The rate of fatal injuries for construction workers is higher than for all industries, as is the number of filed construction accident lawsuits where families seek compensation for damages.
According to the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), around 6.5 million workers are employed at over 250,000 construction sites nationwide.
The most common dangers construction workers face include falls from heights, exposure to electric shock and arc flashes or blasts, negligence during the use of protective equipment, trench or scaffold collapses, and recurrent motion injuries.
The workers must also work in extreme temperatures or cope with exposure to poisonous gases and falling objects. To top it all, accidents happen with power tools or as straightforward as using ladders.
In short, construction workers face grave dangers that can both be fatal on the one hand and seriously hazardous on the other.
OSHA Primary Standards
OSHA has outlined ten primary standards (as per the agency’s citation in FY 2004) to avoid grievous accidents that include regulations about ladders, scaffolding, excavations, hazard communication, fall protection, construction, electrical equipment, and head protection.
The construction site accident investigation proceeds through two routes – utilizing the facts and the law.
The investigation may rely on scene evidence such as photos, witnesses, business records, materials provided by property insurance investigators and workers’ compensation carriers, and, most importantly, various reports from the OSHA.
Moreover, this material may also be supplemented with the help of a private investigator to obtain other essential pieces of information that can play a crucial role in the investigation.
Employer and Worker Regulations
OSHA regulations are applicable between an employer and an employee.
The most essential rules from OSHA (a group that helps keep workers safe) include ideas about four types of people.
- The ‘creating employer’ is the one who might have caused a dangerous situation to happen in the first place.
- The ‘exposing employer’ is the person who might have put workers in a situation where they could get hurt.
- The ‘correcting employer’ is the person who needs to fix the dangerous situation.
- The ‘controlling employer’ is the one who has power over the place where the danger is happening.
All these categories may include the vendors, owners, contractors, subcontractors, or any other person who has any control over the site where construction is being carried out – even though they did or did not give the worker’s compensation coverage for the person in question.
Any of these individuals must also be taken as likely defendants. OSHA standards also include various categories of hazard control, such as ‘hazard elimination’, ‘hazard substitution’, engineering and administrative controls, and the equipment used for personal protection.
These standards can play a pivotal role in making convincing arguments. The shortage of skilled construction workers has created a more dangerous worksite than ever.
For instance, the construction owner is aware that the subcontractor may allow his workers to work without proper protection, such as appropriate staging, providing required equipment, and training workers for safety.
This makes the owner the ‘controlling employer’ and subjects him to OSHA standards. In incidents like when a worker is gravely injured due to a fall, these standards provide a basis for making the key arguments.
Even in the case of comparative fault, the defense is more likely to come out in the worker’s favor.
Construction workers form a large part of the industry workforce. OSHA standards can be beneficial in creating a solid case for the worker and tracing the party responsible for the accident.
The courts provide legal remedies for injured workers to file construction accident lawsuits to get the compensation and disability benefits they deserve.
Why Injured Workers File Construction Accident Lawsuits
Construction accidents can have devastating consequences, leaving workers with severe injuries, medical bills, and a loss of income. In such construction lawsuit cases, injured workers seek compensation and justice.
There are several reasons why injured workers choose to file these lawsuits.
Filing a construction accident lawsuit allows injured workers to hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence or disregard for safety regulations.
By pursuing legal action, workers can shed light on unsafe working conditions, inadequate training, or defective equipment, potentially improving workplace safety for others.
Construction accident lawsuits provide a way for injured workers to secure financial compensation.
Medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering are among the damages that can be claimed.
Compensation from a successful construction accident lawsuit can help alleviate the financial burden and provide support during the recovery process.
Ultimately, construction accident lawsuits empower injured workers to protect their rights, obtain fair compensation, and encourage safer practices within the construction industry.
Who Can File a Construction Accident Lawsuit?
Various parties can file a construction accident lawsuit, depending on the circumstances. Generally, injured workers are the primary individuals eligible to initiate legal action.
This includes construction workers, contractors, subcontractors, and even self-employed individuals who sustain injuries while working on a construction site.
Furthermore, third parties who are not directly employed by the construction company but are injured due to the negligence of others can also file a construction accident lawsuit.
For instance, visitors to a construction site, pedestrians passing by, or neighboring property owners who suffer harm due to a construction accident may have grounds for legal recourse.
It’s crucial to consult with an experienced attorney specializing in construction accidents to determine the eligibility for filing a construction accident lawsuit based on the case’s specific circumstances.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Construction Accident Lawsuit?
While it is possible to file a construction accident lawsuit without legal representation, it is highly recommended to seek the assistance of a skilled lawyer.
Construction accident cases can be complex, involving multiple parties, intricate legal procedures, and extensive knowledge of construction and workplace safety regulations.
A qualified attorney experienced in construction accident law can guide injured workers through the entire legal process, ensuring their rights are protected and maximizing their chances of obtaining fair compensation.
Lawyers can help gather evidence, assess liability, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent the injured worker’s interests in court if necessary to ensure successful construction accident settlements.
Moreover, legal professionals can access expert witnesses, such as safety specialists and medical professionals, who can provide critical testimony to support the case.
With a lawyer, injured workers can navigate the legal complexities more effectively and achieve the best possible outcome in their construction accident lawsuits.
Contact a construction accident lawyer today to ensure you are compensated for your damages through worker’s compensation and a personal injury lawsuit.
- OSHA: Construction Accident Investigations
- BLS: Fatal Construction Accidents
- New York Times: Construction Site Accidents