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Construction Accident Attorney in Columbia, Missouri

The construction industry exposes workers to unique hazards on the job due to the nature of construction work. Heavy equipment, exposure to hazardous conditions, heights, and other dangers can result in serious injuries if an accident occurs. These injuries may take construction workers off the job for weeks or months as they recover, and in some cases, they may be unable to resume their careers.

Missouri’s workers’ compensation program can help injured construction workers by providing certain benefits as they recover. In some cases, workers may also be able to pursue compensation through a third-party personal injury lawsuit. But determining the most beneficial course of action can be challenging, especially when you’re dealing with the physical effects of an injury.

Holland Injury Law, LLC, can help you explore your legal options and assist in the process of securing workers’ comp benefits. When you retain a Columbia, Missouri, construction accident attorney from our firm, we’ll work to ensure your rights are safeguarded and fight for the compensation and other benefits you deserve. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.

How Do Construction Accidents Happen?

Because construction sites vary in their size and scope, they also present a variety of potential hazards. Some of the most common causes of accidents on construction sites include:

  • Falls
  • Heavy equipment accidents
  • Electrocution
  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Tool accidents
  • Being caught between objects
  • Being hit by falling objects
  • Being knocked over by swaying or moving objects
  • Ladder and scaffolding accidents
  • Hazardous material or chemical exposure

It’s important to note that workers’ compensation claims are not dependent upon negligence, as is the case with third-party injury claims. How an accident occurred generally matters less than the fact that it happened while you were on the job and performing your work duties.

What to Do After a Construction Accident in Columbia, Missouri

The actions you take after a construction site accident can affect your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. Failure to follow proper procedures and protect yourself can result in a denied workers’ comp claim or an award that’s less than you deserve, making it harder for you to move forward. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take after a construction accident to protect your rights and improve your chances of recovering maximum compensation.

Protecting yourself begins with reporting the accident in writing to your employer. Under Missouri law, you technically have 30 days to report the accident and your injury, but try to do so as soon as possible. It’s critical that you establish an official record of the accident, as failure to do so can compromise your ability to pursue workers’ comp benefits.

Just as urgent is seeking medical care for your injury, which may require surgery, prescription medication, physical therapy, and other measures. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan to the letter to improve your chances of making a physical recovery, as well as to strengthen your claim. Keep all medical records, as they are essential evidence that will help your attorney.

In addition to your medical records, you’ll also want to make sure you document the accident with photographs, notes, eyewitness contact information, and any other evidence that can help strengthen your workers’ comp or third-party claim.

Finally, contact a Columbia, Missouri, construction accident lawyer who can review the evidence, help you pursue a workers’ compensation claim, and determine whether or not you have grounds to file a third-party claim. Your attorney will be available to guide you through every stage of these complex processes.

The Legal Processes After a Construction Accident

Working with a construction accident lawyer near Columbia, Missouri, is essential for two key reasons. First, when you’re recovering from a worksite injury, you need to be able to focus on your physical recovery, not on trying to navigate the workers’ compensation system. Retaining an attorney gives you the time and space you deserve to heal.

Second, you need an experienced lawyer because workers’ comp and third-party claims are complicated processes. Your construction accident attorney will be familiar with how these systems work and will understand the steps involved in researching, preparing, and filing a claim. They’ll understand and be able to explain your rights and the steps required to protect them.

Since you were injured at work, you likely have the right to file a claim through Missouri’s workers’ comp program. Your attorney will file this claim and handle all negotiations with your employer’s insurance company to pursue fair and full compensation for your injuries and other losses.

The insurer may make a settlement offer. Make sure this goes through your attorney, as one common insurance company tactic is to extend an offer to an injured worker directly, hoping they’ll be desperate and uninformed enough to accept it. These offers are often less than injured workers deserve.

If the insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer, your case may wind up being heard by an administrative law judge. If their decision doesn’t go your way, your lawyer can file an application for review with the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission. Your attorney will be prepared for this possibility and will present the evidence to argue on your behalf.

Depending on the circumstances of the accident that caused your injury, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party. For example, if your accident resulted from an equipment defect or negligence on the part of a contractor, you may be able to pursue compensation from them. This can be beneficial, as workers’ comp doesn’t cover all losses associated with workplace accidents.

How Much Compensation Can I Receive After a Construction Accident?

The amount of compensation you may be able to recover following a construction site accident depends on several key factors, particularly the extent of your injuries, your prospects for making a physical recovery, and the extent to which the injuries have limited your ability to work.

In Missouri, workers’ compensation benefits cover your medical costs arising from the accident. They also pay two-thirds of your average weekly earnings while you’re healing. If you’re able to work in a reduced capacity, workers’ comp will provide partial disability payments on a temporary basis. In the event of permanent partial disability, the program will pay benefits up to a set maximum. If you’re permanently and totally disabled, the program will pay weekly benefits for life.

If you’re eligible to pursue a personal injury claim against a third party, the amount of compensation you may be able to recover increases. Workers’ comp doesn’t cover losses such as pain and suffering and reduced quality of life, but you can seek compensation for these losses through a third-party claim. Additionally, a third-party lawsuit allows you to pursue compensation for the full value of any lost income or loss of future earning potential.

Your construction accident attorney near Columbia, Missouri, will determine how much compensation to pursue and through which processes, with the goal of recovering the maximum available amount.

Contact a Columbia, Missouri, Construction Accident Lawyer Today

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