Construction work is one of the hardest jobs a person can have, and it is one of the most statistically dangerous jobs in the United States. Even bystander accidents are not uncommon on a construction site. If you have been injured in an accident, you need a seasoned personal injury lawyer in Orange County who understands the construction industry and the motivations of insurance companies.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents
Construction workers risk their lives on a daily basis. Out of the 4,674 worker fatalities that occurred in 2017, over twenty percent were construction workers. There are many things that can go wrong on a construction site, but there are a few kinds of accidents that are the most common.
Falls are the most common type of accident on a construction site. 381 out of the 971 deaths that construction workers experienced were due to falls. Although one is certainly expected to be careful and exercise common sense while working on a construction site, there are quite a few things that a construction company can do to cause such an accident. For example, unstable or poorly constructed scaffolding can cause an accident, or if there are no guardrails at a site in a situation where they would normally be required, the contractor or subcontractor may be at fault. Moreover, unstable walkways can collapse or shake causing workers to fall, and even if a person survives a fall in a construction accident, taking a spill can cause head trauma, spinal injuries, and broken bones.
Struck by an Object
Construction workers wear hard hats for a reason. The materials and equipment that they use is often heavy, and a tool falling from a high place can cause serious injury or death to a worker. Although a worker is responsible for wearing the appropriate equipment and staying alert, a construction site may be negligent if they do not store materials properly or secure their equipment according to OSHA regulations.
Electrocution accounted for 7.3 percent of construction deaths nationwide in 2017. If actual electrical workers excluded from this statistic, construction workers have the highest rate of death from electrocution in the U.S. Contact with overhead wires is the most common reason for this type of fatality in the construction industry, and if a construction worker's employer did not take proper measures to ensure the safety of the electrical wiring on their site, they may be considered responsible for having caused this type of accident to occur.
Caught in Between
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for construction workers to get caught in equipment and in-between equipment and structures on the job. Caught in-between accidents are on the rise, and such an accident may be caused by improper planning or a worker who is not paying attention to the equipment they are operating.
How to Prevent a Construction Accident
The best way for any company to prevent an accident is to have properly trained employees. Workers should review safety requirements every time they start a new project, and the company should go over specific details regarding safety at each construction site. Moreover, there should be a written safety policy and an individual responsible for safety on every site.
In addition, everyone should be required to wear proper safety equipment, and the site must be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis, which includes maintaining and properly storing equipment. It is in the best interest of the worker to follow every safety rule. If a worker who follows every rule is injured in an accident, they will have a much easier time of proving their employer was at fault in the situation.
What to do When a Construction Accident Occurs
When you have an accident at a construction site, your employer's workers compensation insurance will normally pay for your medical bills. If you have been involved in any type of work-related accident, you should seek medical attention right away, even if you think your injuries are minor, because many types of injuries sustained by an accident victim may become worse over time.
After you have visited the doctor, you will want to tell your employer about the accident if they are not aware of it already. Remember, in the state of California, you have one year to file a worker's compensation claim.
When you are injured in any kind of accident, it is always important to save all of your medical bills and receipts for both prescription and over-the-counter medications you take that are related to the accident. Document all the time you missed from work, and figure out any expenses you have had for housekeeping or childcare.
Photographs are very important in building any legal case. Hopefully, someone thought to take pictures after your accident occurred, but even if they didn't, construction sites often have security footage, and a personal injury attorney can subpoena any video footage from the construction site.
When to Sue
If you have been denied worker's compensation benefits or if you believe that you were injured due to negligence, there are a number of legal remedies that you may be able to utilize in order to seek compensation for your injuries, but the remedies available to you are highly dependent on who is responsible for causing your accident to occur. You may also sue for wrongful death if you have lost a loved one due to a construction accident.
Unlike other types of personal injury claims, it can be difficult to determine who is at fault in a construction accident. Different entities have different roles at any construction site. The accident may have been caused by negligence on the part of the general contractor, sub-contractor, or the owner of the property. An experienced construction accident law firm can do the research needed to determine which party or parties are liable for your accident and help you recover the money that you deserve for your injuries.
When Should I Contact a Construction Accident Attorney?
Many times there are several different organizations that can be sued after a construction accident results in injuries. Unfortunately, these organizations are usually very unwilling to pay for the medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering, that victims experience as a result of their negligence. An experienced construction accident lawyer can give you the back-up you need to make the insurance companies take you seriously. On your own, they know you have very little power to make them do anything.
If you've been injured in a construction accident, call attorney Tim Ryan for a free, no-obligation consultation. With over 39 years in business and $1 billion recovered, our firm has handled countless construction accident cases. Our trained professionals are skilled in the art of negotiating, and we will fight hard for you.