Being injured on a job site presents further complications because you’re required to deal with the workman’s compensation system. While beneficial, it’s also complicated and the insurance companies have attorneys on their side working hard to reduce their clients’ liability.
An experienced personal injury attorney at Nunez & Associates can help determine exactly what you’re entitled to and make sure you receive it as expected. We’ll even handle all correspondence with the insurance company so you can focus on healing and getting back to work.
Construction Accidents Overview
Although construction work may not be the most dangerous occupation in the U.S., it is still generally considered one of the most hazardous. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which regulates workplace safety, reported that in 2014 there were 4,679 people killed on the job, of which 20.5% were in construction. Nearly 60% of construction fatalities were attributed to falls, electrocution, being struck by an object, or being caught in between a device, machine or piece of equipment.
Workers who are injured while performing a job-related task may be compensated by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurer, though other compensation may be available in some cases.
There are millions of people involved in construction work in various types of trades. These include:
- Crane and heavy equipment operator
- Powerline technician
- Truck driver
Many of these tradesmen work alongside one another at construction sites and may have to depend on others’ safety practices as well as their own to keep them safe. Unfortunately, accidents can happen for a variety of reasons — because a worker left a tool behind, forgot to shut off an electrical current, did not secure a safety line, neglected to wear a safety harness, did not cover up holes or did not warn of a hazard. Falling objects and falls from elevations are other common causes of injuries on construction sites, as are the lack of machine guarding.
Injuries in Construction Accidents
Injuries on construction sites can be minor, such as straining your neck or back from heavy lifting or having an object fall on your foot. However, many injuries are traumatic and lead to a permanent disability where the worker must be trained or educated for another trade or occupation. In the worst case scenario, a worker may be totally disabled as a result of a workplace accident.
Injuries can include:
- Head trauma
- Brain injuries
- Loss of a limb, fingers or toes
- Loss of an eye
- Loss of hearing
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Occupational illness from long-term exposure to asbestos or other toxic materials
- Fractures of face, femur, ankles or other major bones
Contact an attorney who handles construction injury cases to ensure you get the workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled. An attorney can also help you deal with issues that commonly arise in these types of cases, such as denial of benefits or disputes over permanency ratings, among others.
Compensation in Construction Accidents
Construction workers are generally compensated through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurer, a no-fault system where a worker injured in the course and scope of employment is entitled to certain benefits. These include payment of all medical expenses and a percentage of lost income. If there is a permanent disability, there is a schedule of payments based on the percentage of wages of the injured worker. Unfortunately, there is no award for pain and suffering.
There are third party claims, however, where the injured worker can sue for damages. This could be the case if another contractor or third party were negligent in causing the worker’s injuries, such as neglecting to warn of or remove a hazardous condition, or otherwise did not exercise reasonable care in performing a task or activity that could foreseeably lead to injury.
Further, defects in tools, equipment or the use of substandard materials that cause a structure to collapse can lead to product liability claims against the designer and/or manufacturer.
These are difficult claims to pursue and require representation by an attorney and law firm that has the resources and the knowledge to handle these types of cases successfully. Contact our office today so that we can help you with any workers’ compensation benefits you may be entitled to.
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