In the United States alone, construction workers face some of the most dangerous working conditions of any profession. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that fatal injuries in private construction are almost six times higher than the national average for all industries. Construction workers who sustain catastrophic injuries may require extended care, long-term monitoring, and home or work environment modifications. Fatal injuries also have numerous financial implications for short-term recovery costs, long-term medical expenses, and lost wages from time off work and career changes.
What Constitutes a Catastrophic Injury?
Based on the nature of construction work and the injuries, it is hard for construction sites to maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The insurance is designed to ensure that the injured worker receives medical care and their family receives financial compensation for lost wages. One of the primary reasons construction sites are hard to insure the potential for fraudulent claims. The industry also tends to employ high-risk workers who are likely to sustain injuries. As a result, construction sites often pay higher premiums for workers’ compensation coverage.
Financial Consequences of a Catastrophic Construction Site Injury
A catastrophic injury on a construction site can have serious financial consequences for an injured worker and their family. A workers’ compensation claim typically covers medical costs, a portion of lost wages, and a portion of out-of-pocket expenses such as travel costs to treatment appointments. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation benefits are severely limited. In most states, injured workers’ compensation benefits cost $100,000. Most construction workers are self-employed and do not have workers’ compensation coverage.
Physical and Emotional Consequences
A catastrophic injury on a construction site will likely result in significant physical and emotional pain and suffering. Depending on the injury’s nature and the impairment’s extent, an injured worker may require long-term medical care and ongoing treatment. Some injuries require lifelong care, such as back or neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, or cancer treatments. As injured workers recover from the injury, they may experience anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. These conditions may make it difficult or impossible to work or even to look for work.
Legal Steps to Take After Suffering from a Catastrophic Construction Site Injury
After suffering from a catastrophic injury on a construction site, it is essential to understand the worker’s legal rights and take initiative of finding construction accident lawyers for your case. Some injured workers may also be able to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or supplemental insurance through a private disability insurance policy. Disability benefits are usually awarded to individuals who cannot work due to a medical condition. Getting approved for SSDI can be a lengthy process that often includes providing proof of disability and an inability to work through various medical tests. An injured worker must file a workers’ compensation claim or a disability claim with the appropriate state agency to receive benefits.
A catastrophic injury on a construction site can result in significant injuries and long-term financial implications. After sustaining a catastrophic injury, your safety and well-being are the most critical factors to consider. Although it may be tempting to push through the pain and return to work as soon as possible, it is crucial to take the time to heal from the injury to reduce the risk of long-term complications. When injured workers have the proper resources and assistance, they can recover from their injuries and go on to live productive lives.