Construction workers don’t need to be told their jobs are dangerous. Working on a construction site is often a hazardous environment because of large machinery, dangerous tools and equipment, and the long, strenuous hours of labor. These hazards are compounded by negligent safety measures, faulty equipment, or other circumstances that lead to job-related accidents, and the resulting injuries can be devastating to workers and their families.
You—and every construction worker—have a right to expect safe conditions on the job site. Being an injured construction worker on the job can severely affect your ability to provide for your family. The Orlando personal injury attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter have extensive experience helping construction accident victims and their families pursue the financial security they need as they recover and move forward with their lives.
If you or a loved one was injured in a construction site accident, please call us at 407-712-7300 for your free case evaluation. We proudly represent those who live in Orlando and nearby areas of Florida.
- Construction Accident Statistics
- Common Causes of Construction Accidents
- Construction Accident Injuries
- Determining Liability
- Construction Accident Claims and Workers’ Compensation
- Compensation We Can Pursue
Construction Accident Statistics
Construction companies and federal regulators are constantly stressing occupational safety in an attempt to minimize and prevent workplace injury and death. Because of this, there are safety standards and regulations determined and implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA is part of the Department of Labor and develops safety laws for all industries, including construction, to ensure that construction sites—and those who run them—do so in a safe manner.
Safety courses are required for most companies that employ 20 or more workers in construction jobs. Many small contractors, however, employ fewer than 20 employees and may not provide adequate safety training, which can lead to worker injury.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- 10 percent of construction workers suffer a work-related injury each year
- Construction workers have the highest rate of workplace fatalities
- Construction fatalities have decreased by 20 percent since 2007
- Specialty trade contractors suffered the most fatalities by sub class
- Approximately 1,000 construction fatalities occur each year
Common Causes of Construction Accidents
The conditions on a construction site increase the chance of injury, making the risk considerably greater than that of other industries. Construction laborers come in contact with all types of environmental risks, hazardous material, and dangerous equipment imaginable. At any moment, if you’re not constantly considering safety, you could be putting a coworker or yourself in grave danger.
When construction companies, site supervisor, foreman, or other employees neglect these regulations serious injury can occur. The most common injuries at a construction site are the result of lifting. However, the most serious and often the most catastrophic construction accidents are falls from heights and often occur because the planking or support is defective and gives way. This can cause serious harm to an unsuspecting employee.
Problems on construction sites that can lead to injuries include:
- Falls from scaffolding, ladder, or other height
- Heavy equipment accident
- Exposure to hazardous materials
- Trench cave-ins, building or wall collapse
- Slippery surfaces
- Heavy objects falling
- Defective tools or machinery
- Injuries from power tools
- Faulty safety equipment
- Inadequate safety precautions
- Electrocution, fire, or explosion
- Dangerous, conditions, work practices, or lack of supervision
Serious injuries to construction workers are catastrophic and can be devastating. Construction work is a heavy-duty profession and injured workers rarely have the option of light or moderate work while they are injured. This means that a serious on-the-job injury can lead to unemployment and even a loss of career.
Because construction workers are typically well paid and have good benefits, it’s nearly impossible for these types of workers to find a career that is comparable. This can lead to depression and even end marriages and destroy families.
Construction Accident Injuries
Construction accident cases cause a higher rate of severe and catastrophic personal injuries than other types of workplace accidents. The injuries sustained in construction accidents can be life-changing and commonly include:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Internal and musculoskeletal injuries
- Brain injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Loss-of-limb and amputation injuries
- Severe burns
These injuries can dramatically impact victims and their family members alike. Victims of construction accidents may face extended time away from work, long-term medical care, and the need for vocational retraining.
Because of the dangers of old building materials and other hazardous materials, construction workers can also develop chronic diseases such as:
- Asbestos lung cancer
Silica can become airborne when concrete on a rock that contains silica is chipped or drilled. When these fine crystalline particles become airborne and are inhaled, they can scar and stiffen your lungs. This can lead to silicosis.
Mesothelioma and asbestosis are caused by exposure to asbestos, and can lead to respiratory problems. Mesothelioma is a cancer that is almost always fatal, although 5-year survival rates are increasing. These diseases may take decades to develop and even longer for symptoms to surface and an accurate diagnosis to occur.
Employers are required to provide as safe a work environment as possible to their employees under the theory of premises liability. Safety training is stressed by most construction companies, but serious injury and fatal accidents are still all too common. High turnover and inadequately trained personnel account for many accidents.
If the company does not provide a safe environment and sufficient training, they may be held liable for a personal injury claim or a wrongful death lawsuit in the event of a fatal construction accident. In the event of equipment failure, manufacturer defect or design flaw, there may be other parties that are liable for damages as well.
Examples of who may be held liable include:
- Construction company
- Site foreman or supervisor
- Manufacturer of equipment/tools
- Negligent coworker, sub-contractor, or another individual
Construction Accident Claims and Workers’ Compensation
If you’re injured on a construction site because of another person or entity’s negligence you may file a personal injury claim against them. However, because employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, many workers don’t seek the help of personal injury lawyers when injured. At Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter, our experienced lawyers can help maximize your claim so that you get the compensation you deserve.
Workers’ compensation was created to give benefits to those who were injured on the job. Benefits generally include help with medical bills, compensation for lost wages, and aid with a disability. Unfortunately, insurance companies frequently look to avoid paying what accident victims deserve. Our construction accident lawyers understand the law and fight to make sure that you’re not taken advantage of during your time of need.
When your injury is the result of negligence from another party, it’s within your rights to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation. Just as with all personal injury claims, there are certain factors that you must show to prove negligence on the party was the reason of your injury.
