What to Know About Construction Accidents and Undocumented Workers

Nov 7, 2022

Hurt & Undocumented in Georgia Construction?

 

Workplace injuries are common in Georgia, especially in the construction industry. The construction industry is considered one of the most dangerous jobs, and for undocumented immigrant workers, this is a tough reality to navigate.

If you are an undocumented worker and have been injured at work, you may be entitled to a workers’ compensation settlement.

Our Atlanta injury attorneys are ready to help get your claim approved and get you the workers’ compensation settlement you deserve. Don’t settle for the first offer—connect with our personal injury attorneys today.

 

Can Undocumented Immigrants Get Workers’ Compensation in Georgia?

 

Yes, undocumented foreign-born workers are eligible for workers’ compensation in Georgia. Georgia requires all businesses with three or more workers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This does not include agriculture workers, sole proprietors, or partnerships.

Georgia undocumented workers can receive workers’ compensation benefits regardless of immigration status. All full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers can file a claim with the appropriate documentation confirming employment and pay.

 

Does OSHA Protect Undocumented Workers?

 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for enforcing safety and health regulations in the workplace. As a federal agency, OSHA does not discriminate against undocumented workers when implementing workplace safety.

According to OSHA’s policy, “it is essential that all workers are aware of their rights and protections under the applicable laws.” This includes undocumented workers with the same rights and protections as other workers.

 

Risks Faced by Georgia Undocumented Construction Workers

 

The construction industry comes with many risks, especially for undocumented workers. Improper machinery handling can lead to catastrophic or fatal injuries, while a lack of job training frequently contributes to accidents that could have been avoided.

At the Dressie Law Firm, we have handled many cases where undocumented workers have been entitled to workers’ compensation for legitimate workplace injuries. If you were injured on the clock while performing your job duties and your employer has workers’ comp coverage, you will likely be entitled to benefits.

The most common risks faced by construction workers include:

  • Falling
  • Respiratory hazard from toxic material
  • Noise at ear-damaging decibels
  • Being struck by a falling object
  • Becoming trapped by equipment
  • Electrical hazards
  • Burns and skin lesions

Risks in the workplace can result in moderate to severe injuries that may qualify you for temporary or total disability benefits.

 

Most Common Work Injuries for Construction Workers

 

The most common construction injuries we have observed in Georgia cases have causes ranging from accidental impact to equipment malfunction. The severity and extent of the injury has a significant effect on the value of your claim.

Whatever the cause of your workers’ compensation settlement claim, document and report the event as soon as possible. Following all the necessary steps, like being seen by an approved physician, can help ensure you receive the benefits you’re entitled to.

 

Injury from Falls

Working from ladders or heights in scaffolding can be unsafe for all workers, regardless of their immigration status. Awareness of your surroundings is essential in these situations, but accidental slips or falls cannot always be avoided. Falling from a great height can result in broken bones, brain injuries, or spinal injuries.

 

Eye and Face Damage

Objects in motion pose a risk to workers, especially if they are not wearing the proper protective gear. Eye and face injuries from accidental impacts may cause temporary or permanent blindness, preventing workers from returning to work for extended periods.

 

Electrocution

Improper wiring or exposed wires can lead to electrocution in the workplace. Even accidental mistakes made by workers may justify a workers’ comp claim. These are typically severe injuries that can cause a loss of muscle control, burns, and, in extreme cases, paralysis.

 

Injury from Faulty Equipment

Tools, equipment, and machinery can be defective and commonly cause workplace injuries. Faulty equipment accidents can result in severe and potentially fatal injuries for those involved.

Another issue is that some undocumented workers do not receive the proper training to handle or maintain equipment. Injuries caused by user errors attributable to a lack of training or safety equipment likely justify a workers’ comp claim.

 

Respiratory Damage

Workers are often exposed to dangerous airborne particulate matter, like silica or asbestos. Once inhaled, these can cause long-term respiratory injury, such as lung damage. Many undocumented workers are exposed to these dangerous chemicals and dust materials for weeks, months, or years, making injuries and permanent damage more likely.

 

What Should I Do if I Have Been Injured on a Construction Site?

 

If you have been injured while working at a construction site, it is essential to take immediate action. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Seek medical attention immediately: Your health and safety should be your top priority. If you have been injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible. This will help ensure your well-being and provide documentation of your injuries for your workers’ compensation claim.
  2. Report the incident to your employer: Make sure to report the incident to your employer as soon as possible. This will create a paper trail and ensure proper steps are taken for your workers’ compensation claim.
  3. Document everything: Keep track of all medical records, doctor’s appointments, and other expenses related to your injury. This documentation is essential in determining the value of your claim and ensuring you receive the appropriate benefits.
  4. Seek legal counsel: It is essential to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, especially if you are an undocumented construction worker. They can help guide you through the process and protect your rights.

 

The Dressie Law Firm Will Fight for You

 

Regardless of your immigration status, you deserve workers’ compensation benefits if you’ve been injured at work. Our team of Atlanta injury lawyers can help you gather evidence to support your claim and ensure you’re represented well at hearings or in court.

We work on a contingency fee basis so that you don’t pay until you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us at (678) 679-0569 for a free case evaluation.