Any worker has the right to a safe work environment, including construction workers. According to OSHA, some of the most devastating injuries are the result of construction workplace accidents. Thousands of workers are killed or injured on construction job sites every year. Your employer is responsible for maintaining safety standards.
What happens if you are injured? Who is responsible for paying your bills, other damages, and injuries while you recover? An experienced lawyer can help you with your case. Being injured while at work on a construction site can cause life-changing injuries that take a significant amount of time to heal. You deserve compensation to help your healing process.
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers are Atlanta workers comp lawyers, skilled in handling these types of cases. If you are injured at work, you are not allowed to sue your employer. In some circumstances, you can sue a third party if they were negligent in your accident.
However, most injured construction workers rely on workers’ compensation. These cases can be very complicated, and you need the help of an experienced attorney. If you or someone you know was injured at a construction site, you deserve compensation. Contact our offices today to schedule your free consultation.
I’ve been injured while working on a construction site, now what?
You need to follow the same process as anyone else who was injured at work. The first thing that you need to do is notifying your supervisor. You only have 30 days from the date of your injury to report it. If you miss this deadline, you will not be able to apply for workers’ compensation.
We recommend getting as much information as you can about your incident. Make sure to get the information of any witnesses who saw you get injured. Remember, construction sites have many contractors that come and go, so your witness could move to a new job by the time you get back to work. You need to get as much information as you can gather immediately following your construction accident.
Is a workers’ compensation claim different from a personal injury claim?
Yes. Workers’ compensation is a benefit that all workers can utilize. Even if you were responsible for your accident, you could still file for workers’ compensation. A personal injury claim must prove negligence. In Georgia, you are not allowed to sue your employer for your injuries, even if they were responsible. You must go through workers’ compensation for any financial help.
There are four types of claims you could file for if you have been injured in a construction accident. The circumstances of your accident will determine what you can register for. You can file for three of these claims at the same time:
- Workers’ Compensation: Nobody has to be at-fault in this type of claim. You were injured on the job, and your employer’s insurance should cover your injuries until you can go back to work. Your employer can’t retaliate against you for this type of claim. However, insurance companies can deny your workers’ compensation. It would be best if you had a lawyer to prevent this from happening.
- Personal Injury Claim: With this claim, there has to be a responsible party for your injury. You can’t sue your employer for your injuries, but you can bring a personal injury claim against a third party. This claim can seek damages in the form of pain and suffering, medical bills, future medical care, lost wages, loss of earning potential, and more. If someone is criminally negligent in your accident, the court could also award additional punitive damages.
- Product Liability Claim: This is a lawsuit that you can bring against a manufacturer or retailer. If a faulty product causes your injury, you could be eligible to file a product liability claim. We must prove that the product was defective, it was responsible for your injury, and a third party is negligent. We will use investigators to research your construction accident to help strengthen your claim.
- Wrongful Death Claim: This occurs when a victim dies because of a construction accident. The compensation will go to surviving loved ones, like their spouse or children.
Who was responsible in my construction accident?
This is one of the first questions that we ask any client that comes into our office. In a workers’ compensation case, you don’t have to prove fault. We can help you file your claim and receive your benefits. However, in any personal injury case, we must prove that another party was responsible and negligent in your accident.
Are construction accidents different from other job-related accidents?
Yes. Construction accidents are generally more severe, and they can cause catastrophic injuries. There are dangerous situations and large pieces of heavy machinery on job sites. There is also pressure to finish quickly and meet deadlines. When workers rush, they can get reckless, which can result in serious accidents.
Machinery can also be poorly maintained during these jobs.Since contractors are rushing to finish jobs, they don’t pay attention to the condition of their machinery. The construction industry has suffered from the economic collapse of 2008. So, many workers are afraid to file for workers’ compensation or complain. They think if they file a claim that they will lose their jobs. You are entitled to compensation for your injuries, no matter who is at fault. Contact our offices today to discuss your options.
As a preliminary matter, no one under the age of 18 is authorized to operate a forklift. Before an adult can operate a forklift, they should be required to complete a comprehensive training on the operation of a forklift. This training must be followed by a competency exam or evaluation to ensure a thorough understanding of the workings of a forklift. This training must be done in the first language of the forklift operator. Refresher training is provided any time a forklift operator is observed operating the forklift in an unsafe manner, or in a manner inconsistent with their training. Additionally, if the forklift operator is assigned to a different make and model of forklift, new training must be provided to the forklift operator.
