Construction Site Employee Hurt on Jobsite

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 150,000 employees are injured on a construction site in a given year. While falls account for the majority of construction site injuries, direct contact with equipment is also a significant cause of employees’ injuries. 

Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ensures safe and healthy working conditions for employees by setting and enforcing standards, the truth is that accidents are going to happen. That’s why it is crucial to have an experienced construction site injury lawyer you trust to represent you in the instance that an accident does occur.

Construction Accident Lawyers

As a safe and responsible construction worker, it is essential to understand your worksite's dangers. You can take the right precautions, set in place by OSHA, wear the proper safety equipment, and never take unnecessary risks that fail to comply with worksite safety protocols. However, the reality is that you can still suffer a detrimental injury while on a construction site, even if you thought you did everything right. Here at The Cochran Firm, our personal injury lawyers will help you navigate your injury, whether it is navigating your state’s workers’ compensation system with you or simply pursuing a legal claim on your behalf.

Even though, by nature, construction sites are dangerous places to work, that doesn’t mean your supervisor does not have the duty to keep you and your co-workers safe. And it also does not mean that you lose your right to justice if you suffer an injury. 

What Do Construction Lawyers Do?

Construction lawyers help a wide variety of clients–from big construction companies to individual employees of those companies, to property owners, all the way to sureties. In fact, anyone who is involved in the construction process may find themselves in need of a construction lawyer at some point in their life. 

However, here at The Cochran Firm, we believe in representing the victims of construction site accidents to ensure they receive compensation for their pain and suffering. Many complex liability issues come with construction accident lawsuits, so it is vital to consult a lawyer who has experience in handling third-party injury claims. Our lawyers not only have the experience, but the tenacious attitudes it takes to go up against any insurance company that tries to deny their clients the compensation they are owed.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a construction accident, contact our personal injury lawyers for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

Type of Construction Accident Claims

If you find yourself injured on a construction site, you may be able to pursue one or more of the following types of claims:

  • Workers’ Compensation: Usually, an injured employee will not bring a legal suit against their employer because they have the right to benefits that are provided through workers’ compensation insurance. In order to attain access to workers’ compensation benefits, an employee must only prove that the injury occurred, no matter the surrounding circumstances. If/When the claim is accepted, the employee will have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. These claims can be brought along with claims against third parties to maximize recovery of damages. 
  • Personal Injury: In order to pursue a personal injury legal suit, the employee must prove that a third party’s negligence led to their injury.
  • Product Liability: If an injury was due to a defective product, the injured employee could bring a claim against any party in the chain of distribution. For example, if a crane used on a construction site fails because of a defect and causes harm to an employee, the injured employee may be able to recover damages from the manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, or any other party in the chain of distribution.
  • Wrongful Death: If an employee dies on the job site, their family may be able to bring a wrongful death claim on the employee’s behalf. In certain instances, multiple claims can be filed at the same time.

Which OSHA Rights Can A Lawyer Help Me Defend?

OSHA was created to ensure safe working conditions for employees across the nation. Under OSHA, workers throughout the country have the right to:

  • Request that OSHA inspects their worksite,
  • Use their rights without retaliation or discrimination,
  • Receive test results done to find hazards on the worksite,
  • Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses,
  • Receive copies of their medical records, and
  • Receive information and training about ways to prevent injuries, job sites dangers, and the OSHA standards that apply to their job sites.

An experienced construction site lawyer can help employees who have been injured on the job that believe their workplace was dangerous (and did not follow OSHA guidelines) file a complaint with OSHA. Once an employee files a complaint, they cannot be fired, demoted, or otherwise retaliated against by their employer. If you or a loved one has recently filed a complaint with OSHA and were retaliated against by an employer, our lawyers can help file a claim against the employer for retaliation. 

What Are Common Causes of Construction Accidents?

Construction accidents are bound to happen and can occur for many different reasons. OSHA requires employers to acquire specific permits, administer regular inspections, and implement job safety programs to reduce the number of worksite accidents. However, negligence, failure to follow safety precautions, and defective products can all result in construction site accidents that are unavoidable. Some of the most common construction site accidents include:

Falling Objects

The seriousness of falling object accident injuries depends on the size and weight of the object that has fallen, the height from which it fell, whether it was slowed by other objects, and whether or not the employee that was injured was wearing the proper protective gear. A few reasons an employee can be struck by an object include:

  • Lack of proper training
  • Too heavy of a load
  • Failure to follow safety precautions
  • Improper stacking of materials on the job site
  • Failure to post warning signs
  • Malfunctioning equipment
  • Faulty materials or parts that lead to a structure collapsing

Some of the most commonly sustained injuries in construction site accidents involving falling objects include:

Slips and Falls

Employees working on construction sites are almost always exposed to various slip and fall hazards. Whether they are working on the ground or on scaffolding that is a number of stories high, slip and fall accidents happen more often than they should. Some of the most common slip and fall danger factors at construction sites include:

  • Debris or trash on the floors,
  • Electrical wiring or stray cords,
  • Lack of lighting,
  • Lack of proper safety equipment or training,
  • Wet or slick surfaces caused by spills or recently waxed or polished floors,
  • Uneven surfaces, like old or uneven carpet or loose floorboards, and
  • Broken or faulty handrails.

