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Understanding Your Rights After A Construction Accident

Understanding Your Rights After A Construction Accident

There are dangers with every job in the United States, but one of the most dangerous fields is construction work. From condominiums to commercial buildings, these workers build it all and face some of the most dangerous situations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 1,000 construction fatalities occur each year in the United States, giving construction workers the highest rate of workplace fatalities. It’s important to know how these workplace accidents happen, what can be a result of these accidents, and what your rights are if you’ve been seriously injured in a construction accident.

How Do Construction Accidents Happen?

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is the federal agency tasked with creating regulations and enforcing laws regarding safety in the workplace. When construction companies, a site supervisor, foreman, or other employees neglect the regulations set by OSHA, serious injury can occur. The most common injury related to construction is from improper lifting. However, the most catastrophic injuries can occur from falling due to defective planking or support. Problems that can cause serious injury at a construction site may include:

  • Inadequate safety precautions
  • Falls from scaffolding, ladder, or other height
  • Dangerous, conditions, work practices, or lack of supervision
  • Exposure to hazardous materials
  • Faulty safety equipment
  • Trench cave-ins 
  • Building or wall collapse
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Heavy objects falling
  • Heavy equipment accident
  • Defective tools or machinery
  • Injuries from power tools
  • Electrocution, fire, or explosion

Construction work is a heavy-duty profession and it’s rare that injured constructions can have light or moderate work while injured. In cases like this, injured construction workers often lose their jobs or even their careers depending on the severity of the injury.

What Are Common Injuries From Construction Accidents?

Construction accidents have the highest rate of catastrophic injuries than any other workplace. Injuries sustained in a construction accident can be devastating not only to the victims but their families as well. Injuries that are most common with constructions include but aren’t limited to:

  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Blindness
  • Internal and musculoskeletal injuries
  • Loss-of-limb and amputation injuries
  • Brain injuries, including traumatic brain injuries 
  • Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
  • Severe burns

Not only are injuries a possibility at a construction site, but construction workers may be exposed to older building materials and other hazardous materials. This exposure can lead to chronic illnesses such as:

  • Mesothelioma- Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs, called the mesothelium. Mesothelioma can occur as a result of exposure to asbestos.
  • Asbestosis- Also a result of exposure to asbestos, this condition causes shortness of breath and scarring of the lungs. This condition doesn’t show up until after many years of continued exposure.
  • Silicosis- When concrete on a rock that contains silica is drilled or chipped, the fine particles of silica can become airborne and easily inhaled. These inhaled particles can scar and stiffen the victim’s lungs.

Worker’s Compensation Insurance And Personal Injury Claims

Understanding Your Rights After A Construction Accident

Being injured on the job is not the ideal situation for anybody who works in construction. However, if you do get injured while doing construction work or any kind of work, you may be able to apply for worker’s compensation insurance. Basically, this allows you to receive financial benefits for your lost income while you are disabled and incapable of returning to work, along with reimbursement for medical expenses. In some cases, depending on the severity of the injuries, you might be able to receive lifetime permanent disability payments or a lump sum settlement. 

Employers are required to provide a safe work environment under the premises liability theory. Safety training is required by all employers, but higher turnover rates and improperly trained employees account for the majority of the accidents that occur on the construction site. If the company does not provide a safe environment and sufficient training, they may be held liable for a personal injury claim or a wrongful death lawsuit in the event of a fatal construction accident. In the event of equipment failure, manufacturer defect, or design flaw, there may be other parties that are liable for damages as well. Examples of who may be held liable include:

  • Construction company
  • Site foreman or supervisor
  • Manufacturer of equipment/tools
  • Negligent coworker, sub-contractor, or another individual

Along with worker’s compensation, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against a third-party and the manufacturer of a defective or dangerous product. When your injury is the result of negligence from another party, it’s within your rights to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation. In order to have a successful personal injury claim, you must show:

  • The company, supervisor, coworker, or third party had a responsibility to act in a practical and safe way in regard to you. This is called a duty of care.
  • If that person had breached their duty of care, it means that they failed to perform that responsibility and were negligent.
  • If you were able to prove if the person had a duty of care and that they breached that duty, then you need to prove that your injuries were a result of that negligence.

Working With A Personal Injury Lawyer In Florida

All construction workers have the same goal, to come home after the end of their shift as healthy as they arrived to work that morning. Safety regulations through OSHA help ensure that goal. But when those regulations are violated by construction companies, serious injuries can occur. At Sheftall Law, we understand the added stress that comes with being injured in a construction accident. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are here to help you receive the maximum compensation that you deserve. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a construction accident, give us a call today at (904) 638-7712 for a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation. You can also visit sheftalllaw.com to schedule your consultation at your earliest convenience. We will be able to answer any questions you may have about your case and get your personal injury claim started right away.