A construction site accident may give an injured victim legal recourse through a variety of sources. If you’re hurt in a construction site accident, you may be able to make a claim through workers’ compensation or traditional negligence.
How to make your claim depends on the responsible party and whether you’re an employee at the time of the accident. You will also likely want to work with a personal injury attorney to ensure you get the compensation you need after your accident. Here’s what you should know about construction site accidents.
Construction Site Accident Attorneys in Nevada
Construction site accident victims may receive compensation in numerous ways. Workers’ compensation, disability, and negligence claims may all apply to construction site accidents. There are some special considerations in a construction site accident that victims should be aware of to file their claim. For example, there may be shortened time windows to report the accident. The victim may need to submit an internal report with their employer.
When you’re hurt in a construction site accident, the immediate response is to summon medical help, take photographs of the accident scene, and gather names of witnesses. In many cases, the victim is too injured to take photos or preserve evidence, and that’s okay. Getting immediate medical attention is the place to begin after a construction accident.
Construction Accident Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you’re an employee of any company when you’re hurt in a construction accident, a written, internal complaint is critical to begin the workers’ compensation process. A workers’ compensation claim may be beneficial in that the victim doesn’t typically have to prove how the accident occurred or that the accident was someone else’s fault. Workers’ compensation is available to employees who get hurt on the job, but the injured victim must file a written report of the accident to make a claim.
Construction Accident Negligence Claims
In the case of construction site accidents, an accident victim shouldn’t stop at making an initial workers’ compensation claim. Even if the victim deserves workers’ compensation, there may also be the opportunity to bring a claim against a responsible third party. In construction work, there may be numerous contractors, businesses, individuals, and other parties coming and going from the site. If a third party is responsible for the accident, the victim may pursue a third-party negligence claim.
A negligence claim has advantages in that the victim may claim pain and suffering and emotional damages whereas, in a workers’ compensation claim, victim compensation is more limited to economic damages. But in a workers’ compensation claim, the victim doesn’t have to prove negligence to win compensation. Each type of claim has advantages.
A victim may be able to make one or both types of claims. An experienced injury attorney can help a victim determine the best claims process. It’s important to work very quickly because of short time limitations that may apply to workers’ compensation claims.
Types of Construction Accidents in Nevada
Many types of construction accidents may give rise to a legal claim in Nevada. Some of the causes of construction accidents giving rise to legal liability include:
- Not following safety measures
- Worn out or missing safety equipment
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Working on elevated surfaces
- Unexpected sparks or fires
- Toxic chemical spills
- Intentional mishandling of tools and goods
- Too few employees to perform the work
Workers’ Compensation and Employee Illegal Substance Use
One word of caution when it comes to workers’ compensation payments in construction accidents is that payment may be denied when substance abuse is the cause of worker injuries. Nevada Revised Statute 616C.230(1)(d) says that a workers’ compensation insurer may deny compensation when an accident occurs because of substance use. When an injured worker tests positive for an illegal substance, there’s a presumption under Nevada law that the accident happened because of the substance use.
The substance use rule was challenged in 2004 in the Nevada Supreme Court case Desert Valley Construction and Employers Insurance Company of Nevada v. Hurley. In the Desert Valley Construction case, a worker fell off a scaffold and suffered injuries. The worker subsequently tested positive for a marijuana metabolite. Although the insurance company initially denied benefits, the Nevada Supreme Court overturned the decision. The Court said that the worker had sufficient proof that the accident did not occur because of the worker’s substance use.
Even though the worker in the Desert Valley Construction case ultimately won his claim, the case became more complicated because of his substance use. Typically, the worker can receive workers’ compensation without having to prove that the accident isn’t their fault. However, when substance abuse is involved, the worker bears the burden of proving their case. A case complication can even take the case all the way to the Nevada Supreme Court. The best policy is for workers to avoid illegal substance use and comply with all of the other requirements of their employment.
The Construction Accident Claims Process
The claims process for a construction accident depends on whether you pursue a workers’ compensation claim, a negligence claim or both types of claims. If you file a workers’ compensation claim, there may be administrative hearings and court hearings. Administrative hearings have different rules than traditional court proceedings.
A negligence claim involves the traditional court process that includes filing court documents. When you’re hurt in a construction site accident, following the appropriate claims process is instrumental in getting the relief that you deserve.
Work With Our Nevada Injury Attorneys
Have you been injured in a construction accident? There are things that you can do to claim fair compensation. You may have just suffered injuries and need to begin the claims process. You may need to appeal an unfavorable ruling. Wherever you’re at in the claims process, our experienced attorneys for personal injury in Nevada can help.
Our team has years of experience helping deserving accident victims find relief. We can help you negotiate the claims process and pursue your claim in a way that’s calculated to bring you the maximum relief. Contact our team today to talk about your case and begin to take steps to file your claims. We look forward to hearing from you.