Falls are one of the most common types of accidents at construction sites and the most dangerous. If this has happened to you, you might be concerned about your finances, your recovery, and the well-being of your family. Litigation is often essential for securing the resources needed to pay for your damages.
Contact us at Harrell Law Firm if you have been injured in a construction fall accident. Insurance companies will work hard to protect their profit margins, which can often mean that they will devalue, delay, or outright deny legitimate accident and injury claims. When you work with us, you put experience on your side and send a message to the insurance company that you will not settle for less than your claim is worth.
Common Causes of Fall Accidents in Construction
A construction site is one of the most dangerous places to work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, falls caused non-fatal workplace injuries at a rate of 15.7 per 10,000 full-time workers. Compare this to the private industry rate of 5.1.
So, what are the primary causes of dangerous falls?
- Unsafe Working Conditions: Slippery surfaces, uneven ground, cluttered walkways, and poor lighting can create dangerous working conditions that increase the risk of falls. The improper storage of tools and materials can further complicate matters.
- Lack of Proper Fall Protection Equipment: Employers are responsible for providing workers with the necessary equipment, such as harnesses, guardrails, and safety nets. However, inadequate or improperly used equipment can lead to serious accidents.
- Inadequate Training or Supervision: Workers should receive training in proper safety procedures and the use of equipment, but this doesn’t always happen.
- Structural Defects: In some cases, the design or construction of the building or scaffolding itself may be faulty, contributing to the accident.
Common Injuries Resulting from a Fall Accident
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that falls cause more than one-third of deaths in the construction industry. Here are some of the more common injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): A fall can impact the head, resulting in a TBI. This can reduce a person’s mental capacity and well-being, and they may never fully recover.
- Internal injuries: Falls can cause damage to internal organs, resulting in severe complications.
- Spinal cord injuries: Falls can damage the spinal cord, which may lead to paralysis or mobility issues.
- Fractures: Broken bones are common in falls, especially if the worker lands on a hard surface.
- Lacerations and abrasions: Injuries from sharp objects or debris at the construction site can result in cuts and scrapes.
Legal Rights and Options for Injured Victims
After a construction fall injury, you may have the right to pursue compensation for your damages. Workers’ compensation is a common source of financial support for injured workers. You could also file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party, such as a subcontractor. An experienced attorney can review your case and help you decide how to proceed. In addition, there are protections against retaliatory acts from the employer.
Compensation for Your Construction Injuries
Compensation depends on the severity of injuries and whether the accident involved gross negligence. Your attorney’s skills during settlement negotiations or a trial can also affect how much you recover.
Consider the following examples of compensation your attorney may pursue on your behalf:
- Medical expenses: Compensation for medical bills related to your injuries, including hospital stays, surgeries, and medications.
- Rehabilitation costs: Expenses for physical, occupational, and other rehabilitative treatments needed to recover.
- Lost wages and future earnings: If your injuries prevent you from returning to work, you may recover lost income and potential loss of future earnings.
- Pain and suffering damages: Your attorney might suggest you pursue compensation for emotional distress or mental anguish if applicable.
- Any additional compensation: Additional compensation could include punitive damages if the responsible party’s actions were particularly reckless or malicious.
What to Do After the Accident
After an accident, every action you take is important. Only an experienced attorney can review the details and give specific advice, but here are some general recommendations you may follow.
- Seek Medical Attention
Many Americans are one medical emergency away from a financial crisis. In fact, 49% of New Jersey residents skip the doctor because of costs. But if you have been injured in an accident, you should seek medical care immediately. It protects your health, your family, and your case.
- Report the Accident
Your employer likely has an established reporting process. Check to ensure you follow this. Your employer must know of the accident as soon as possible so the company can take appropriate action. The timeliness of the report could affect your compensation.
- Document the Accident
Gathering and preserving evidence can be critical to your claim. Take photographs of the accident site, equipment, or conditions that may have contributed to your fall. If there are witnesses, get their contact information. Keep a journal detailing your pain and the limitations it imposes on your life.
How A Construction Accident Lawyer Can Help
After an accident, your employer and its insurance company might make you an offer that seems adequate, and you might be tempted to accept it. Companies often do this because they know you need the cash.
However, your New Jersey construction site accident lawyer can fight to recover the full amount you deserve that considers your current financial and medical needs and future expenses and costs. For example, your home may need modifications, you may need extensive rehabilitation, and while you may be able to work again, it could be at a reduced capacity and pay. In addition, they can investigate and gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, build a strong case, and provide guidance and support throughout the legal process.
Contact Us at Harrell Law Firm for a Free Consultation
Legal representation from Harrell Law Firm could make a big difference in your compensation for your damages. Our firm serves New Jersey, including Wall Township, Howell Township, and Monmouth County. We can guide you through the claims process, gather crucial evidence, and advocate for your rights and interests. Schedule your free consultation today. Since we work on a contingency basis, there are no upfront legal fees.
Over the years, we have gotten many questions from our clients regarding workplace injuries. Here are some of the most common ones.
In New Jersey, if you are a victim and are more than 50% responsible, you will not be entitled to compensation. If you are deemed less than 50% liable or less, you will be eligible to claim damages from your employer.
The timeline will vary depending on the specifics of your case and the type of claim pursued. Workers’ compensation claims can take a few weeks to a few years. Personal injury lawsuits may take longer. However, your attorney can provide a more accurate timeline based on the details of your case.
If your employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance, but it does not, you still have options. Your attorney might recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit or seeking compensation from the Uninsured Employers Fund (UEF) to benefit injured workers.
You may still be able to pursue a claim against a third party, such as a sub-contractor, who may have been responsible for your accident. Let our experienced attorneys review your case and determine a suitable course.