Construction workers face challenging work as part of their everyday roles. The worker can also find themselves in dangerous situations because of their work environment and the actions of others on a construction site. Construction accidents happen across the U.S. every day, and many workers suffer debilitating injuries while others may lose their lives at work.
You may recover compensation if you are a construction worker injured while on the job.
Construction accidents can cause injuries restricting your ability to work and earn a living. On top of the losses you can incur from missing out on your income, you can also incur significant medical expenses to care for your injuries.
While you may not think it necessary, hiring a construction accident attorney can make a significant difference in your case and recover compensation you may deserve for your losses, living expenses, and income losses.
After a construction accident, immediately seek the help of a construction accident lawyer in your area who can evaluate your case and advise you on any options available under the law.
What Are the Most Common Types of Construction Accidents?
Dangers are lurking around every corner around a construction job site. There are many risks of injuries or death to workers as they complete their work duties. Although construction work is inherently dangerous, there are protections necessary and a duty of care that parties owe to one another to prevent the possibility of injuries or fatalities.
Unfortunately, accidents happen on construction sites far too often, and many workers suffer injuries or may die due to those accidents.
Many things can precipitate an accident, causing injuries at a construction site. Workers at significant heights off the ground, heavy equipment, moving goods and materials around the area, and the many dynamics happening at once in a construction site can contribute to the possibility of an accident at any moment. Anything can trigger a sequence of events that can cause injuries to one or multiple parties working or visiting a construction site.
Examples of common types of construction accidents include:
- Falls from heights – Construction work often requires workers to work on elevated platforms and exposed heights. A fall at these heights can lead to death or disabling injuries.
- Slips or trips – A construction site is full of equipment, materials, and tools in use during the workday. Wires on floors, spills, or other objects in the way can pose a danger to construction workers that may trip or slip.
- Falling objects onto workers – Objects, materials, or equipment that fall from upper floors or platforms onto the work area can cause injuries or death to workers in their path.
- Heavy equipment accidents – Forklifts, cranes, and other specialized construction equipment and tools can cause devastating injuries to workers at a construction site if there is a user error or a defect or malfunction of the machine.
- Becoming trapped or crushed by materials or equipment – Construction work requires transporting, loading, and unloading materials as the work progresses. These loads can be heavy and difficult to maneuver without machinery. For example, if a load unexpectedly shifts or moves out of its position, it could cause a worker to become trapped or crushed by the load leading to catastrophic injuries or death.
- Explosions or fires – Construction sites can experience fires or explosions due to a wide range of causes injuring or possibly killing workers near the incident.
- Electrocution – Most construction sites involve wiring for electricity, which poses a hazard when accidents occur to workers handling the dangerous elements and those working near the accident.
- Vehicle accidents on a site – Motor vehicle accidents can happen anywhere, including on private property or a construction site. There can be workers, vehicles, and machines all trying to work and not interfering with one another, but workers are at risk of injury if an accident happens.
- Overuse or overexertion injuries – Not all construction accidents are the result of a singular event or accident; it is common for construction workers to develop injuries caused by overuse or overexertion. In some instances, contributing factors like faulty safety equipment can cause or worsen a worker’s injuries.
Construction Accidents in the U.S.
The CDC reports that the construction workforce in the U.S. is currently at over 11 million individuals, with employment in the industry continuing to rise.
Unfortunately, with more workers on the force and more construction, there is a greater chance of an accident leading to serious construction accident injuries or fatalities.
The construction industry ranks highest among all industries in the U.S. for fatalities. In a recent year, construction-related accidents led to over 980 deaths of workers. Additionally, another 72,800 individuals sustain nonfatal injuries or illnesses while on the job.
What Are the Most Common Construction Accident Injuries?
The gravity of the injuries to workers in a construction accident is often severe. Any injury can force workers to go to a hospital and miss work as they recover. In some instances, a worker’s injuries may be catastrophic, and a full medical recovery may never happen.
