Construction Injuries

Construction Injuries
Last Updated: August 12, 2020

The construction industry is an important part of our culture. Employers are obligated to take steps to prevent construction injuries and may be held accountable when personal injuries and wrongful deaths occur.

Construction Injuries Legal Rights

Construction can be a rewarding career. Carpenters, plumbers, masonry experts, electricians, and other laborers are aware of the dangers associated with their jobs, taking their own precautions and relying on employers to follow regulations and provide a work environment that is as safe as possible.

Every construction worker has the right to work in an environment where appropriate safety measures are set in place and properly enforced. Construction sites are inherently dangerous, however; and employer negligence – often caused by cutting corners – magnifies risks to workers.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides ground rules for workers’ rights and employer responsibilities, noting that proper training, required safety gear, and knowledgeable supervision are essential. When employers fail to follow guidelines or provide essential protective equipment, negligence may exist.

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Construction Injury Lawyer

If you are a construction worker who has been injured at a construction site, you have the right to contact a construction injury lawyer, who can help you determine whether liability exists and if so, may help you receive compensation for your injury.

Construction Injury Attorney

When a personal injury occurs at a construction site, liability may exist due to negligence. Employees who sustain construction injuries may be able to seek compensation from employers and other entities when negligence is a factor.

A knowledgeable construction injury attorney can help you determine whether liability exists and if so, whether pursuing legal action is worthwhile.

construction injury lawyer
Construction Injury Lawyer

Construction Injury Law Firm

Attorneys who specialize in construction injuries have formed construction injury law firms with the intent of assisting construction workers who have been injured during the course of employment. Often, working with a construction injury law firm is the best way for employees to seek justice and receive compensation for this type of personal injury.

Construction injury attorneys offer years of expertise, as their careers have involved construction accidents of all kinds. Lawyers who specialize in assisting workers who have been injured during the course of employment are far more familiar with the laws that govern construction employer-employee relationships than are those who specialize in other fields. Working with a construction injury law firm may greatly increase your chances of receiving the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries and related expenses.

Determining Employer Negligence

When a personal injury occurs at a construction site, liability may exist due to negligence. Employees who sustain construction injuries may be able to seek compensation from employers and other entities when negligence is a factor.

Negligence in Construction Injuries

In construction injuries, negligence is a form of carelessness that occurs when employers, construction companies, or their agents fail to maintain a reasonable amount of diligence. This could mean failing to provide appropriate training, failure to ensure that PPE is properly worn, or any other shortcoming.

In a construction environment, responsible entities including construction companies and their agents are bound by a legal duty to provide workers and site visitors with reasonable measures aimed at providing safety and security. No amount of negligence is acceptable.

Construction equipment manufacturers also bear a level of responsibility in ensuring that power tools, scaffolding, and other items are properly built so as not to cause harm to users or bystanders.

Workers Compensation

If you are suffering from a construction injury, workers compensation is an option. Unfortunately the worker’s comp system is complicated, and navigation can be lengthy as well as difficult. Furthermore, many who filed claims receive less financial compensation than they need and deserve.

Construction Injury
Employer Negligence

Construction Injury Claims

Workers compensation isn’t always enough, particularly when personal injury law dictates that you may have grounds to begin legal action. A construction injury lawsuit provides you with the opportunity to hold your employer and/or other responsible parties accountable for construction injuries caused by negligence.

Compensation from your claim could help you offset expenses related to your injury including the cost of medical care, travel, lost income, loss of future income, and other related costs.

Construction injury claims can be complicated in the process of filing a construction injury claim can be both intimidating and time-consuming. If you choose to take legal action, it is important to find an attorney with experience and expertise in construction-related lawsuits.

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What Causes Construction Injuries?

Construction is dangerous work, yet many developers and contractors place rapid progress ahead of worker safety by cutting corners. Construction accidents often serious are the result.

Construction Injury Statistics

OSHA blames “the fatal four” for the majority of construction injuries and deaths.

This category includes falls, electrocution, being struck by an object, and being trapped or caught in between objects or equipment. When compiling construction injury statistics, OSHA left highway vehicle construction accidents out of the equation.

Construction Workplace Injuries

Let’s take a closer look at the so-called fatal four. Even when construction workers are not killed during these accidents, serious injuries can be sustained.

Common Construction Injuries

Back injuries, sprains, fractures, and even amputations can occur at job sites. The following are the most common causes of workplace injuries.

Falls

Slipping, tripping, and falling are common construction site accidents. Sometimes workers fall from scaffolding or ladders, leading to severe head injuries or paralysis. Some injuries happen due to slipping or tripping without falling; wrenched necks and backs and other muscle damage are common construction injuries. Falls can be compounded when the injured party is carrying a heavy object. Falls – even from short distances – can lead to serious personal injury.

