Construction Accident Attorneys
The construction industry serves as the backbone of the American economy. It employs millions of workers in a wide variety of trades. The buildings, roads, and structures those workers construct make our lives better, safer, and more convenient.
The progress enabled by the construction industry, however, comes with a heavy cost. Every year, across the country, tens of thousands of workers sustain serious and fatal injuries on construction sites; injuries that send them to the hospital, keep them out of work, and upend their lives. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), construction is one of the most dangerous job categories in the United States. One in five workplace fatalities, for example, happens in the construction industry.
Construction workers who sustain serious injuries on the job, and families of workers who die in tragic construction accidents, deserve compensation for their injuries and their losses. Across the nation, experienced construction accident injury attorneys help those unfortunate victims of preventable construction site incidents to seek justice and accountability through legal processes.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP is one such law firm. We have been fighting for the rights of injured construction workers and their families for over 40 years. Contact us today to learn about how we can help you.
“I had an amazing experience with Jacoby & Meyers, LLP. I would highly recommend them for anyone needing a law firm.” -Paul T.
About Our Construction Accident Injury Law Practice
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP is a full-service plaintiff’s law firm with a long history of advocacy on behalf of victims of preventable injuries and tragic fatalities. Representing clients whose lives have been devastated by construction accidents constitutes a core part of our law practice.
Over the years, our team has stood up to the largest real estate developers and most powerful insurance companies to make sure our clients receive every penny of compensation they deserve when a construction site incident robs them of their health, their livelihood, or a beloved family member.
In addition to our considerable resources and experience, we have a sister firm that focuses on fighting on behalf of injured workers to get them the Social Security disability and workers’ compensation insurance they deserve—and they’ve done it for half a century. Learn about them at https://www.foalaw.com/.
The Tragic Toll of Construction Accident Injuries
The National Safety Council publishes annual statistics about injuries and fatalities in a wide selection of U.S. industries. The data relating to construction tells a tragic tale of the massive cost inflicted by preventable accidents on American construction workers.
Consider these troubling facts:
- Every year, roughly 80,000 U.S. construction industry workers sustain an on-the-job injury;
- Work-related deaths in the U.S. construction industry are on the rise. In 2018 (the last year for which the Council published statistics), over 1,000 construction workers died on-the-job, a nearly 4 percent rise from the previous year, continuing a steady upward trend;
- Between ¼ and ⅓ of on-the-job injuries kept affected workers out of work for more than 31 days.
- Sprains, strains, and tears of muscles, ligaments, and tendons represent the most common injuries, and frequently prevent workers from doing their jobs.
- Workers killed in construction jobs typically sustain massive physical trauma that leads to their deaths.
The Hazards of Construction
Why does construction take such a heavy toll? Simply put, construction sites are full of potential hazards for workers, such as:
- Fall risks: Especially from height, falls can result in death or serious injury. According to the National Safety Council, 100 percent of falls are preventable with the right safety equipment. Nevertheless, falls represent the most common cause of construction site fatalities, and a leading cause of construction job injuries. To prevent falls from height, OSHA standards have provided for the correct types of scaffolding, harnesses, and equipment designed to protect workers.
- Sharp objects and edges: Nails, wood splinters, and broken glass can all cause severe puncture wounds or lacerations, particularly when a worker does not wear proper footwear or when construction teams fail to take proper safety measures. Puncture wounds and deep lacerations pose serious risks of infection, and can cause dangerous internal bleeding, nerve damage, and other disabling trauma.
- Open flames/electric arcs: Workers must contend with all sorts of burn dangers on construction sites. Welding, cutting, soldering, electrical work, and pouring asphalt, to name just a few common job tasks, all put workers at risk of burns that can cause catastrophic injuries, disfigurement, and death.
- Hazardous materials: Proper training, equipment, and containment/ventilation of hazardous materials are important in construction. Solvents, cleaners, and even materials such as asbestos or toxic substances require the correct procedure for handling. Exposure to these materials can cause both immediate injury and long-term damage to a worker’s health.
- Falling/flying debris: Some of the most common and deadly injuries on construction sites involve a worker getting struck by an object. Even relatively small pieces of material or tools can become deadly projectiles if they drop from a high height or get thrown by the force of power equipment.
- Eye damage: Your eyes are important. From UV burns during welding to pieces of metal, wood, or other debris entering the eye, proper eyewear must be used at all times in a construction area. Eye injuries can easily blind a worker, leaving him unable to work.
- Lack of training: People who are not adequately trained for a job pose a potential threat to themselves and others in the workplace. Proper training and rigorous attention to detail when it comes to using tools and equipment properly should leave no room for injuries. This is especially true with safety equipment.
- Insufficient safety precautions: Lack of signage, containment, equipment, and training on how to use each is unacceptable and may result in serious injury or maybe even fatality. Skilled workers who understand the requirements of their tasks completely make for a safe work environment.
