Why Construction Site Accident Investigation Reports Are Important For Your Case
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, knowledge is power. It is important to have an advocate representing your interests who is knowledgeable, experienced and capable.
In order to ensure that you are not taken advantage of and that you receive all of the benefits and compensation that you are entitled to, you must first determine who is at fault for your injuries and whether you can prove fault.
The process of discovery, or in other words, an investigation is the most critical part of the legal process. It is important to understand how a qualified construction accident attorney would go about evaluating your case and compiling the facts.
Per occupational safety regulations, the construction industry will conduct an accident investigation after construction site accidents happen.
Then, they will produce a construction incident report regarding how the incident occurred, medical treatment given, the injured person, details on the construction project, unsafe conditions, etc. Project management teams might perform them differently at different construction sites, but the basic process applies.
You need to learn about this process, because it could dictate which interested parties are deemed at fault for the incident by regulatory bodies. Also, the injured person should immediately investigate the construction site to determine if the construction incident report is accurate even if just a minor accident.
How Serious Construction Site Accidents Occur
Worker hazards are everywhere. Simple unsafe acts can lead to occupational injury which will require medical treatment at the incident site. Have safety in mind at the beginning so incident near misses don't get worse and demand first aid or more.
However, this is how most workers incidents do occur and cause harm at the job site:
- Slips, Trips, Falls
- Repetitive stress
- Vehicle collision
- Equipment malfunctions
- Chemical lead or other hazards
- Floor collapse
- Improper scaffold construction
The form and severity of these incidents is all magnified if carried out into the future by increased use. This should be accounted for by the investigating engineer at the site who is handling the incident report as well.
Remember, multiple factors go into what safety standards or other equipment is required and implemented, often from the state's health administration. The goal is always improving safety and preventing accidents like those listed above so take them seriously.
Workers health and safety is key at a construction site. First aid should be rendered immediately after the accident to treat the injury or injuries.
Then, analysis, corrective actions, and factual data findings should be used to prevent another incident, even incident near misses. This will target the incident root cause and create a safer environment if done in the right form.
Construction Incident Report for a Serious Construction Accident
Professional opinions will generally identify and describe the incident, injury, or injuries. These will then be put into a formal report after the accident. This is often referred to as a construction incident report. It can include the following items:
- What harm or manifested from the work site incidents
- Severity of injuries suffered including death
- Who was involved in the incidents
- A description of the site building and layout
- Was the risk accounted for or predicted by the company's health and safety protocols
- The effectiveness of the company or management compliance report program to lower future incidents or death
- What medical treatment was rendered and if they were taken to a hospital
How the accident or multiple incidents were investigated will say a lot about whether a worker, employee, management was liable for it. You should investigate the safety risk or worker incident. This will protect your future rights.
What to Do After a Construction Accident Occurs
You can be taking important steps while accidents and injuries are being investigated at the incident site and a construction incident report is being written. This will help you now and in the future.
First, get first aid and other medical attention nearby where you got the injury in the first place. You need to attend to your injuries first and foremost. This will stop them from getting worse and create a record of how the accidents affected you.
Second, make a note of what you remember about the events. Your initial impressions might be the best source of history.
Third, work with professionals to review the safety risk and see what went wrong. You cannot completely assume everything in it will be right or that it will be comprehensive.
Fourth, avoid contact with whoever caused the accident. They will try to get you to admit fault, deny your injuries, or otherwise weaken your legal case and ability to get compensation.
Even a small risk of an accident can lead to a real event that causes large medical bills, pain, property damage, and more. If this happens, the construction accident report will shape who gets blamed, who can recover, and much more.
Gaining Access to the Scene of the Accident
Initiating an investigation early will give your attorney the best chance of gathering important and relevant evidence and delaying the investigation only increases the likelihood of evidence being lost.
A capable construction site accident lawyer will seek access to the construction site as early as possible and may rely on the opinions and expertise of those who specialize in accident reconstruction. Any evidence or testimony that will establish cause or fault will be gathered and documented during this initial process.
Establishing Fault on the Responsible Parties
There are numerous ways in which liability or fault can be established and multiple parties may have contributing influence in the events leading up to an accident. The following forms of liability or causes of an accident are evaluated when an attorney performs his or her investigation.
- Negligence— any act or failure to act that breaches a person’s duty of care is considered negligence. The duty of care is simply what a responsible person in the same position would do or refrain from doing under similar circumstances. It is important to note that intent has no bearing on negligence and someone can make an innocent mistake and still be considered negligent.
- Vicarious liability— the actions of employees reflect upon their employers and businesses can be held accountable for the actions of their employees, especially if those actions are reflective of company policy.
- Product liability— defective tools, machinery or equipment may be the cause of an accident or a contributing factor in causing an employee to commit a negligent action. When this is the case, the manufacturer can bear some or all of the liability for the accident that ensues.
- Adherence to laws and standards— far too many accidents are simply symptoms of a company’s failure to follow safety laws or enact safety standards mandated by OSHA. Discovering these violations can help establish cause and fault while simultaneously providing the hard evidence needed to win your case.
Working With Your Employer and Insurance Carriers
While performing an investigation of your construction accident, your attorney will work with both your employer and any insurance carrier who has a stake in the outcome of the investigation.
If an insurance company has paid a claim or made a payment to your medical providers, this claim may impact the value of your settlement. This is true because the insurance company will seek to recover its costs in the event you receive damages.
It is also important to understand the terms and limits of your worker’s compensation benefits. This is so you do not inadvertently do anything that would hurt your ability to file a claim or reduce the amount of compensation you are owed.
An experienced attorney will help you avoid all of the legal pitfalls that stand to diminish the value of your case.
Talk to Our Construction Lawyers Right After an Incident
The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is an established and reputable law firm that has a track record of success representing workers who have been injured on the job in various incidents.
We would be happy to answer your questions about your rights and legal options during a free consultation. No matter the severity or form of harm, we can review your options and claims.
It is important that you act quickly in order to allow us to gather all of the information vital to building your case and increasing its value like a construction incident report. We will be happy to evaluate your case risk free.
Our lawyers only collect payment upon successfully securing compensation on your behalf; if we are unable to help you then our services are free. Give us a call today to see what relief and recovery might be possible for you and your family. Let us fight for you.