New Jersey Construction Site Accident Attorney
It’s no wonder you have to wear a hardhat any time you’re near a construction site. Being a construction worker is one of the most dangerous jobs in New Jersey. Owners of property, general contractors and construction managers often fail to provide safe work environments for construction workers. Dangerous debris and unsecure materials lead to dangerous construction sites. And even though strict safety standards and regulations are in place, construction accidents still occur, unfortunately often resulting in serious injury or death. The good news? New Jersey law allows injured workers to bring lawsuits against property owners, general contractors and construction managers. And New Brunswick, NJ construction accident attorneys, Garces, Grabler, LeBrocq can help.
Why Do You Need a Construction Injury Lawyer?
Construction accidents are ranked third for injury-caused deaths, behind mining and agriculture. Fifteen out of 100,000 construction workers die due to construction accidents! Here are just a few examples of the types that may cause serious injury or death, despite tough regulations:
- Motor vehicle crashes
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Scaffolding accidents
- High altitude falls
- Machinery accidents
- Injuries from falling items
- Heavy equipment injuries
Prepared for Trial
Every construction injury attorney at Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq prepares each and every case for trial—not for settlement purposes only. Each construction injury lawyer can help you receive New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits and possibly recover damages for pain and suffering, or losses you may have experienced due to your construction accident.
OSHA and other standards have made it much safer to work on a construction project over the years. Yet, no matter how safe the workplace is, there are still accidents. Someone may not be following best practices, or there could be an incident that workers weren’t prepared to handle. Regardless of how the accident occurred, it may be possible for the injured person to receive compensation for their injuries. To do this, they will need to take the right steps to work on their recovery from any injuries, then speak with a lawyer. Our legal team has experience in construction accidents in New Jersey and can help victims obtain the compensation they need to recover financially.
If you or someone you care about was injured in a construction accident, contact an experienced NJ construction accident attorney at the law offices of Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq today at 800.923.3456. Our New Brunswick NJ construction site accident attorneys are eager to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
How Common Are Construction Accidents?
The number of incidents recorded per year by OSHA has been down significantly over the decades. Worker deaths in the 1970s were around 38 per day but are now down to 15 per day as of 2019. For injuries, the average was 11 per day in 1972, but it is now less than 3 per day as of 2019. This is due to the increase of strict safety standards as well as holding companies accountable for their negligence if an accident does happen. Though these numbers are still high, workers are safer than they have been in the past. If someone is injured, they do have options for how to handle it and may be owed compensation for their injuries.
What to Do After an Injury
Taking the right steps after an injury can help not only with the recovery but with gaining compensation, as well. Those who are injured in an accident while working construction will want to do the following.
An assessment of the injuries is imperative. If the injuries are too severe, the worker may need to be taken by ambulance to receive emergency medical care. If the injuries are not that severe, it is important to see how bad they are and what medical care might be needed.
Seek Medical Care
Even if the injuries do not seem severe, it is a good idea to seek medical attention. This helps to discover any potentially hidden injuries as well as to create a paper trail for the injuries. The paper trail will be needed when filing a claim, as it shows the full extent of the injuries. It is a good idea to get medical treatment as soon as possible, as waiting could cause issues with obtaining compensation. If the worker waits a few days, for instance, the company may claim they were injured off the clock, which would mean the company is no longer liable.
If possible, take photos of what happened. If the injury is due to a piece of machinery, take photos of the equipment as well as the injuries and what is happening around where the injury occurred. If there are any witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact details to provide to a lawyer. The evidence gathered could make a difference in the outcome of the case.
Management will need to know that an accident has occurred. They may write up a report detailing what happened. It is not a good idea to sign anything at this time without a lawyer overseeing the paperwork. Request copies of any report that is created so they can be used if the case does need to go through negotiations or go to court.
Call a Lawyer
It is important to call a lawyer for help as soon as possible after the accident. Filing a claim for compensation is often more complicated than it might seem, so having the right help can make a huge difference.
Contacting a Lawyer for Help
Lawyers provide a significant amount of assistance to workers who are injured on the job. After a construction accident, a lawyer will handle the following while their client recovers from the injuries.
