Types of Construction accidents and how you can recover losses
It should come as no surprise that construction work is among the most dangerous jobs in the country. Every year, there are more than 100,000 injuries by construction workers. In 2012, that number almost eclipsed 200,000 with 775 workers having died from their injuries. It would be tough to find any other industry that could match those numbers in terms of a dangerous working environment as the norm.
While construction work is dangerous, that does not necessarily mean the work cannot be done safely. Safety standards in the workplace are set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). When these standards are met, workplaces are naturally far safer. When these standards are not met, not only is the workplace less safe but it also opens up the construction company and others to possible lawsuits when injuries occur. When injuries such as this happen, you want to ensure you have legal representation to ensure you get the full settlement to which you are entitled.
Common Construction Workplace Injuries
On a construction site, the different types of injuries obviously vary, but these are some of the most common:
- Struck by object
- Caught in-between
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cuts (lacerations)
- Broken, fractured, and/or crushed bones
- Limb loss
- Loss of hearing
- Stress injuries
- Vision loss
Of those types of injuries, the first four listed are considered to be “the fatal four” due to the fact in a typical year, roughly 60 of all workplace fatalities fall under those four types. It is important to note, however, that a workplace injury does not have to result in death or a severe injury to be eligible for a lawsuit.
Options for Injured Workers
Workers have two options to recover compensation when they are injured in the workplace:
- Workers’ Compensation
- Personal Injury Lawsuit
Every state in the Republic has workers’ compensation in place in some sort of fashion. Under the local rules, employees injured on the job are entitled to compensation. This is true even if the employer was in no way negligent. In some, but not all workplace injuries, workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for workers to recover lost compensation.
However, there are exceptions in some cases where a personal injury lawsuit can be filed. For instance, you are working on a construction site where all safety rules are in place and followed. However, you are working on a defective piece of equipment that causes your injury. Rather than sue the employer, a case may be filed against the equipment manufacturer. Workers’ compensation rules would not be relevant in a case such as this.
Other Construction Lawsuits
Construction injury lawsuits are not limited to construction workers. The two most common categories for these types of injuries would be:
- Non-worker injuries
- Construction defect injuries
Have you ever walked by a construction site that seemed a bit too open to the public or not property fenced off? Have you ever seen debris fall from a construction site and land outside the safety fencing? If a pedestrian were to walk by a construction site and he or she were to be hit by debris and injured, this would still be considered a construction injury.
Construction Defect Injuries
Just as an accident can happen during construction to outside people, so can injuries after the fact. For instance, you work in a building that has outside balconies. If the balcony was not secured properly and you fell due to the balcony rail collapsing, that would qualify as a construction defect injury and would be eligible for a construction injury lawsuit.
What Type of Compensation is Awarded in Construction Injury Lawsuits?
Workers’ compensation lawsuits will have specific rules depending upon your state. For personal injury cases, however, you can expect to recover:
- Lost wages (past, present, and future earnings)
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Loss of life due to injury
Workers’ Compensation Exceptions
While most workplaces do not allow workers to sue their employers under normal circumstances, there are exceptions to the rule. The Jones Act, which was initially passed in 1920 and has undergone numerous revisions, with the most recent being in 2006, separates maritime workers from normal workers’ compensation rules, and they may sue their employers directly. Additionally, the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), which was enacted in 1906 and passed by Congress in 1908, separates railroad workers from normal workers’ compensation laws and they too may sue their employers if injured on the job.
Do I Need a Construction Injury Attorney?
Have you recently been hurt on the job at a construction site? Have you been injured by falling debris, defective equipment, or construction? If you have, please call us ASAP at 855.633.0888 to discuss your case. Your consultation is free of charge and you are under no obligation to use our services just for discussing your case. If you would like to learn more about our legal services before contacting us, please click here.