- Despite careful regulations by OSHA, construction industry workers face terrible, life-changing accidents every day.
- In addition to your employer, other third parties may also be responsible for your accident and can be held liable for damages.
- If you’ve been injured at work, it’s a good idea to speak to a personal injury lawyer before you agree to accept compensation from your employer or their insurance provider.
If you’re in the construction industry, part of your job may require using heavy machinery, climbing to great heights, working with electrical lines, or many other hazardous situations. While these tasks may be part of your regular and expected duties, these risky requirements often lead to accidents and resulting injuries.
In an effort to keep workers safe, the federal government created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is responsible for developing and enforcing workplace regulations. OSHA requires businesses to operate as safely as possible according to its laws; however, preventative planning doesn’t always work.
If you’ve been injured at a construction or worksite, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries from your employer and other parties. Here’s what you should know and why hiring a lawyer can help.
Hazards and Injuries That Occur at Construction Sites
There are plenty of dangers that exist at construction sites, but according to OSHA, the “Big 4” work hazards include:
- Falling from heights: Working with ladders, scaffolding, or boom trucks can lead to falls of many feet—some of which can be life-threatening or fatal.
- Electrocution: Workers who must use or encounter generators, power tools, machinery, and electrical wiring as part of the job are at a risk of suffering electrical shock and flash burns. For instance, linemen who must repair broken lines in the dark or during thunderstorms may be at high risk of electrocution.
- Crush and impact injuries: Construction sites where bulldozers, backhoes, cranes, and any other heavy machinery are used have a higher risk of crush and impact accidents. Injuries can occur when workers are struck by or run over with heavy instruments and vehicles.
- Struck by moving objects: These are injuries caused by forcible contact with falling, swinging, or rolling equipment.
Depending on the type of accident, workers may suffer anything from minor cuts and bruises to life-altering injuries and even death. Here are some of the most common injuries caused by worksite accidents:
- Eye injury, including temporary or permanent blindness
- Bone fractures
- Loss of limbs
- Injury to knees, ankles, or feet
- Spinal injury involving neck, shoulder, or back
- Spinal cord damage, including injuries that can cause paralysis
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Head injury including concussions, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
If you’ve been injured at the workplace, it’s imperative that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor can help diagnose your injury and keep medical records that will be critical for your injury case.
Some Construction Sites Injuries Happen as a Result of Negligence
When company owners and supervisors negligently fail to enforce safety measures on the site, workers often get hurt.
Getting compensation when you’re injured at work can be difficult in Georgia. It is wise to explore all the options available to satisfy your claim. Sometimes, the best way to preserve your rights is to consult with an attorney who specializes in work-related injuries and knows how to work around the obstacles work-related accidents can entail. Often, a good attorney can take on the burden of handling the legal side of your settlement while you are still healing from the accident.
Common Reasons for Work-Related Accidents
Job accidents can almost always be traced to these types of negligence:
- Hardhats, safety glasses, protective shoes or boots, safety harnesses, and other personal protective equipment are usually required on the job site. However, not all construction companies monitor or enforce the wearing of injury-reducing equipment or take care to maintain safe conditions on the worksite. This can result in serious, life-changing injuries.
- When equipment is old or poorly maintained, some safety features may become compromised. Hazards such as missing guards for power saws, wobbly ladders or scaffolding, worn or exposed electrical wires, and poor-condition safety harnesses and glasses can all lead to injuries.
- Failing to maintain the worksite can result in trip hazards and falling objects. Spills or hazardous areas should be clearly labeled with warning signs to keep workers safe.
- A construction company must provide proper and continuing training regarding on-the-job safety. If they fail to do this, they may be negligent.
Sadly, providing and maintaining a safe worksite can be costly, so shortcuts are often taken in the interest of profit. These shortcuts become doubly dangerous when workers are pressured to complete the job quickly to avoid penalties for failing to meet completion deadlines.
When Third-Party Businesses or Contractors May Also Be Held Accountable
While your employer may certainly be responsible for your on-the-job injuries, third parties, like subcontractors or equipment manufacturers, may also be partly to blame. For example, if an electrical or roofing contractor failed to take proper steps to keep the job site safe or if safety equipment failed to work, you may be able to hold the additional parties accountable. Negligent subcontractors or manufacturers may have contributed to your accident, which is why all aspects of the accident scene should be examined.
Know that the construction company, their insurance company, and any related third parties will go to great lengths to make it look as if they were not negligent. They may even try to persuade witnesses and coworkers not to help you get answers. For instance, they may reject providing you video footage of the accident. Hiring a lawyer can protect your right and demand the necessary evidence be preserved and presented through a court order.
Why You Should Talk to a Personal Injury Specialist Before Settling Your Claim
If you’ve been injured at work, your employer and their insurance company will want to settle your claim as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Typically, the sooner you settle, the less compensation you are to receive. This is because settling your claim too soon may not allow you to understand everyone who was at fault. You may also not realize the extent of your injuries or how long it will ultimately take to heal.
Settling before all the facts are known means that you may accept compensation that is far below what you deserve. Even accepting worker’s compensation might make it impossible for you to hold the responsible parties liable.
We recommend you consult with a personal injury specialist before accepting any compensation from your employer or related parties. Most personal injury law firms, like The Millar Law Firm, offer a free first consultation. This initial meeting can be incredibly beneficial and help you understand your options and any obstacles you may face in settling your claim.
You Have Enough to Worry About, Let Us Help
If you are still recovering, you may not be at the top of your game. The insurance company will try to take advantage of this and get you to settle quickly. You might be tempted to let them off the hook because you’re overwhelmed by the scope of the effort.
Unfortunately, when this happens, many accident victims find that they failed to factor in the many unexpected expenses that are not obvious initially. Future care for accident-related injuries, a lower earning capacity thanks to your new disability, as well as the pain and suffering you may endure for years to come are all very real considerations that the insurance company won’t eagerly pay for.
Hiring an attorney will relieve you of the burdensome business of gathering evidence, inspecting the accident scene, reviewing videotapes, and interviewing witnesses.
Why Trust The Millar Law Firm With Your Construction Site Case
At The Millar Law Firm, we specialize in getting our clients every dime of the settlement they deserve. We do all the legwork in order to maximize your compensation and minimize your stress.
Because our professionals handle accident claims every day, they are familiar with all the challenges that will come your way. Not only do they understand Georgia’s construction laws, but they are also familiar with the tactics that insurance companies use to avoid paying you what you deserve.
Work-related accidents at construction sites can be difficult to settle. Let the professionals at The Millar Law Firm help you get a full and fair settlement for your injuries. Call us today for an appointment for your free consultation. You’ll be happy you did. 770-400-0000.