Even if the worker was able to take photos of the accident, there is more evidence that will be needed. A lawyer can request surveillance footage, if applicable, take down witness statements for what happened, and more.
Track Medical Records
The lawyer will keep track of how much is spent on recovering from the accident. Depending on the severity of the injuries, this could be a significant amount of money.
Consult With Specialists
Specialists may be needed to show how an injury occurred, how negligence contributed to the accident, what could have been done to prevent the incident, and more. A lawyer can speak with the specialists to help gather sufficient evidence for the case.
Negotiate a Settlement
It’s uncommon for an insurance company to offer a full settlement from the start. Instead, the case will go through negotiations. The lawyer will work hard to get a higher settlement for their client. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may go to trial. Most cases, however, do end in a settlement.
Construction injuries are incredibly varied due to the different jobs done on a worksite. However, there are some injuries that tend to be more common, including those below.
Falls, dropped equipment, machinery malfunctions, and more can lead to broken bones. Fast medical attention is needed to begin the healing process.
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
Falling from a ladder or scaffold, being hit by something heavy, or other incidents can lead to back and spinal cord injuries. These are typically very serious and require immediate medical attention.
Burns and electrocution happen during the installation of electrical equipment, if wiring is not attached properly, or if something hits an exposed wire during construction. Burns can range from minor to severe, so medical attention is recommended.
A variety of chemicals are used in construction work. Care needs to be taken when working with them. For exposure to chemicals or to the mixture of dangerous chemicals, prompt medical care is recommended.
Brain and Head Injuries
Brain and head injuries can happen from falling, from items that fall from above, from being hit by items, or by tripping and hitting something. It can be difficult to tell if the injury is severe at first, so always seek medical care for brain and head injuries.
Eye and Vision Injuries
Eye and vision issues can happen as a result of chemical exposures, injuries directly to the eye, and more. When eye injuries occur, or vision is lost, seek medical care to get help right away.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents
Construction zones are typically blocked off from anyone who may enter the area because of the danger. There are numerous ways someone can be injured when they’re at a construction zone. Below are some of the most common reasons workers can be injured and need to seek compensation.
Falling even from a low height can lead to broken bones, brain injuries, and other severe medical concerns. Falling can happen from ladders, from floors that aren’t completed yet, from windows or the roof while working on them, or from a collapse inside the building that’s being constructed.
The various machines on a construction site, no matter how small or large, can lead to severe injuries. This can happen due to misuse, age of equipment, improper education on use, and malfunction of the equipment.
Vehicle accidents can occur on construction sites and can include regular vehicles as well as construction vehicles and large equipment. These can be caused by driver errors, misuse, malfunctions, and other potential issues. Accidents like these often lead to severe injuries.
Slip and Falls
When the site is rainy or something is spilled, slip and fall accidents can occur. Workers can also be injured by tripping on equipment, cords, debris, and other items around the construction site. Even if a worker is being careful, if they are carrying something large, they may not be able to see potential hazards before slipping or tripping.
Electrocution can occur during the installation of electrical work or if any wires are damaged after they are installed and live. Electrocution can lead to severe injuries as well as death, depending on the voltage of the wires. Severe injuries can also happen if electrical wiring comes into contact with water or equipment malfunctions.
When excavating an area, it is possible to be severely injured if the ground or walls of the area being excavated collapse. Those on the ground or in equipment can end up falling because of the collapse and can be injured or killed. The size of the area being excavated doesn’t really matter, as collapses can happen even if small areas are being excavated.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Construction workers often do the same movements over and over again. With time, this can lead to repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. It is important to have these injuries checked by a medical professional, as they can lead to severe issues in the future. While accidents at construction sites have decreased over the years, workers are still at risk of being injured. Common injuries can range from minor to severe, depending on what is injured and how the accident occurred. Those who have been injured in a construction accident may be able to obtain compensation. Working with a lawyer is always advised to help the worker get as much compensation as possible. Set up a consultation with our team to learn more about whether you can obtain compensation and, if so, how much you could receive for your injuries.
