Construction workers recognize better than anyone the dangers involved at a construction site. And while you can safely manage most of these risks by taking the necessary precautions, some dangers are beyond your control. Each year, more than 200,000 construction workers suffer injuries on the job. Many of these men and women miss significant amounts of work or require reassignment to lighter duty positions.
Injured construction workers have options. Through a workers’ compensation claim, you can recover compensation that will cover your medical bills and make up for some of the income you would have earned if you hadn’t gotten hurt and become unable to work. If your injuries were caused by someone other than your employer, you might also have the opportunity to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party.
When you call Console & Associates, P.C., you will immediately realize why we are different from the many other local construction accident law firms. We provide clients with custom-tailored representation based on their expressed needs and desires, not what we think is best. Give us a call to learn more, and if you decide to bring a case with Console & Associates, P.C., you won’t pay for our legal representation unless we can recover compensation on your behalf. That’s part of the No Fee Promise we make to each one of our clients.
Call us today at (866) 778-5500!
Construction sites are incredibly dangerous for anyone who must pass by them, but they are particularly hazardous to the workers who spend the majority of their day in these dangerous environments. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 200,000 construction workers are injured on the job every year.
While some of these injuries are minor, over one-third of all construction injuries resulted in a worker either missing work or requiring a job transfer or job restriction. If you’ve been hurt in a construction accident, you may be entitled to compensation, either through a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit (or both). The differences between these two types of claims are significant, and it is important that you speak with an experienced construction accident attorney to learn more about your rights and how to pursue them effectively.
At Console & Associates, P.C., our construction accident lawyers are committed to representing injured contractors, employees, and others who were hurt on construction sites. We believe that, by holding negligent construction companies accountable for their actions, we can not only help our clients but also create a safer working environment across the industry.
For more than two decades, the construction accident attorneys at Console & Associates, P.C. have helped injured workers navigate the complex workers’ compensation and personal injury claims processes. By representing and advocating for our clients, we have ensured they recovered the compensation they needed to heal from their injuries and get their lives back on track.
Construction sites are inherently dangerous places. However, when you suit up to go to work each day, you should be able to reasonably assume that your employer, your colleagues, and others you encounter throughout your workday take their job—and these risks—as seriously as you do.
History has shown us, however, that this is not always the case. The rate of injury on construction sites is incredibly high, with about three out of every 100 workers suffering some type of injury per year. Further, many construction accidents go unreported, meaning that the actual rate of injury may be significantly higher.
While there are many hazards that construction workers confront on a daily basis, some of the most common injuries involve the following:
Construction workers routinely work in the air, whether it be on scaffolding, on ropes, or perched on the side of a building. They are also surrounded by extension cords, sawdust, and other tripping and slipping hazards. Not surprisingly, falls are the leading cause of injury and death on construction sites.
While some falls involve slips and trips, the most serious falls involve a fall to a lower level. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about one-third of all fatal construction accidents involve a fall to a lower level.
Cranes are among the most dangerous equipment on a construction site. On average, crane-related accidents claim more than 40 lives per year, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. The majority of those injured in crane accidents are not the crane operators but rather other construction workers in the vicinity.
Most crane accidents involve an object, either the crane itself or the object the crane is carrying, colliding with a worker. Among crane operators, electrocution accidents stemming from the boom of the crane contacting overhead electrical wires are the most common.
Construction workers’ reliance on power tools to perform their job, on one hand, makes their work easier than it was years ago. However, the increase in power tools on a construction site also results in a greater risk of electrocution injury.
That said, some power tools are safer than others. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends using double-insulated tools that have a two-prong plug with no ground pin and one prong that is wider than the other. This will prevent a worker from getting electrocuted if the tool develops a short circuit. Frayed extension cords, as well as those that travel through a puddle of water, are also common electrocution hazards on a construction site.
The term “trench” refers to a specific type of excavation that is narrower than it is deep. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an excavation is considered a trench if it is less than 15 feet wide at the bottom. By definition, all excavations and trenches have unsupported walls made of earth or rock as their borders.
