Being employed as a construction worker is one of the most dangerous jobs that a person can have. These dedicated workers risk serious injuries or even death on the job on a daily basis. Construction accidents not only affect injured workers. They impact the fabric of entire families too.
Some Common Types of Construction Accidents
Given the heights, equipment and materials at construction sites, a variety of severe accidents can occur. Here are some of the types of accidents that are often seen on construction sites:
• Falls: These are the most common types of accidents on construction sites. Improperly built work surfaces or walkways are often the causes of falls. Workers might also fall from roofs, scaffolding or ladders.
• Being Struck by an Object: The higher that objects fall from, the more dangerous they can be. Falling objects on construction sites are often misplaced tools or materials. Sometimes construction workers are even struck by vehicles or heavy machinery.
• Getting Caught in Between: Construction workers can get caught between a wall and machinery or a heavy piece of machinery and a vehicle.
• Electrocution: The risk of electrocution is always present on a construction site. Exposed wiring or wet connections are common hazards. Overhead power lines are of particular concern because of the voltage traveling through them.
• Power Tool Accidents: Careful use of power tools is critical to safety on any construction site. Aside from the risk of electrocution are the risks of a serious penetrating injury or even amputation.
• Collapses: Walls or trenches collapsing can cause blunt force trauma or even bury workers. They must be quickly rescued, especially in the event of a trench collapse.
Violation of Safety Regulations
Both state and federal agencies have put regulations in place to protect construction workers from unnecessary risks of harm. Sometimes, it’s the workers themselves who ignore safety regulations and get seriously injured because of a violation. At other times, it’s a foeman or a manager who circumvents the rules. Unfortunately, it’s usually the workers themselves who are injured under the circumstances. Here are some of those violations:
• Improperly erected scaffolding.
• Improper fall protection.
• Failure to use appropriate safety gear like a hardhat or eye protection.
• Failure to provide workers with adequate breathing protection.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The general rule across the country is that a worker who is injured in the course and scope of his or her employment by an anticipated and foreseeable consequence of that employment is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Those benefits are usually the injured employee’s sole and exclusive remedy. They ordinarily consist of the following:
• Payment of all reasonable medical bills in connection with the accident and injuries.
• Temporary total disability to be paid to the worker while he or she is recovering from the injuries and unable to work.
• Permanent partial disability for any permanent loss of a percentage of the person as a whole.
Personal Injury Lawsuits in Construction Accidents
An exception to the sole and exclusive remedy rule exists when an employee of one company was injured by a third-party entity on the same job site. Under those circumstances, the injured construction worker can file a personal injury lawsuit at the same time as workers’ compensation benefits are being received. That lawsuit would avail the construction worker to additional damages not contemplated by workers’ compensation laws. Usually, the personal injury case is significantly more valuable than the workers’ compensation claim. As the legal rules under such circumstances get complicated very quickly, it’s recommended that any injured worker seek the sound advice of a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer.
Construction workers must realize how dangerous it is every time that they set foot on a construction site. There’s always a risk of being seriously injured. Nearly all personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations to construction accident victims. If you or a family member have been injured in a construction accident, take advantage of a free consultation and case review. The more information that you receive, the more you’ll realize how legally complicated your situation is.