Thousands of hardworking people are injured and even killed each year because of construction accidents. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has worker deaths in American down from about 38 a day in 1970 to 14 a day in 2016, these accidents still happen more often than they should.
Construction site-related injuries are often more than a cut or scratch and they have the potential to completely upend your life. During this time, you may not know who to turn to. To ensure your rights are protected, you need a trusted personal injury lawyer at your side.
Our knowledgeable Baltimore construction accident attorneys at Belsky & Horowitz, LLC understand that even the safest of laborers are at risk for injury because of what they do. We’re ready to represent you, help you seek the compensation you deserve, and hold the liable party accountable for your injuries.
What Causes Construction Accidents?
Of the 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries that take place every year, approximately 150,000 of them take place in the construction industry. There are a variety of reasons these accidents happen. When the people in charge of keeping the area safe act negligently or don’t follow state or federal regulations for even one minute, they are increasing the chances of someone getting hurt.
- Falls. Falls are the most common reason for construction accidents. This can happen when laborers fall from scaffolding, ladders, and other work equipment.
- Falling objects. If a tool isn’t properly secured, there’s a chance it will fall and strike someone.
- Equipment-related accidents. Heavy machinery can be dangerous or fail when not used correctly. Proper training and equipment care are necessary to avoid these accidents.
- Back-overs and caught-in/betweens. Workers run the risk of being crushed or run over by large vehicles or trapped in collapsed buildings.
- Fires and explosions. When worksites contain hazardous materials and flammable chemicals there’s the chance for a fire or explosion.
- High Lead levels. According to the CDC, between 2002-2008 construction workers were found to be part of the 16 percent of the population with elevated blood lead concentration levels. Unsafe work practices can lead to unnecessary exposure to lead.
Workers should be able to trust that those in charge are keeping their environment safe. When these environments are dangerous and innocent people are harmed, they shouldn’t have to be solely responsible for all the expenses it will take for them to get back to their regular life. That’s where Belsky & Horowitz, LLC steps in. We’ll defend your rights no matter what.
Types of Construction Injuries
Construction-related injuries vary depending on the accident; however, some trends can be identified. One of the most harrowing factors of these injuries is that they’re often catastrophic. They could result in chronic pain, permanent disabilities, or have some form of long-lasting effects that you’ll have to adjust to. It’s also likely you may need continuing medical care to maintain a high quality of life.
The following are potential injuries one can sustain on a worksite:
- Amputations. Fingers, toes, or limbs may need to be amputated in the event they are crushed and cannot be surgically repaired.
- Broken Bones. Broken bones are common when people and objects fall.
- Burns. Burns occur when dangerous, flammable materials and chemicals are mishandled.
- Eye Injuries. Eye injuries occur when toxic chemicals are handled incorrectly.
- Hearing Loss. Heavy machinery is very loud. Without the proper ear protection, hearing loss can occur.
- Heat Stroke. Heat stroke is more common in the summer months when construction workers are outside for long periods of time without staying hydrated.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries. Traumatic brain injuries can occur when workers or objects fall. Those suffering from these injuries can experience issues with cognition and motor function.
If one of these has happened to you, worrying about a claim may not be the first item on your mind. You’re probably more focused on how long your injury is going to take to heal or how you’re going to be able to afford the hospital bills. However, your settlement may help you cover those costs, so you can focus your energy on getting healthier without stressing about finances.
It’s also important to have a construction lawyer at your side so you don’t say anything that could reduce the amount of compensation you’re owed. Unfortunately, insurance adjusters may try to get statements from you to do this. If they ask you how you’re feeling and you say “I’m fine,” you may think you’re being conversational but that statement could be used to show that you’re not in pain and your injuries aren’t that severe.
You may also not know the extent of your injuries, as symptoms of certain issues can take a few weeks or longer to develop. Pain in your neck may be a result of a back injury, but if you don’t mention that your back hurts in an official statement to an adjuster, you may not get coverage for back injuries. Your personal injury lawyer will instruct you on how to deal with insurance adjusters, so you don’t accidentally jeopardize your claim.
Causes of Construction Fatalities
According to the United States Department of Labor, in 2016 21.1 percent of worker fatalities were in construction – that’s more than one in five.
Excluding highway collisions, the leading causes for deaths in the construction industry were falls, being struck by an object, getting electrocuted, and getting caught or crushed in or under something. These accidents, labeled the “Fatal Four,” were responsible for 63.7 percent of all construction worker deaths in 2016.
- Falls. Falls accounted for 38.7 percent of construction-related deaths. Investigations found violations with fall protection training and usage and scaffolding and ladder use.
- Struck by an object. 4 percent of fatalities occurred when someone was struck by an object. This happened because of violations with fall protection, as well as issues with hazard communication.
- Electrocution. Electrocution accounted for 8.3 percent of accidental fatalities. Faults were found with electrical wiring methods, components, and equipment.
- Caught-in/between. The caught-in/between category accounts for the construction workers who were killed when compressed by equipment or objects, and struck, caught, or crushed in collapsing structures or equipment. These accidents caused 7.3 percent of construction-related deaths.
If you’ve lost a loved one because of injuries they received on a worksite, you may be eligible for compensation. We’ll help you fight for your loved one and get them justice.
How Do Construction Accident Claims in Maryland Work?
Construction accident claims are not uncommon in Maryland. In the event that you are in a construction accident in Maryland and are injured, you may be able to seek workers’ compensation. To fill out the claim, you’ll need to provide your name, address, time and place of your injury, and the nature and cause of your injury. You’ll need to inform your employer within 10 days of your injury happening. Once this is submitted you will be able to begin the process of seeking compensation.
Depending on your injury, you may receive a financial award for your medical bills and expenses and for lost wages. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed when you think about your future. You’ll know you have financial security and can move forward one step at a time.
What If You Have Non-Worker Injuries?
Construction workers aren’t the only people who can get injured at a site, especially if it’s in a populated area like a busy city. Pedestrians walking by could potentially get hurt if debris falls or parts of the site aren’t secured. There’s also the risk of children walking into a site and harming themselves.
The person in charge of the site is supposed to take measures to make sure no one is hurt. This includes posting signs informing others that the area is a construction zone and only authorized personnel are allowed to be there. The site should also be secure, so people cannot wander in.
Typically, a general contractor is in charge of these duties. When they are negligent and fail to keep the public informed of potentially dangerous worksites, they’re putting others at risk.
Non-worker injuries can be just as devastating as worker injuries, including requiring treatment and potentially having to miss work. We can help you stand up for your rights.
Belsky & Horowitz, LLC Provides Sound Legal Advice
Our dedicated construction accident attorneys are ready to represent you and help you get the compensation you deserve so you can focus on recovery and finding a new normal. We will examine your case and discover the negligent party, how they failed to act responsibly, how they caused your injuries, and how that’s affected your life. You can have peace of mind that professionals are looking out for your best interests.
If you or a loved one has been in a construction accident, contact us for a free consultation or give us a call today. When we find the right option for you, we’ll start working to get you a fair settlement. In some situations, the other side may not budge on giving you what you deserve. While rare, we’re ready to explain the advantages and disadvantages of taking a claim to trial and we will be prepared to defend your case in court.