Electrocution

Electrocution can happen when hazardous energy isn’t properly controlled or when lockout / tagout procedures aren’t adhered to. Many electricity-related construction injuries occur when workers are told that power has been secured, yet it is still on. Both high- and low-voltage systems can cause electrocution without proper planning, communication, and other preventive efforts. Even when a worker survives electrocution, damage can be severe and life-altering.

Being Struck By An Object

Falling objects can cause brain injuries, eye injuries, fractures, muscle damage, bruises, and other construction injuries. Objects of every size and description can cause injuries if dropped, swung, or improperly secured. Even injuries that appear minor can cause chronic pain and other lasting impacts.

Being Caught, Crushed, or Compressed

Heavy equipment, collapsing structures, and machinery are often behind cases in which workers are seriously injured or killed. Sometimes being caught or crushed results in the loss of a limb, which leads to further complications. A construction worker who loses a limb has almost certainly lost the ability to return to their chosen profession as well.

Construction Injury Hand Tools
Types of Construction Accident Injuries

What is the most Common Injury in Construction?

According to the CDC, burns and scarring are among the most common injuries in construction. Since statistics change from one year to the next, it’s worth noting that other common construction injuries compete for first place. Back injuries, eye injuries, and overexertion are some other common construction accidents. 

Types of Construction Accident Injuries

Construction sites are inherently dangerous places and it is up to employers to ensure that accident prevention measures are enacted.

Construction accident injuries can happen even when workers are careful. For example:

Back Injuries in Construction

Construction-related back injuries are common and occur for a variety of reasons. While spinal fractures do occur as the result of construction accidents, most of the back injuries sustained by construction workers are sprains and strains. Common causes include:

Construction Injury Falls
Construction Injury Falls

Fatal Injuries in Construction

Of all 4,779 worker fatalities that occurred in private industries during 2018, OSHA reports that an astonishing 1,008 deaths – that’s 21.1% were construction-related. This translates to one of every five worker deaths occurring within the construction industry.

Construction Injury Rates

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 150,000 construction site accident injuries reported each year.

More Common Causes Of Construction Injuries

Besides the four that OSHA mentions there are also are also other common causes of construction injuries.

Hand tools

Both powered and non-powered hand tools, including drills, box cutters, power saws, shovels, pickaxes, hammers, grinders, and nail guns, are involved in construction injuries.

Heavy equipment and collisions

Even when workers are properly trained, bulldozers, cranes, backhoes, and other types of heavy machinery can cause serious construction injuries. Heavy equipment is often a contributing factor in crush and compression injuries. Trucks and other vehicles are involved in construction site collisions with injuries.

Building materials

Not only tools and machinery cause construction injuries; lumber, sheet metal, pipes, ducts, wires, and fasteners such as screws and nails often play a role. Materials may be dropped, improperly secured, or improperly stored, or might contribute to injuries during transport.

Lifting and repetitive motion

When construction workers repeatedly bend, twist, reach, and climb, muscles and joints can become stressed. Improper lifting procedures and sudden motions while carrying heavy objects can be major contributing factors in construction-related injuries as well.

Exposure to hazardous materials

Chemicals and other hazardous materials are present at new construction sites and remodels alike. Asbestos may be present inside old buildings and concentrated, short-term exposure to asbestos dust can cause serious illness including mesothelioma caner.

Construction workers can suffer from chemical burns or respiratory illness after chemicals are spilled or when proper personal protective equipment isn’t used.

Construction Injury Stories

Construction workers are injured every day. Here are some summaries of their stories:

construction injury
Construction Injury Fall

Worst Construction Injuries

People who survive serious construction accidents often live with devastating injuries.

Falls are the leading cause of the worst construction related injuries; yet they are also among the most preventable. Personal fall arrest systems, safety nets, covers on holes, guardrails, barricades, and fences could help prevent many of these injuries.

Electrocution or shock caused by contact with exposed wiring, unfinished electrical systems, and power lines lead to some of the worst construction injuries possible.

Severe burns are sustained in fires and explosions. Respiratory injuries can be sustained at the same time, leading to life-altering consequences.

Construction injuries often lead to expensive medical bills, lost income, and reduce or eliminate the worker’s ability to earn an income, causing devastating financial circumstances for the victim and their family.

Construction Injury Report Form

If you sustain a construction site injury, be sure to file a construction accident report.

File the report even if your injury does not seem to be severe. It can take hours and sometimes days for symptoms to manifest. For example, back pain might not be serious immediately following a slip and fall incident, but could be severe the following morning. This is just one example of a delayed symptom injury.

