Construction Accident Lawyer
Construction workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. because of the nature of their work and the equipment they use. Construction accidents can cause significant pain and suffering — and may even render victims unable to work.
There can be significant impact on the family’s finances, especially if there are costly medical expenses. If you have been injured on a construction job in Glastonbury, Simsbury, Hartford, or in Connecticut, this is what you need to know.
Construction Accident Statistics
In the 2021 fiscal year, the
- Almost 4,800 construction workers died on the job in 2020.
- Every year, 1 in 5 worker deaths is on a construction project.
- The construction industry has the third highest rate of fatal injury to workers.
- Of these worker deaths, almost half were in the transportation/material moving and construction/extraction. sectors — almost 1,300 in transportation/material moving and almost 1,000 in construction/extraction.
Most Frequently Cited OSHA Violations
In many cases, construction accidents occur as the result of violations of OSHA rules and requirements. The following are the top 10 types of OSHA violation recorded for 2021:
- Duty to have fall protection — 29 CFR 1926.501
- Duty to have respiration protection — 29 CFR 1910.134
- Requirements for ladders — 29 CFR 1926.1053
- Requirements for hazard communication — 29 CFR 1910.1200
- Requirements for scaffolding — 29 CFR 1926.451
- Provision of fall protection training — 29 CFR 1926.503
- Performance requirements for the lockouts and tagouts (control of hazardous energy) — 29 CFR 1910.147
- Eye and face protection requirements — 29 CFR 1926.102
- Safety requirements for powered industrial trucks — 29 CFR 1910.178
- General requirements for machinery and machine guarding — 29 CFR 1910.212
What Are Some Examples of Construction Accident Injuries and Claims?
A construction accident can be as small as tripping over debris that is onsite. Sadly, some construction accidents — falling from a scaffold causing a spinal fracture, for example — are catastrophic for the worker who gets injured. There have been construction accident cases revolving around a huge gamut of circumstances, sites, and activities, including:
- Working with large equipment
- Highway or road construction
- Tunnel work
- Violations of the Safety Code/OSHA
- Shoring work
- Motor vehicle collisions
- Heavy machinery
- Scaffolding or ladder issues
- Tripping or falling
- Heavy lifting
- Collapsing roof or porch
- Defective safety equipment
- Toxic substances
- Negligence by another construction worker onsite.
Injuries sustained by construction workers include:
- Broken limbs
- Head trauma or brain injuries
- Wrongful death
The ‘Fatal Four’
Every year, almost 550 construction workers die from these ‘Fatal Four’ construction accidents. These accidents cause more than half the worker deaths in the private sector. The four most common kinds of construction accidents involve:
Falling: for example, roofers not adequately secured by their tethering system
Electrocution: for example, due to live wires or faulty wiring
Being struck by an object or objects: for example, scaffolding that falls on a worker or impact with heavy machinery
Being caught in or between objects: for example, a structure collapsing and crushing the victim because another worker was careless or negligent
OSHA Rights, What Are They?
Since its creation through the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA has protected workers by enforcing compliance with the regulatory requirements for safe working conditions. It also offers education, outreach, training, and other assistance to workers. According to OSHA, every worker has the right to:
- Work in a hazard-free workplace that does not hurt workers or cause them to fall ill
- Information about workplace chemicals, past and present injuries or illnesses suffered by workers, testing done by the employer (chemical, radiation, and noise levels, for example), and the worker’s medical records
- Full hazardous chemical data prior to any exposure (such as Material Safety Data Sheets), proper hazardous chemical labeling, and training with respect to health effects and how to protect oneself from the chemicals
- Report on and enforce health and safety actions without fear of reprisal or discrimination (as a “whistleblower”) — such as transfer of employment, denial of pay rise, reduction of hours, or termination of employment
- Health and safety training on any hazards to health and safety at the place of employment — lockout or tagout procedures for machinery or safe handling of chemicals, for example
- File an OSHA complaint — advising OSHA of unsafe working conditions and requesting a workplace inspection
- An OSHA inspection — and participating in it, if feasible
A construction attorney can assist workers — injured or made ill by a dangerous work environment that contravenes OSHA rights and requirements — to file a complaint or liaise with OSHA. A construction lawyer can also help someone who has filed an OSHA complaint and experienced their employer’s retaliation (demotion, firing, hour/pay reduction) to file a claim against the employer.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents
Among the most common causes of construction accidents, you will find:
- Lack of fall protection, dangerous/faulty ladders or scaffolding
- Being pinned or struck by vehicles or the materials the vehicles are transporting
- Flying or falling tools, debris, materials, or objects
- Faulty wiring/electrical components or system design or insufficient lockout and tagout guidelines
- Road and highway collisions
- Insufficient or inadequate communication about hazards
- Insufficient or inadequate respiratory protection
- Forklifts (powered industrial trucks) accidentally driven or falling off loading docks, or hitting people
- Tripping over debris
- Unsafe equipment
- Insufficient or inadequate power tool guards/protection
- Insufficient or inadequate precautions around power lines
- Insufficient or inadequate trench protection
- Unsafe conditions on the property itself.
Can I Sue My Employer If I’ve Been Injured in a Construction Accident?
