Securing a job in construction often means stability for the long term. Little Rock is growing and there appears to be no end to the opportunities in construction. If you work a skilled trade or you are simply willing to work a physically challenging job, construction can be a good fit for you.
However, construction sites are often active noisy places with plenty of hazards. Companies work hard to avoid accidents but sometimes one negligent supervisor or an unforeseen danger can send you to the hospital. These incidents are public relations nightmares and those involved will do anything to minimize the damage and your injuries.
If you sustain an injury while working on a construction site you need an attorney to help you collect workers’ compensation benefits and damages arising from any negligence. Here is an overview on construction accidents and what you can expect if you need to file a lawsuit.
Common Accidents on Construction Sites
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied trends in construction accidents between 2011 and 2016. It discovered construction site fatalities steadily increased since the economic recovery started in 2013.
Falls are the most common cause o injury on construction sites. Workers climb ladders, scaffolding, and roofs and the height alone make falls a possibility. In 2013, falls accounted for one-third of all construction-related fatalities.
Another common cause of injury is falling objects. This can be material that is not well-secured or smaller objects, like tools dropped by other workers on ladders of scaffolding. Even if you are wearing appropriate safety equipment, it is still possible to sustain a brain or spine injury if the object fell from a high vantage point.
Heavy equipment is necessary for construction but it can also be dangerous. Failures or poor operation can leave workers vulnerable. A worker in Arkansas died last November in a crane accident. Also, smaller tools, like nail guns, can maim you if it misfires.
Trench collapses can kill workers. Sometimes, they fill with water too quickly, causing workers to suffocate in mud. An unstable trench can also cause building walls to fall and crush workers near them. Sometimes a supervisor will demand a worker fix a condition in a trench without checking it for stability.
Other types of accidents involve vehicle accidents, fires, explosions, and repetitive motion. Weather-related injuries are common in areas with extreme heat or cold. An incident of frostbite or heat stroke can produce a workers’ compensation claim in severe cases.
Types of Injuries–and Their Effects
Injuries in construction are diverse and run the gamut from minor to devastating. They include:
- Sprains and strains
- Amputation of fingers, toes or entire limbs
- Shoulder, arm, wrist, knee or ankle injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Respiratory distress
- Mental distress, including post traumatic stress disorder
Sometimes workers file claims not because they were physically injured but due to witnessing the injury of another worker. Seeing an amputation or death will often have mental consequences that can be just as limiting as any physical injury.
Effects may limit you to light duty and reduce your work hours at the very least. Many people find this cuts into their pay and makes it difficult to bring home enough income.
The most serious accidents result in long term disability and a complete inability to work. Sometimes, accident victims must go into vocational training to change careers. In cases of mental distress, it can be years before you reach a full recovery and function in the world without fear.
Workers’ compensation is the first step as that covers medical expenses and lost wages. Arkansas is not generous with workers’ compensation but it can make a difference.
If there was negligence in site safety or equipment handling, you may have a personal injury claim. These claims entitle you to economic damages including medical expenses and lost wages. You can also receive compensation for pain and suffering and reduced quality of life. The best claims in this area usually involve supervisors who do not follow laws regarding worker safety or pressure workers to use dangerous or faulty equipment.
Some cases may involve product liability. If you were hurt because a ladder or forklift was defective, your attorney can include the manufacturer as a defendant in your lawsuit. The most egregious of these cases may result in punitive damages.
Achieving a Fair Result
Construction cases are often challenging because they do not reflect well on companies or contractors. When facing an injury claim, many wish to settle quickly before the matter receives much media attention. This can work in your favor if fault is certain and it is obvious the accident could have been avoided.
However, if fault is disputed or your employer believes your injuries are overstated, you could be in for a battle. These cases may end up in trial after the filing of a lawsuit. If that occurs, it is up to a jury and you must be prepared to appear credible.
Construction accidents are often devastating and the challenge is not one you should take on by yourself. The Law Offices of Alan Levar offers the compassion and skill necessary to litigate your construction accident case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.