Construction Site Accidents FAQs
1. Who Can Bring a Construction Site Injury Case?
Any person injured by an unsafe construction site may have the legal right to file a lawsuit against any developer, construction manager, general contractor, sub-contractor or property owner for failing to maintain a safe work site. The injured persons include those working on the jobsite as well as those visiting the jobsite (delivery personnel, salespersons, etc) and passing by the jobsite (pedestrians and motorists).
2. Who are the Responsible Parties in a Construction Site Injury case?
The party legally responsible for your construction site injuries depends on who or what caused your accident. However, construction sites are known to be hazardous areas and as such, safety must be managed to avoid accidental injuries. If safety is not managed, injuries and death occur. This basic premise, managing safety on the jobsite, is at the forefront of all construction site responsibility. For that reason, safety and accountability often begins at the top, with construction managers, general contractors and property owners being most often held accountable for failing to manage safety and for allowing hazards to exist on the jobsite.
Hiring the right New Jersey and Philadelphia construction site attorney will make the process easier and faster. Crucial evidence often disappears on construction sites after a serious injury so immediate action is necessary to protect you r legal rights and to ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable.
3. What Should I do if I was Injured on a New Jersey or Philadelphia Construction Site?
If you or a family member was injured on a construction site, taking the following steps can help protect your legal rights and options for recovery in the future.
- Seek Medical Attention Immediately – There is no way to be assured you do not have a life-threatening injury until medical personnel can fully evaluate your condition.
- File a Report – The law requires you to file a report with your employer if physically possible, by detailing as much of the accident as you remember. A lawyer should help you with this.
- Take Photographs – If possible, take pictures of the accident scene at the worksite capturing visual information that will assist you in telling your story of what happened during the incident. If you are too hurt, get a co-worker to do it.
- Meet with a Construction Accident Attorney – Contact a New Jersey or Philadelphia construction injury attorney to assist you in filling out all accident-related forms and to represent you before critical evidence disappears.
- Journal What You Recall – Maintain a journal containing all of your records and note every symptom, doctor visit and discussion with others
4. How is Safety Regulated on Construction Sites?
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is the government agency in charge of enforcing workplace safety regulations and laws. Compliance with OSHA regulations will ensure that employers will maintain a level of safety in the workplace.
OSHA has a series of specific regulations pertaining to virtually every aspect of work performed on a small or large construction project. If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed in an accident involving a construction project, there is a strong likelihood that an OHSA violation was present and caused or contributed to the incident. When an OHSA violation has been established, it is evidence that a specific defendant was negligent and helps to demonstrate that a defendant is responsible.
OSHA safety standards include standards on the following common jobsite hazards:
- Fall protection
- Trench collapses
- Falling equipment and tools
- Hazard communications
- Respiratory protection
- Control of hazardous energy
- Powered industrial trucks,
- Machinery and machine guarding, and
- Electrical, and electrical systems design.
5. What Makes a Construction Site Dangerous?
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the nearly 150,000 people injured each year while working on construction projects, the largest demographic involved in these accidents are male workers between 25 and 34 years old. Many of these injuries are significant and will require medical attention and result in the worker losing time from work.
Commercial and residential construction sites are statistically more dangerous compared a nearly all other workplaces. Construction areas are usually busy with workers, loud tools and heavy equipment that create a noisy and hazardous environment. In addition, many different trades are doing many different things on a construction site all at once. Coordination of the trades is critical in keeping a construction site safe. Generally, safety begins at the top but every worker, foreman, supervisor, project manager, subcontractor, general contractor, developer and others are responsible for maintaining their safety and the safety of all co-workers.
6. What is “Fall Protection” Equipment and Can it Save my Life?
Many workers perform their duties at elevated heights above the ground or around open holes at ground level. Falling remains the leading cause of severe accidents that occur on construction sites. Because of that, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires that every worker be provided fall protection equipment when necessary that could include:
- Personal fall arrest systems
- Handrails and guardrails
- Safety monitoring systems
- Controlled-access zones
Failing to provide every employee with appropriate fall protection equipment places the worker at risk. Employers can be held legally responsible for not providing the safety equipment or training the employee on how to use the equipment properly.
7. How Long do I Have to File a New Jersey or Philadelphia Construction Site Accident Lawsuit for Personal Injuries or Wrongful Death (Statute of Limitations)?
