Workers Comp and construction workers

Maximizing Compensation for Construction Accidents

Read­ing Time: 4 min­utes

Last Updat­ed on May 24, 2023 

Con­struc­tion work can be dan­ger­ous, and acci­dents can hap­pen in a vari­ety of ways. When an acci­dent occurs, it’s impor­tant for the injured work­er to under­stand their legal rights and options for seek­ing com­pen­sa­tion. Max­i­miz­ing com­pen­sa­tion for a con­struc­tion acci­dent involves under­stand­ing the types of acci­dents that can occur, deter­min­ing lia­bil­i­ty, fil­ing a work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion claim, pur­su­ing a per­son­al injury law­suit, and nego­ti­at­ing a set­tle­ment.

Maximizing Compensation for Construction Accidents

Understanding Construction Accidents

Types of construction accidents

Con­struc­tion acci­dents can occur in many ways, but some types of acci­dents are more com­mon than oth­ers. The Occu­pa­tion­al Safe­ty and Health Admin­is­tra­tion (OSHA) iden­ti­fies four main types of con­struc­tion acci­dents: falls, elec­tro­cu­tions, struck-by acci­dents, and caught-in/­be­tween accidents.

  • Falls: Falls can occur from lad­ders, scaf­fold­ing, roofs, and oth­er ele­vat­ed areas. They can be caused by unsta­ble sur­faces, lack of prop­er fall pro­tec­tion, or human error.
  • Elec­tro­cu­tions: Elec­tro­cu­tions can occur when con­struc­tion work­ers come into con­tact with live elec­tri­cal wires or equip­ment. They can be caused by faulty wiring, lack of prop­er train­ing, or fail­ure to fol­low safe­ty protocols.
  • Struck-by acci­dents: Struck-by acci­dents occur when con­struc­tion work­ers are hit by falling objects, mov­ing vehi­cles, or oth­er equip­ment. They can be caused by inad­e­quate bar­ri­ers, poor light­ing, or lack of prop­er signaling.
  • Caught-in/­be­tween acci­dents: Caught-in/­be­tween acci­dents occur when con­struc­tion work­ers are caught, crushed, or squeezed between objects or equip­ment. They can be caused by lack of prop­er guard­ing, fail­ure to fol­low safe­ty pro­to­cols, or human error.

Factors contributing to accidents

Con­struc­tion acci­dents can be caused by a vari­ety of fac­tors. Some of the most com­mon fac­tors include:

  • Lack of safe­ty train­ing: Work­ers who are not prop­er­ly trained in safe­ty pro­ce­dures are more like­ly to be involved in accidents.
  • Neg­li­gence: Con­trac­tors, sub­con­trac­tors, and prop­er­ty own­ers who fail to pro­vide a safe work­ing envi­ron­ment can be held liable for acci­dents caused by their negligence.
  • Poor safe­ty equip­ment: Work­ers who are not pro­vid­ed with prop­er safe­ty equip­ment, such as har­ness­es, hard hats, or safe­ty glass­es, are more like­ly to be injured on the job.

The role of safety regulations

Safe­ty reg­u­la­tions play an impor­tant role in pre­vent­ing con­struc­tion acci­dents. OSHA sets stan­dards for work­place safe­ty and con­ducts inspec­tions to ensure that employ­ers are com­ply­ing with these stan­dards. Local build­ing codes also set require­ments for safe­ty mea­sures on con­struc­tion sites. Con­struc­tion site inspec­tions can help iden­ti­fy haz­ards and ensure that safe­ty mea­sures are being followed.

Determining Liability for Construction Accidents

Contractors and subcontractors

Deter­min­ing lia­bil­i­ty for a con­struc­tion acci­dent can be com­plex, as there are often mul­ti­ple par­ties involved. Con­trac­tors and sub­con­trac­tors may be held liable for acci­dents caused by their neg­li­gence. For exam­ple, a sub­con­trac­tor who fails to prop­er­ly secure scaf­fold­ing could be liable for a work­er’s fall from the scaffolding.

Property owners

Prop­er­ty own­ers may also be held liable for con­struc­tion acci­dents that occur on their prop­er­ty. For exam­ple, a prop­er­ty own­er who fails to main­tain safe con­di­tions on their prop­er­ty could be liable for a work­er’s slip and fall.

