Construction site accidents can happen to not just construction workers but also pedestrians, bystanders, third-party contractors, and even trespassers.
Construction sites make up some of the most dangerous worksites in the U.S., with 20% of all private-sector worker fatalities happening in the construction industry. But workers aren’t the only ones at risk – a bystander walking by could easily get caught up in an incident.
Even in the case of construction workers, a workers’ compensation claim may not cover all of the harm you end up suffering due to your injury – especially if your injuries are severe. That’s when a personal injury lawsuit can get you the compensation you deserve.
If a loved one has passed away from a construction site accident, you could have a claim for wrongful death and even a survival action in California. You could get damages to cover your medical bills, lost income, pain, and emotional suffering. A court may even award you punitive damages if the actions that led to your injury were intentional, malicious, or extremely reckless.
Most Common Construction Site Injuries and Accidents
Because of the dangers involved in their line of work, construction companies must take all of the proper precautions to protect their workers and any innocent bystanders.
That means following all OSHA worksite rules and taking common-sense steps against risk. In fact, construction companies have a proactive duty to actually check for dangerous conditions and either post a warning or fix them as soon as possible. That means simply being unaware of a dangerous condition is not a proper defense.
A company or contractor that fails on safety standards could be guilty of negligence. If you get injured as a result, you could sue to hold the responsible party accountable.
Falls and Falling Objects
There’s a reason OSHA requires railings on all construction sites where falling is a risk. Even a fall from a few feet up could cause serious injuries, threatening your health and livelihood. The higher you go, the more devastating – and fatal – the consequences.
Every single contractor on a construction site is responsible for taking precautions against falls and falling objects. That means providing hard hats, protective scaffolding, and designated pedestrian safety areas. It also means proper crane operation and crowd control.
Construction Vehicle Accidents
Large construction vehicles and machinery could be extremely dangerous to anyone caught in the way. Oversized tractor-trailers can also pose a threat to other motorists on public roads while transporting heavy or hazardous materials to and from a worksite. In the case of an accident, both the construction company and/or the trucking company could be held liable.
Getting Caught in Between
“Caught in between” accidents are common on construction sites with lots of big, moving parts. Many large construction sites have multiple contractors or companies working together, sometimes in a state of barely controlled chaos. So when these players fail to properly communicate with each other, innocent people can get caught in the middle.
Exposure to Hazardous Materials
Construction projects often expose not just the worksite but the surrounding neighborhood to hazardous materials in the process of being built. Materials that are safe in their final state may be toxic while being handled – for example, the dust from cutting silica countertops could cause serious respiratory issues despite being used in homes across the country.
Chemicals and gases are also a concern, especially when volatile materials are used in demolition. Construction companies must also properly dispose of waste from the site.
Other Environmental Hazards
Noise is a major concern on many construction sites. It’s literally a hazard of the job. Extremely loud noise can threaten not only the hearing of construction workers but also neighbors and passersby. Blinding lights can also threaten the eyesight of anyone exposed.
Workers may also suffer from heatstroke or sunstroke if allowed to work under conditions that violate OSHA standards regarding access to water, shade, and breaks in the heat.
Your Rights After a Construction Accident
You should not be the one to pay for the consequences of someone else’s negligence. This is just common sense – and the law agrees. If you get hurt in a construction site accident, you have the right to file a lawsuit to put the responsibility for your damages where it belongs.
While it’s impossible to undo the injuries you suffered, a lawsuit works to “make you whole” under the law by offsetting your losses with financial compensation. A settlement agreement or judgment in your favor can help support your recovery and your family.
- Economic damages compensate you for any medical bills you had to pay because of your injury. This also covers rehabilitative treatment, ongoing treatment, and even in-home or assisted living care, if necessary. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could be affected for years, decades, or life. You may not be able to work as you did before, costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Your settlement should account for all of these losses, no matter how far in the future they may be.
- Non-economic damages account for the human cost of your injury – your pain, suffering, and emotional anguish are recognized under the law.
- Punitive damages act as a financial punishment for bad actors whose behavior goes beyond simple negligence into extreme indifference to the health and safety of others. You could get punitive damages if a construction company failed to take even the most basic safety precautions to protect against hazards on their site.
The best way to find out exactly where you stand is to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer about the details of your construction accident. At Sepulveda Sanchez Law, your consultation is free and you don’t pay us until we win your case.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Evidence is the most important part of a successful personal injury case. If you can show the responsible party that you have enough evidence to win in court, they’ll be much more likely to negotiate a settlement with you that actually covers all your needs.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will know the best evidence to build the strongest case to back up your claims. Not only that, but your attorney can help find and gather this evidence – for example, from witnesses or CCTV recordings on the site or nearby buildings.
Having a personal injury attorney in your corner equalizes the playing field between you and large companies or their insurance companies. Your lawyer can help you calculate the full amount of damages you’re owed so you don’t get shortchanged in a settlement.
At Sepulveda Sanchez Law, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means we’re as invested in the success of your case as you are. Contact us now for your free consultation.