Construction Accidents

Serving Pennsylvania & New Jersey

In cities like Philadelphia, there is constant construction, be it on the streets, subways, railways, or buildings. Although regulations are in place to protect the construction workers from harm, accidents continue to happen on the job site. Many of those accidents are fatal. Here is a startling statistic for you: According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), every 1 in 5 work-related deaths are in construction. That amounts to about 20%. Moreover, 34% of those construction deaths are falls. If you are among those who have suffered injuries because of a fall or another accident at a construction site, then contact a Philadelphia construction accident attorney from Raynes & Lawn today.

Our attorneys represent injured workers and families of those killed to recover compensation for their economic and non-economic 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.

Causes of Construction Accidents

Why do such horrific construction accidents happen? Most of the time, it is when property owners or foremen disregard the safety regulations or behave negligently. Cutting corners to save time and money on projects also opens a wide window for 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.

Common construction site accidents include:

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, a safety consultant, 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.

Who Can Be Held Responsible For a Construction Accident Injury or Death?

In the event that your employer holds workers’ compensation insurance, they will not be held responsible for the injuries you sustained while on the job. Because of this, most lawsuits are made against a third party. However, workers’ compensation does not protect employers if the injury or death was the result of something intentional. If you believe your employer was at fault for your construction accident, there are paths you can take to building a case. A Philadelphia construction accident attorney from Raynes & Lawn can explain this process to you.

Should you wish to raise a case against a third party, here are some of the groups or individuals who can receive a lawsuit after a construction accident:

  • Site Owner(s). In this case, the liability of the owner depends on how much control they have over the construction site.
  • Prime Contractors. These contractors are responsible only for the work detailed in their contract or for the work they assign to sub-contractors.
  • General or Sub-Contractors. According to OSHA, both general and sub-contractors have a duty to provide the workers with the safest conditions possible. If there are hazards, they must warn of them and also monitor the laborers to ensure adherence to any and all safety regulations. Should a contractor fail to act upon their duties, then any accident that occurs during their negligence gives the injured worker an opportunity to receive compensation.
  • Manufacturers. Any part that is part of the distribution of a product or piece of equipment that was defective and caused an injury can be held liable.
  • Engineers and Architects. There are some cases where architects and engineers must be present to watch the progress of a task and ensure that action is compliant to regulations. Should an engineer or architect fail to do the duties outlined in their work contract, they could end up paying some of the damages for your injuries or the loss of a loved one.

How Construction Accident Attorneys Can Help

The experienced team of construction injury attorneys at Raynes & Lawn have successfully achieved seven and eight-figure damage recoveries for our clients, including:

  • 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.

After a construction accident, injured workers and the families of workers who are severely injured or killed are often overwhelmed. Therefore, the already confusing claims process is made all the more difficult to comprehend. The last thing you want is more stress when you are trying to get your life back in order, get back to work, or recover from the loss of a loved one.

By working with a Philadelphia construction accident attorney from Raynes & Lawn, you will not only pursue adequate compensation, you also have a supportive team by your side. For instance, a Raynes & Lawn 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, because they can put together an incontrovertible case.

If a third party was partially to blame, a lawyer may file an injury lawsuit against the third party to recover damages for your non-economic 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 construction injury attorneys will get to work quickly on your claim, so you can get back on your feet sooner.

How to Begin a Construction Accident Case

Let’s go through some of the steps involved when putting together the case that will help you reclaim some of your financial losses.

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.

What The Raynes & Lawn Construction Accident Lawyers Can Do

Bringing an experienced Philadelphia construction accident attorney into the fold has numerous benefits. Here are some ways our team can help you directly:

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

The main goal of a Philadelphia construction accident attorney is to get you the compensation you deserve. 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.

Potential Compensation When Working With a Construction Accident Attorney

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.

Workers’ Compensation

In a workers’ compensation claim, you may receive benefits to pay for your current and future medical bills, rehabilitation costs, the costs of a prosthesis, 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
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability
  • 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.

What is the Statute Of Limitations for Construction Accidents?

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, 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, unless it can proven that they intended such injuries to happen. 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 Philadelphia construction accident attorneys at Raynes & Lawn 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 Philadelphia construction accident attorney from Raynes & Lawn.

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 Philadelphia Construction Accident Attorneys 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 construction accident attorneys at Raynes & Lawn 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.

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.


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