Few environments are fraught with more potential hazards than construction sites. The nature of a construction site makes injuries to workers and the public more likely, and unfortunately, very common.
The intent of Pennsylvania laws, along with Federal safety regulations, is to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone who is on or around a construction site. It can be difficult to figure out who is responsible for injuries that happen at construction site accidents.
Construction Sites and Worker’s Compensation Claims
The most common injuries sustained on construction sites happen to workers. Many of these injuries are, and should be, handled through the employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. Worker’s Comp is intended as a no-fault insurance policy intended to get hurt workers the medical care and wage replacement benefits they require while recovering from injuries.
Unfortunately, many employers feel the need to reduce worker’s compensation claims and discourage employees from filing. This is both wrong and illegal.
Lots of workers fail to file worker’s comp claims because they think the injury is their fault, or that it isn’t serious, or that the boss will punish them for seeking help. Filing a worker’s comp claim cannot be used against you. Your rights are protected under Federal and State law. Injuries that are not treated promptly stand a higher chance of developing into permanent problems you may not be able to get treatment to recover from.
Don’t take chances with workplace injuries. If you are hurt at work, report it to your supervisor and inform them you need to seek medical attention.
Why Hire a Lawyer for Workers Comp?
The worker’s compensation insurance program is designed to prevent injured workers from being discriminated against. It’s purpose is to provide the medical and financial assistance an injured employee requires while they are recovering. Employers are not subject to punitive damages.
In nearly every case, even when an employer follows the law to the letter, insurance adjusters will attempt to reduce payments to injured workers. Many people are unaware of their rights under Pennsylvania law and accept settlements that are not in their favor for workplace injuries.
An attorney knowledgeable in Worker’s Compensation law in Pennsylvania prevents insurance adjusters from reducing treatment or award due to nuances in law. Many people who do not hire legal representation find the settlement they receive to be inadequate to cover all the bills and expenses following a workplace injury.
Worker’s compensation coverage pays medical bills and lost wages, but does not pay pain and suffering or other non-economic losses.
Common Worker’s Comp Accidents and Injuries
- Slips, Trips, Falls
- Burns and Shocks
- Blunt-Force Trauma
- Defective Equipment
- Motor Vehicle Crashes
- Chemical and Toxic Exposure
- Hazardous Inhalation
- Third-Party Lawsuits
Not all injuries that happen to workers on a construction site are covered by worker’s compensation insurance. Many injuries that happen on a jobsite are caused by negligence. As an example, if a worker falls off a ladder while on the job, their injuries are covered by Worker’s Comp. But, if a worker falls through an opening in the floor made by another company who neglected to place warning signs, the injured worker can file claims against the other company.
In some cases, even the owner of the property may bear responsibility for the injuries suffered by workers on construction sites. If the owner has assumed control and responsibility for a jobsite, injuries can lead to third-party claims. Property owners that take control of a project or jobsite need to be aware they are responsible for some types of accidents.
Third-party claims are frequently made in construction site accidents. In part, this is a result of the nature of a job site. It is common to have multiple companies on site simultaneously. Unfortunately for many injured workers, the majority of cases that should include additional responsible parties rarely do. Injured workers lose out on significant additional benefits when they fail to file claims against all responsible parties.
Common Causes of Third-Party Lawsuits
Many of the same types of injuries that happen to workers filing worker’s compensation claims are common when filing third-party personal injury lawsuits. The primary difference between the two types of injuries involves the negligence -or lack thereof- by a responsible person. Personal injury suits stand to carry a larger settlement. In addition to medical and lost wages, injured workers may sue for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
- Equipment and tools furnished by a third-party- This can include heavy equipment and vehicles, power tools, ladders and scaffolding, and even hand tools supplied to the workers by a company other than the employer. Claimants must be able to demonstrate that the injury was caused by the equipment or tool, that the tool was defective, and that the defect directly led to the injury.
- Design, Construction, and Materials performed by a third-party- Workers are frequently injured when structures are not properly constructed or designed. Frequently, injuries are caused when walls or entire buildings collapse on workers due to faulty methods of construction or design. Companies that supply building materials can be liable for injuries if the materials are deficient and it can be shown the responsible company knew or should have known of the problem.
- Safety Violations- Thousands of injuries each year on construction sites happen because individuals working on one aspect of a project do not sufficiently follow safety protocols for warning others of danger. Holes left in floors without signs, sections of ceiling and wall left unsupported, exposed wiring and plumbing, and failure to control and clean debris from walkways are examples of safety violations that can cause injuries on a construction site.
Construction Site Accidents Involving Others
Every construction site owes a duty of care to those around the site. When a building is being constructed or demolished, the company doing the work is required to prevent the public from being injured. Each year, thousands of people are injured by construction site accidents who are not workers. Common Accidents and Injuries
Falling tools, materials, and debris- People are struck by falling objects from construction sites. Injuries can include traumatic brain injuries, fractures, and severe neck and back injuries.
Motor vehicle accidents- Operators of equipment and vehicles on construction sites can be held responsible for causing accidents when the vehicles unintentionally enter traffic or obstruct roads. These accidents frequently result in head and neck injuries, concussions, and strains.
Slip, trip, and fall- Trip and fall accidents and slip and fall injuries are common around construction sites. Site managers are required to warn the public of hazards, such as broken concrete, missing walkways, hazardous changes of elevation, spills, and other hazards. Simply placing a sign is not enough to prevent an injury lawsuit, site managers must make reasonable efforts to prevent injuries.
Why a Construction Site Injury Lawyer is Essential
Every injury at a construction site is different. There are numerous ways people get hurt and the potential for several parties to bear responsibility. In some claims, filing against the wrong individual or failing to file against all responsible parties can cause cases to be dismissed or benefits to be severely restricted. There are different statutes of limitations for worker’s compensation claims and personal injury claims that must be strictly adhered to. Among all types of injury cases, accidents that happen at construction sites can be the most difficult to win.
An injury attorney with experience handling construction site accidents will make sure the correct responsible parties are held accountable. In some cases, claims may be made through both worker’s compensation and third-party suits. This can make for a highly complex case that can easily become overwhelming for the injured person. A construction accident lawyer ensures that each step of the claim is correctly filed and on time.
When to Call a Lawyer
The sooner you reach out to our attorneys, the better. We provide a risk-free consultation specifically to discuss the facts of your case and give you an idea of how we can help. Whether your injury happened in the scope of your work, or because of the negligence of a third-party, winning your case is all that matters.
If you are injured at work, you should seek immediate medical attention. Report your construction injury to your supervisor, and tell them you need to see a doctor. Laws in Pennsylvania and the United States give you the right to seek medical help for injuries.
Winning your personal injury case is nearly impossible without medical diagnosis of an injury. Many workers think they can “walk off” injuries, or that they can’t miss work for an injury, so they do not report the accident. Worker’s compensation exists so that injured workers can get the help they need without fear of reprisal by their employer.
Decades of experience have given our lawyers the knowledge and skills to effectively negotiate with insurance adjusters and company lawyers, making sure that you get a fair settlement for your injuries. We won’t let you get stuck with a settlement that doesn’t cover the injuries and losses you suffered. Our lawyers make sure the right people are held accountable and your construction site injury claim is handled from start until long after we win.