The brakes, steering, tires, horns, and forks of the forklift each need to be inspected on a daily basis. No modifications to a forklift should be made at the construction site, without the express, written approval from the truck manufacturer. If such a modification is approved, the information on tags, decals, or plates regarding operation, maintenance, and capacity need to be updated to provide accurate information based on the modification.
Where batteries require charging, it needs to be done in an area that has been designated as a battery charging area. Appropriate equipment for battery charging, including such things as overhead hoist, conveyors, or other devices must be provided in this area. Once the battery has been recharged, they must be positioned properly and properly secured back in the forklift. Under no circumstances (even when in an open air environment) should smoking be allowed in the battery charging station. In addition to the smoking prohibition, there should be no electric arcs, open flames, or sparks in the battery charging area. Care and consideration should be given to the location of the battery charging area in relation to the types of activities going on around the designated battery charging area.
When the forklift is not in use, loads and forks should be placed in the fully lowered position. The controls should be neutralized. Power to the forklift should be shut off. Additionally, the breaks should be set when the forklift is not in use.
Care must be taken to assure that the forklift and the forklift operator are provided with sufficient headroom, taking into consideration such surrounding obstacles as pipes, sprinkler systems, lights, and other overhead installations. Additionally, overhead guards need to be in place to protect the forklift operator from falling objects from above.
Operating a forklift comes with special challenges. It is important that all loads comply with the capacity of the individual truck. Not all forklifts are created equal, and forklift operators should know this. Loads need to be safely arranged. Care needs to be taken to assure that loads on forklifts are stable. Finally, forklifts that are unsafe or defective, or have had modifications that were not approved by the manufacturer, should be removed from use.
As with forklift operators, cranes should only be operated by properly trained and sufficiently qualified operators. As part of the training, the crane operator should be trained in the hand signals used between the crane operator and the derrick operators. These hand signals should also be prominently posted on the job site. The signal person is expected to only use the preapproved hand signals with the crane operator. The crane operator should also be trained to understand the load chart, and further to use the load chart when making decisions about how to proceed. A copy of the load chart should be within the crane for reference, in view of the operator. In addition to rated load capacities, instructions for operating the crane, and the operating speed of the crane, should be posted in a manner that makes them visible to the operator during crane operation.
All rigging equipment, and all hoisting equipment, should be subjected to both an initial inspection and annual inspections thereafter. Maximum loads should not be exceeded. The information about maximum acceptable loads are required to be posted on the crane itself. Additionally, the results of the last maximum acceptable load tests must be posted on the crane. The full load testing report, along with the load testing certification, should be made available for inspection upon request.
The mast bolts on the tower crane must be properly torqued. “Properly torqued” means “torqued to the specifications of the manufacturer.”
There are several safety considerations that cannot be overlooked. First, wire rope that is broken, damaged, or obviously worn should immediately be removed from use. Next, steps, guardrails, and handholds should be made available to provide easy and safe access to and from each and every area of the crane that a worker may access. Platforms on the crane, along with walkways, should be covered with anti-skid surfaces as an additional safety precaution.
Any and all areas within the crane’s swing radius must be barricaded to protect the average citizen from injury. 100 percent of the crane’s rigging equipment and crane machinery must be inspected daily. This inspection must be done prior to use each day. Additionally, cranes and derricks are prohibited from operating with a 10-foot radius of any electrical power line.
What are the top injuries in a construction accident?
Most of the injuries in a construction accident are catastrophic, and some accidents result in fatalities. Almost 70% of deaths of construction workers occur due to electrocution, falls, being struck/impaled by an object, and being crushed. Some of the more minor injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Crush Injuries
- Loss of limb
My employer says that I am to blame for my accident.
This doesn’t matter. Workers’ compensation was created to protect workers no matter who is at fault. An experienced attorney can answer your questions and support you while building your case. You are allowed to file for workers’ compensation, whether your employer wants you to or not. Don’t let someone bully out of your settlement.
Is there a deadline to filing a claim for my construction accident?
Yes. There is always a statute of limitations with any legal process. The timeline is different depending on your claim. With a personal injury claim, you have two years from the date of your accident to file. However, there are some situations where you have less time. This is why you need to hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Workers’ compensation is a different process. You must report your accident to your supervisor within 30 days. Then, you have a year from the date of your accident to file your claim. A year can pass by quickly, which is why you should register your complaint immediately following your accident.
Hire an experienced construction accidents lawyer to help you.
You already have the deal with the stress of recovering from your accident. It would be best if you didn’t have to worry about handling your legal case. Contact a workers comp lawyer today to go over your accident. We have the tools necessary to get you the compensation that you deserve.