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Rehabilitation and Recovery After a Construction Accident

Construction workers have always faced difficult working conditions, but they have the right to be provided with the safest working environment possible. When injured on the job, construction workers often have a difficult time recovering, both physically and financially. 

construction industry

Indiana wouldn’t have its beautiful buildings, homes, roads, and infrastructure without the hard work of people in the construction industry. Even though construction workplace safety has improved over time, there are still risks to working in construction zones. 

When employers, coworkers, municipalities, or other individuals behave negligently and cause an accident at a construction site, it can be life-changing for the injured party. Rehabilitation and recovery after a construction accident can be incredibly difficult–and shockingly expensive.

After a construction site accident, you need a clear roadmap for navigating the complex legal and practical aftermath. Let’s take a look at what you need to know to start on the path toward recovery. 

What You Need to Know About Rehabilitation and Recovery After a Construction Accident 

Construction accidents are expensive and life-altering. 

Some common injuries include: 

  • Falling from heights (ladders, scaffolding, roofs, etc.)
  • Being struck by falling objects or debris
  • Electrocution from exposed wiring or power lines
  • Getting caught in or crushed by heavy equipment or machinery
  • Injuries from trench or excavation collapses
  • Burns from fires, explosions, or hazardous materials
  • Repetitive motion injuries (back strains, carpal tunnel, etc.)
  • Losing limb(s) from amputation accidents
  • Head and brain injuries 
  • Hearing loss from excessive noise exposure and lack of ear protection
  • Developing lung diseases from inhaling toxic fumes or dust
  • Broken bones from slips, trips, and falls
  • Eye injuries from flying particles or debris
  • Cuts and lacerations from power tools or other equipment

If your accident was caused by someone’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. 

Negligent parties may include: 

  • The construction company or general contractor overseeing the project
  • Subcontractors who were hired to perform specific tasks on-site
  • Manufacturers of defective tools and equipment
  • Property owners of the construction site
  • Architects or engineers involved in faulty project design
  • Third-party inspectors who fail to ensure total safety compliance
  • Other construction workers whose negligence contributed to the accident
  • Materials suppliers if faulty materials led to an equipment failure
  • Utilities companies if the accident involved underground lines
  • Government entities that make decisions related to the construction of public projects

It is also possible for multiple parties to be responsible. An experienced personal injury attorney can help identify the responsible party or parties to hold them accountable. 

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Laws

indiana employers

Most employers in Indiana are required by state law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage provides benefits to employees who are injured on the job. 

The construction industry is in the top 10 industries for workers’ compensation claims. When approved, a workers’ compensation claim covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages during an injured party’s recovery. 

These are a few important things to know about workers’ compensation claims in Indiana:

  1. Employees generally cannot sue their employer directly for additional damages, even if the employer was negligent in causing the construction accident. 
  2. Workers’ compensation is based on a no-fault system, and employees receive benefits regardless of who is responsible. 
  3. Employees can sue other third parties, aside from their employer. This includes contractors, subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, property owners, and other involved parties. 

4 Steps to Take After a Construction Accident 

Deciding what to do after an accident can be overwhelming. Every accident is different, and your injuries may range from minor to catastrophic. Even “small” injuries can still be expensive, especially if you needed emergency medical treatment or had to miss work for any amount of time. 

Step 1: Seek Medical Attention

The first and most crucial step after a construction accident is to seek immediate medical attention, regardless of how serious or minor you perceive your injuries to be. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately. Also, shock and adrenaline can cause injured people to underestimate the seriousness of the damage their body has experienced. 

Seeking prompt medical attention will ensure that you get the care that you need. Additionally, it will establish a crucial record of your condition at the time of the accident. 

Step 2: Report the Accident to Your Employer

Reporting the incident to your employer within 30 days is a legal requirement in Indiana for anyone who plans to file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation is a program designed to protect injured workers in the aftermath of an injury caused by their job. 

Unfortunately, workers’ compensation doesn’t always cover all of the expenses associated with your injuries. You may face additional expenses related to your work. 

Step 3: Document the Accident & Gather Evidence

When it comes to documenting your accident, there is one rule you need to follow: document everything. 

The more you can document, the stronger your case for compensation. 

These are some of the standard pieces of evidence that we encourage our clients to collect and keep:

  • Documentation from the scene of the accident
  • Photos and videos of the accident
  • Photos and videos of your injuries
  • Witness statements
  • Records of medical treatments
  • Lost wages 
  • Other expenses 

Each of these things can establish liability and/or substantiate the extent of your damages. 

Step 4: Understand Your Rights & Retain Legal Counsel

Construction accidents are often complicated situations, with multiple parties potentially being liable. Consulting an experienced construction accident attorney is highly recommended because most people aren’t able to successfully advocate for themselves without experienced legal help. 

A personal injury attorney who specializes in rehabilitation and recovery after a construction accident can: 

  • Explain your rights
  • Investigate the accident
  • Help you collect evidence
  • Articulate a strong argument regarding who was responsible for the accident
  • Negotiate with any insurance companies 
  • File legal documents with the courts
  • Prepare your case for trial as needed

FAQ | Rehabilitation and Recovery After a Construction Accident

Can I sue my employer after a construction accident? 

Under Indiana law, you cannot directly sue your employer for negligence. However, you may be eligible to pursue claims against the third parties whose negligence contributed to your accident. Your workers’ compensation attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to determine liability. 

What kind of damages can I collect from a construction accident? 

The damages you collect are dependent upon the specific details of your accident. 

Although we cannot provide an estimate of how much you could collect without learning about your case, these are some of the most common types of damages our clients collect:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical and occupational therapy expenses
  • Missed wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Permanent disability 
  • Wrongful death

How do I choose the right Indiana construction accident attorney? 

Selecting the right legal representation for your workers’ compensation case is essential in protecting your rights and maximizing the compensation you can receive. 

We recommend that you prioritize experience, knowledge, and empathy. You need an experienced attorney who has a proven track record of success, a knowledgeable attorney who understands the ins and outs of construction accident law in Indiana, and an empathetic attorney who will support you through this difficult time. 

Crossen Law Firm Helps with Rehabilitation and Recovery After a Construction Accident

At Crossen Law Firm, we understand that experiencing a construction accident can be overwhelming. You shouldn’t have to go through this alone. 

By following the guidance we have provided in this article, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome, either through a negotiated settlement or a court case. Crossen Law Firm offers construction accident victims in Indiana compassionate, knowledgeable legal support through the workers’ compensation process and beyond. 

Contact us for a free case consultation by calling 317-401-8626 so that we can get to know you and what you have gone through. Let us protect your rights and help you recover from your injuries.