Construction injuries and fatalities have been on the rise over recent years. When workers are hurt on the job, their injuries can change their lives forever, but the effects can extend to the other family members. Among the difficulties injured workers face, the most common include extensive medical expenses, chronic pain, and even decreased quality of life. There are several legal actions that the worker could take in the event of an accident. The sad truth is that workers cannot get back their health or quality of life after a severe injury.
The Consequences of a Construction Site Accident
While everybody has to keep up with OSHA’s standards regarding safety, the truth is that work-related injuries can cause permanent damage or death. The most common causes of construction accidents include being struck by an object, falls, electrocutions, being caught in between, exposure to chemicals, heavy machinery incidents, etc.
As consequences go, an injured worker will most likely face one or more of the following:
- long-term medical care with piling expenses;
- loss of income;
- psychological suffering;
- chronic pain;
- loss of enjoyment for daily activities, and more.
In most cases, an attorney will initiate a workers’ compensation claim to solve the issues of medical bills and lost income. However, states have their own rules and even caps on workers’ compensation reimbursements. For instance, Irving, TX construction accident lawyers will tell you that injured workers have one year (statute of limitations) from the date of injury to file a claim.
In any case, getting an attorney after a construction accident is the best course of action. But, as we will see immediately, such claims and lawsuits are tricky when establishing liability or getting the right amount of compensation.
Unfortunately, statistics show numerous cases of death after construction accidents. Such circumstances might result in wrongful death lawsuits. An attorney can step up and take on the case to represent the decedent’s family.
However, some states might limit the family’s capability to recover just compensation in a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. Many things depend on the relationship status of the plaintiffs with the deceased. If they happened not to be married or did not have dependent children, the amount of compensation might be capped or even, at times, barred.
A Few Things on Liability in Construction Accidents
One of the most critical elements after a construction site injury is liability. There are several factors to consider in such an event:
- Responsibility of the contractor to provide an enabling and safe environment for the workers
- Responsibility of the worker to act responsibly and safely
- Responsibility of the subcontractors to act in a reliable and secure manner
The attorney who works on the case does the majority of the legwork. They must thoroughly investigate every accident detail, independent of the insurance company. An investigation, witness depositions, accident reconstruction, and discovery might reveal other liable parties in a construction accident claim or lawsuit: equipment manufacturers, engineers, the employer, architects, the victim’s teammates, etc. For this reason, navigating a work injury or fatality without a lawyer is unthinkable. When multiple parties share the fault for a person’s injuries or death, such lawsuits become extremely complicated.
Hiring a Lawyer
Acquiring the services of a lawyer is a vital step in the event of a construction site injury. This should be within two years from the discovery of the injury, at least for the majority of the states.
The lawyer’s experience is crucial in workers’ comp or wrongful death cases. Determining whether the injured worker or the mourning family will be able to secure compensation is a lengthy and complicated process. You can look into how long your attorney has been practicing law and the type of injury cases they worked on before.
Going on with your life after a construction site accident can be traumatizing. Finding a good lawyer to represent you fully and ease the experience is the first step to healing and financial recovery.