According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the leading causes of accidents in construction are electrocutions, falls, caught-in/betweens, and struck bys. Many of these accidents happen as a result of someone’s negligence or careless action. As such, they could have been prevented. Consequently, victims of these accidents end up paying high medical bills and lose pay from being out of work.
OSHA has strict regulations regarding construction site safety. Companies that fail to meet the regulations may face severe penalties that range from steep fines to business closure. In addition, a construction company may also face a lawsuit from the victims and pay out thousands of dollars in compensation for accident-related damages. Damages are a remedy in the form of monetary compensation to the injured party.
The Top Causes of Construction Accidents
The four leading causes of construction accidents include:
Contractors are required to provide equipment that prevents falls from occurring. In addition, companies must install and maintain perimeter protection, secure floor openings, and use OSHA-approved ladders and scaffolds. Failure to provide the right equipment can lead to falls that cause devastating injuries and fatalities.
An employee who does not receive the proper training may get in between a moving and fixed object. If these two objects come together they can cause severe injuries to the individual. The job site becomes more hazardous if coworkers are not wearing high-visibility clothing near equipment or vehicles.
Another common accident occurs when a worker enters an unprotected trench without a protective system in place. Systems may include benching, shoring, or sloping the trench, leaving the victim without a way of escape. Accidents happen as a result of poor training or an inadequate system.
There are several reasons why electrocutions occur on the job site. A crew may not identify a utility such as an underground cable or power line that is already in place. In addition, crews may work too closely to elevated power lines or an unprotected GFCI outlet.
Other accidents that frequently occur on the job sites include:
- Crane accidents
- Heavy equipment accidents
- Welding accidents
- Power tools accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Toxic chemical exposure
When these accidents occur, they can injure a worker, slow down production, and leave the company vulnerable to a lawsuit.
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Determining Liability for Construction Site Accidents
Construction accidents often occur due to a coworker or company failing to practice safety precautions as mandated by OSHA and other government agencies. Responsible parties may include:
- Equipment manufactures
- Contractors or subcontractors
- Property/building owners
- Third parties (drivers or site visitors)
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
When a victim files a claim for workers’ compensation, they must establish who is at fault for the accident and how the at-fault party’s negligence or actions led to the injuries. This can be difficult to do when a person is suffering from their injuries. For this reason, a workers’ compensation lawyer can be a valuable asset in helping a person with their injury claim, and we can work with them if this is a third-party case.
A lawyer can provide legal services such as:
Investigating the Accident
A legal team can look into the accident to determine what happened. They can gather evidence to prove fault and liability such as medical records, eyewitness statements from coworkers, and accident reports. A lawyer can investigate the scene of the accident and review the contractor’s safety policies.
Filing a Claim on Behalf of the Victim
A workers’ compensation claim can involve a lot of paperwork and complex processes that take up a victim’s time and energy. A law firm can manage a claim, navigate the legal process, and ensure that the victim is treated fairly. Furthermore, a lawyer can track the progress of the claim and negotiate a fair settlement with the contractor and the insurance company.
Assessing the Victim’s Damages
A victim may incur a variety of damages from an accident. Damages may include bills from medical services, lost wages/benefits, disability, dismemberment, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, or loss of joy of life. In a wrongful death suit, the family may have out-of-pocket expenses such as burial or funeral costs in addition to lost household income.
Filing a Lawsuit in a Workers’ Compensation Claim
In addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim, the victim may also file a lawsuit if the person that caused the accident was a coworker, a third-party, or visitor on the site. A third party may include another driver, manufacture, or other entity outside of the employer that was responsible for the accident.
Under special circumstances, a worker may file a lawsuit and workers’ compensation against the employer. For instance, if the employer committed multiple acts of gross negligence then the victim may be able to file a lawsuit.
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Contact Us to Assist You in Your Case
Regardless of the causes of accidents in construction, you owe it to yourself to explore your legal options when you are injured on the job site. Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. provides legal representation for victims for construction site accidents. We handle third-party cases when you are injured on the job and will work with your workers’ compensation attorney. Call our law firm at (317) 636-7777 to get a free consultation with a member of our team.