The U.S. Virgin Islands is a beautiful location for tourists to visit and individuals to work. Due to the growing popularity of the islands, new construction projects are starting every day. Additional roads, hotels, restaurants, and attractions are constantly being added to meet tourism needs. However, many of the construction sites that are associated with these projects are linked to interchangeable workers, language barriers, inadequate time frames, improper training, and dangerous equipment. Carelessness and negligent behaviors in an already hazardous environment could lead to workplace injury.
Workers’ Compensation Rights in the U.S. Virgin Islands
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, an employer must have workers’ compensation insurance coverage if the organization has more than one employee. Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides medical and disability benefits to employees who suffer injuries in a workplace accident. If the employee accepts medical treatment and benefits through workers’ comp insurance after an injury, he or she forfeits the right to sue his or her employer. However, a worker can take legal action to cover the costs of medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering if the company does not have workers’ compensation coverage. Furthermore, the employer will be responsible for any additional fines and penalties.
What You Should Do After a Workplace Injury
Regardless of how major or minor an injury may seem, it is important to notify your employer within 48 hours. Time is critical in workplace injury cases, because your rights may be lost if your employer is not informed within an appropriate time frame. After discussing the injury with your employer, he or she should submit the Employee's First Report of Injury Form to the Workers’ Compensation Administration within eight days of the injury. In addition, the injured employee must complete an employee’s claim for compensation if he or she was not able to attend work.
Workplace injuries can involve many complexities that may result in a hostile work environment. Immediately after an injury takes place, the victim should gather documentation. Pictures, videos, and witness statements should be kept in order to authenticate the incident and prove fault.
Contact a U.S. Virgin Islands Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Negligent behavior on a construction worksite can result in a worker sustaining serious injuries or wrongful death. In many cases, after a workplace injury occurs, the employer’s insurance company may underestimate the severity of the injury and offer a less than favorable settlement. Before accepting an offer, it is important to receive legal advice. At the law office of Colianni & Colianni, LLC, our team of experienced St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John personal injury lawyers can work with you to seek the correct amount of compensation. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office today at 340-719-1766.