Comparative negligence

Com­par­a­tive neg­li­gence is a legal con­cept that can impact the amount of com­pen­sa­tion a work­er is enti­tled to receive. If the work­er is found to be par­tial­ly at fault for the acci­dent, their com­pen­sa­tion may be reduced. For exam­ple, if a work­er was not wear­ing prop­er safe­ty equip­ment at the time of the acci­dent, they may be found par­tial­ly at fault.

Proving liability

Prov­ing lia­bil­i­ty in a con­struc­tion acci­dent case can be chal­leng­ing, as there may be mul­ti­ple par­ties involved and evi­dence may be dif­fi­cult to obtain. Expert tes­ti­mo­ny from engi­neers, safe­ty pro­fes­sion­als, and med­ical pro­fes­sion­als can be used to sup­port a work­er’s claim.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Eligibility requirements

Work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion is a type of insur­ance that pro­vides ben­e­fits to work­ers who are injured on the job. In order to be eli­gi­ble for work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion, the work­er must be an employ­ee and the injury must be work-related.

Types of workers’ compensation benefits

Work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion ben­e­fits can include:

  • Med­ical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Dis­abil­i­ty benefits
  • Voca­tion­al rehabilitation

Filing a claim

To file a work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion claim, the injured work­er must noti­fy their employ­er and com­plete the nec­es­sary paper­work. The employ­er’s work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion insur­ance car­ri­er will then review the claim and deter­mine whether to approve or deny benefits.

Appealing a denial

If the work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion claim is denied, the injured work­er has the right to appeal the deci­sion. The appeals process can be com­plex, and it’s often help­ful to work with an attor­ney who has expe­ri­ence han­dling work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion cases.

Working with a workers’ compensation attorney

Work­ing with a work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion attor­ney can help ensure that the injured work­er’s rights are pro­tect­ed and that they receive the com­pen­sa­tion they deserve. An attor­ney can help with the claims process, nego­ti­ate with the insur­ance com­pa­ny, and rep­re­sent the work­er in court if necessary.

Pursuing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Types of damages

In some cas­es, it may be nec­es­sary to pur­sue a per­son­al injury law­suit in order to max­i­mize com­pen­sa­tion for a con­struc­tion acci­dent. Dam­ages in a per­son­al injury law­suit can include:

  • Eco­nom­ic dam­ages, such as med­ical expens­es and lost wages
  • Non-eco­nom­ic dam­ages, such as pain and suffering

Statute of limitations

There is a statute of lim­i­ta­tions for fil­ing a per­son­al injury law­suit, which varies by state. It’s impor­tant to act quick­ly if you believe you have a case.

Filing a lawsuit

To file a per­son­al injury law­suit, the injured work­er must file a com­plaint in court. The com­plaint must state the facts of the case and the legal basis for the lawsuit.

Pre-trial procedures

Before a per­son­al injury law­suit goes to tri­al, there may be pre-tri­al pro­ce­dures such as dis­cov­ery, where both sides exchange infor­ma­tion and evidence.

Trial and judgment

If the case goes to tri­al, the judge or jury will hear the evi­dence and make a deci­sion. If the injured work­er wins the case, they will be award­ed damages.

Negotiating a Settlement

Factors impacting settlement amount

In many cas­es, a con­struc­tion acci­dent claim can be resolved through a set­tle­ment rather than a tri­al. The set­tle­ment amount will depend on a vari­ety of fac­tors, including:

  • Sever­i­ty of injuries
  • Strength of the evidence
  • Like­li­hood of suc­cess at trial
  • Will­ing­ness of the insur­ance com­pa­ny to settle

Nego­ti­at­ing a set­tle­ment can be com­plex, and it’s often help­ful to work with an attor­ney who has expe­ri­ence han­dling these types of cases.

If you have been injured in a con­struc­tion acci­dent, it’s impor­tant to seek legal advice as soon as pos­si­ble. The soon­er you begin the process of seek­ing com­pen­sa­tion, the bet­ter your chances of max­i­miz­ing your mon­e­tary recov­ery. Call us today at 844–682‑0999 for a free consultation.