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When Do You Need a Construction Site Accident Lawyer?
Working on a construction site is one of the most dangerous jobs you can have. Consequently, every year construction site accidents injure hundreds of workers at work sites. Therefore, if a construction site accident injures you, you need a construction site accident lawyer.
Moreover, construction site accidents are not limited to construction workers. Construction site accidents can also injure passing pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.
Typically, construction site workers who are injured on the site may have two options to seek compensation for their injuries:
In most states, workers’ compensation laws do not allow an employee who is injured on the job to sue his/her employer for work-related injuries. The laws limit them to filing workers’ compensation claims.
In fact, employees receive workers’ compensation insurance provided by their employer’s insurance company. Moreover, most states require employers to carry that insurance protection.
Indeed, these benefits are available to an employee even if the employee’s own negligence caused his injury.
As a result, all the worker has to do is show the injury occurred while he was working.
Workers’ comp pays injured employees benefits, which include weekly payments and money for medical expenses. Weekly payments are based on a percentage of the worker’s weekly earnings. Additionally, the compensation award also considers the severity of the disability.
Lastly, a temporary total disability or a permanent partial disability status can affect the total amount of compensation received.
Unfortunately, workers’ comp law limits an injured worker’s recovery to money for medical bills, lost wages, and disability. Workers’ comp awards do not include compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering associated with an on-the-job construction injury.
In addition, reimbursements for medical bills only cover treatments deemed necessary and related to the specific work injury.
A third party, such as a property owner, general contractor or sub-contractor, could be liable for negligence if they cause a construction site accident. For instance, if a sub-contractor negligently operates a crane that injures someone, that injured worker can sue the subcontractor using a construction accident attorney.
The injured worker can also file a workers’ comp claim.
As another example, a worker could negligently drop a piece of construction material or a tool that strikes and injures someone on the ground. A construction accident lawyer could sue the worker and his employer for not properly securing their worksite or the item that was dropped.
In short, property owners, architects, contractors, etc., can all be held liable in personal injury lawsuits for accidents if they did not provide required safety measures on a construction site.
Moreover, property owners, general contractors, and subcontractors must ensure a construction work site is reasonably safe. Consequently, if they fail to do so, a worker injured in a construction accident may bring a claim for negligence for his or her injuries.
Specifically, site contractors and subcontractors must warn of potential hazards on the site and make sure their workers use caution while working.
In addition, they must coordinate job safety and check that workers and contractors follow all safety specifications on the site.
Likewise, manufacturers of heavy machinery must design and maintain safe products. As a result, injured parties can find construction equipment manufacturers liable when an accident occurs because of a defect in one of their products.
Unfortunately, there are many types of construction accidents:
Large construction projects frequently involve the use of cranes. However, they are complicated and dangerous machines. If the crane operator lacks proper training and/or experience, they can cause deadly construction site accidents.
Forklift accidents are similarly dangerous when these massive, complicated machines, moving heavy loads of construction material, are not properly operated.
Falls from Ladders, Scaffolds, etc.
Construction projects require workers to climb roofs, ladders, scaffolds, and other heights. Indeed, falls from these heights are among the most common construction accidents.
Additionally, being hit by an object falling from above can be just as serious.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Certainly, slips and falls can happen anywhere. However, if they happen on an active construction site, they can be more serious.
Gas Leaks, Fires, Explosions, and Electrocutions
Exposed electrical wiring, different fuels, and sparks and flames fill construction sites. Consequently, a spark from a welder or falling on a live electrical wire can cause a serious injury.
Caught Between Accidents
“Caught between” accidents occur when a worker gets caught between two heavy machines, a machine and a wall, etc. When a construction worker gets caught in between two large objects or machinery, it causes a serious injury.
Additionally, defective machinery and other products can also result in serious construction site accidents.
Lastly, workers who get exposed to the toxic substances frequently found on construction sites can fall ill.
What Causes Construction Site Accidents?
Certainly, construction is a hazardous industry. Simply put, the cause of many construction site accidents is negligence. For instance, negligent operation of cranes, bulldozers, and other heavy equipment causes accidents. Negligently securing scaffolding or constructing temporary stairs and ramps also result in injuries.
As another example, negligently failing to maintain equipment and tools. Or failing to put temporary railings/barriers on ramps or unfinished floors at the top of the building.
Other causes of construction site accidents include lack of proper protective equipment, lack of proper supervision and lack of training operators of heavy equipment.
Be Aware of Your OSHA Rights
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) protects your Federal rights to a safe workplace. Of course, your employer is required to follow safety precautions and keep your workplace free of known health and safety hazards.
Moreover, employers must provide safety equipment, such as gloves or a harness and lifeline for falls. If they do not fulfill these basic obligations, you may complain to the project director and/or your union officials without fear of retaliation.
If a Construction Site Accident Injured You, You Need a Construction Site Accident Lawyer
An experienced construction site accident attorney can act as your advocate and help you understand the best way to proceed with your case.
We will investigate the circumstances that led to your construction site accident. We will identify and name the people, contractors, or other parties responsible for your injuries.
Also, we’ll explain your legal rights and your options.
Lastly, if the evidence is there, we’ll negotiate a settlement with the insurance company for the responsible party.
And if the insurance company is not reasonable, we’ll sue and prepare your case for trial. Either through a negotiated settlement or a trial, we’ll get you the compensation to which you are entitled.
Contact our law firm at our Hammond office at 219-200-2000 or online at alexmendozalaw.com for a free consultation.