True construction site “accidents” are rare. Skilled construction accident lawyer Bart Bernard can assist you in determining liability issues where the negligence of another person may have contributed to your personal injury. Gaps in safety protocols, maintenance schedules, and workplace organization often go undiscovered until it’s too late. It doesn’t take much digging to turn up a past history of OSHA penalties and citations in many of these cases.
No one can undo the harm that has been done, but a lawsuit can help you recover lost income and stay afloat financially amid exorbitant medical bills. Pursuing a legal claim is also the most efficient way to ensure that nothing like what happened to your family happens to anyone else.
The workplace is much safer today than it was just over 40 years ago when 14,000 workers were killed on the job every year. Fatal injuries are down from then, but even one workplace fatality is too much when it’s someone you love. Absent in statistics are the countless lives affected by serious injury and disability.
Initial legal consultations are always free at the Bart Bernard Personal Injury Law Firm in Lafayette, Louisiana. Call (337) 989-2278 at any time, from anywhere in the country.
Electrocutions are among the “Fatal Four” types of construction accidents, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They are also some of the most preventable injuries. The culprits are usually faulty tools, poorly maintained equipment, inadequately marked construction sites, poor lighting, and wires that are not properly grounded. Workers electrocuted on the job may fall from a height, suffer blistering burns, sustain internal organ damage from electrical shocks, or suffer fatal electrocution.
Explosions may occur due to static electricity, hazardous chemicals, faulty combustion engines, mechanical sparks, or improper electrical installations. Often investigations turn up records of poor safety training, spotty maintenance and unsafe storage. Burns, ear/eye/ brain damage, abdominal hemorrhaging and perforation injuries are common. Workers who survive are often so disfigured they cannot return to work.
Heavy machinery accidents can be caused by bulldozers, cranes, backhoes, Caterpillars, excavators, graders, track skidders, forklifts, dump trucks, trenchers, pipe-layers and other tools. Resulting injuries may include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, crushed limbs, organ perforation, brain damage, permanent disability, and even death. If poor training, mechanical defects, overexertion, or disorganized work sites are the culprits, there may be grounds for a lawsuit.
Industrial accidents may be caused by unsafe working conditions, defective materials or machines, faulty plant layout, inadequate ventilation or lighting, unsafe storage, and employee fatigue. Unsafe acts may also cause industrial accidents when people are operating machinery without authority, failing to use proper protective equipment, carelessly throwing about materials, tampering with safety devices, not following protocol, or engaging in reckless personal behavior on the job. In other instances, workers are injured by glare, dust and fumes, slippery floors, and bad working conditions like excessive noise or heat.
Scaffolding accidents represent some 4,500 injuries and over 60 deaths each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A recent BLS study showed that 72 percent of scaffold-related injuries were caused by either the planking or support giving way, the employee slipping, or an object falling and striking the worker. All of these accidents could have been prevented by compliance with OSHA standards, they found.
Not surprisingly, construction injuries are some of the most severe, given the heavy and hazardous equipment workers use. Burns, broken bones, crushed limbs, eye and ear damage, spine injuries, organ perforations, burns, electrocutions, and traumatic brain injuries are some of the more frequent injuries that a construction accident lawyer sees.
Every day, about 2,000 U.S. workers suffer job-related eye injuries requiring medical care. More than 10,000 construction industry employees miss work due to eye damage. The number one cause of these construction-related eye injuries is a small particle striking the eye. Tiny pieces of metal, wood, dust or cement can fall from above, eject from tools, or be carried by the wind. Nails and cut wires whip up while using hand tools. The mixing of cement, sawing, grinding, and chipping activities on construction sites produce dust and grit that can blow into the eye. “Hammering on metal which gives off metal slivers and the rebounding of the ordinary nail are two of the most common causes of vision loss in construction workers,” OSHA reports. Employers may be at fault if they fail to use machine guards, welding curtains, good administrative controls, or provide protective eye wear.
There were 4,386 worker fatalities in private sector business in 2014, with 899 fatal construction accidents. Aside from highway collisions, leading causes included: falls, electrocutions, being struck by objects, and being caught in between machinery. Construction worker deaths are the most heartbreaking cases we litigate, but they are also the most important. Spouses and children of decedents can collect compensation for their emotional pain and suffering, as well as lost income, funeral expenses, outstanding medical bills, and legal fees.
Product liability lawsuits are another type of filing pertaining to construction accidents. Sometimes an injury occurs through no fault of the company or the individual construction workers – but rather, because of a piece of defective machinery that was not designed or manufactured to the highest standards of workplace safety. Construction accident lawyer Bart Bernard always looks into the history of the equipment being used at the time of the injury to identify known issues and uncover instances of negligence wherever they exist.
Workers’ compensation is designed to prevent personal injury lawsuits by providing coverage for on-the-job accidents. However, the amount the workers’ compensation fund is willing to pay does not always provide fair coverage. Every state has its own way of assessing how much workers’ comp to dole out. For instance, in Louisiana, you may get up to $126,000 for a lost arm, but in Nevada, you could be entitled to as much as $859,634 for the exact same injury.
Even if workman’s compensation covers your hospital and medical bills, what about the equipment purchases or home modifications you had to make to accommodate a disability? What about all the missed days of work or the reduced capacity to work after serious injury? Some people never get back to “business as usual” following a construction accident. When workmans’ comp is not enough to cover your losses, a personal injury lawsuit can bridge the gap.
It’s undoubtedly an emotional time for you and your family. Let us take some of that weight off your shoulders by helping answer some of your most pressing questions: “WHY did this happen? HOW did this happen? WHO could have prevented this from happening? HOW will we move on from this?” At Bart Bernard Personal Injury Firm, you’ll find a construction accident attorney who is compassionate and experienced in this particular legal area. Call us at (337) 989-2278 to explore your options.
• OSHA – Construction Accidents https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html
• OSHA – Focus Four: Electrocution Hazards https://www.osha.gov/dte/outreach/construction/focus_four/electrocution/electr_ig.pdf
• CDC – Eye Injuries https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/eye/
• CDC – Eye Toolbox Kit https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/eye/toolbox-eye.html
• Your Article Library – Industrial Accidents http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/industries/industrial-accidents-types-and-causes-of-accidents-explained-with-diagram/35400/
• Pro Publica – How Much Is Your Arm Worth? https://www.propublica.org/article/how-much-is-your-arm-worth-depends-where-you-work
• OSHA – Scaffolding Injuries https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/construction.html