Construction sites are naturally one of the most hazardous work environments in America. Employees are constantly handling heavy machinery, navigating scaffolds, and being exposed to dangerous chemicals, materials, electrical lines, and falling objects. With the potential for defective products and working alongside negligent coworkers, reasons for the prevalence of construction accidents become apparent.
How many construction-related accidents occur each year?
The construction industry is one of the highest occupations for fatal injuries, according to the United Stated Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. The latest figures show that more than 1,200 fatal injuries occurred in 2007. When serious construction accidents occur, they quite often could have been prevented; that’s when hiring a personal injury attorney makes sense.
Causes of Accidents
Construction accident claims have been traced back to fault with property owners, engineering and architectural firms, construction managers, equipment manufacturers, suppliers and co-workers with little or no experience, and the all too often, unsafe working conditions. Due to the severity of such injuries, construction accidents often have long-term consequences that can prevent the victim from future employment.
Construction Accident Liability
Employees who suffer an on-site personal injury in a construction accident are generally entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Worker’s compensation is generally less than what an employee may receive if construction accident liability claims were successfully resolved.
However, just because an employee receives worker’s compensation does not mean that he cannot make a liability claim against a non-employer who caused his accident injuries. Consequently, it is essential that you consult with a construction accident attorney immediately following the accident.
Instances of when a party’s negligence contributed to a construction accident injury include:
- Unsafe equipment – When unsafe equipment is used at a construction site
- Unsafe work practices – When a contractor conducts unsafe work practices that endanger the safety of other on-site persons
- Dangerous work conditions –When unsafe working conditions exist, such as a lack of guard rails or uncovered floors
- Insufficient training – When a sub-contractor fails to adequately train his employees or knowingly hires employees that lack adequate training for a job
You should have a construction accident attorney analyze the facts of your case to determine what types of claims can be pursued.
Compensation for Construction Accidents
If it is proven that a party’s negligence directly resulted in a construction accident injury, the victim or survivors may be entitled to compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Related medical bills, both past and future
- Loss of relationship
- Loss of companionship
- Disfigurement and other bodily injuries
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
What is involved in filing a construction accident claim?
Speaking with an attorney is important so that you can be properly advised as to any obligations and responsibilities you may have regarding actions to take. Of course, seeking medical attention is a priority so that you can obtain proper treatment and not risk further injury. Right after the accident, have photos taken (with date recorded). Other steps to take include but are not limited to, obtaining witness contact information, writing down and sketching the exact information about the accident and equipment, and recording all medical fees and out-of-pocket expenses.
Is filing an OSHA complaint a recourse?
Much depends upon your injury and the particular circumstances. Your financial recovery may be impacted by OSHA laws, but third-party contractors, property owners, and/or equipment manufacturers as well as your employer may be legally responsible. An OSHA complaint may be pursued, but it’s always best to speak with a personal injury attorney who can best advise you about your options.
Attorney Jerrold Mayro Can Help
If you have suffered a personal injury in a construction accident in the Phoenix, Mesa, or Tempe, Arizona area, please contact Arizona construction accident attorney Jerrold A. Mayro today or call (602) 604-8400 to schedule your personal consultation.