Trenching and excavation are among the most dangerous and most common types of construction work. Excavators are extremely dangerous pieces of heavy machinery, and even a minor misstep can cause a potentially fatal accident. Once dug out, trenches will only last a certain period of time before caving in, so they must be inspected regularly.
At Console & Associates, P.C., we have extensive experience handling all types of construction accidents. We also understand a construction company’s obligations to its employees, as well as to other workers and contractors working on the construction site. This knowledge allows us to identify all potentially liable parties, ensuring that your claim is prepared with precision from its inception.
After a construction accident, workers may experience a wide range of physical and psychological conditions preventing them from returning to work and living their life as they intended. Some of the most common types of injuries arising from a construction accident include:
While many construction injuries are readily apparent after an accident, that is not always the case. Thus, it is imperative that anyone injured in a construction accident gets checked out by a doctor to rule out the possibility of any long-term injuries.
When it comes to construction accidents, there are several parties who may be liable for a worker’s injuries.
Construction accident cases involving the negligence of a subcontractor can be quite complex, given the relationship between construction companies and those who work for them. Often, a general contractor oversees much of the work on a construction site. However, for any matters beyond their abilities, they may rely on sub-contractors.
Sub-contractors are not employees of a general contractor, and general contractors are not typically liable for the negligence of a subcontractor. These details can make it difficult for the victim of a construction accident to determine who they can hold accountable for their injuries and how to move forward with a claim.
The owner of the land where construction is taking place may also be legally responsible for a construction worker’s injuries. Generally, landowners owe a duty of care to anyone they invite onto the premises, including those asked to perform work.
However, a landowner’s potential liability will depend on the extent to which they had control over the site. For example, if a landowner hires a contractor and gives that contractor the decision-making power, it is unlikely the property owner will be responsible for an injury.
The manufacturers of tools, scaffolding, and heavy machinery may be held liable in the event their product causes injury to a worker. Typically, these product liability cases do not require an injured worker to prove that the manufacturer was negligent; however, they must be able to establish that the product at issue suffered from a design defect or a manufacturing defect or that it contained inadequate warnings.
At Console & Associates, P.C., one of the first things we do when beginning to prepare a case is conduct a thorough investigation into all potentially liable parties. Every construction accident case is unique, and oftentimes, multiple parties may share responsibility for a workers’ injuries.
After a construction accident, injured workers have two ways to pursue compensation. The first is through a workers’ compensation claim. While workers’ compensation laws vary by state, generally, state law requires most employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. In the event a worker is injured on the job, they can file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer’s insurance carrier. Notably, there is usually no need to prove that anyone else was responsible for your injuries to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. However, workers’ compensation benefits are typically limited to medical benefits and (often partial) income replacement benefits, meaning there is no way for a worker to recover for their non-economic damages.
The other type of case you might pursue after a construction accident is a personal injury case against a third party. Personal injury cases are much different from workers’ compensation cases in that they require an accident victim to prove another person was at fault for their injuries.
More specifically, personal injury cases have four elements: duty, breach, causation and damages. In other words, an injured worker must prove that another party violated a duty of care that was owed to the worker and that the other party’s actions resulted in the workers’ injuries.
While it is more challenging to prove a personal injury claim, these cases typically allow injury victims to recover damages on top of what a worker’s compensation claim would have provided. For example, damages in a third-party personal injury case may include compensation for the following:
Understanding the difference between a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury case is very important to ensure you bring the appropriate claim based on the accident and who was responsible.
While every state’s workers’ compensation laws are different, one common theme is that a workers’ compensation claim is an injured worker’s sole remedy against their employer. This means that if you were hurt due to your employer’s negligence (and your employer is covered under the state’s workers’ compensation system), you can pursue a workers’ compensation claim but not a personal injury case against them. While there are limited situations in which an injured worker can bring a personal injury case against their employer, they generally require a worker to prove their employer acted intentionally or grossly negligent in causing their injuries.
