Construction accident lawsuits are filed when employees sustain major injuries to the neck or spinal cord, amputations, brain injuries, fractures, or internal bleeding due to employer negligence or dangerous working conditions. A construction accident lawsuit can help offset the cost of treating these injuries.Hurt in a construction accident? Get a free consultation today.
Why People File a Construction Accident Lawsuit
Construction accidents are among the most common workplace injuries, accounting for about 20% of all workplace fatalities in 2017. Construction sites can be notably dangerous with potential for accidents everywhere. Workers can be harmed by a fall from scaffolding, equipment malfunctioning or overexertion leading to heat stroke. Despite regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to help protect workers, these accidents happen every day. So it’s important for all injured workers to be aware of their legal rights in case it happens to them.
Construction accidents 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 Workplace and Construction Accidents
|Cause of Injury||Injuries in 2017|
|Falls, slips or trips||25,700|
|Contact with objects or equipment||23,100|
Though there are OSHA regulations in place to help protect workers from all of these common types of injuries, people still get hurt. 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. Many of these injuries fortunately prove to be nonfatal, but workers with serious injuries may still face permanent disability or a major diagnosis years later. For example, mesothelioma often develops decades after exposure to asbestos.
Some of these construction accidents are considered so hazardous that they have become known as the “Fatal Four” for consistently causing the highest amount of fatalities in the construction industry for several years.
Construction’s “Fatal Four” Accidents
|Cause of Injury||Number of Fatalities in 2017|
|Struck by an object||80|
|Struck or compressed by equipment or object||50|
Altogether, there were 971 construction worker fatalities in 2017, and nearly 60% of those construction worker deaths were caused by the “Fatal Four.” The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that if employers could help eliminate the Fatal Four, at least 582 lives would be saved every year.
It’s vital for employers, workers and any members of the public passing an active construction site to remain aware of the proper safety precautions to help prevent all types of construction accidents.Construction injuries can leave you with high medical bills Find out if you’re eligible for compensation
Construction Accident Claims
Fortunately, construction 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 provide insurance coverage for employees harmed at work. With this type of coverage, any injured employee can file a claim and receive nearly automatic benefits. No one has to prove responsibility or liability. In return for the ease of this process, covered employees give up the right to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Often state governing board reviews claims to determine their validity and determine the amount of compensation. Sometimes this is also done by the insurance company who provides the coverage. The total compensation will account for lost income in the past and future, medical expenses, and applicable disability payments. However, workers’ compensation benefits do not take into account compensatory damages like pain and suffering.
By working with an experienced construction injury attorney, 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.
Construction companies often work with a wide array of tools, materials and equipment from different manufacturers. As a result, 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’s neglect and misconduct led to the injury.
A personal injury lawsuit may result in a settlement or a verdict, which can provide more compensation than 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 parties fail to reach a settlement before the case goes to trial. It’s important to note that a jury may not decide in favor of the claimant. You should discuss your legal options with an experienced personal injury attorney before deciding which route to take.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Unfortunately, there are hundreds of fatal construction accident injuries every year. Surviving family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in these cases. This type of legal action can hold the employer, general contractor, manufacturer of dangerous products or equipment, or another third party liable. A personal injury case 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 the benefits and risks of taking a settlement or waiting for a verdict with your personal injury lawyer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need a Construction Accident Lawyer?
After a construction accident, it’s important to seek legal assistance soon after the incident. Seeking medical help and making sure you properly report the accident to your supervisor, employer or the appropriate regulatory agency should be the first priority. Ensuring competent legal representation should come next. Your lawyer will look out for your best interests and advise you on the type of claim best suited to your particular case. They will also help you understand every step of the 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. 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.File a Construction Accident Lawsuit
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