident.
4. File a Police Report
After the accident, do not leave the scene. File a police report by speaking with an officer. Cooperate with officers and answer their questions. Provide a factual account of what happened. Do not embellish or pontificate on theories of what you think happened. However, report any behavior or comments you observe the intoxicated person making. Inform the officer of your concerns that the other driver is intoxicated.
5. Stay Silent at the Scene
While at the scene of the accident, try to stay silent. Focus on taking care of yourself, your passengers, and anyone injured. Document the scene and gather witness contact information. Do not admit fault. Do not talk about what happened with anyone other than the responding officer. Be careful what you say, as you do not want to unknowingly admit fault by having your words misconstrued.
6. Take Pictures or Video of the Scene
If you are able to, take pictures and videos of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, and your injuries. Documenting as much as possible will help when you file your claim for damages later. Try to take clear, non-blurry images. Documenting the scene helps to verify the facts and circumstances of the accident later. This bolsters your claims as the victim and can counter the defendant’s claims of innocence.
7. Speak With a Lawyer
Speaking with a personal injury DUI victim attorney will help you understand your rights. They will explain the applicable law, what you are entitled to, and the process for pursuing a claim. Insurance companies will want you to agree to a settlement right away. Hiring a lawyer will put a barrier between you and the insurance company, removing this pressure. That way, you do not agree to something that isn’t as favorable as it should be. The lawyers at Goodin Abernathy have experience representing victims of DUI accidents and fighting for their rights.
8. Track Your Expenses
In order to prove your claims in court, you need to have adequate evidence. This means carefully tracking all of your expenses. Keep records of every bill your receive and payment you make. Your attorney will use these expenses to determine an appropriate amount to ask for when filing your lawsuit. These are some examples of the types of expenses you should keep records of.
Emergency room costs
Vehicle repair costs
9. Create a Future Medical Care Plan
If you have suffered minor injuries, you may not need ongoing treatment. If this is the case, you can track your expenses and seek compensation as you recover. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents often result in severe injuries due to increased speed or reckless driving behavior. The required treatment could be long-term or permanent for victims with extensive and severe injuries. You will not be able to come back and seek compensation for a second time at a later date. This means you will need to address your potential long-term medical treatment and care in your present lawsuit. Work with your doctors and medical professionals to determine your long-term treatment needs. Your attorney will then use this plan to seek the necessary compensation. These are some common medical expenses that injured victims may seek.
10. Stay Away From Social Media
In today’s world of technology, it can be tempting to document your experience on social media. However, this is one life event your followers do not need to know about. Do not post on social media about your accident in any way, even if your profiles are set to private. Anything you post on social media can be used as evidence in your claim. If you claim to have injured your back, you don’t want to post a picture of you moving heavy furniture. This will undermine your claims and hinder your ability to recover from your injuries.
Seek Legal Representation with Goodin Abernathy For Your Injuries
Experiencing a drunk driving accident can be a potentially life-altering event. Doing these ten things post-accident will ensure you protect your rights. The lawyers at Goodin Abernathy help clients who wish to pursue compensation for their injuries and damages due to a DUI accident. If you are the injured victim of a drunk driver, do not wait to speak with a lawyer about your situation. Schedule a consultation to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers about your drunk driving accident injuries.
Whether you’ve been in a car accident or slipped and fallen, one thing is certain: proper documentation can make or break your personal injury case in Indiana. That’s because documentation establishes the facts, determines liability, and helps secure the compensation you deserve. With so much on the line, it’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the importance of documenting personal injuries in Indiana. This blog is your ultimate guide to navigating the complexities of injury documentation. We’ll cover everything from relevant laws to tips for proper documentation and the critical role an experienced personal injury attorney can play in your case.
Understanding Personal Injury Law in Indiana
Definition of personal injury
Personal injury can take many forms, from physical harm to emotional or psychological distress, and it often arises from the careless or intentional actions of others. Fortunately, Indiana law allows victims to pursue compensation for their injuries and losses through the legal system. This area of law provides a framework for seeking damages and holding negligent parties accountable. In this post, we’ll delve deeper into personal injury law in Indiana, exploring how it can help you recover from the harm you’ve suffered.
