If you, a family member or friend works in the construction business, you likely know someone who has been injured or died in a construction accident. Sadly, this is a frequent occurrence. Despite all the safety equipment, training, inspections, etc., accidents happen every day, and oftentimes negligence or a safety code violation is a factor. For these reasons, the injured party or family of the deceased should be eligible for relief beyond workers compensation.
Dangers Can Be Avoided
Construction zones are inherently dangerous places with all the heavy equipment, power tools, working in open, high spaces, plus the sense of urgency to complete the work on a tight schedule. OSHA reports 4,821 workers died on the job in 2014, including 899 workers killed on construction sites. OSHA cites construction’s “fatal four” accidents as accounting for more than half the deaths:
- Falls (39.9%)
- Electrocutions (8.2%)
- Struck by object (8.1%)
- Caught in/between (1.3%)
Other common construction site accidents that can cause injury or death include:
- Vehicle accidents
- Slips and trips
- Highway construction zone crashes
- Toxic chemical exposure
Safety procedures and equipment are designed to eliminate these incidences, but short cuts often are allowed or even condoned, leading to fatality or injury accidents.
Injuries on the Construction Site
Injuries are common in the construction industry, from minor to catastrophic, leading to lost time on the job and lost income for your family, and ranging from temporary to permanent disability. Among the leading injuries are:
- Traumatic head and brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Spine and back problems
- Wrongful death
Who’s to Blame?
One of the great challenges workers face after an accident is the assigning of blame. Workers compensation and insurance companies seek to reduce their responsibility for damage and loss, so they seek to shift as much blame as they can onto the worker. That’s not fair. Even when the worker’s responsibility is limited, fingers still try to point in different directions. Because construction sites often involve contractors, subcontractors and sub-subcontractors, the parties try to shift as much responsibility away from themselves as possible. Sometimes, just the confusion of who the worker was employed by and who had responsibility for different phases of the work can cloud the most simple-looking cases.
For example, a worker falls off a scaffold. Maybe one subcontractor erected the scaffold while another subcontractor was operating the lift that carried the worker up to the scaffolding while the worker was employed by a different subcontractor. Still, the general contractor and the building owner will try to distance themselves from any claim.
These are the kinds of situations where you cannot untangle the web without professional help. You don’t want to quickly accept what the company’s workers compensation specialist is offering and do your best to get back to work to support your family. An experienced construction accident attorney will understand all of these various loops and dodges and will know the court precedents and how to apply them in your particular case. Frequently these claims can be settled without a trial, but we are prepared to take your case before a jury if we are convinced that is the best route to get you fair compensation.
Trying to struggle through the maze of workers compensation and insurance company claims is too much for an injured worker or the family of a deceased worker to handle at the same time as handling the grief and struggle for recovery. Contact us for a free consultation about your case so we can guarantee that you get the compensation you deserve as a result of the construction site accident. You don’t pay a dime until your case is resolved.