2018 Construction Accident News: According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction workers faced 197,700 workplace injuries and 5,700 cases of illness after exposures at the construction sites. If you have been injured at a worksite, talk to a lawyer now about your legal rights.
Construction accidents are among the most common workplace injuries, accounting for about 21% of all workplace fatalities in 2016. Construction sites can be notably dangerous with a lot of potential for accidents, whether it’s a fall from scaffolding, equipment malfunctioning or overexertion leading to heat stroke or other health concerns. Despite regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to help protect workers, these accidents happen everyday and it’s important for all injured workers to be aware of their legal rights should it happen to them.
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Why People File a Construction Accident Lawsuit
Construction accidents are all too common and can impact construction workers, as well as the public. Researchers have found that nearly all construction workers will experience at least one workplace injury during their career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of construction injuries involve a sprain or fracture to the body, cuts and lacerations, and other types of soreness and pain. From the most recent data, construction workers were out of work on average 8 – 10 days because of the workplace accident.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents
|Cause of Injury||Number of Injuries in 2016|
|Contact with objects or equipment||29,160|
|Falls, slips or trips||24,700|
|Exposure to harmful substances||2,960|
Though there are OSHA regulations in place to help protect workers from all of these common types of injuries, workers may lack proper safety training, experience neglect and misconduct from their employer or colleague, or face problems from equipment or materials at the work site. While many of these injuries fortunately prove to be nonfatal, workers may still face permanent disability or a serious diagnosis years later, like mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos on site.
Some of these construction accidents are considered so hazardous that they have become known as the “Fatal Four” for causing the highest amount of fatalities in the construction industry consistently for several years.
Construction’s “Fatal Four” Accidents
|Cause of Injury||Number of Fatalities in 2016|
|Struck by an object||93|
|Struck or compressed by equipment or object||72|
Altogether, the Fatal Four caused 991 construction worker fatalities in 2016, responsible for nearly 64% of construction worker deaths. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that if employers could help eliminate the Fatal Four, at least 631 lives would be saved every year.
It’s vital for employers, workers and any members of the public needing to pass near an active construction site are aware of the proper safety precautions to help prevent all types of construction accidents.
Construction injuries can leave you with high medical billsFind out if you’re eligible for compensation
Construction Accident Claims
Fortunately, constructions workers have several options to help alleviate the financial burden they may face following a construction site accident. If you or a loved one have been injured at a work site, talk to a construction accident attorney about the details of your specific case to determine what type of claim would be best for you.
If you have been injured at a job site, you may be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation is a state-run program requiring employers to have insurance benefits for their employees in the case of work-related injury or illness. The purpose of this type of claim is not to place blame or find fault with the employer, meaning a worker filing this claim will not be able to sue an employer for negligence or fault.
A state governing board will review the claims to determine a claimant’s eligibility and also decide on the amount of compensation to be paid. This total will take into consideration lost income in the past and future, medical expenses, and may also provide disability benefits. However, workers’ compensation does not take into mind pain and suffering, and each state has their own maximum amount of compensation available per claim.
By working with an experienced construction site accidents lawyer, you can determine if a workers’ compensation claim is the best fit for you, or if you should pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
While a workers’ compensation claim exempts an employer from liability, construction workers may consider filing a lawsuit in several instances where a third party may be at fault for the injury.
Since construction companies often work with a wide array of tools, materials and equipment from different manufacturers, construction accident cases that arise because of malfunctioning or faulty equipment may be eligible for a product liability lawsuit or personal injury lawsuit. Workers may also be eligible for these types of claims if an employer has shown neglect and misconduct that led to the injury or if a manufacturer’s products led to harmful exposure that led to a later diagnosis.
A personal injury lawsuit may result in a settlement or a verdict, which can provide more compensation that is available through a workers’ compensation claim. A settlement is an offer of compensation to release the guilty party from liability. If accepted, this is a binding agreement and a claimant will not be able to seek further damages. A verdict is determined by a jury if the case goes through trial and the parties are unable to reach a settlement agreement. It’s important to note that a jury may not decide in favor of the claimant, so it’s important to discuss with your injury lawyer about whether a settlement is right for you.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Unfortunately, there are hundreds of fatal construction injuries every year. Surviving family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in these cases to hold the employer, manufacturer of dangerous products or equipment, or another third party liable. A personal injury lawsuit may also transition into a wrongful death lawsuit, should the claimant pass while the case is in progress.
Like with a personal injury lawsuit, these claims may result in a settlement or verdict. Be sure to discuss with your construction accident attorney on whether accepting a settlement or waiting for a verdict is best for your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need a Construction Accident Lawyer?
After a construction accident, it’s important to seek legal assistance soon after seeking medical help and making sure you properly report the accident to your supervisor or employer. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on the type of claim best suited to your particular case, as well as help you through the entire process.
How Much Will a Construction Accident Attorney Cost?
A reputable law firm will not charge you anything up front. Instead, they will offer a free case review to go over details of your claim and determine your eligibility. At this time, you can also ask more questions about the legal process and what you might expect if you move forward with a claim.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive?
This will vary greatly depending on the type of claim. Again, workers’ compensation claims have a threshold for the maximum amount of money a claimant can receive, which will vary by state. The claims still keep in mind medical bills, lost wages, and if the worker is eligible for further disability benefits.
Compensation from a construction accident lawsuit will also take those factors into consideration, but may also include additional damages for the pain and suffering such an injury caused.
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