Common types of personal injury cases
Some of the most common personal injury cases in Indiana include:
Indiana’s personal injury law operates under a “comparative fault” system, which allows you to recover damages even if you share some of the blame for an accident, as long as your fault is less than 51%. Your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For instance, if you are 30% at fault for an accident and your damages total $100,000, you can receive $70,000 in compensation.
Statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Indiana
Another crucial aspect of Indiana’s personal injury law is the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit, which is typically two years from the date of the incident. It’s crucial to act quickly in pursuing your claim, as missing this deadline can bar you from seeking compensation. However, there are exceptions and nuances to this rule, and consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you navigate these complexities and protect your rights.
Tips for Properly Documenting Your Personal Injury
Establishing evidence to support your claim
Documenting your personal injury is crucial for establishing the evidence necessary to support your claim. This evidence provides a clear and objective record of the incident, including the extent of your injuries and the damages you’ve suffered. With proper documentation, you can paint a vivid picture of what happened and demonstrate the other party’s liability, which is key to securing the compensation you deserve.
Be thorough and accurate in your documentation
When compiling documentation for a personal injury claim, it is crucial to be meticulous and precise in documenting all pertinent details. This approach will bolster your case and simplify the task of your legal representative in comprehending and advocating for your claim.
Keep all documents organized and easily accessible
To improve the efficiency and accessibility of important information, it is recommended that you implement a systematic organization of your documents. Whether it be through digital or physical means, maintaining a well-ordered documentation system can benefit you, your attorney, and your insurance company in swiftly and effectively reviewing necessary materials.
Update your personal injury journal regularly
Maintaining an up-to-date personal injury journal is crucial to building a strong case. Regularly documenting physical pain, emotional distress, and any changes in your condition can provide a comprehensive account of how your injury has impacted your life. This information can be critical evidence to support your claim, so it is essential to keep your journal organized and regularly updated.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Assessing the strength of your case
A lawyer specializing in personal injury cases has the expertise to analyze your situation, review the available evidence, and offer an objective evaluation of its viability. Furthermore, they can guide you on the probable outcomes and help you determine whether settling out of court or pursuing litigation would be the most advantageous course of action.
Ensuring proper documentation
A seasoned lawyer can assist you in navigating the complexities of compiling and arranging all the essential paperwork required for your personal injury lawsuit. They can pinpoint any gaps or insufficiencies in the evidence and guarantee that your case is established on a firm footing.
Negotiating with insurance companies
Insurance providers frequently try to reduce their financial liabilities by contesting or underestimating the value of claims. An attorney specializing in personal injury cases can act as your representative in negotiations with the insurance company, leveraging their legal know-how and familiarity with your case to achieve the most favorable settlement outcome on your behalf.
Representing you in court, if necessary
If your case goes to trial, your attorney will represent your interests in court, presenting evidence, cross-examining witnesses, and making persuasive arguments to the judge or jury on your behalf.
Maximizing your compensation
An attorney specializing in personal injury cases can play a crucial role in safeguarding your rights and ensuring that you receive adequate compensation for your medical bills, lost income, emotional distress, and other losses resulting from your injury. Their proficiency and unwavering commitment can have a substantial impact on the resolution of your case, potentially resulting in a more favorable outcome for you.
Consult with Goodin Abernathy for Expert Personal Injury Representation
If you have sustained a personal injury in Indiana, it’s essential to act swiftly. You can rely on the professionals at Goodin Abernathy to assist you in navigating the process of documenting your injury and pursuing compensation. Our team of devoted attorneys is dedicated to providing tailored legal guidance, safeguarding your rights, and advocating for your best interests. Reach out to us now to schedule a complimentary, obligation-free consultation to discuss your case and examine your legal alternatives. Let us work in partnership with you to secure the most favorable resolution for your personal injury lawsuit.
Rottweilers were responsible for 9.8% of fatal dog attacks between 2005 and 2019, making them the second most deadly dog breed behind pit bulls. Unfortunately, these statistics have given Rottweilers a bad reputation, leading many people to ask, are Rottweilers dangerous or are rottweilers aggressive? The short answer is that it depends. All dog breeds, including rottweilers, are potentially dangerous when they are not cared for and trained by responsible owners.
Rottweilers are safe, loyal dogs, and well-behaved when properly trained. The American Kennel Club rates them as highly affectionate and playful. The owner should focus on proper training and mental stimulation to ensure that a Rottweiler dog thrives in a family home. Rottweilers are eager to please and thrive with plenty of mental stimulation. This lets the dog know what is expected of them and helps them stay happy and healthy.
