Getting hurt on a construction job is a big deal. An injury can affect your livelihood, your long-term health and finances, your family stability and your emotional state. But it can be hard to know if you're taking all the right steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.
People will have different opinions about what you should do after you get hurt, and you will have many questions: How long will it take to recover? How will you pay the bills in the meantime? Will workers' comp cover everything? What doctor should you see? Will your employer make things difficult for you? Who should you talk to? Do you need an attorney?
When you need a lawyer
Some construction injuries are resolved through simple, cut-and-dried workers' compensation cases. Other situations are not so simple, particularly when third-party liability (where a third party, i.e., someone besides your employer or your co-employee, may be responsible) is a factor. The key is to know which is which.
As a worker without legal training, you may not know if a third-party claim could be part of your case. If a lawyer without any training in construction work thought he could do what you do for a living, you would laugh! Odds are that the lawyer would screw up. Well, it would be the same thing if you decided to handle your own claim without an experienced lawyer to represent you. Getting professional advice will help you understand your rights and keep you from missing out on maximum money damages.
Better safe than sorry
If you have been seriously injured in an accident, talking to an attorney is always a good idea. You may be surprised to learn that you have a case that could lead to much higher compensation for you and your family, OR you may be advised to simply file a workers' comp claim. Either way, it is better to be safe than sorry.
In general, construction injury lawyers charge no fee for an injury consultation, and they only get paid after you are paid. And by law, the consultation is confidential: An attorney is not allowed to tell your employer that you came to them for advice. The worst thing that could happen is that you spend a few minutes on a phone call.