How a Construction Accident Attorney Can Help You
Individuals working in the construction industry face considerable occupational hazards, including heavy machinery and building materials that can hurt individuals. Given these realities and pressure to complete projects in a timely manner, it is no surprise that accidents occur on construction sites and injured professionals may seek compensation. It is this topic that we examine below, specifically the types of accidents experienced by construction workers and why hiring an attorney to represent them is essential.
Construction Work Is Dangerous Work: Common Work Site Accidents
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), "out of 4,779 worker fatalities in private industry in the calendar year 2018, 1,008 or 21.1% were in construction — that is, one in five worker deaths last year were in construction." Among these fatalities are what gets referred to as the "Fatal Four," which are responsible for more than half of all construction worker deaths:
- Falls – 338 out of 1,008 total deaths in construction in CY 2018 (33.5%)
- Struck by Object – 112 (11.1%)
- Electrocutions – 86 (8.5%)
- Caught-in/between – 55 (5.5%)
Additionally, workers in this industry experience the following non-fatal injuries:
- Improper training
- Inadequate safety precautions and oversight
- Crane accidents
- Hoist accidents
- Harness accidents
- Structural collapses: scaffolding, building sections
- Improper use or maintenance of equipment
- Mechanical hazards
- Toxic substance exposure
- Slips and falls
- Back injuries from improper lifting of objects
- Crushing by machinery
- Fires and explosions
- Electrical accidents
- Welding accidents
- Falling objects
Faced with these dangers, workers may wish to pursue workers' comp claims, as well as personal injury claims in situations where intentional or egregious negligence was present.
Who Might a Personal Injury Claim Be Filed Against?
In certain situations, an injured construction worker may pursue a personal injury claim against a third-party. Here are some common examples:
Construction Site Owner
In these cases, liability typically hinges on the owner's degree of control over a site.
General and Subcontractors
Per OSHA's mandates, general contractors and sub-contractors must provide workers with a safe building site, warn of any site or job hazards ahead of time, and work is done according to safety regulations. A contractor's failure to do so may allow an injured worker the opportunity to seek compensation for their losses.
Prime contractors are responsible for the work identified in a contract or for any work they delegate to subcontractors. Thus, they assume responsibility for the safety of the latter party.
Architects and Engineers
In some cases, architects and engineers have to observe progress and ensure compliance with plans and relevant code regulations. Determining whether an architect or engineer is liable, the first step is reviewing the duties and responsibilities outlined in their contract.
Manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers may be liable if a defective product causes an injury.
What Should I Do If I Have Been in a Construction Accident?
If you get injured while working on a construction site, you should:
- Get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible
- Notify your employer and document who was informed about your injury
- Obtain witnesses' testimony (written or audio)
- Take photographs of your injuries, scene of the accident, and any equipment involved
- Secure a workers' compensation attorney to review your case
How Shultz Legal Can Help
Working with an experienced workers compensation law firm like Shultz Legal in the event you have been hurt while working on a construction site. Fighting on behalf of underdogs and the unrepresented is part of the firm's DNA. Attorney and founder, Jason Shultz, has considerable experience in this space. He began his professional career in 1999 as a union organizer for the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
Take the first step by calling our office or requesting a case consultation via our online contact form.