Construction Accident Lawyers
A construction site can be very dangerous, with many people simultaneously performing dangerous tasks using equipment and tools that are difficult and even hazardous to operate. As a result, one misstep on a construction site can result in severe injuries or even death.
If you have been in a construction accident and suffered injuries as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. To help you manage the difficulties posed by the process of filing a personal injury claim, one of the best things you can do is turn to construction accident lawyers. At Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, we can offer help.
Common Construction Site Accidents
Potential accidents abound on a construction site. Learn more about what the most common accidents are.
Falls are the most common accidents that occur on construction sites. Similarly, the failure to provide appropriate fall protection is one of the most frequently cited OSHA violations. All companies have to provide fall protection for certain scenarios, including things like offering guardrails for ramps and covering open skylights.
Up to 62% of construction workers are exposed to heights. For that reason, it is vital to use personal protection equipment (PPE) that is adequate for the job at hand. Construction workers often fall from chimneys, roofs, ladders, scaffolding, and more.
The severity of the person’s injuries depends on how far from the ground they were at the time of the fall, what they fell on, and even whether they were wearing any safety equipment. Although many types of safety equipment can prevent severe injuries, they cannot prevent all forms of harm.
Construction work requires the use of power for tools and other necessary machinery, and power lines can sometimes pose a severe danger. Electrocution is one of OSHA’s Big Four construction hazards, and it can occur from:
● Damaged power tools or other equipment
● Faulty wiring
● Improper use of extension cords
● Contact with live power lines
Because construction often takes place near power lines, it is possible to mistakenly hit them with equipment while working. To help protect workers, OSHA recommends that job site managers use the Assured Equipment Grounding Conductor Program and check all power equipment, plugs, attachments, and cord sets.
If the people in charge fail to provide adequate protection, electrocution can occur. This can have potentially fatal consequences.
A struck-by accident happens when a construction worker gets hit by falling, swinging, flying, or rolling objects. An example is a worker getting hit by a falling hammer. Because there are so many moving parts in a construction site, struck-by accidents are common.
These accidents can result in fatalities, so wearing the appropriate equipment is essential. Unfortunately, however, this is not always available at a job site. If you were injured by an object hitting you and you were not given adequate — or even any — protection, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries you sustained.
Trips and Slips
Trips and slips represent the second-most common type of construction site accident, with only falls being more frequent. With all the tools, power cords, and other equipment at a construction site, it can be easy to trip over materials or slip on wet surfaces.
To maintain a safe site, your employer must keep the pathways clear of materials and tools. You must also place signs to warn people of any wet surfaces. If the person in charge of the site does not take these precautions, they can contribute to all kinds of accidents, from minor bruising to spinal injuries or even death.
Caught-between accidents occur when a worker gets trapped in the middle of two objects. They can happen when workers:
● Get pulled into machinery
● Suffer a cave-in when working in trenches
● Suffer compression between rolling, shifting, or sliding objects
To prevent these injuries, workers have to wear appropriate PPE. However, at many sites, PPE can be old, worn, or otherwise inadequate. There have to be protective systems in place for workers in trenches to prevent cave-ins.
Even if accidents have not yet occurred, the simple failure to put precautions in place can be grounds for a claim. This is because the construction site owners and managers are putting workers at risk every time they step foot on the site.
Even the best-trained construction worker can suffer injuries when using machinery. Machinery can malfunction, or it may not have been properly checked before beginning work. The maintenance schedules of the machines also plays a role.
In some instances, people who have not been properly trained gain access to a machine and end up hurting someone else as a result. These kinds of accidents can be devastating, in large part because the machinery you find in construction sites tends to be large, heavy, and very dangerous.
Explosions and Fire
All kinds of items and circumstances can cause fires and explosions on construction sites. Some common causes are:
● Smoking on site
● Faulty wiring
● Poor power tool maintenance
● Portable heating sources
There are usually also combustible or flammable materials on a construction site, which contribute to the risk of explosions and fire. There have to be many fire extinguishers available on a site for that reason. Not having access to these tools can put you and other workers at serious risk.
