Construction accidents often occur when workers on construction sites are faced with dangerous conditions. Although federal and state regulations are designed to keep workers safe, accidents and injuries can still happen on a regular basis, especially when foremen and/or property owners disregard those regulations or act negligently.
These preventable accidents can often have catastrophic results. While workers’ compensation benefits are available for injured workers, those benefits are not always enough to cover the wide range of expenses following such serious and life-changing accidents.
Construction workers face a much higher risk of suffering workplace injuries than workers employed in most other industries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), one out of every five worker fatalities in 2017 occurred in the construction industry. During that year, 971 construction workers were killed, and many others suffered severe injuries. At Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer, our attorneys have represented workers of all trades in all construction settings.
If you are injured in a construction site accident, you may have a legal claim in addition to your workers’ compensation benefits. If someone other than your immediate employer contributed to your accident at a construction site – such as an equipment supplier, a construction manager, safety consultants or an employee of another sub-contractor — then you may be able to a lawsuit. Because you are suing someone not your employer, these types of lawsuits are called “third party” cases.
Our attorneys represent injured workers and families of those killed to recover compensation for their economic and noneconomic losses. Injuries at construction sites can occur from a number of different causes including, but not limited to: unsafe work practices, defective or unsafe equipment, falling objects, and falls from elevation.
If you suffered an injury in an accident at a construction site, contact our construction site accident lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation. We can provide you with a fair and honest assessment of the merits of your claim. If we represent you, we will do everything necessary to build a strong case to recover the compensation to which you should be entitled.
We have recovered seven and eight figure recoveries for our clients who include:
- A young engineer who was rendered quadriplegic when a hydraulic excavator was unintentionally moved when the operator’s clothing caught on the controls;
- A young man setting a modular home who fell 40 feet and was paralyzed because the modular home manufacturer did not hire a competent project manager;
- A bricklayer working on a mast-climbing work platform who was killed because the manufacturer did not design proper fall protection on the platform;
- An ironworker who was rendered quadriplegic due to a general contractor’s failure to enforce fall protection;
- A laborer who was paralyzed in a fall from a scaffold due to improper use of an extension ladder to gain access to an elevated work platform;
- A roofer suffered partial paralysis when he was forced to work on a flat roof without fall protection; and
- An electrical worker who suffered severe electrical burns while working in a medium voltage switchgear that was supposed to be de-energized but was “back-fed” electricity into fuses.
How construction accident attorneys can help
After a construction accident, injured workers and the families of workers who are killed are often overwhelmed by their losses. Many find the claims process to be confusing and difficult to manage while they are trying to recover and are dealing with financial and other stresses. Working with an attorney at Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer can allow you to focus on your recovery. A lawyer can help to guide you through the legal claims process and keep you informed about the progress of your claim at all times. A Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer lawyer can explain the various legal theories that apply to a third-party construction lawsuit and assist you with your workers’ compensation claim. Construction accident lawyers work to recover damages for their clients to compensate them for the losses that have resulted from the accident. When you hire an attorney, it can help to improve your chances of securing maximum compensation for your losses.
Construction injury attorneys may help you to recover damages for the losses that you have incurred because of your accident including your past and future medical costs and your income losses. If a third party was partially to blame, a lawyer may file an injury lawsuit against the third party to recover damages for your noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering and the loss of life’s pleasures in addition to your economic losses. If you lost your loved one in a construction site accident, an attorney may file a wrongful death claim on your behalf. Our team of dedicated attorneys will get to work quickly on your claim.
Conduct a thorough investigation as soon as possible to gather strong evidence
Building a strong claim begins with a thorough and in-depth investigation. Our lawyers, investigators, and experts understand how to investigate construction accidents to uncover vital evidence to support your claim. We work quickly so that the evidence will be preserved. It is very important for you to retain a construction injury lawyer as soon as possible following an accident so that critical evidence can be identified and preserved.