In order to have a successful personal injury claim, you must show:
- The company, supervisor, coworker, or third party had a responsibility to act in a practical and safe way in regard to you
- That they failed to perform that responsibility and were negligent
- Your injuries were a result of that negligence
Our knowledgeable and skillful lawyers will help you with those determining factors by:
- Comprehensively going over and filing your claim
- Pursuing and negotiating an appropriate settlement
- Appealing any denial of your personal injury claim
Compensation We Can Pursue
At Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter, we understand just how serious construction accidents are. Not only can you suffer devastating injuries, but those injuries can severely affect your entire family, especially if you’re the primary financial provider. No matter what case we handle, we take a personal, comprehensive approach for every client so that we can help get you the financial compensation you rightfully deserve.
Compensation we may be able to pursue for you include:
- Current and future medical bills
- Current and future lost wages
- Rehabilitation costs
- Assisted care
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Burial and funeral expenses in cases of wrongful death
Not only will we fight to get compensation for your medical and rehabilitation bills but we’ll fight for “noneconomic damages” such as pain and suffering and diminished quality of life. Because these do not directly equate to determined financial amounts, our attorneys can calculate these damages and help prove them for your case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Construction Accidents
Should I Get a Lawyer After a Construction Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, you should consider contacting a lawyer. Although you are under no obligation to seek legal counsel after a construction-related injury, an experienced attorney can explain your rights, determine the true value of your claim, and pursue the full and fair compensation to which you may be entitled under the law.
Unfortunately, injured workers frequently eschew legal representation because they feel compelled to work within the confines of their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance. While workers comp is intended to cover medical expenses, lost wages, disability aid, insurance companies notoriously offer lower settlements than what injury victims truly need to compensate their current and future damages.
An experienced construction accident attorney can help you maximize your workers compensation benefits, as well as help you seek additional damages against any potentially negligent third parties. While issues of liability don’t apply in workers’ comp claims, certain parties may be held accountable for your construction accident injuries, including:
- The property owner
- The company that designed, manufactured, or sold a defective product
- Architects or engineers
- Negligent drivers
- General contractors and subcontractors
More than one party could be held liable for your injuries. A construction accident lawyer will carefully review the details surrounding your injury and pursue justice on your behalf.
What Do I Do After a Construction Accident?
Your top priority after suffering any workplace injury is to get the medical care you need. If your injury is not an emergency, talk to your employer about your accident right away and ask where you should seek medical treatment. If your injury requires urgent attention, get emergency medical care at the nearest facility and inform your employer as soon as possible. In Florida, you are required to notify your employer about an accident within 30 days following either your injury, the date when your injuries became apparent, or the date when your injuries were first diagnosed or identified by a medical professional.
You should also call an experienced attorney right away. You may be able to seek compensation beyond the scope of workers’ compensation benefits.
Can I Sue My Employer for a Construction Accident?
Due to Florida’s workers compensation laws, employers are generally immune from personal injury lawsuits brought by employees. Under Florida’s work comp system, injured employees can receive compensation for medical bills and lost wages without having to prove negligence. There are certain exceptions. For example, if the employer acts grossly negligent akin to intentional behavior.
What Accidents Kill Most Construction Workers?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified the top four leading causes of construction accident fatalities, sometimes referred to as the “fatal four”, these include:
- Falls: Accounting for more than 36% of construction deaths, these types of accidents include falls off roofs, ladders, and scaffolding. Workplace falls can be reduced with the help of certain safety measures, such as (a) using personal fall arrest equipment, (b) installing and maintaining perimeter protection, (c) covering and securing floor openings and labeling floor opening covers, and (d) use ladders and scaffolds safely.
- Being struck by objects: Being struck by falling, swinging, or misplaced objects account for 10% of construction fatalities. Malfunctioning equipment, rigging failures, loose materials vehicle collisions all contribute to these types of accidents. To avoid these injuries, OSHA recommends Wearing high-visibility clothing near vehicles and equipment, and never positioning yourself between fixed and moving objects.
- Electrocutions: These types of accidents cause more than 8% of construction accident deaths. Exposed wires, poorly-maintained electrical cords and wet conditions near electrical equipment are just a few of the hazards workers face on the job. To prevent electrocution accidents, locate and identify utilities before starting work. When operating equipment, keep an eye out for overhead power lines.Beware of electrical hazards when working on a ladder, scaffold or other platform. You should also avoid operating portable electric tools unless they are double insulated or grounded.
- Being caught in or between objects: More than 2% of all construction fatalities result from workers becoming caught in or between objects. This can include getting caught in between rotating equipment, machines, or collapsing structures. Workers can reduce these risks by never entering unprotected trenches, or excavating five feet or more without adequate protective systems in place.
How Much Compensation am I Entitled to In a Construction Accident Claim?
Construction accident cases can be incredibly complicated, and there may be multiple factors which can affect the amount of compensation you are entitled to under the law. Some of the factors that can impact the amount of your compensation include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Rehabilitation costs
- The severity of your injury
- Pain and suffering
The best way to determine the value of your claim is to speak with construction accident attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter.
How Long Will It Take to Complete My Construction Accident Case?
The amount of time your case will take to complete is determined by a number of factors, such as the time it takes to:
- Contact Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- Talk with witnesses
- Negotiate your settlement
- Litigate your case, if necessary
To speed up the process as much as possible, you should contact the construction accident attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter as soon as possible to get started on your case.
Contact Our Experienced Construction Accident Attorneys Today
Construction injuries can end in tragedy. If you or a loved one was injured or became sick at a Florida construction site, you need aggressive representation. The Orlando personal injury lawyers at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter will fight to protect your rights help you obtain the benefits to get you back on your feet.
Please schedule a free consultation with our office to discuss the details of your injury or illness by calling 407-712-7300 or filling out the form on this page. We proudly represent those who live in Orlando and nearby areas of Florida.