Nobody expects to get injured or to die while working on a construction site. Injuries or death arising from construction site accidents not only affect the injured worker physically, but they also affect their families and their daily lives. Construction site accident injuries can also cause emotional and financial stress.
If you or someone you love has been injured or lost their life in a construction site accident, you more than likely have a ton of questions. You are not alone. Many of our clients have had similar questions about their construction site accidents, so we have decided to dedicate a page to answering some of the more common questions about construction site accidents. If you have any further questions after reading this FAQ, feel free to give us a call at (877) 415-6495.
Who is Liable for Accidents that Occur on Construction Sites?
If the accident that occurred on the construction site was caused by negligence, the owner of the property, the equipment manufacturer, or the engineer or contractor would be held responsible, depending on who contributed to the negligence. For example, if the construction manager was aware of the hazardous condition, but continued to allow everyone to work, he or she could be held liable for injuries or death.
Are Construction Workers Covered Under Worker’s Compensation Insurance?
Every employer that employs at least one person in the state of Pennsylvania is required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. This is true even if employees are only working part-time hours, and family members are also included in the policy if they are employees.
Can We Still Sue if We are Covered Under Worker’s Compensation Insurance?
Unfortunately, if an employee is covered by worker’s compensation, he or she cannot sue his or her employer. If, for some reason, the employer does not carry worker’s compensation insurance, this causes a legal “gray area” that would possibly open the employer up to being sued by an injured employee. Worker’s compensation is an employer’s means of protecting the company from lawsuits that arise from injuries. As long as they obey the laws and carry worker’s compensation insurance, they should not have to worry about being sued by an injured worker.
If an employee is injured due to defective or hazardous equipment, however, he or she can file a lawsuit against the company that manufactured or created the defective equipment, even if the employee is covered by worker’s compensation.
What Steps Should I Take if I am Injured on a Construction Site?
Every construction site injury is different, both in nature and in the process that is necessary for worker’s compensation. However, there are general steps that all claimants should take to ensure their worker’s compensation claims are handled correctly.
The following are important steps in the worker’s compensation process for construction site injury claims:
- Your employer should have a book in which you should record the incident that caused your injury. Be sure to record the incident as soon as possible. Be sure to record the details of the incident yourself, or at the least review the entry to ensure accurateness.
- Gather any names, addresses, and contact information for all potential witnesses of the incident that caused your injury.
- Take photographs of the location where your injury occurred.
- Keep your own record of the details of your accident. You should do this as soon as possible after the accident. Be sure to account for details that led up to your accident.
- Take pictures of any machinery, tools, plants, supports, or vehicles that were involved in the incident that caused your injury.
- Seek medical attention so that you can start receiving medical treatment. Keep your own record of your injuries and conditions and your medical appointments.
Some injured workers find that keeping a journal about their injuries helps them make it through the rough and painful spots. It helps to serve as a reminder when you go to the doctor.
What is OSHA?
OSHA is the acronym for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA is responsible for creating and enforcing rules and regulations that govern health and safety in the workplace. Their main goal is to ensure that injuries, illnesses, and death in the workplace is kept to a minimum.
What Types of Accidents Occur on Construction Sites?
Before discussing the types of accidents that typically occur on construction sites, it is often important to be aware of some of the common conditions that could lead to an accident. There are thousands of potential hazards on construction sites that could lead to accidents.
Some common issues that often lead to accidents on Pennsylvania construction sites include:
- Unstable elevations
- Moving or falling machinery
- Electrical glitches or errors
- Exposure to asbestos or chemicals
- Unsafe or defective equipment
- Trenches that are uncovered or unprotected
- Failure to comply with OSHA regulations
- Rushed production schedules
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), most of the injuries that occur on construction sites are due to excavation cave-ins, power tool accidents, electrical hazards, falls, and exposure to potentially dangerous materials, including vinyl chloride, lead, benzene, and asbestos. With that said, most accidents on construction sites are due to equipment that is defective, chemicals that are hazardous, property that is unsafe, slip and fall accidents, or other negligence.
What are the Most Typical Construction Site Injuries?
Construction accidents typically result in the following injuries:
- Fractured and/or broken bones
- Head/brain trauma
- Cuts and abrasions
- Loss of vision
- Loss of hearing
- Neck trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured on a Pennsylvania construction site, you should speak to a Pennsylvania construction accident attorney today. Once you have secured a Pennsylvania construction site accident attorney, he or she will be able to assist you with filing a personal injury lawsuit against any third parties who are liable, including equipment manufacturers, property owners, or engineers and contractors who contributed in some manner to your injuries. Contact the law office of Solnick & Associates, LLC today at (877) 415-6495 for a free evaluation of your case.