Understanding Construction Accidents and What You Can Do

The construction industry has one of the highest worker injury rates in the country. The causes of most construction accidents are:

  • Unsafe equipment
  • Work methods or site conditions
  • Not using proper safety equipment
  • General disregard for safety and a lack of proper training

Construction sites are places where accidents and injuries, sometimes fatal, often occur which are caused by roof collapses, structural collapses, and cave-ins.Victims of these accidents have various remedies available to them.

Another common construction accident involves equipment including forklifts. Forklift accidents are caused by a lack of proper training for drivers and the amount of stress involved at the site. A wheel tractor scraper is one of the most common pieces of heavy equipment on many construction sites. Tractor rollovers can also cause fatal accidents at construction sites.

Scaffolding collapses are another major cause of construction accidents. Scaffolding is a temporary platform constructed for reaching heights above arms’ reach for the purpose of building construction. Most collapse accidents and injuries could be prevented by taking proper safety precautions. Other common construction accidents include roof falls and collapses, crane accidents, elevator shaft falls, floor collapses, electrocution and accidents caused by unsafe tools, defective conveyor belts, dangerous hoists and heavy equipment. It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that all safety precautions are taken at a construction site, including maintenance of the dangerous tools, vehicles, and equipment used at the site.

All employees have the right to work in a safe environment. The employer is under an obligation to provide a work environment that is safe and protected from the occurrence of accidents. A safe workplace is created by adhering to safety standards and regulations as well as training employees to be proactive and responsible in reporting unsafe or harmful conditions. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, the prime contractor is always responsible for safety at the construction site and for compliance with all safety regulations.

If the prime contractor employs a sub-contractor, the subcontractor is also responsible for safety at the construction site and for compliance with all safety regulations. Under workers compensation laws, a worker who suffers a work related illness or injury is entitled to compensation. The worker is entitled to compensation regardless of who was at fault. An injured employee can sometimes claim damages from a responsible third party by virtue of a personal injury lawsuit.

Most construction accidents that happen in the workplace could have been avoided if the company or contractor followed health and safety regulations. The victim need not be working or employed at the construction site to be entitled to compensation for construction accidents. Even if the victim was just passing by a construction site and is injured by falling objects from the site, the victim can seek damages for the injury from the contractor/construction company. In certain circumstances if the victim, whether an employee or a non-employee, dies as a result of the construction accident, the survivors of the deceased victim can file a claim for wrongful death against the contractor and employer.

An injured party who institutes a wrongful death case might also recover money damages for: past and future doctor, hospital, therapy and medical bills; past and future lost wages; out of pocket expenditures; pain and suffering; loss of life’s enjoyment; and a loss of consortium claim for a spouse. Additionally, an economist might have to be hired to determine the extent of any future lost wage or loss of opportunity claim.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a construction accident, our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys are here to help answer your questions during this difficult time. Contact us at 888-244-5480.