Construction accidents and the resulting injuries sustained by a worker can impact the individual’s ability to return to their construction job, result in lifelong disability, and may cause a worker to lose their overall capacity to earn income.
As a construction accident victim establishing your injuries, proving a diagnosis, and the impacts expected from your injuries can become a significant part of your claim and case. For example, a construction accident lawyer can help you collect medical records, reports, and other supporting evidence to prove the damages you incur because of your construction accident injuries.
Common injuries that may occur due to a construction accident:
- Broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Loss of eyesight
- Loss of hearing
- Electrical injury
- Internal injuries
- Exposure to fumes or chemicals
- Development of illness
Is a Workers’ Compensation Insurance Claim Enough to Cover My Losses?
As a worker injured while at work in a construction accident, you may feel that you can receive the compensation you need through a workers’ compensation claim.
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation claims do not compensate a victim for the entirety of their losses. While you can pursue compensation for medical bills and a percentage of your income losses, you may not be able to recover all of your earnings lost after an injury, and you cannot recover other damages that are typically available through a personal injury claim.
When you believe your injuries on the job occurred because of the actions or failures of another party, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against them. A construction accident attorney can evaluate your case to determine your options and may file a worker’s compensation claim for you.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer Following an Injury at a Construction Site?
If you suffered an injury in a construction accident, you may be dealing with injuries that are disrupting your life. From pain and discomfort to the need to endure medical treatments and procedures, you may be facing a long road through recovery from your construction accident injuries.
Having to also manage and figure out how to receive compensation to help you after a construction accident can bring additional stress and pressure that takes your focus from your well-being. A construction accident lawyer can fill the need you have to protect your legal rights and act on your behalf through a construction accident case. A lawyer can provide valuable and knowledgeable insight into your case and what is possible regarding compensation and a timeline for resolution.
Determining Possible Liability
When you speak with a lawyer about your case, they can investigate the construction accident and what parties may be liable. It is not uncommon for a construction accident victim to find out that other parties may be to blame for their injuries. In the immediate aftermath of the accident, it can be challenging to sort out the roles of the parties involved.
However, once your lawyer evaluates the evidence and investigate further, they may discover third parties involved in the accident that can be liable to you and provide you an avenue to seek compensation for any damages you cannot recover through a workers’ compensation claim.
Calculating Your Damages
The damages you incur because of a construction accident can entail significant potential compensation. Damages from a construction accident can include both economic and non-economic losses. Typically, through a worker’s compensation claim, you can seek a portion of the monetary damages that result from a construction accident injury.
However, through a personal injury lawsuit against a third party, you may seek the maximum compensation for your case’s total damages. In addition, a construction accident lawyer can gather evidence to support the damage claim and calculate the value of those damages.
A construction accident lawsuit can include damages for:
- Medical care costs
- Loss of income
- Loss of future income, earnings, and growth of earnings
- Future medical treatment expenses
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
- Compensation for disability or permanent disfigurement
- Wrongful death damages if a worker dies because of their injuries
Representing Your Interests
As you navigate the aftermath of an unexpected construction accident, it can be difficult to know who has your best interests. Although the insurance companies, your employer, and other third parties may appear helpful, these parties are still trying to protect their interests first.
By hiring a construction accident lawyer, you can get legal help for your side. You can feel at ease knowing that your lawyer will fight for you along every step of the construction accident case. A construction accident lawyer representing the victim of an accident wants to see the best possible outcome and maximum compensation possible in the case.
Fighting for the Maximum Compensation Possible in Your Case
A construction accident lawyer understands the industry, understands how workers suffer injuries, and can help you identify the parties at fault for your damages. Your attorney can fight for you, whether it may be against insurance companies, at-fault parties, or the gatekeepers of records and information you need to access to prove your case.
A personal injury attorney can negotiate on your behalf to reach the best possible settlement for your compensation. If a settlement does not or can not occur, they can help advise you on the next steps in fighting for your rights as a construction accident victim and determining when a lawsuit or trial may become necessary.