When it comes to annual workplace injuries and deaths by industry, construction always ranks among the highest. In 2019, in fact, it saw the most job-related deaths of any industry.
In other words, if you were recently involved in a construction accident and you’re still around to read this, you should consider yourself lucky. Chances are it’s hard to feel very fortunate, though, when you’re facing mounting medical bills and week after week of missed work.
Thankfully, if you happen to be part of a union, you’re twice as lucky. Because of their high wages and generous benefits packages, union members tend to recover significantly higher payouts than nonunion members following an accident on the job. What’s more, they have certain rights under their union, which a construction accident attorney can help them assert.
Let’s take a look at the rights and protections you can rely on if you belong to a construction workers union:
1. The Right to a Safe Working Environment
All contractors have an obligation to maintain a safe working environment for their employees. That means providing adequate training during the onboarding process (and whenever they purchase new equipment) and distributing essential safety gear.
While it’s up to nonunion members to advocate for themselves on every job site, union members can count on their union to ensure their employer abides by all safety obligations and applicable OSHA regulations. They can also count on their union to document every violation, thereby ensuring a paper trail which they can draw upon should they ever have to file a workers’ comp or personal injury claim.
2. The Right to Comprehensive Care
The total extent of your health coverage will depend on the precise terms of your union contract. Generally speaking, though, union construction workers are entitled to both standard preventive care and prompt emergency care in the event of an accident on the job.
While nonunion workers often have such coverage, as well, they must usually navigate a much smaller network of approved physicians. As such, it can be challenging for them to get the care they need—especially in emergency scenarios—with the confidence that it will be covered.
How Can I Assert My Rights as an Injured Union Construction Worker?
If you were hurt at a job site, it’s wise to consult a construction accident lawyer. A seasoned attorney will ensure your union lives up to the terms of their contract. Your legal team will also guide you through every stage of the claims process and help you pursue the maximum payout possible from all liable parties.
Speak with a New York Construction Accident Attorney
If you’re a construction worker and you were hurt on the job, turn to Leitner Varughese for help with your subsequent claims. Whether you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits or a personal injury payout—or both—we’ll help you gather the evidence needed to proceed.