Construction is a dangerous industry for workers. Even people who don't work in the industry or on the job site can risk injuries around construction sites. If you or someone you love recently experienced a severe or fatal injury on a construction site, call a seasoned construction accident attorney who can help.
How Long Do You Have to Contact a Construction Accident Lawyer After an Accident?
If you only know one thing about filing a personal injury claim, you should know about the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations restricts the time an injured party has to file a legal claim for their injuries. The statute of limitations can vary by state. In many states, the statute of limitations is only two years from the accident date.
Considering this, it's in your best interest to contact an experienced construction accident attorney as soon as you can after sustaining your injury. It can take some time to gather evidence in your case and to take the steps needed to file a lawsuit. The more time your attorney has to work on your case, the more successful it can be. If you do not file your construction accident injury claim within the allotted time frame, the court will almost certainly dismiss your claim at the request of the defendant or their legal counsel.
Falls are the most common type of construction accident. Workers can suffer falls from many places, such as ladders, scaffolds, roofs, and other elevated surfaces. To prevent falls, employers should provide proper fall protection equipment, such as harnesses, guardrails, and safety nets. Workers should also receive training on how to use this equipment properly.
Struck-by accidents occur when falling objects, such as tools, debris, or materials, hit workers. These accidents are often preventable by securing all materials and tools and ensuring workers wear hard hats and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Caught-in/between accidents occur when workers get caught, crushed, or squeezed between objects or machinery. Employers should ensure that all machinery has proper guards and that workers receive training to operate machinery safely per the manufacturer's recommendations.
Trench collapses occur when workers are working in an excavation and the walls of the excavation collapse. Employers should ensure that all trenches are properly shored or braced and that workers get training to work safely in an excavation.
Much of the equipment used on a construction job site is quite dangerous. While the majority of contractors and supervisors ensure that their workers have adequate training on these machines, unfortunately, training can't prevent every accident or mistake from happening.
Machinery can malfunction or not react as anticipated when used in a specific situation. Sometimes, someone without proper training might use a piece of machinery and hurt someone else in the process.
Heat exhaustion can occur when construction workers work in hot environments and do not take proper precautions, such as drinking enough water, resting, or getting in the shade. Employers should ensure that workers have access to shade, water, and breaks and know how to recognize and prevent heat exhaustion.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Some construction workers often do the same type of job day in and day out and, therefore, the same repetitive motions daily.
While these injuries don't arise from a single accident or incident, they still deserve compensation. However, they are often more challenging to prove as workers' compensation wants to argue that they aren't work-related injuries. Therefore, having an attorney for this type of claim is imperative.
What Causes Most Construction Accidents and Injuries?
Although there are many different types of construction accidents, they typically result from these negligent actions:
- Lack of proper safety training
- Hazardous property conditions
- Absence of protection from falling objects
- Lack of fall protection for workers on elevated structures
- Tripping hazards caused by construction debris and materials left in the paths of others
- Dangerous or defective supplies, equipment, and machinery
- Power tools that are missing guards or other safety protections
- Lack of safety precautions and equipment when working near power lines
- Lack of protection for trench workers
Head and Brain Injuries
Head and brain injuries are common injuries resulting from construction accidents. Blunt head trauma, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), concussions, and lacerations to the face or scalp frequently occur. A TBI is a physical injury to the brain itself. It can happen due to an outside force, such as hitting the pavement or steering wheel or a penetrating wound.
TBI symptoms include:
- Persistent headache or headache that worsens
- Memory and mood problems
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Confusion or agitation
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Difficulty sleeping, concentrating, or talking
- Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
TBIs can wreak havoc on someone's life. In severe cases, a victim may need supportive care for the remainder of their life or live with continuous symptoms such as frequent seizures and headaches. Many people who require hospitalization for a TBI will have long-term disabilities.
Construction workers who suffer from a TBI will need compensation that fully reimburses them for their injury and disability.
Broken bones, including those of the legs, hip, pelvis, skull, arms, ribs, and back are also commonly seen. While broken bones might seem minor, not all fractures heal correctly armon their own. Some fractures require expensive surgeries to heal correctly.
If not treated quickly and correctly, all fractures increase the risk of internal bleeding, infection, nerve damage, and permanent deformity. Depending on the location of the break, the person may be temporarily disabled or unable to walk as they must wear a cast or splint until the bone heals completely.