Demolition is an important part of construction, but it can put you into contact with hazardous materials you may not know are there. Buildings might still have asbestos, lead, or other harmful chemicals.
There are also risks of unstable materials that could fall on workers. These types of accidents can be fatal or cause severe harm, like traumatic brain injuries.
If the construction is taking place on unstable ground, that ground can collapse, trapping workers and causing all kinds of injuries. For instance, wet soil might erode foundations, or the foundation may be unable to hold many workers. If the person in charge has not evaluated the state of the ground, a collapse is more likely.
Working at a construction site requires a lot of repetitive movements, including bending over, working in awkward positions, lifting heavy objects, and much more. All these movements can cause injuries like muscle strains.
A construction site has to follow ergonomic standards, but not all of them do. When they fail to do so, injuries occur that could have been avoided. Overexertion is a serious concern, but it is not always given the attention it deserves in a construction site.
Common Construction Accident Injuries
Construction accident injuries can range from mild to catastrophic. They include things like:
● Broken bones
● Back and neck injuries
Paralysis can be complete, which means you have no movement below the injury site, or incomplete, which means you may have some movement left.
Traumatic brain injuries are another serious concern if something falls on you, if you suffer a fall, or if a piece of machinery or other object hits you. Even if you are wearing hard hats or other protective equipment, you can still suffer a traumatic brain injury.
The severity of a brain injury can vary widely. You could get a concussion, which is the mildest form of brain trauma. Alternatively, your brain injury could be more severe, leading to a loss of cognitive function or even death.
Cuts or laceration injuries are also common in construction sites. Anything may cause them, from faulty machinery to materials.
Another concern is muscle strain. Lifting heavy objects and tools every day can cause you to overwork your muscles, leading to tears and other issues. If you lift these objects without the right support, you may develop conditions such as hernias, which can impact your mobility and cause significant pain.
Eye and ear injuries are also something to worry about. Whether you had something fall on your eye or suffered an effect from a chemical, you have the right to seek compensation.
Another issue that might arise is hearing damage. Construction sites are loud. As such, not having appropriate protection when machinery is running makes you more likely to suffer hearing loss.
Mesothelioma is an additional concern. This is a type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. If you have worked in demolition sites and have been exposed to asbestos, especially if you did not have appropriate protection, you can be at risk.
Construction workers are also vulnerable to heat stroke, potentially leading to:
● Fainting, which puts you at further risk of falling and incurring other injuries
● Heat strain, which can cause heart, lung, and brain conditions
Working in the sun for hours on end puts a strain on the body that should be mitigated with proper protection.
For those working in cold climates, hypothermia is another concern. The extremities are at the greatest risk, and you can suffer issues with frostbite without even noticing. This is because you are actively working and have not yet realized that you have lost feeling in your feet or hands. Frostbite can affect your face as well.
Repetitive motions are common at construction sites, too. These can lead to ligament tears, joint issues, and much more. You may experience sprains and strains as well, which can, in turn, lead to severe pain and even disability.
Exposure to smoke, chemicals, or other noxious fumes can affect your lungs. When this happens, you may be at risk of developing respiratory conditions like COPD and more.
Construction Accident Injury and Fatality Statistics
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, in 2021, one in five workplace deaths in the U.S. occurred on construction sites. In addition, according to the Center for the Protection of Workers’ Rights (CPWR), 65.5% of all construction deaths between 2011 and 2021 occurred because of the Big Four: falls, struck-by accidents, electrocution, and caught-between accidents.
Struck-by accidents are one of the primary causes of construction site fatalities. Each year, according to OSHA, there are an average of 169,000 construction site injuries. As reported by the CPWR, 52% of all construction workers have hearing impairment by the time they reach retirement age.
