Can I File a Construction Accident Lawsuit?
Our Washington DC Construction Injury Lawyer Explains Third Party Claims
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 937 of the 4,379 workplace deaths in 2015 occurred in the construction industry. These numbers further show that fatal construction accidents account for more workplace deaths than any other industry. In many cases, these accidents result from negligence including poor oversight on the part of construction companies and contractors. When employers fail to provide safety equipment or overlook routine machinery maintenance, for example, workers may suffer severe injuries and/or wrongful death. Injured workers may be able to file workers compensation claims, though these benefits may not be enough to cover the true cost of an injury. However, if a party other than your employer caused your accident, then you may be able to file a third party claim for additional compensation.
Construction site accident cases are complex, especially since many companies often share the same worksite. Regan Zambri Long PLLC has a proven record of helping injured workers and their families recover the compensation they deserve. For example, in one wrongful death claim, we obtained a $4 million settlement for the family of a construction foreman. A Washington DC construction injury lawyer at our law firm can explain your rights and legal options after a workplace accident.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Construction Accidents?
When construction companies ignore safety regulations, they can expose workers to electrocution hazards, unsecured heights, heavy machinery malfunctions, and other dangers. Some of the most common causes of serious and fatal construction site accidents include:
- Falls. According to OSHA, falls are the number one cause of fatal construction accidents, and are also a major cause of catastrophic injuries on worksites. Workers can fall off ladders or scaffolding, lose their footing on an elevated surface, or trip over unattended equipment. OSHA’s safety regulations and equipment requirements should prevent these accidents, but many employers overlook or neglect these rules. Falls, particularly falls from heights, may cause traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and/or broken bones.
- Defective equipment. Most construction sites contain powerful machinery, such as forklifts and cranes. Improper assembly or product defects in this equipment can cause disabling injuries or wrongful death.
- Improper use of vehicles. Construction sites also contain numerous vehicles that are responsible for moving equipment and objects. However, these vehicles can be dangerous when used by negligent or poorly trained workers from other companies. For example, a dump truck driver may cause an accident by backing into other workers on a crowded site.
- Falling objects. Tools left on ledges, scaffolds, or forklifts may fall and strike workers, causing traumatic brain injuries or wrongful death. These kinds of injuries are especially common if contractors fail to provide hard hats and other safety equipment to workers.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against My Employer for a Construction Site Accident?
In most cases, you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer if the company has workers compensation insurance. Instead, you may receive benefits from your employer to cover medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. While you are entitled to workers comp benefits for any workplace accident, regardless of fault, the available damages are limited. In cases involving permanent injuries or wrongful death, workers comp often does not cover the true cost of the accident.
However, if a third party (a person or company other than your employer) caused your injuries, then you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. The damages available in a civil claim can provide far more than workers comp benefits. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, you may file both third party and workers comp claims.
Since multiple contractors and companies typically share a single construction site, it is not always clear who is responsible for an accident. Therefore, workers should always consult with a construction injury attorney after an accident. A lawyer can find all liable parties, maximizing the available compensation.
Injured by a Construction Accident? Call a Construction Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one suffered a catastrophic injury at work, then contact a construction accident attorney from our law firm today. Workers comp benefits alone may not provide the resources you or your family need to recover. For example, the medical and living expenses associated with a spinal cord injury can total millions of dollars over the course of a lifetime. However, it may be possible to receive damages from third parties who contributed to your injury. Our attorneys can work with accident reconstruction specialists and other experts to help hold all parties accountable for their actions.
Regan Zambri Long PLLC represents clients throughout Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland and other states. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis, so you will not owe us attorneys’ fees unless we recover compensation for you. For a free consultation with a construction accident attorney, call (202) 753-4272 or fill out our online case review form.