A loose bolt. A rusted scaffold. An engine past inspection. A night of lost sleep. It doesn’t take much to turn a routine construction site job into a disaster, even a fatal one. Accidents involving construction contractors account for over 15% of total fatal work injuries, according to OSHA, making this profession one of the most dangerous. Despite stringent safeguards and continuing safety efforts by OSHA on down, injuries and deaths still occur with alarming regularity on construction sites, with the “Fatal Four”— falls, electrocutions, struck by objects, caught-in/between equipment or objects—making up the majority of causes.
Today, we’ll talk about what you can do in the event that a construction site accident affects you or a loved one.
What Can You Sue For?
Worker injuries and deaths related to construction sites have gone down in the past forty years, but have by no means been eliminated. That’s why our South Jersey accident lawyers stay educated on the latest cases and legislation related to workplace injury litigation—we’re ready to help you in the case of injury. Construction zone accidents, hazardous materials, industrial exposure, unsafe working conditions, repetitive exposure injuries and other categories of injury, even minor ones, can be a cause for monetary settlement due to lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and a loss in quality of life.
Which Course of Action Should You Take?
In case of a worksite injury, you have three options: to file a workers’ compensation suit, to sue a third party or to file both a workers’ comp claim and a third party claim. The most important thing to know in any of these cases is that you should consider legal action no matter whose fault the accident was. Even if you believe or are told that it’s fully your fault, only a judge can make the final ruling.
For that reason, seeking the help of a Gloucester County personal injury lawyer immediately is crucial. Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Vincent J. Ciecka will review the details of your case and help you proceed. Often, suing a third party, such as the manufacturer of faulty equipment or the driver of a vehicle involved in a worksite accident, yields a higher settlement than going through a workers’ compensation system—but it’s riskier. That’s why hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is essential.
And if you’re taking legal action against a third party and through the workers’ comp system at the same, this route needs precise legal and professional coordination and management, making it absolutely necessary to hire an attorney as soon as possible. In cases like these, processing and practical decisions have to be made and coordinated from day one. Even if you’re not sure whether you’ll be taking this course of action, contact your attorney after a worksite accident immediately for a higher chance of success.
What If You’re Not a Worker?
You can also file a lawsuit as an injured bystander. Contractors are obligated to warn the public of possible risks in and around construction sites, and in some cases they are required to put physical safeguards in place. If you’re injured by a falling object or other common cause of bystander harm, you’re typically well within your rights if you choose to sue. You can also sue for premises liability well after the fact of a structure being built. Workers, architects or engineered involved in its construction may be at fault for you injury.
To help your attorney build the best possible case for you, get copies of official documentation for all aspects of the incident. The worksite accident report, police report (if applicable) and records of your post-accident medical examination, as well as follow-up appointments, should all be copied and presented to your attorney.
If you are hurt and need help, contact us immediately so we can go to work for you. We help injured people get compensation and medical treatment so they can get back to health and their daily activities without having to deal with the insurance companies.