Internal organs are delicate. The extreme forces of a fall, crushing injuries, or broken bones can damage and cause them to bleed. A doctor should examine anyone involved in such an accident as soon as possible to rule out internal bleeding or organ damage. These life-threatening injuries need immediate medical treatment for the best outcome.
Knees can suffer harm in an accident or cumulative trauma from repetitive motion. Several bones and ligaments meet at the knee. Injured ligaments cause severe swelling, pain, or the knee to buckle or give way when walking. Knee ligaments require a lengthy healing process, and treatment frequently involves surgical intervention.
Other knee injuries may include:
- Tendon or meniscus injuries
- Hyperextended knees
- Dislocated kneecaps
- Broken kneecaps
The prognosis of a knee injury varies depending on the injury's severity, the injured person's age, and their current physical condition. Some knee injuries heal with time after initial medical treatment. However, some injuries may have long-term consequences, including pain and disability.
Back and Neck Injuries
Damage to soft tissues of the back and neck is also common—either due to a specific accident or repetitive motion. Injured discs can leak, bulge, and entirely herniate. As such, the space between the vertebrae decreases, pinching nerve bundles. This can lead to painful and debilitating symptoms. In addition, injured muscles and ligaments in the back and neck can cause debilitating pain.
A spinal cord injury (SCI) is perhaps the most severe injury someone can suffer. It occurs when the spinal cord is damaged or severed in some way. SCIs can result in total or partial paralysis at and below the area of damage to the spinal cord. Some of these injuries result in individuals being unable to use their legs or walk, known as paraplegia.
More severe accidents can cause quadriplegia, the loss of use of all extremities. Some people with quadriplegia require breathing, eating, bathing, or speaking assistance.
An amputation is the complete or incomplete removal of an upper or lower body part or extremity.
Some commonly amputated body parts include a:
Amputations can occur during an accident, known as traumatic amputations, or be necessary due to other injuries suffered in the accident, known as medical amputations. For example, suppose construction equipment crushed someone's foot and ankle bones beyond surgical repair. In that case, their medical team may recommend amputation as the best course of treatment.
Most amputations require a prosthetic device, physical therapy, and a lifetime of follow-up care. Amputees must often relearn to do basic tasks such as walking, eating, grooming, or dressing. They may also deal with phantom pain as if their missing body part was still there.
Incidents like fires, explosions, and chemical mishaps contribute to injuries within construction sites. Consequently, a considerable number of individuals endure substantial burns, posing complex treatment situations often necessitating surgical intervention. Individuals afflicted by severe burns might find themselves in need of reconstructive surgery, yet could still potentially bear lasting scars or disfigurement. Complications like infections are commonly associated with burns, with even minor burns capable of causing intense discomfort.
You Don't Need Money to Hire a Construction Accident Lawyer
Although receiving compensation for damages won't erase your injuries or make the accident like it never happened, it can give you peace of mind and make your life more comfortable. You may, however, have financial concerns holding you back from seeking the help you need.
If you worked with an attorney before on another legal issue or talked to anyone who has, you might understand that they require retainer fees. However, most personal injury attorneys don’t do that.
First, they typically provide you with a free case review to learn more about your case and explain your legal options. If you have a valid claim and hire them, you often won't pay anything until they reach a full and fair settlement or win your case in court. Since they work on contingency fees only, you don't need any money to hire a construction accident attorney.
Too many injured victims have suffered alone without compensation for their economic and non-economic damages because they thought they had to pay a construction accident attorney upfront for their services. Sadly, they never received what they were entitled to receive. You don't have to suffer the same fate; contact a construction accident attorney for contingency fee-based legal assistance instead.
Get Help From a Skilled Construction Accident Lawyer Today
Construction establishments and third parties have a duty to both their workers and the general public to adhere to safety regulations and keep workplaces as accident-free as possible. In addition, OSHA and state occupational safety departments provide extensive directives on how construction sites handle materials, equipment, and work to reduce the risk of injury or death.
However, companies attempting to meet a deadline or finish a development under budget may cut corners on safety issues. This is unacceptable as they seem to forget they are risking the well-being and health of their employees and the general public. A skilled construction accident lawyer will hold them accountable for their actions.
The injuries you suffer as a result of negligence can be widespread. Increasing medical expenses and time off work can cause severe financial limitations. If you've suffered an injury in a construction accident or lost a loved one in a fatal workplace accident, reach out to personal injury law firm in San Antonio for legal help today to learn more about your legal rights and protect your rights.