Gather medical records that document your injuries
In personal injury lawsuits and workers’ compensation claims, medical records are crucial for demonstrating the link between your injuries and your accident and for showing the extensiveness and severity of your injuries. We will work with you to gather your medical records, medical bills, and other relevant documents to show the extent of your injuries and how you could be affected by them in the future.
Some things our team may be able to do for you are:
Consult with experts
Complex injury claims often require input from a variety of different experts. In construction accidents, our clients sometimes need the expert opinions of doctors, government safety specialists, engineers, and economists. Expert opinions help to strengthen your case and help us to present your case compellingly and persuasively when we are negotiating with insurance companies or litigating your case before a jury at a trial.
Advocate for you through negotiations with insurance companies
When you hire our lawyers to represent you, we will handle the negotiations with the insurance companies while you concentrate on recovering. We will accurately value your claim and send demands for full and fair compensation to the insurance companies once we have determined the full extent of your injury. We will aggressively negotiate on your behalf and communicate about any settlement offers that might be extended to you.
Deal with bills and liens from your medical providers
Most people seriously injured in construction accidents will face staggering medical bills and medical liens. We can help you to manage these issues while you wait for the resolution of your claim.
Keep your best interests at the forefront
We always keep the best interests of our clients at the forefront of everything that we do. If we are unable to reach a fair settlement agreement for you, our trial lawyers will fight for your rights to compensation through alternative dispute resolution procedures or a jury trial.
The compensation that you may receive will depend on many different factors, including the type of case, your injuries, your income losses, and your medical bills. Many other factors may also come into play. In a construction site accident claim there are two distinct forms of potential compensation and possible claims.
In a workers’ compensation claim, you may receive benefits to pay for your current and future medical bills, rehabilitation costs, the costs of prosthetics, and other related medical expenses. If your accident has left you with disabilities that prevent you from returning to your job for a time or permanently, you may also recover disability payments benefits to replace a percentage of your income. Family members of workers who are killed may recover death benefits for the loss of their loved ones.
Third Party Claims
If a third party was responsible for causing your construction accident and injuries, such as a Construction Manager, General Contractor or a manufacturer of construction equipment, you may file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the negligent third party(s). The third party construction sites commonly have multiple subcontractors working. If you were working for your employer at such a construction site and suffered an injury due to an accident caused by another subcontractor company, you may have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer and a civil lawsuit against the subcontractor company for the negligence of its employee. Through a civil suit, you may be entitled to recover the following types of damages:
- Past and future medical costs
- Past and future income losses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium for spouses
- Other damages
When you have been seriously injured in a construction accident, the insurance company may contact you and try to convince you to accept a quick settlement. You should not accept an initial settlement offer without talking to an attorney. These types of offers are often unreasonably low and insufficient to cover the losses of injured victims and their families.
Statute of limitations
State laws have statutes of limitations for personal injury claims. These statutes place a limitation time period settings deadline for filing claims. Therefore, it is important that you speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Most states have an exception to their general statute of limitations which provides a longer time period for children to file a claim for injury. The statute of limitations and exceptions to it vary from state to state. Again, that is why it is important to discuss your injury with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Frequently asked questions about construction accidents
At Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer, we often receive questions from people who have been injured in construction site accidents. Here are some of the most common questions that we receive. We hope that they provide you with a better understanding of these types of claims.
1. What is a claim for a construction accident?
Construction sites are fluid work environments that can pose substantial risks to safety. An injury can happen suddenly. Workers, innocent bystanders or someone who is merely driving or walking by the site can be severely injured by debris, accidents with construction vehicles, a crane collapse, or by falling objects.
Workers’ compensation benefits may pay for injuries caused to employees in construction accidents. However, workers’ compensation may not be the only option that injury victims have and, in some cases, it may not be available. A personal injury attorney can help you to understand your options after you are injured at a construction site.