Rottweilers are large dogs, with male Rottweilers measuring 24-27 inches at the shoulder and females measuring 22-25 inches. These dogs can weigh 75-125 pounds. In addition to being physically large, they are also solidly built with a lot of muscle, making them incredibly strong. A fully grown adult Rottweiler can easily knock an adult human over, making them potentially more dangerous than other dogs should one decide to charge at full speed at someone.
Rottweilers were originally bred to work as drover dogs and are one of the oldest herding breeds, descended from ancient Roman dogs. This means centuries of protective qualities and traits have been bred into the Rottweiler breed.
Unfortunately, Rottweilers can get a bad reputation when owners are not responsible. Without proper training and correction, this protective trait can lead the dog to act in an undesirable or dangerous way, resulting in dog attacks.
Similar to people, dogs have unique personalities. So, while general guidelines exist for Rottweiler personalities, each dog can vary from the standard. This means a Rottweiler dog may be more prone to protective traits, playfulness, or loyalty than other dogs.
What Injuries Can Be Caused By Rottweilers?
Because the attorneys atGoodin Abernathy regularly represent dog bite victims, there are some common injuries for which clients seek compensation. Rottweilers are large and muscular dogs with powerful jaws. Because of this, they can cause significant injuries such as lacerations, puncture wounds, broken bones, and nerve damage. In addition, during the healing process, the bite victim could experience infection or scarring.
These injuries could occur on the leg or arm, but they can also happen to the neck, head, and face, causing life-altering disfigurement. When this happens, dog bite victims can experience psychological and emotional trauma from the experience.
Rottweiler Safety Tips
Responsible dog owners educate themselves on responsible ownership and take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their dog and those who could potentially interact with it. This starts with the professional training of the dog. When trained, a dog should listen to the owner’s commands, ensuring the owner is in control of the dog and the situation.
Do not allow children to approach or play with dogs without supervision. Children are unpredictable and can make sudden loud noises, startling a dog and causing them to react unpredictably.
Rottweiler owners need to begin socializing their puppies at an early age. The owner needs to become the leader of the pack and prevent the Rottweiler from thinking it rules the house. This helps to temper the protective and territorial traits. In addition, proper socialization helps to raise a friendlier dog that will be more trusting of strangers, making them less likely to be aggressive toward people they do not know.
Rottweilers are intelligent and can learn to recognize regular guests. Always supervise first introductions and never allow a stranger to surprise your Rottweiler in their territory. Teach individuals the proper method of meeting a dog; this helps to put the dog at ease and be more welcoming to new people.
Speak With a Lawyer About Your Dog Bite Injury
If you have experienced a dog bite from a Rottweiler, you can seek compensation from the owner for your injuries. After receiving medical care, your next step is gathering all the relevant information and evidence of your dog bite injury. The lawyers at Goodin Abernathy are here to help you through the legal process. Our experience representing dog bite victims helps us fight for your rights.
Falls account for one in three construction site accident deaths. However, not all accidents are so extreme that they result in death. For many people, their injuries include bruises, cuts, broken bones, and concussions. However, it doesn’t matter if the injury is minor or severe. If it impacts your ability to work, it affects your life and family. The lawyers at Goodin Abernathy understand that a construction injury can be a life-altering accident. They fight hard to secure their clients just compensation for their injuries.
The most cited OSHA safety regulation violation is the lack of fall protection on construction sites. Completed buildings have several safety features in place to protect people from falling. Buildings that are in the construction process do not have these features installed yet. This and the very nature of working up high puts construction workers at a greater risk of falling. For example, from ladders, rooftops, scaffolding, or large machinery. When you fall from a tall height, your body is at risk of breaking bones and bruising upon impact.
Other common causes of broken bones are struck-by accidents or crush accidents. This is when the construction worker gets struck by or crushed by a vehicle, machinery, or equipment. Broken bones can take months to heal, then require many more months of rehab. In some situations, the victim may never fully regain the functionality of their broken limb.
Because construction sites are buildings in progress, they have an increased risk of electrocution. Exposed wiring and generators present a risk by exposing construction workers to electricity. Then there is the use of power tools and electrical equipment as an everyday part of the job. If these tools are not properly maintained, they can have an electrical short that injures the user. Finally, excavation and site trenching activities can result in a construction worker unknowingly hitting buried electrical wires. When someone experiences electrocution, they can experience nerve damage, respiratory problems, seizures, and brain damage. These injuries could be short-term or long-lasting, depending on the severity of the electrocution.