However, workers who were injured due to a non-employer’s negligence can pursue a third-party personal injury lawsuit. A third-party personal injury claim is a traditional personal injury case filed against a negligent party based on events occurring during the injured worker’s employment. For example, if you were hurt due to a negligent subcontractor, you could pursue a third-party personal injury claim against the sub-contractor.
Technically, there is no requirement that you retain the assistance of a construction accident lawyer to file a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim. However, most injured construction workers end up working with an attorney. There are a few reasons for this.
First, after a workplace injury, you are busy trying to get your life back on track. You may not have the time, patience, or desire to pursue a claim with the dedication necessary to succeed. Second, working with a lawyer may increase your chances of recovering the full amount of compensation you deserve. According to a 2014 study by the Insurance Research Council, claimants who were represented by an attorney recovered 3.5 times more in damages than those who pursued the claim on their own.
If you are like most people, picking up the phone to call a lawyer is not at the top of your list of priorities after a construction accident. Given what you’ve been through, that is certainly understandable. However, keep in mind that the sooner you reach out to a construction accident lawyer, the sooner they can get to work preparing your claim.
Additionally, every state has a statute of limitations that requires accident victims to bring a claim within a certain period of time. In most states, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is between two and four years; however, some states have a one-year statute of limitations.
When considering a workers’ compensation claim, it is important to reach out to an attorney immediately. This is because you must provide your employer with adequate notice of your claim and follow certain procedural requirements to protect your ability to recover benefits.
At Console & Associates, P.C., we have 25 years of experience standing up for the rights of injured workers. This isn’t just a job for us; it’s a passion. We stand behind each and every one of our clients from the moment we begin working on a case all the way to the end.
We realize that there are dozens of construction accident lawyers eager to talk with you about your case. And honestly, many of those lawyers will be able to competently handle your case. However, with so much on the line, why settle for mere competence?
The dedicated construction accident attorneys at Console & Associates, P.C. have a strong grasp of the relevant personal injury and workers’ compensation laws. We are prepared to meet with you to discuss your case, answer your questions, and offer you the guidance you seek. What we won’t do is pressure you or use scare tactics to convince you to hire us or to move forward with a claim if that’s not the right choice for you. We believe that our professionalism, dedication, and results—like $825,000 for a worksite injury that left a carpenter with herniated discs in his spine and $900,000 for a forklift accident that left the victim with lifelong limitations—speak for themselves.
Choosing a construction accident lawyer to represent you is a very important decision. If you were injured on a construction site and are considering a workers’ compensation or personalinjury case, you should be confident in the law firm you select to handle your case. At Console & Associates, P.C., we offer all clients a No Fee Promise, meaning that we will not accept any payment from you unless and until we win your case either through a construction accident settlement or favorable jury award.
Technically, yes, there is nothing preventing you from bringing a workers’ compensation claim as well as a personal injury claim. Of course, these cases will almost certainly involve different parties, because a personal injury claim cannot be brought against an employer in most situations.
However, if you succeed in bringing both cases, you may need to pay back some of the workers’ compensation benefits out of your personal injury case proceeds. This determination depends on state law, so be sure to check with your local construction accident attorney before choosing a course of action.
Workers’ compensation laws vary by state, but generally, your employer (or their insurance carrier) has the right to select the treating physician. Of course, in the case of an emergency, you can visit whatever doctor you’d like. The other exception to this is if your employer refuses to provide you with a doctor’s name, at which point you are then able to go to a doctor of your choosing.
There is nothing preventing you from seeing your own doctor in addition to the workers’ compensation doctor. In fact, this is commonly done to get a second opinion in the event that the workers’ compensation doctor believes your injuries are less serious than you believe them to be.
After a construction accident, the thought of having to hire—and pay—a lawyer may be enough to discourage many injury victims from pursuing a claim. What you should know is that many workers’ compensation lawyers and personal injury lawyers accept cases on a contingency basis. This means that the lawyer will take your case for no up-front fee.
Your lawyer may also agree to advance all of the litigation costs, which means you would not be responsible for paying anything upfront to file your case. Under a contingency fee model, you will only pay your construction accident lawyer if they can secure a construction accident settlement offer or return a favorable jury award.