If you are injured or ill due to a construction accident in Glastonbury, Simsbury, or Hartford, CT and it is solely because of your employer’s negligence, you can file Workers’ Compensation Commission claim against your employer. You will need evidence showing that the injury happened onsite during company time to receive benefits — which may not totally cover lost wages in the present or future.
If, however, a negligent third party was involved in the construction accident, you can also start a lawsuit against them for negligence — under personal injury or product liability. If you die as the result of the construction accident or the injuries incurred, your family can bring a wrongful death action on your behalf.
How Is Liability Determined If I’ve Been in an Accident on a Construction Site in Connecticut?
A number of different parties could be liable for an injury-creating construction accident — basically, anyone who had a responsibility to maintain health and safety on your construction site. Potential defendants could include:
- The construction company/contractors — need to provide safety gear and ensure good working conditions, as well as train workers to use it properly
- The property owner — must post safety hazard and dangerous material information on the construction site, for example
- Engineers/architects — in charge of creating the site plan, which if faulty could lead to accidents
- Subcontractors — may use their own equipment, which may cause accidents
- Product manufacturers — may be liable if their tools, gear, or equipment are defective or have a design flaw that causes the injury
To assess who is liable, you need to know exactly what caused the construction accident, and then identify the party responsible for what caused the accident.
I’ve Been Injured on a Construction Site, What Do I Do?
Experiencing a construction accident can be traumatic, and you may not be in a good mindframe to figure out what you need to do. These are the steps you need to take if you’ve been in a construction accident.
Get Medical Attention
Even if your injuries seem minor, you should get checked out. Not all symptoms appear right away. Additionally, you need to get your injuries treated right away as part of your recovery. The fact that you were examined by a medical professional and obtained treatment at the earliest opportunity will also rebut an argument that your injuries worsened because of inaction.
Notify The Employer
Apart from accelerating the compensation claim process, reporting the accident or injury allows the employer to take steps to prevent it from happening to others. Your employer is also required to report the accident to OSHA within a certain time frame.
Gather Information or Build Your Case
The more information you can provide, the faster your workers’ compensation claim will be processed, and the more likely it is to get a favorable result. Gathering documentation of your injury and the circumstances under which you were injured will also be vital if you need to commence a lawsuit against a third party. Find out if there are witnesses and get their contact information.
Take as many pictures of the scene of the accident — and injury — as you can, and ask co-workers if they have pictures or footage. Track your medical records and journal about how the accident has impacted you. Also, preserve any correspondence between you and your employer.
Seek Legal Advice
Not only can a construction injury attorney help you with claim applications, but they can also advise you on your potential entitlements and whether you should initiate a workers’ compensation claim or a lawsuit against other parties.
Do I Need a Construction Accident Attorney?
Construction accident lawyers actively protect the legal rights and entitlements of clients who have been injured in a construction accident. As much, a construction injury lawyer can assist you by:
Making responsible parties accountable for their action or inaction — identifying who played what role, and what responsibilities they had and breached, and then recommending the best course of action to follow
Negotiating on your behalf with insurance companies, other parties, or lawyers — making sure that you are not lowballed or shortchanged by the other side(s), protecting your rights and entitlements with careful wording, and limiting the scope of contentious issues
Protecting you as a whistleblower — ensuring that your employer does not get away with retaliating against you because you have reported or referred to a construction accident and the underlying circumstances
Helping to resolve your claims quickly — avoiding administrative bottlenecks by having all necessary information ready to deploy to ensure that all the supporting evidence you will need is gathered; following up with insurance companies and claim procedures. Construction accident lawyers can also ensure that updates are received and communicated.
Assessing the value of your compensation claim — construction accident attorneys are familiar with cases that have gone to court and tribunals and can provide insight on how much your claim is “worth,” how good the other side’s offer is, and whether to settle at all.
Start construction negligence lawsuits on your behalf — knowing or navigating filing, drafting, serving, deadlines, formats, and other civil procedure rules and requirements — and of course, the statute of limitations.
What Type of Compensation Can I Expect from My Construction Site Accident Claim?
The level of compensation you get will depend on a number of factors, including:
Workers’ Compensation or Negligence Lawsuit
Workers’ compensation covers wage replacement because of missed work and ongoing care or disability costs, and related losses and expenses. Workers can receive 75% of their net weekly wage with a maximum of just under $1,400 per week. A civil lawsuit against a party who is not your employer, however, can take into account lost future wages and opportunity, pain and suffering, broader medical expenses, and other damages.
Proportion of Liability
In a negligence action, the other side can argue that your actions somehow contributed to the accident and resulting injury. If the court accepts this, it could decide that the defendant is 60% liable but that your carelessness made you 40% liable for what happened, for example. Then, when it calculates the damage award, you will get 60% of that sum.
Your Injury and Expenses
The worse the injury and the higher the expenses you have had to incur, the higher the likely damage award from the courts. Most types of damages are meant to compensate you or restore you to the same financial position you were in before the construction accident.
Construction Accident Injury Law Firm
With offices in Hartford County some of the locations our injury lawyers serve include: Hartford, Simsbury, Glastonbury, Bristol, New Britain, Avon, Bridgeport, Newington, Waterbury, Danbury, Norwalk, Windsor, Farmington, Windsor Locks, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Bloomfield, Enfield, South Windsor, Southington, Plainville, Manchester, and more.