- Lack of supervision: It takes a team leader to make sure that everyone is doing their part, not just to get the job done, but also to ensure the safety of their coworkers. Coordination is critical, especially when dealing with a complex and dangerous work environment. Supervisors also make sure that everyone is using their tools and safety equipment properly, regardless of potential language barriers or cultural differences.
The above represent just some of the hazards that workers face on a construction site. No matter what the hazard that injured you, hiring an experienced construction accident injury lawyer puts you in the best position to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Employers nationwide have obligations to carry workers’ compensation insurance that covers their employees against medical and other costs arising from a work-related injury or illness. Employer obligations surrounding workers’ compensation insurance vary from state-to-state, but in most cases, construction workers can count on having the right to receive workers’ comp benefits if they get hurt on a job site.
Workers’ compensation insurance typically pays benefits to construction workers regardless of how an injury happened. In other words, workers can usually receive benefits even if they caused the accident that resulted in their injury. Workers’ comp benefits usually include:
- Medical benefits. Workers’ compensation insurance typically pays for medical care necessary to treat a work-related injury or illness.
- Disability benefits. Injured workers also usually have the right to receive payments to replace their income if an injury leaves them unable to return to work. The scope and duration of these benefits vary widely from state-to-state, however.
- Death benefits. Families of construction workers injured on-the-job usually have the right to receive payments to replace the deceased workers’ income and to pay for funeral and burial expenses.
Although most construction workers have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits, however, it is not always assured that they will get the maximum benefits they deserve. Insurance companies that issue workers’ comp policies, like any other type of insurer, work hard to limit the amount of money they need to pay in benefits.
Construction workers who apply for benefits on their own frequently find the process confusing and frustrating, and end up settling for less money than they should receive. Some workers even have their claims denied. Working with an experienced construction accident injury attorney can help workers make sure they do not make mistakes that cost them benefits, and that insurance companies do not bully them into lowball settlements.
Taking Legal Action for a Construction Injury
In many states, construction workers who receive workers’ compensation benefits cannot also sue their employers for causing a work-related injury or illness. However, in some states laws may give construction workers, in particular, legal rights to seek damages from their employers in addition to workers’ comp benefits. Speak with an experienced construction accident injury attorney to learn if your construction-related injury qualifies under such a law.
Construction workers injured in a preventable incident on the job do, however, typically have the right to seek money damages from third parties (someone other than an employer or co-worker) whose bad decisions or reckless actions led to an injury or illness. These third parties can include:
- Construction contractors other than the injured worker’s employer, if the contractor’s actions led to the work-related injury;
- Manufacturers of construction equipment or materials that, because of a defect, cause the worker’s injury or illness; and
- Property owners who fail to make a job site safe for construction workers.
Every state has its own unique laws concerning when and how a construction worker can take action against a third party, and whether damages recovered from a third party affect the worker’s right to receive workers’ comp benefits. Speak with an experienced construction accident injury attorney to learn about the laws in your state.
Four Steps to Take After a Construction-Related Injury
The actions a construction worker (or a deceased worker’s family) takes after a preventable incident on a job site leaves him injured can have a significant impact on the amount of money the worker receives as compensation, either from workers’ comp insurance or from a third party.
Follow these basic steps to protect your rights:
- Seek medical treatment: If the condition is life-threatening, go to the nearest emergency room. If not, then schedule a visit with a doctor as soon as possible. Make sure the doctor’s services are covered by the workers’ compensation insurance policy your employer carries.
- Notify your employer: Although the deadlines vary state-to-state, you must always notify your employer within a short period of time after your injury. Ideally, you should tell your employer about an injury immediately, because that notice typically triggers legal obligations on the part of your employer relating to your workers’ comp benefits.
- Document everything. Keep all records you receive from doctors, insurance companies, or your employer, relating to your injury and its outcome. Do not throw anything away.
- Speak with our experienced construction accident injury lawyers. Getting injured on the job at a construction site brings you face-to-face with the highly-regulated workers’ compensation insurance system, and raises all sorts of potential legal issues that can affect your right to receive damages. Do not try to navigate the process of getting paid for your injuries on your own. Seek the advice and counsel of the experienced construction accident injury attorney who understands how your state’s workers’ comp system works, knows how to assess whether you have rights against third parties, and can take the burden of getting money off your shoulders so that you have the time and space you need to heal.
See How Jacoby & Meyers, LLP’s Construction Accident Lawyers Can Help You
For nearly five decades, Jacoby and Meyers, LLP’s lawyers have gone to work with a singular mission: to stand up for the rights of people injured in preventable incidents and tragedies. Construction workers deserve strong, sophisticated legal representation when an accident on a job site devastates their lives. We can help.
Do not wait to speak with a lawyer about the construction accident that turned your life upside down. You only have a limited amount of time to protect your legal rights. The sooner you have an experienced construction accident injury lawyer by your side, the better your chances of recovering every penny of compensation you need and deserve. Call the lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today, toll-free, at (877) 565-2993, begin a confidential chat with one of our live representatives, or write to us using our online contact page to receive a free, confidential, no-obligation case evaluation.