New Jersey and Pennsylvania construction accident lawsuits involving personal injury or death generally must be filed within two years from the date of the incident. Exceptions do apply so you must speak to attorney about your specific incident.
For workers’ compensation cases arising out of a construction site accident in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, there are two time periods to consider. First, there is a time period in which you are required to notify your employer. Second, there is a time period in which to file a workers’ compensation claim. The time period vary by State so you must speak to a workers’ compensation attorney to determine the time periods.
8. What type of Injuries Can Result from a New Jersey or Philadelphia Construction Accident Case?
Injured workers face the prospect of months and sometimes years of intense medical treatment and rehabilitation as well as lost income. Some may never fully recover. If you’ve suffered a significant brain injury, spinal cord injury or loss of limb, then you might need life long care and medical treatment. This will not only affect you, but also your family. In the tragic circumstance of death, your survivors will not only lose the ones they love but will lose the income and support they had been planning on to pay bills, colleges, weddings and retirement.
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Loss of eyesight
- Paralysis and spinal injuries
- Loss of Internal Organs
- Anxiety and depression
- Severe disfigurement and scarring
- Severe burns
- Nerve injuries
9. What Damages Can I Recover?
Rossetti & DeVoto, PC has handled even the most tragic of construction injury cases. We have experience in working with the top medical and economic experts to create medical treatment plans and life care plans to protect those seriously injured. Fortunately, in most construction site accident cases, there is adequate insurance to pay for even the most serious injuries. The damages that can be obtained include:
- Pain and Suffering (Physical and Emotional)
- Disability and Impairment
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Economic Losses Including Lost Wages and Medical Bills
- Life Care Plans
- Medical Treatment Plans
- Loss of Consortium of your spouse
- Wrongful Death Damages including loss of guidance, advice and support
10. Is a Construction Site Injury Lawsuit different than my Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Your employer likely maintains Workers’ Compensation coverage on their workers to ensure that injured employees can receive medical and wage benefits for the time it takes to heal and return to the job. Unfortunately, Workers’ Compensation benefits are extremely limited in what they provide to the injured victim and if a party, other than your employer, is at fault, an attorney working on your behalf must identify those third parties to ensure that they are held responsible for your injuries.
11. If I Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can I Still File a Construction Injury Lawsuit?
Yes. You have the legal right to file a lawsuit against any third party (other than your employer) to receive additional compensation to recover all your financial damages. hese additional third-party defendants in your case could include the following:
- construction manager
- general contractor and other subcontractors
- site developer and property owner and
- material delivery drivers at the construction site.
Like all claims, your case is unique. Determining who you can sue will likely require a careful review of the facts and an investigation into the incident that will be conducted by the law firm representing you in your case.
12. Why Does my Attorney Need to Retain Qualified Experts for my Case?
The law firm representing you must prove how the defendants in the case are legally responsible for your injuries. Your lawyer can prove the case by using qualified experts to provide the testimony necessary to draw the correlation between how you were injured and the negligence of others. The expert can provide testimony on how the defendant violated OSHA regulations, standards of care, and safety requirements that led to your injuries. Other experts might show the extent of your medical needs, the level of your pain, and the amount of funds required to provide care to treat your temporary or permanent disabilities that resulted in the accident.
13. Why do I Need a Construction Accident Attorney?
Construction accident tort laws are extremely complex. Resolving a case requires the skills of a competent personal injury attorney with experience in resolving construction injury cases. Your attorney will need to review every pertinent fact of the accident and prove the validity of your case filed against all third parties. The law firm will ensure that all the necessary paperwork and documents are filed before the statute of limitations expires. Any delay in filing could bar you permanently from ever seeking financial compensation to recover your damages. Your lawyer will provide valuable representation that includes:
- Immediately investigating your case and preserving all evidence
- Hiring top qualified experts who can assist in uncovering what went wrong
- Obtaining witness statements and key documents to help prove your case
- Handling all necessary paperwork and claims filings
- Provide guidance and advice through the complex civil tort legal system
- Serve as your legal advocate in court and during negotiations
- Answer every question you have concerning the process
- Work hard to ensure the financial compensation you deserve is secured
- Take you case to trial if the defendants do not pay our demands.
Representing clients who are injured in construction site accidents requires experience, tenacity, and talent. Our team of attorneys and experts know how to get the job done. We have an outstanding track record of success, we care about our clients, and will fight for you the same way we would fight for members of our own family. Until the end! Until it’s right.