Besides filing a construction injury report, ensure that you visit your doctor immediately. Go to the doctor even if your injury does not seem to be severe. Some injuries are not immediately apparent or even visible, but can cause long-term damage. Certain construction injuries may have negative health effects that persist for life.

Construction Injury Report

When filing a construction injury report, be sure to notify your employer of the incident. There is a very good likelihood that your accident will be covered by worker’s comp.

In addition, be sure to file your construction injury report as soon as possible. The window for filing a worker’s compensation claim is fairly short.  In most states workers have only 30 days to file worker’s comp claims.

Your employer may have claim forms available. If not, they are available from your state’s worker’s compensation board.

Even though it can be intimidating and time-consuming to file a job-site accident report, take this very important step immediately. It is an essential part of the process for ensuring that you receive appropriate compensation for your injury.

If you are unable to work, worker’s compensation can make up for lost wages and allow you to sustain your lifestyle while recovering from your injury.

When you file your report, provide as many details as possible. If you did not write your report yourself, check it for accuracy. You can update your report later if symptoms worsen.

Here are a few more considerations for filing a work-related accident report:

Keep copies of everything related to the accident for yourself. If you are not immediately provided with a copy of your construction injury report, be sure to ask for one.

Keep a journal that includes details about everything related to your construction accident and injury. Be sure to include the following:

 

Remember to keep track of your claim. Make detailed notes about interactions with your supervisors and managers, human resources personnel and others who are involved with your construction injury report. Be sure to make notes about every conversation that occurs including what was said, who was present, and the date and time that the conversation occurred.

Keep copies of everything related to your construction injury and report even if it seems unimportant. Make copies of every form you fill out and if you receive anything in the mail, make sure that you keep the envelopes as well as their contents. If you make copies of items you receive in the mail, make copies of the envelopes as well and keep them together.

Besides keeping copies of your medical records, ensure that you retain copies of any receipts for medical expenses. This should include the costs of medications, physical therapy, and anything else that is related to caring for your injury.

Keep copies of all of your pay stubs and timesheets from before and after your accident. Your personal injury attorney will be able to use these when determining how your construction injury impacted your ability to continue making the same income.

Construction Injuries
Determining Negligence In Construction Injuries

Determining Negligence In Construction Injuries

Regulations, construction safety programs, and inspection procedures are designed to help prevent work-related injuries and protect your health, yet these are frequently ignored.

While malicious intent rarely exists, contractors, subcontractors, job site supervisors, and others may overlook safety violations or even encourage unsafe practices as a method of saving time, money, or both.

In order to determine negligence in a construction injury, the injured worker and/or their representative holds the burden of proof. Often, a construction injury lawyer steps in to help the injured party.

Construction injury attorneys offer expertise in determining whether and how these and other practices constitute negligence, using the following elements as guidelines.

Five Elements Exist in Construction Negligence Cases

Duty
The law recognizes the relationship between the construction company and the injured party and determines whether the defendant owed the injured party a certain standard of care.

Breach of duty
A construction injury attorney uses evidence to prove that the employer, construction company, their agent, or an equipment manufacturer failed to fulfil their duty to exercise reasonable care.

Cause in fact
Negligence may be determined in a construction accident when the defendant’s actions or lack of action are the cause of injury. Also known as “but-for” causation, the element of cause in fact means that “but for the specific action or lack of action on the part of the defendant, the construction injury would not have occurred.”

Proximate cause
In determining negligence, construction injury lawyers look for proximate cause, which relates to risks and injuries that the defendant could have foreseen. Proximate cause can be an act or a failure to exercise care, ultimately causing injury and leads to liability.

Damages
Construction injuries themselves are legally recognized harms or damages. Your damages may be obvious to outsiders if you have sustained a serious injury, but chronic pain, traumatic brain injuries, and other less-visible damages can require more effort to prove.

Even if you are certain that all five elements of negligence exist following an injury, a skilled construction injury attorney can help in areas such as compiling evidence, calculating damages, and negotiating a fair settlement.

What Actions to Take if You Want to Make A Claim?

Despite efforts toward making construction sites safer, accidents happen. Sometimes no negligence is involved but often, hazards could have been mitigated by better practices, closer supervision, or compliance with safety regulations.

If you or someone you know has suffered a work-related accident in the construction industry, the first step is to meet with a skilled construction injury attorney to discuss your case. Select Justice can help you fight back.

We have a number of experienced construction injury lawyers in our network, and we can connect you with the legal counsel you need to receive personal advice, fight back, and create a path toward gaining compensation for your construction injury.

Please fill out the form below with your contact details and a brief description of your construction injury / accident.

Please make sure to have relevant documents available, including employment documentation, testimony from co-workers, friends, family, or witnesses, and health records. Someone from our team will follow up with you as soon as possible.

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We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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