Within the construction industry, there are two types of slip and fall accidents that employees can suffer from:

  • Falls to a lower level: These types of falls can cause life-threatening, even fatal injuries, in circumstances when a worker falls from a surface that is very high off the ground.
  • Falls on the same level: To no one’s surprise, these injuries are less serious and tend to cause less severe injuries, including minor cuts, strains, bruises, and musculoskeletal injuries. 

A few examples of injuries that construction employees may suffer after a slip and fall accident include:

Caught-Between Accidents

Getting caught between objects, or even machinery, is one of the most common causes of deaths of construction employees. These accidents take place when an employee becomes crushed, squeezed, caught, pinched, or compressed between two objects, parts of two objects, or buried by objects (like a collapsed building or in a trench). 

Construction site employees can become severely injured or even die when caught between objects or machinery in numerous ways. Some common ways these caught-between accidents happen include:

  • Construction sites (trenches and excavation sites) are not being adequately supported, causing employees to be buried when they collapse.
  • Walls are not being correctly braced and falling in.
  • Machinery not being properly guarded or is not being locked down when being repaired or not in use.
  • Machinery tipping due to being used unsafely
  • Scaffolds collapsing after not being properly constructed or braced
  • Machinery not being repaired/maintained and malfunctioning.
  • Employees are not being trained to use machinery and equipment safely.

Caught-between accidents can cause severe injuries. These injuries may include:

Fires and Explosions

From underground gas lines to temporary heating devices to electrical systems, construction sites are full of dangers that can turn a day's routine work to explosive in just seconds. It only takes a single spark or a spec of dust to set off a construction site fire or explosion that can injure or take the life of many employees. Some of the most common causes of these accidents include:

  • Interim heating devices,
  • Chemical tanks or drums,
  • Compressed gas cylinders,
  • Flammable and explosive liquids,
  • Explosives and blasting agents,
  • Heavy equipment and vehicles,
  • Electrical shorts and malfunctions,
  • Liquefied petroleum gas.

Fires and explosions can cause injuries that range from minor to severe. However, the most common injuries are burns and can either be first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree burns. In the case the incident is catastrophic, it can result in numerous fatalities. 

Electrical Accidents

Electrical accidents can lead to severe damage both internally and externally and can unfold in a variety of ways. Construction sites are full of danger, and electric currents are just one of them. Even when employees take the proper precautions, they can still suffer from electrocution. A few of the leading causes of being electrocuted include:

  • Poor lighting,
  • Incorrectly marked construction zones,
  • Exposed wires,
  • Defective equipment,
  • Fallen power lines,
  • Wires that are not correctly grounded.

Unfortunately, electrical currents cause severe damage. While external injuries may be obvious right after the incident occurs, internal injuries can be life-threatening and need to be treated as soon as possible. Injuries that a construction site employee may suffer will depend on a variety of factors, such as the voltage, their overall health, the length of exposure, and how much current flows through the body. When an employee suffers an electric accident, they can suffer from many injuries, including:

Defective Equipment

Construction sites are full of heavy machinery, and when equipment of that size is defective, it can cause catastrophe. Whether the equipment was originally manufactured with serious flaws or it was unkempt, it can still cause serious injury. A few examples of defective equipment that can be especially dangerous on constructions sites are:

  • Construction tools,
  • Band saws,
  • Cutting tools,
  • Scaffolding,
  • Ladders,
  • Lawnmowers,
  • Convey belts,
  • Cranes
  • Forklifts,
  • Rollers,
  • Tractors,
  • Dump trucks,
  • Other heavy machinery.

When these types of tools and equipment malfunction, they can lead to severe injuries to the person operating them as well as other employees who are nearby. Some common injuries that employees may face due to defective equipment include:

If you do not see the accident that you have suffered from above, check out some other construction site accidents below:

  • Misuse of tools,
  • Welding accidents,
  • Falls from high surfaces,
  • Mechanical hazards,
  • Compressed gasses,
  • Scaffolding accidents,
  • Crane accidents,
  • Lift accidents
  • Improper use or maintenance of equipment,
  • Exposure to toxic material,
  • Poor safety precautions,
  • Inadequate training,
  • Harness accidents,
  • Collapsed structures.

The unfortunate reality is that the lax commitment to safety and training standards, along with an increasing demand for faster networks, has led to dangerous conditions for many construction workers. At The Cochran Firm, our lawyers are ready to fight for you or a loved one that has found themselves injured because of the negligence of another party. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. 

What Steps Should I Take If I Have Been Injured in a Construction Accident?

