Episode 11: Calloway County injury attorney Jeff Roberts discusses construction accidents and injuries during today’s podcast episode. These often qualify for workers’ compensation and possibly social security disability and a sometimes a 3rd party personal injury claim. He can handle all of it for his clients.
Construction accidents happen to home builders, but also bridge builders, roadway and highway construction workers and other commercial contractors.
3rd Party Negligence Claim
This situation occurs when a worker is injured by someone other than a co-worker. For instance, if a driver on the road causes a collision and a crew member is injured, that victim would have a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party negligence claim. The negligence claim would typically be a claim against the person causing the accident and/or injury.
Third-party claims can also result from an injury on a jobsite caused by a deliver driver or other party. An example would be if a construction worker were injured by the actions/inactions of a sub-contractor or other party.
Should an Attorney Handle Your Workers’ Comp, SSDI and an Injury Claim?
It’s not uncommon for attorneys to focus in certain areas of the law. For this reason, many may not handle workers’ compensation, social security disability and personal injury. However, Jeff Roberts does. He and his staff are very familiar with all 3 systems.
Is This Helpful to the Client?
Jeff believes there is an advantage to his client. Certain expenses to the case (e.g. obtaining medical records, etc.) will not be duplicated by having multiple law firms involved. Additionally, the claims can managed in a way to best benefit the client. Personal injury claims can take time to resolve and any payments may be several months or even years down the road. The workers’ compensation temporary total disability payments (TTD) may be able to begin while the injured person is waiting for the overall case(s) to be resolved.
If Jeff Roberts is handling the various claims for a client, he can coordinate the management of the claim as well as offering a central point of contact for communication about the status of the claims. This enables his clients to focus on healing and getting back to work, instead of trying to figure out which attorney has which part of the process.
Some cases involve OSHA claims. Knowing the regulations and being able to determine if a safety violation occurred. Jeff has experienced dealing with OSHA claims on behalf of his clients. If it’s determined that an OSHA violation occurred, resulting in injury, it can have a significant impact on the value of the workers’ comp and the negligent 3rd party claims. This factor may increase the value of the claim by up to 30%. This can be an OSHA violation or an internal safety policy violation. The 30% increase may apply to the weekly TTD payments and the permanent disability payment.
Seasonal Workers and Migrant Workers
Kentucky workers’ compensation law may apply to your case if you are a seasonal worker or migrant worker. Not all employment is covered by workers’ comp. Agriculture has an exclusion, but federal law does require employers to cover migrant workers. In the construction field and in some factories, Kentucky workers’ compensation benefits are typically available, regardless of where you actually live or your documented status.
Jeff Roberts has represented a number of migrant farm workers who live in Mexico and other countries. The injuries they sustained resulted in benefits being paid to them, even though they have returned home. Jeff briefly discusses how he was able to get the insurance company to set up direct deposit to avoid sending benefit checks internationally.
Common Construction Accidents
- Strains and tears
- Neck and back injuries
- Injuries to hands and arms by the equipment
- Trips resulting in injuries to knees and ankles
- Falls from roofs, scaffolding and scissor lifts
- Collisions with equipment and vehicles
- Injuries during welding or working with concrete
- Electrical injuries resulting in electrocutions and burns
What Should I Do if I’m Hurt on the Job?
Under Kentucky law, you are required to give notice to your employer as soon as you can. This doesn’t mean you have to do it immediately, but sooner is better. You should also seek medical treatment. Again, if you wait a significant length of time, the company may argue that the injury/pain may have been caused by something else or you would have gone sooner.
Make sure you tell your doctor or nurse that you are there for a work injury. It’s important to get that statement into the medical documentation. If they prescribe rehabilitation or recommend additional treatment, you should follow through with it. Gaps in treatment or refusing your doctor’s recommendation can work against you.
Finally, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your situation, options and your rights.
I’m Worried My Employer Might Retaliate Against Me if I File a Claim
Retaliation can happen in numerous ways. If you are fired because your employer had to file a workers’ compensation incident report, this is against the law. If they terminate you because you hired an attorney, they are breaking the law. There are many tactics the company might try to do to make the situation uncomfortable for you. Not every tactic is illegal, but you should discuss the issues with your attorney. You are generally entitled to protection from retaliation by your employer, this includes injuries resulting from construction accidents.
For more information, visit www.JeffRobertsLaw.com. This podcast is meant to provide information and is not legal advice. Jeff’s principal office is located at 509 Main Street, Murray, Kentucky. Co-host Jim Ray is a non-attorney spokesperson. This is an advertisement.