Knee and Ankle Injury
Construction sites are not easy places to walk. Building materials, equipment, and tools are strewn about. Then there is the uneven ground, holes, and trenches. Navigating this minefield of potential danger can sometimes result in a slip or trip and fall. When this happens, knee and ankle injuries also occur. Minor injuries may require the injured worker to stay off their foot for weeks or months. More serious injuries could require surgery.
Sometimes back injuries happen from falls, being struck by, or being caught in-between accidents. But they can also occur from over-exertion. Simply being required to carry or move equipment that is too heavy for you can cause a back injury. These injuries can debilitate a person, rendering them unable to sit or stand for extended periods of time. Recovery can require rest and physical therapy to heal and strengthen the back muscles.
Head and Brain Injury
There is a reason construction workers wear hard hats. Even a minor bump to the head can cause a head or brain injury. Head injuries are tricky; minor injuries rarely cause long-term problems. However, severe injuries can create extensive complications that are long-lasting. If a construction worker suffers a head injury, they should get checked by a doctor. The most common type of injury is a concussion. Recovery requires rest, which can keep you from work. In contrast, severe head injuries can impact speech, coordination, seizures, and cognitive thought. Effects can directly impact the victim’s ability to function and prevent them from going back to work.
Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury occurs when a sudden and traumatic blow to your spine causes your spinal bones to crush, compress, or dislocate. This movement of the bones damages the spinal cord located within them. Because your spinal cord is a tight bundle of nerves that acts as a central command center for your body, these injuries can have far-reaching effects. You could experience minor numbness or total paralysis. Injury to your spinal cord is permanent. This type of injury is life-altering and affects every part of a construction worker’s life.
Asbestos and lead were once commonly found in construction. These materials are harmful to the human body. Construction workers who work on an older building could be exposed to these hazards. However, they aren’t the only dangers that can cause illness. Construction workers exposed to toxins, chemicals, solvents, and pesticides are at risk of suffering illness. This type of injury is more challenging to prove liability for. Unlike physical injuries, illness does not always happen right away. Sometimes, it can take years for the illness to become known. If you worked in construction and suspect that your illness is a result, consider speaking with a personal injury attorney.
Loss of Limb
In some caught in-between accidents, a construction worker may lose a limb. This happens when the victim gets caught where they shouldn’t be. The limb gets caught, causing it to get crushed. Another common occurrence is the loss of a finger or toe. Fingers can easily get caught in the way of a sharp blade. Toes can become injured when heavy equipment or building supplies get dropped on the foot. Depending on the limb lost, this injury can prevent the construction worker from continuing to work in the construction industry.
Internal Organ Damage
Being caught between, crushing, and fall accidents can have a devastating impact on the human body. While external damages are readily assessed, internal organ damage can lead to potentially life-threatening complications. Surgery may be required to repair the injury and stop bleeding. It can then take months or over a year for the individual to heal. During this time, they may not be able to work.
Hire a Goodin Abernathy LLP Lawyer
The Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys handle worker’s compensation and negligence claims for clients injured on construction sites. These two legal claims involve difficult issues in which the Goodin Abernathy attorneys are experienced taking to court and fighting for our clients’ recoveries. A “work comp” case involves making a claim against the worker’s employer for statutory benefit. These include medical treatment, lost wages and physical impairment.
A “negligence” claim is the second legal area that many attorneys are not as experienced in handling. In certain situations, an injured worker can make legal claims against general contractors, project supervisors, project owners or other services typically involved in a construction project. Especially in death, amputation or serious injuries, we need to make sure our clients exhaust their legal remedies and collect the damages they are entitled to under the law. That’s why we help our clients recover more money for damages through negligence cases compared to only going after a work comp claim. In serious injuries, amputations or death claims, call the Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys right away. We care about our clients, their families and supporting them with first-rate representation.
Do not wait to seek treatment if you’ve experienced an injury while working on a construction site. Once you have a diagnosis and treatment plan, consider speaking with a lawyer. The team at Goodin Abernathy has experience representing injured construction workers. They fight for the compensation they deserve to ensure they have financial security.