Construction Job Risks and Workers’ Compensation
Under Oklahoma law, you are entitled to basic benefits for construction accidents and workplace injuries (regardless of who was at fault). Workers’ compensation laws and common injuries by their nature, the activities carried out in the construction sector involve high accident risks for workers.
There are laws and regulations that aim to protect and defend construction workers against the possibility of occupational accidents. Construction companies are required to comply with current legislation to prevent damage and injury to workers.
In the event of an accident at work or when a worker is affected by a disease generated by working conditions, there are a number of legal procedures that must be followed to protect the worker’s rights. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, there are five important steps to take to help you recover completely:
- Seek medical assistance – You should seek medical treatment as soon as possible if you have been injured in a construction accident. Be sure to inform the doctor that your injuries were caused by a construction accident. The doctor will send that information to the Oklahoma State Insurance Fund, which is responsible for paying workers’ compensation benefits, as well as benefits for permanent disability, permanent damage to a part of your body, scars or disfigurement, and professional retraining for training for another job.
- Notify your employer – Tell your supervisor about an accident as soon as it happens and it is possible to report it. This is important, as you may lose the right to your compensation if you do not inform your supervisor in writing within the first 30 business days from the date the accident occurred.
- Look for witness statements – Ask your colleagues and others who saw the accident to write down what they witnessed. It is best to obtain these statements at the beginning when the witnesses’ memories are still fresh.
- Save the records – Keep your mileage records on your trips to the hospital and appointments. Keep records of your expenses for prescriptions and bandages. You have the right to claim these expenses as part of your claim.
- Make a diary – Keep a diary where you can describe how your injuries are limiting your activities and affecting your daily routines and ability to work. It is important to write your observations as they happen since many important details could be forgotten later. Keeping a diary during your accident can provide valuable evidence for your construction lawyer during possible litigation.
When Will My Benefits Begin and How Much Will They be?
For an injured employee to be able to obtain temporary benefits, the person must be unable to work for at least three days. The services are calculated based on the average weekly wage of the employee. The law provides for benefits in the amount of 100% of the employee’s annual salary, but not more than 70% per year, for total permanent inability to work and death benefits. For permanent partial disability benefits, the ceiling is set at 50% of the average weekly wage, or $237. Benefits are referred to in terms of weeks or weeks of compensation for a particular injury.