This research represents only some of the evidence demonstrating that construction site accidents are extremely common occurrences. If you work on a construction site, it is important that you know how to advocate for yourself should you become one of these unfortunate statistics.
Do I Need a Construction Accident Lawyer?
After suffering an injury at a construction site, you may feel overwhelmed. You may not know where to begin with getting help. The confusion you feel at this time can make you more vulnerable to accepting what insurance companies tell you. When you hire construction accident lawyers, you get proper guidance.
The right lawyer will be able to gather the necessary evidence to prove negligence so that you can seek the compensation you deserve. Otherwise, you would have to rely on workers’ compensation, which is never enough to cover medical bills, lost wages, and all the other damages you have suffered.
If you have been working in an unsafe environment, a personal injury claim is the best way to get reimbursement. To navigate the process successfully, though, you need experienced lawyers. Even if you are an independent contractor, you can pursue a personal injury claim against those who are in charge of the construction site.
Other parties may also have contributed to the accident. Having an attorney who knows the process makes it easier to identify everyone involved, increasing your likelihood of getting the maximum compensation possible.
A construction accident lawyer also knows how to deal with insurance companies. Insurers are out to protect themselves, not you. As such, they will try all kinds of threatening tactics to get you to accept low settlements or to drop the claim completely. With a lawyer, you have the best chance of fair compensation.
The workers’ compensation system is a no-fault one, which means you do not have to prove negligence. That said, you do need to prove that you sustained the injury while performing your work responsibilities.
If you want to file a personal injury claim, however, you do need to prove negligence. You will first have to establish that the other party owed you a duty of care and then that they violated that duty.
Something else you have to prove is that the party’s negligence is what led to your injuries and that the injuries caused damages like medical expenses, pain, and suffering, disfigurement, or a negative impact on your life. To gather the right evidence for all of this, a lawyer is essential.
One of the reasons people lose personal injury claims for construction site accidents is that they miss filing deadlines. The process is so complex that it is easy to forget to file something, but that is not a concern when you have a lawyer working for you. They have entire teams ready to present your case in a timely way.
Remember that you need to hire an attorney right after the construction accident occurs. The sooner you do this, the better the chance that the claim will succeed. This is because your lawyer will be able to reach out to witnesses and gather pertinent evidence.
In some instances, a construction accident lawyer may even be able to negotiate treatment rates if you are struggling to pay bills. They can help you obtain medical liens that make it possible for you to get treatment while waiting for your claim. The amount you owe is then discounted from the settlement.
Having a lawyer by your side reduces some of the stress that suffering a construction accident injury may cause. While your lawyer fights for your rights, you will be able to focus on healing.
Why Hire GGL?
At Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, we are here to offer no-nonsense legal guidance. We have over 30 years of experience in personal injury law in New Jersey, so we can help you through the process of filing a claim and getting compensation.
We are not out to make your life more stressful. We work on a contingency basis, so we do not get paid if you do not win your case. We are here to provide the support you need so that you are not cheated by a system that is always looking out for insurance companies instead of regular, hard-working people.
One of the misconceptions that people have about personal injury lawyers is that every case is the same. That may be the truth for some firms, but not for GGL. We know that you are an individual and that your case is unique and requires a custom approach.
We offer personalized attention so that you do not feel like a cog in a machine. When you turn to GGL, you are getting help from people who really communicate with you.
Personal injury claims are lengthy processes, and we know the waiting can be very stressful. That is why we reach out to our clients often to let them know about any progress. If you have questions or concerns, we are ready to provide answers.
Our team wants you to win, and we will use all of our experience and training to work toward that purpose. You deserve people who understand how difficult living with injuries and disabilities can be and who will fight for you. That is what we offer at Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq.
If you have suffered a construction site accident, get a free consultation. Contact us online or call 1-800-923-3456 to secure the help you need when filing a personal injury claim.