Construction Accident FAQs
When construction accidents occur, workers will likely have a lot of questions about what happens next and how to obtain compensation for the medical bills, lost work, and more. Scheduling a consultation with a lawyer is advised, but while you wait, read through the following frequently asked questions to get some answers.
How Do Construction Accidents Happen?
Construction accidents can happen due to negligence, improper training, a failure to adhere to safety standards, or because of other issues at the workplace. When they do happen, it is important for the injured person to get medical help as soon as possible.
Am I At Fault for the Accident?
The injured person might be found at fault for the accident if they caused the injuries to themselves. Someone who is drinking at work and causes an accident, for instance, would be found liable. If the worker followed all safety instructions and the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, the worker is not liable for the accident.
How Do I Determine Liability for the Accident?
Determining liability can be complex, so it’s important to have a lawyer review the case. Evidence of how the accident occurred, proof that workers requested repairs that weren’t done in time to prevent the accident, and more can all help show liability.
What Compensation Can I Receive?
Compensation will vary from case to case. Typically, it includes medical bills, therapy or rehabilitation costs, medical device expenses, lost wages, the loss of future earnings for permanent injuries, and coverage for any other expenses that occurred as a result of the accident. Compensation can also include non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Is Worker’s Compensation the Only Way to Receive Funds?
Worker’s compensation is likely the way to obtain a settlement after an accident, but there may be other avenues to explore, as well. For instance, it may be possible to sue another party for compensation on top of what is received from worker’s compensation. A lawyer is needed to discuss this possibility and, if it is possible, to start the claim or lawsuit.
Will I Lose my Job if I File a Claim?
Companies cannot retaliate against a worker for filing a compensation claim. This includes firing the worker for filing a claim for worker’s compensation or requesting compensation after an accident. If this is a concern, the worker will want to speak with a lawyer, as the worker may be owed compensation for unfair termination.
Can the Company Retaliate in Any Way?
If the worker complains to OSHA or another governing body, or they file a claim for compensation after being injured, the company cannot retaliate. Retaliation includes firing the employee, reducing their hours, denying a raise, or transferring to another workplace. However, just because someone’s hours were reduced, or they were denied a raise doesn’t mean it’s because of retaliation. It is a good idea to speak with a lawyer to find out if it is retaliation and, if so, what can be done.
What Happens if I Can No Longer Work in Construction?
Sometimes, construction accidents lead to permanent injuries and the worker can no longer do their job. In these cases, the worker may be able to obtain compensation for the loss of future wages. The amount for this will vary based on the worker’s current pay, how long until they retire, and other details.
Is an Attorney Needed to File a Claim?
It is not necessary to hire an attorney to file a claim, but it’s definitely a good idea. It is highly likely that the worker will be denied compensation if they try to handle the case alone. Instead, by working with an experienced lawyer, the worker has a much higher chance of having their claim accepted and receiving a full settlement offer.
Do I Accept the First Settlement Offer?
It is generally not a good idea to accept the first settlement offer. The first offer will typically be as low as possible and may not include future medical costs, lost wages, or other expenses from the accident. Instead, it’s a good idea to work with a lawyer and negotiate a much higher settlement.
What Happens if the Settlement Isn’t Enough?
If the settlement offered isn’t high enough, the lawyer will start negotiations. These can take a significant amount of time, especially if there are any questions about who is liable or how the injuries occurred. The lawyer will work hard to get a much higher settlement for the client by showing that the settlement funds are needed to make the client financially whole again.
Will the Case Go to Trial?
Only a small percentage of cases will end up going to trial. This happens if there is no agreement on a settlement amount. If both parties involved cannot agree, the case goes before a judge, and they will make a decision. In most cases, however, the worker will not need to worry about going to court as the case will settle before a trial begins. These questions should provide you with some answers as you start to navigate your own claim for compensation. If you have any further questions or would like answers more specific to your situation, schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers today. We have a significant amount of experience handling construction accident cases and are available to help with yours. Call us now to get more information about how we can help.