2. Why can’t people file lawsuits against their employers?
Workers’ compensation laws in Pennsylvania and New Jersey protect employers from being sued for workplace accidents. Under these laws, you are not allowed to file a lawsuit against your employer for your workplace injuries. Instead, you can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, if multiple contractors or subcontractors are working at the site, there may be other responsible parties that you can hold liable for paying damages for your losses. This is important because some types of damages are not covered by workers’ compensation benefits but are available through personal injury lawsuits.
3. When may a third-party contractor be liable?
Third-party contractors at construction sites may be liable if the contractors have failed to adhere to the safety regulations that are enforced by OSHA. They may also be vicariously liable for the negligence of their employees that were the proximate or direct cause of your injuries. Our attorneys can review the facts of your case to identify any third parties that may be named in a personal injury lawsuit. Many construction accidents happen because of factors such as distractions, inadequate training, or inattentiveness. In some cases, accidents are caused by drugs or alcohol use. There are legal defenses that a third party such as a General Contractor or a Construction Manager may be entitled to raise and each case is very fact specific as to whether the legal defenses could result in denying you your day in court. The construction accident lawyers at Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer will carefully review, analyze and prepare your case to take all measures possible to defeat any and all legal defenses that could preclude your recovery.
4. What should I do after being injured at a construction site?
Following a construction accident in which you have been injured, you should take the following steps to protect your rights:
- Immediately report your injuries to your employer.
- Collect the names and contact information for the people who witnessed the accident.
- If you can, take photographs of the accident scene, or ask another person to photograph it for you.
- Seek immediate medical attention.
- Follow all of the recommendations that your doctor gives you.
- Contact a construction accident lawyer.
5. What can you do if your workplace is unsafe?
If your workplace is not safe, you should alert your supervisor to the hazards that you identify. You should follow up with your employer in writing. If the hazardous conditions are not corrected, you have the right to file a complaint with OSHA. OSHA is responsible for enforcing workplace safety regulations together with its corresponding state agencies.
6. Can your employer retaliate against you for filing an OSHA complaint?
It is against the law for employers to retaliate against workers because they file complaints with OSHA. You are protected from retaliation in all aspects of your job, including raises, hours, pay, bonuses, transfers, and terminations. If your employer retaliates against you, the retaliation is grounds for a wrongful termination claim. We have an employment law division within our firm, which may help you if you have been retaliated against for filing an OSHA complaint. If your employer has retaliated against you, you must also file a complaint of retaliation with OSHA no later than 30 days after the retaliation occurred.
Contact our construction site accident lawyers today
Construction accidents can be devastating, leaving you with debilitating injuries and quickly mounting expenses. When you have been seriously injured or have lost your loved one in a construction site accident, the dedicated attorneys at Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer can evaluate what happened and provide you with a fair assessment of the merits of your claim. If we represent you, we will consult with experts to build the strongest possible case for you. We will explain your legal rights and the remedies that might be available to you. Contact us today for a free consultation about your potential claim call 1-800-535-1797.
If you or a loved one has been critically injured do to someone else’s negligence, please click here to fill out the contact form, or call 1-800-535-1797 and someone from our team will be ready to help.
For the general public: This Blog/Website is made available by the law firm publisher, Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer for educational purposes. It provides general information and a general understanding of the law but does not provide specific legal advice. By using this site, commenting on posts, or sending inquiries through the site or contact email, you confirm that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog/Website publisher. The Blog/Website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.
For attorneys: This Blog/Website is informational in nature and is not a substitute for legal research or a consultation on specific matters pertaining to your clients. Due to the dynamic nature of legal doctrines, what might be accurate one day may be inaccurate the next. As such, the contents of this blog must not be relied upon as a basis for arguments to a court or for your advice to clients without, again, further research or a consultation with our professionals
As the operator of a large piece of construction equipment sat down in the cab, he unintentionally moved the joystick control, causing the boom to swing uncontrollably and knock a piece of equipment onto a young man standing nearby.