Heavy equipment accidents are common at factories, construction sites, warehouses, businesses, and any other place where heavy equipment is used. Operators, other employees, and bystanders can sustain traumatic and fatal injuries in an accident involving heavy equipment. It is important to know the steps you should take after a heavy equipment injury, including contacting a New Jersey heaving equipment accident attorney as soon as possible.
Seven Steps to Take After Being Injured in a Heavy Equipment Accident
To protect your legal rights after sustaining an injury involving heavy machinery, you should:
1. Report the accident and injury immediately
Whether you are a worker or a bystander, you need to report the injury to the property owner, employer, or other people in charge of the equipment and the site. Reporting the injury as quickly as possible helps protect your right to workers’ comp benefits and personal injury damages.
2. Go to the hospital
In many heavy machinery accidents, there is no question whether the person should go to the hospital. Injuries involving heavy equipment tend to be catastrophic. However, do not forget to follow up with doctors and other medical providers after you leave the hospital. A lack of medical care could hurt your injury claim.
3. Take pictures and videos whenever possible
It may not be possible to document evidence at the accident scene because of the severity of your injuries. If possible, ask a trusted individual to take pictures and make a video for you of the accident scene and the machinery immediately after the injury. It could be helpful when you file your claim to have photographic evidence of how the scene appeared immediately following your injury.
4. Document your damages and losses
Throughout your recovery, remember to document all out-of-pocket expenses and losses related to the injury, including but not limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Personal care
- Travel expense
- Medications and medical equipment
- Loss of income
The more carefully you document your financial losses, the better chance you have of recovering compensation for those losses.
5. Document your noneconomic damages too
You may also be entitled to noneconomic damages for heavy machinery injuries. You can document these damages by keeping a pain and suffering journal. In the journal, make notes regarding:
- Daily pain level
- Tasks you cannot perform because of your injuries
- Your recovery, including photographs of your injuries during your recovery
- The impact your injuries have on your relationship with family members and others
- Any depression, anxiety, fear, or other emotional or mental suffering
Detailed notes about your struggle to deal with your injury and your recovery can be very helpful when filing an injury claim.
6. Avoid social media and online posts
If you need to litigate your injury claim, the defense attorney will investigate your online posts, including social media accounts. It is best to avoid using social media or posting online during your case.
Contact a New Jersey Heavy Equipment Accident Attorney
A New Jersey heavy equipment accident attorney can investigate the accident to determine how your injury occurred and who is responsible for your damages. Even though your injury may have occurred at work, you might also have a claim against a third party, which can result in much more money for you. It is usually a wise idea to consult with an attorney before you discuss your claim with an insurance company or another representative for parties who may be liable for your injury. Schedule a consultation with our New Jersey heavy equipment injury lawyers today to discuss your options for filing a claim.