Construction sites are in nearly every state in the United States. Many people do not understand how common it is for accidents to occur on these sites. Generally, we only hear about construction site accidents when they are major incidents and make the news.
The fact is, construction sites pose threats daily to workers, visitors, and potentially, even to those who are passing by a job site. Too often, when someone suffers a construction site injury, they do not know if they can recover financially from their loss. In these cases, a construction site lawyer can help.
Construction Site Accident Statistics
The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released a report showing there were more than 2.6 million nonfatal workplace injuries in a single year. Further investigations into these injuries show that more than 21,000 occurred in slip, trip, and fall accidents on construction sites. This data does not cover the other types of accidents on construction sites.
Overall, according to the data provided, there are approximately 200 workers injured for every 1,000 workers in the construction industry.
Working With a Lawyer Following a Construction Site Injury
One of the challenges of a construction site injury is that worker’s compensation claims generally protect workers. Most injured workers believe this is their only recourse.
Always work with a lawyer after a construction site injury. You will need help filing a workers’ compensation claim.
In addition, other parties, including engineers, architects, equipment manufacturers, contractors, and property owners, may be partially liable for conditions that resulted in a construction site injury. This is why a victim needs to speak with a construction site injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.
When injured workers have a solid understanding of their rights and legal options, they can make better decisions for their and their family’s futures.
Types of Injuries Suffered Because of Construction Site Accidents
Every accident on a construction site can result in potentially fatal injuries. Even when victims do not lose their life during a construction site accident, they can still suffer severe injuries. Some of these injuries can result in an injury that will impact the victim for the rest of their life.
Some of the most common injuries include:
- Brain injuries that a victim may never fully recover from
- Broken or fractured bones
- Burns from chemicals that can result in scarring
- Electrocution injuries, including death
- Eye injury, which can result in permanent vision impairment or blindness
- Head injuries, including concussions, blood clots, and other problems
- Illnesses from toxic chemical exposure
- Knee and ankle injuries which can result in crippling pain
- Neck, shoulder, or back injuries which can result in life-long pain
- Spinal cord injury, including damage that can cause paraplegia or quadriplegia
Many of these injuries will result in a victim potentially facing major life changes. Some injuries may take months of rehabilitation therapy before a victim’s physical condition prior to a construction site injury is restored. Unfortunately, in other cases, a victim may never be able to return to their prior employment due to the severity of their injuries.
Worker’s Compensation and Construction Site Injuries
When construction site injuries occur, victims often are uncertain about what types of compensation they may be able to seek. Initially, the victim files an accident report through worker’s compensation. Victims frequently feel this is their only option for compensation, which often means a significant reduction in the income someone typically receives.
While worker’s compensation benefits vary by state, it is also essential to understand that when an accident occurs due to negligence, there may be additional options for seeking compensation for someone who suffered construction site injuries.
Negligence that may result in a victim’s ability to seek further compensation includes:
- Inadequate training – If everyone at a construction site fails to get the right training, everyone on the site is at risk. Correct use of tools, equipment storage, and handling hazardous materials often require intense training.
- Lack of safety equipment – Safety equipment is necessary because of the common dangers of working at a construction site. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends using hard hats, harnesses, and other equipment to help minimize the potential of construction site injuries.
- Improper equipment maintenance – Nothing lasts forever, and using power tools, ladders, and scaffolding materials requires proper maintenance. Failure to ensure that equipment is safe can result in construction site injuries.
These are a few issues that can result in an unsafe work environment and construction site injuries. These are also forms of negligence that would make an employer liable for the financial losses associated with construction site injuries.
Types of Compensation Following Construction Site Injuries
All personal injury cases are unique, and the types and amounts of compensation vary depending on several factors.
Compensation that a construction site injury lawyer may help the victim secure includes:
- Lost income – When someone must remain out of work due to construction site injuries, they lose money. This is true whether they are collecting worker’s compensation benefits, disability benefits, or other benefits. None of these programs replaces 100 percent of a victim’s earnings. They may recover income losses during recuperation if they file a personal injury lawsuit. Additionally, if the victim’s construction site injuries cause them to be unable to return to work, there may be an allowance for lost future wages.
- Medical expenses – While in many cases, worker’s compensation covers the care and medical treatment of a victim of construction site injuries, they may not be fully covered in some cases. When a victim has to pay out-of-pocket for prescription medication, rehabilitation therapy, mental health care, or specialized testing due to the injuries suffered on a construction site, a construction site injury lawyer may be able to secure compensation for these losses.
- Pain and suffering – This category of compensation not only deals with the physical pain someone suffers due to an injury. Pain and suffering also include mental anguish associated with suffering an injury which can result in dramatic changes in someone’s life and lifestyle. When negligence results in construction site injuries, a lawyer may be able to assist a victim in securing this type of non-economic loss.
No construction site injury victim should suffer financially due to a preventable injury. A construction site injury lawyer may be able to help determine who was at fault, help a victim with the claims process, and proceed to hold the liable parties financially accountable for their negligence.
When Should a Construction Site Injury Victim Contact a Lawyer?
When someone is involved in an accident resulting in construction site injuries, the best time to seek advice from a lawyer is as soon as it is feasible. If an injury means someone will be in the hospital for an extended period, a trusted family member should reach out to a construction site accident injury lawyer as quickly as possible and determine what legal options the victim has to secure compensation for their losses.
Accident victims must ensure that a lawyer represents them in all aspects of a construction site injury case. This includes the filing of workers’ compensation claims.
Even when an injury clearly occurred on the job, worker’s compensation insurance will not pay a claim without question. This is why you need legal help.
What Does Hiring a Construction Site Injury Lawyer Cost?
While victims focus on their physical and mental recovery after suffering construction site injuries, they are also concerned about their injury’s financial toll on their families. Losing time from work means they are losing money. This often means an accident victim must tap into savings to maintain their family’s financial stability.
This is why construction site injury victims often feel they will handle their claims on their own. Construction site injury lawyers can always offer a free consultation to determine the extent of a victim’s injuries, the circumstances leading up to a construction site injury, and the financial losses a victim anticipates due to their injuries.
Once a lawyer completes the free case evaluation, they will explain what options are available to the victim and determine what options are available. If the victim decides to hire a construction site injury lawyer, in nearly all cases, they will accept the case on a contingency fee basis.
Contingency fees are a win/win for construction site injury victims. A lawyer will work to secure a financial settlement based on the factors pertinent to that victim. If the lawyer is successful, they will take their fees from the portion of the settlement agreement. If they are unsuccessful, the victim will not pay any legal fees. While a victim may be responsible for certain fees in the event of an unsuccessful negotiation or lawsuit, the retainer agreement will disclose these fees.
Whether someone has suffered a grave injury in a construction site accident or lost a loved one due to construction site injuries, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help navigate the complex worker’s compensation rules and potential legal options for recovering financially.