Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the workplace, seeing thousands of injuries every year in sites across the country. While much of the responsibility for safety rests on your employer’s shoulders, you can also protect yourself by being more aware of what causes construction injuries and what you should do if you are involved in a construction accident.
Some of the top causes of injury in the construction industry are falls, trench or scaffold collapses, electrical hazards, machinery accidents, misuse or lack of protective equipment and repeated motions, which can lead to neck, back or wrist injuries. While work conditions may inevitably put you into these situations sometimes, there are steps that can be taken to reduce risks.
What happens if I’m injured at work?
If you do happen to be injured, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Louisiana has a law that all employers must have workers’ compensation insurance to cover on-the-job injuries. If an employer is not insured or they force you to pay for workers’ compensation insurance, you can report this to the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration. This behavior is illegal.
Workers’ compensation covers physical injuries and also some mental injury, if the mental injury is caused by a physical injury or results from sudden, extreme stress. For example, if you witnessed a coworker endure severe injury on the job and you suffer from PTSD afterwards, you may be able to claim mental injury.
What if my employer denies my medical treatment?
Even though employers must carry workers’ comp insurance, they will often try to disprove that your injury is the result of your job duties or they will offer less than you truly need to cover your medical bills. When pursuing workers’ compensation, a skilled workers’ comp attorney can assist you in the filing process and in getting the full compensation you deserve.
Will I be able to return to my job once I recover?
In Louisiana, there is no law stating that an employer must hold your position for you or give you another job when you return after an injury. However, you cannot be fired because you filed for workers’ compensation. If you were terminated and you believe seeking workers’ comp benefits was the reason, it may be wise to consult with an attorney about your options going forward.