The truth is that construction site jobs are very dangerous no matter what precautions you may take. Whether it is faulty equipment, the negligence of others, or simply a freak accident, you deserve to get the help you need from a lawyer you trust. If you or a loved one becomes injured due to a construction accident:

  • Seek medical attention for your injury quickly,
  • Report the injury to your employer or supervisor and keep note of who they tell,
  • Get statements and any information you can from witnesses,
  • Take pictures of the injury, the scene where the injury occurred, and any equipment that was involved,
  • Contact a lawyer to learn more about the legal options that you have

Who Can Be Held Legally Responsible for My Construction Accident Injury?

Most companies carry workers’ compensation insurance. If that is the case for your employer, they most likely are provided with immunity from personal injury lawsuits. However, workers’ compensation does not restrict lawsuits against employers if the injury was deliberate or heinous, but it is more common to file a claim against a third party. Those third parties include:

  • Construction Site Owner(s): In cases regarding construction site owners' negligence, liability typically rides on the degree of control the owner had over the premises compared to the degree of control over the work being done itself.
  • Manufacturers: Any party in the chain of distribution (manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, etc.) of a defective product can be held liable if the defect in their product caused an employees’ injury.
  • General and Subcontractors: Under OSHA, both general contractors and sub-contractors are required to provide their employees with a reasonably safe construction site, post warnings of any hazards on the construction site, and make certain the work is being carried out according to safety regulations. If/When an injury takes place, the failure of the general contractor or sub-contractor to complete these duties usually allows an injured worker the chance to seek compensation for their pain and sufferings.
  • Prime Contractors: The difference between general/sub-contractors and prime contractors is that prime contractors are only responsible for the work that is defined in their contract or the work they delegate to sub-contractors as long as they have complete responsibility for those subcontractors
  • Architects and Engineers: In certain cases, architects and engineers have the responsibility to oversee progress and make sure that compliance with plans and pertinent code regulations are being followed. When determining if an architect or engineer is liable for injuries, it is mandatory to establish which responsibilities were outlined in their contract with the construction company. 

If you have been injured on a construction site but are unsure of who is responsible, contact our experienced construction accident lawyers today for a free, no-obligation initial consultation

What Damages Can a Lawyer Help Me Cover From My Construction Accident Injury?

As many of us know, construction accidents can result in severe physical, financial, and mental pain for victims and their loved ones. Substantial medical bills, dealing with a serious injury, and permanent injuries can have a significant impact on and even change one’s quality of life. By taking legal action against the negligent party that caused your injury, a lawyer can help you recover:

  • Pain and suffering,
  • Mortgage and rent,
  • Ongoing living expenses,
  • Medical bills
  • Loss of wages (past and future)
  • Counseling costs,
  • Physical therapy,
  • Property damage, 
  • Loss of consortium for widows or widowers,
  • And more.

If you have been injured on a construction site and believe you have a claim for your injuries, the lawyers at The Cochran Firm can assist you with your personal injury lawsuit. Although it may seem complex and daunting, our experienced lawyers are ready to help you navigate the legal process during this stressful time. Contact us today so we can start fighting for what you deserve.

Why Choose The Cochran Firm

Johnnie Cochran had long dreamed of creating a national law firm of men and women from all races, religions, creeds, and backgrounds to show how well we could all work together to make the world a better place. When Mr. Cochran started The Cochran Firm, his mission was “a journey to justice.” Today, with more than 35 offices across more than 20 states, the lawyers at The Cochran Firm work every day to fulfill that dream and continue that mission by working for our clients with the same work ethic and dedication to justice exemplified by Mr. Johnnie Cochran himself.

The Cochran Firm is a diverse group of highly skilled and experienced lawyers that are dedicated to bringing high-quality representation to injured people and their families. Our experienced lawyers at The Cochran Firm are among the nation’s most recognized and successful lawyers in the country. When navigating through the legal process, you deserve to have an experienced lawyer by your side. Our lawyers at The Cochran Firm know how to fight for you.

Here at The Cochran Firm, each of our lawyers is ready to help victims receive the maximum compensation and financial recovery for all of their pain and suffering. Our lawyers work closely with each of our clients using pooled resources and their access to legal expertise to ensure the most effective legal representation available is provided.

You need the help of an experienced personal injury, workers’ compensation, product liability, or wrongful death lawyer who has proven successful results in other similar cases to guide you through the process and help you to receive the monetary damages you are entitled to under the law. The Cochran Firm’s results have been well documented and demonstrated both in the courtroom and at settlement conferences. At The Cochran Firm, we have the offices, the experience, the results, and the resources to aid clients throughout the United States.

If you’re looking for an experienced personal injury, workers’ compensation, product liability, or wrongful death lawyer to help you pursue justice for your construction site accident, please contact our lawyers at The Cochran Firm today for your free, no-obligation initial consultation today. We serve the entire country with offices in many major U.S. cities.