Construction workers provide essential services across the state of Delaware. Sadly, these workers also have a much higher risk of suffering harm in workplace injuries compared to employees in other industries. Most workers injured at construction sites have access to workers’ comp benefits, as construction companies must provide this coverage to every person they employ.
If you believe you have grounds for a workers’ comp claim following an accident on the job, call an experienced attorney at Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz, and Bhaya. A Wilmington construction accident lawyer can help you file an initial claim or appeal a rejection to get the benefits you need and deserve.
The Basics of Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Construction Injuries
Under state law, almost every employer in Wilmington that employs at least one person in a full-time or part-time capacity must purchase and maintain workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. This coverage automatically compensates certain damages stemming from on-the-job accidents without regard to who may be at fault for the incident. Workers’ comp also provides employers immunity from civil liability for workplace accidents.
Construction employees who are injured while performing work-related duties can seek restitution for all associated medical expenses, as well as up to two-thirds of their average pre-injury weekly wages for time at work missed during recovery (up to a maximum set by the State of Delaware). The length of time that this wage reimbursement lasts—as well as the value and availability of certain other benefits—depends on the extent of the injury. Specifically, it depends on whether a workplace injury leaves a claimant partially or fully disabled, and whether that disability is temporary or permanent.
Reporting Wilmington Construction Accidents for Workers’ Comp
To ensure eligibility for workers’ comp benefits, construction workers must report accidents to their direct supervisor as soon as possible after they occur. They must also provide notice of their intent to claim disability benefits for any injury that will keep them out of work for more than three days. A construction accident attorney in the area can help an injured worker follow all the proper procedures and work to maximize their chances of success.
What to Do after a Construction Accident Claim Rejection
If an employer or their insurance provider denies a claim for workers’ comp benefits, the worker has a maximum of two years from the date of their injury to file a Petition to Determine Compensation Due with the Office of Workers’ Compensation within the Delaware Department of Labor. After filing pre-trial memorandums and holding a pre-trial scheduling conference, both the injured worker and their employer will meet for an Industrial Affairs Board hearing. At this stage, both sides may introduce witnesses and evidence, making it crucial for the construction worker to secure dedicated representation from a skilled attorney. Most importantly, no claim can be won without the testimony of a medical expert.
If the worker receives an unfavorable verdict, they have up to 30 days to file an appeal with the New Castle County Superior Court. This appeal is on very narrow grounds and most are denied. An injured worker is not granted a whole new hearing in Superior Court. If the Superior Court also rejects an injured worker’s claim, their final option for appealing that decision is to petition the State Supreme Court within 30 days of the Superior Court’s ruling. It is essential to consult with a construction accident lawyer before formally appealing a workers’ comp claim denial in Wilmington, as there may be other ways of resolving a discrepancy in an initial claim.
Seek Help from a Wilmington Construction Accident Attorney
The aftermath of an accident on a construction site can be devastating for both the injured worker and their family, who may depend on them for household income. While workers’ compensation can make up many losses, it may be difficult for an individual worker to effectively pursue the benefits they need without professional legal guidance.
Whether you want to file an initial workers’ comp claim or need to contest a rejection, a Wilmington construction accident lawyer can provide guidance at every step of the way. Call Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz, and Bhaya today to learn more.