Construction workers have tough jobs and we applaud them for everything they do. However, they do have more risk of injury than most workers. If they are forced to operate without proper equipment or training, their employers should be held accountable.
At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., we are here to help if you have been injured in a construction incident that was caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness. When you need a Philadelphia construction accident attorney, let us get to work on securing the compensation you deserve.
A Risky Environment
It is no secret that construction jobs are inherently more risky than other jobs. That is why construction companies face such strict federal and state regulations when it comes to safety standards. First, we can get an understanding of the dangers by looking at OHSA’s list of the most common causes of fatalities in the construction industry:
- Falls (38.7%)
- Getting struck by an object (9.4%)
- Electrocutions (8.3%)
- Getting caught in between objects (7.3%)
However, we know that the majority of construction incidents do not cause fatalities. Thousands of construction workers survive accidents each year and are left dealing with the consequences. We commonly see the following injuries and illnesses in the aftermath of construction accidents:
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Broken or Dislocated Bones
- Stress-related injuries
- Hearing and Vision Loss
- Respiratory Problems
Looking at that list, you will see some non-traumatic illnesses and injuries. Yes, while many construction incidents have immediate consequences (tool mishaps), others happen over longer periods of time. Hearing and vision problems, repetitive stress injuries, and respiratory problems can all take years to develop.
In many cases, these injuries and illnesses are caused due to negligence on the part of a construction company. If employers fail to provide their workers with the equipment and training necessary to keep them safe, they should be held accountable for their actions.
Workers should always have the proper clothing, headgear, eyewear, respiratory equipment, harnesses, and more. They should also be given training for all equipment used at a job site as well as updated safety procedures.
Often, third-party contractors are used on construction sites. If these contractors do not have the same safety standards everyone else on the site, they could cause injuries. Third-party contractors responsible for injuries can face personal injury claims outside of workers’ compensation insurance.
Time Limit To File A Construction Accident Injury Claim In Philadelphia
Understanding how long an injured worker has to file a claim is important. There are various statutes of limitations (time limits) that work injury victims need to be aware of in Pennsylvania.
First, it is important to point out that work injuries should be reported as soon as an employee knows they have sustained the injury. Early reporting will help ensure that a claim is processed as quickly as possible so you can receive compensation. In general, injured workers must alert their employer that an injury has occurred within 21 days. However, there is a 120-day deadline for work injuries to be reported to an employer. Failure to report an injury within this 120-day period will likely result in a person being unable to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
Unfortunately, reporting an injury does not always guarantee that an insurance carrier or an employer will approve a claim. If a Denial of Notice of Compensation Payable is issued, then an injured worker will have three years to bring a claim in order to attempt to recover compensation. This time frame will be slightly different for repetitive stress injuries (cumulative motion injuries). In these cases, the three-year clock will begin running on the last day you worked due to a repetitive trauma injury.
In the event the work injury is caused by a third party, then the standard Pennsylvania personal injury statute of limitations will apply. This time limit is two years from the date the injury occurs. Injuries caused by third parties are much more common in the construction industry than in other industries. In most construction situations, there may be various contractors and subcontractors working in the same area, all of whom work for different employers or are solo independent contractors.
What Happens If Your Construction Injury Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied?
There are various reasons why a workers’ compensation claim could be denied in Pennsylvania. Some of the most common reasons for denial include the following:
- Incorrect information about the claim or on the accident report
- The application was submitted after the 120-day deadline
- An employer questions the validity of the injury
- An employer questions the severity of the injury
- An employer claims the work happened outside of the scope of work duties
- An employer claims the employee was engaging in illegal activity or horse playing at the time of the injury
You can appeal a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation denial by filing a Claim Petition with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. When you do this, a workers’ compensation judge will be responsible for approving or denying your appeal. Appealing a workers’ compensation denial can be incredibly difficult, and it is strongly advisable that you seek help with the process from a Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney.
What An Attorney Will Do
The risks associated with working in construction are high, which is why construction companies should take every step possible to minimize the possibility of worker injuries. If you or a loved one have been injured in a construction incident, Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. is ready to help.
Our qualified and experienced team will work tirelessly to secure compensation for all of your incident-related expenses. This can include:
- Coverage of your medical bills
- Compensation for lost income if you cannot work
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages