Construction site injuries are a common occurrence across the United States. This has been a normal occurrence, however. According to a 2012 census conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction sector alone held the highest fatal work injury number out of any other industrial sector. This statistic does not include non-fatal accidents or medical claims for compensation purposes; it only accounts for incidents reported to authorities (and sadly, these reports tend to under-represent actual events).
Construction site accidents can be devastating to not only you but your loved ones, as well, with recovery putting someone out of commission for so long that providing for your family is impossible. And that’s the best-case scenario in a number of these occurrences.
Although many factors may contribute to any given construction site injury, one major cause is the mismanagement of heavy machinery or the worksite being incredibly unsafe and not very well inspected. Yet another factor can be under qualified workers being put into hazardous areas of work. This dangerous combination has reportedly led to hundreds of deaths over recent years. A 2013 CDC study showed that 143 work-related deaths from 1994-2013 were attributed to young workers under 18 years of age.
The most common types of claims filed in these cases include:
Head injury liability – if you suffer an injury because your employer did not take proper safety precautions (such as wearing a hardhat or using guardrails), then you may be able to sue for compensation on your head injury claim. However, this type of lawsuit can be complicated – you may want to contact a lawyer for assistance in determining whether your case qualifies.
Construction site injury misclassification – if you were responsible for providing your own tools or equipment, then your employer may have neglected to consider that these items are required for you to perform your job safely and legally. If an accident arises due to how your employer fails to account for these factors, then they may be held liable for any resulting damages caused by their negligence.
There are many reasons why construction site injury cases are so hard to fight – including:
Fear of retaliation: Construction workers who speak up about unsafe working conditions face a high risk of being punished by their employer (through demotion, job loss, etc). This creates an atmosphere where no honest worker dares to expose risks that could hurt other employees; hence, safety hazards go unchecked.
Bosses have leverage and control over labor: In the construction industry, many workers are employees at-will. This means they can be fired without any valid reason for doing so. This gives employers great leverage over their employees – and when those employers fail to provide adequate safety measures on-site, these employees don’t have much leverage left to fight back with.
Employees choose not to file claims: Many people who experience an injury or fatality on a construction site will forgo filing a claim out of fear that they’ll face disciplinary action from their employer. Only 3 in 10 injured workers use available legal resources to obtain compensation after an accident occurs.
If you’ve suffered a construction site injury and you believe that your employer’s negligence played a part in this event, then contacting a construction workers’ compensation attorney may be the best route to take. Construction accidents are serious events that can result in injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to debilitating spinal cord damage and death. If you’ve been hurt on the job, then ask yourself whether your employer took all necessary steps (such as providing proper safety equipment) to prevent accidents from occurring.
One of the biggest factors for success regarding any work-related accident is proving that there was negligence involved from either your employer or another third party. It is important to keep track of any medical expenses, lost wages, or other out-of-pocket losses that you may wish to claim in a lawsuit. If your injury was caused by the negligence of another person (including defects in equipment), then there is a good chance that you could be eligible for compensation.
Construction sites can be dangerous places to work, but with proper precautions and safety measures in place, most accidents are preventable. However, if something does go wrong at your job site and someone is negligent, then you must contact a lawyer right away before filing any legal claims.