Workers’ Compensation For Construction Accidents

July 15, 2020

Workers’ Compensation For Construction Accidents 

Construction workers face many hazards daily and injuries are common. If you’ve been injured working on a construction site, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, even if you’ve been told that because you are an independent contractor you are ineligible. Another possible option is a personal injury lawsuit, depending upon the circumstances.

The workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates have over 40 years of helping workers get the benefits and settlements they deserve. Hablamos español! Call us today for your free, no-obligation consultation and we will explain how we can help you. And, if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid!

How Does Workers’ Compensation Work for Construction Contractors?

An injured construction worker must be an employee who was injured in the course of performing their regular duties to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Ideally, an injured worker reports the accident and injury to their employer, the employer contacts the insurance company, and the injured worker is paid lost wages and received medical care.

Unfortunately, insurance companies frequently deny compensable workers’ compensation claims or don’t want to pay the full amount to which you are entitled, or don’t want to pay for all of the medical treatment you need. Don’t give up – our skilled workers’ compensation lawyers can help you.

In Pennsylvania, the Construction Workplace Misclassification Act (Act 72) prohibits employers in construction from misclassifying construction workers as independent contractors, to avoid having to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Not all construction employers follow this law, and if you are injured and find out your employer doesn’t, contact us.

Why Should I Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for a Construction Accident?

Because a complex web of federal and state laws control construction site accidents and injuries, it is important to get help from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Know that all of the other parties involved – the national equipment manufacturers, the site owners, the general contractors – have the protection of powerful law firms committed to defending against liability for construction accidents. Don’t you deserve a powerful law firm on your side too

Many issues arise with personal injuries during construction, including:

Determining who is liable for the condition causing the accident and injury. Responsible parties may include construction site owners, general contractors, sub-contractors, manufacturers of faulty equipment, or other third parties. The attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates thoroughly investigate the accident and the possible causes and find out who is at fault.

Determining what sort of claims an injured construction worker has. It may be workers’ compensation, a personal injury lawsuit, or a lawsuit under one of the many federal or state laws and regulations controlling construction. 

Interestingly, five of the ten most common safety violations cited by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) in 2018 related to construction. If any party failed in their obligation to adhere to OSHA standards and you were injured as a result, we can help you prosecute that claim.

Determining what the injured construction worker is entitled to. Due to our experience handling thousands of construction workers’ cases, we can assess your medical records and the cause of the accident and determine what compensation you deserve. 

Injured construction workers are often offered a low initial settlement amount. You do not have to accept, and in most cases, you are entitled to much more. Contact us and we will evaluate your case.

Types of Construction Accident Claims and Lawsuits

If you have been injured on a construction site, whether you were working there, a pedestrian passing by, or a visitor, you might be entitled to compensation under one or more of the following claims:

Workers’ Compensation Claim

In most states, an injured employee is compensated through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. A state’s workers’ compensation scheme is intended to shield employers from expensive and time-consuming personal injury lawsuits, get injured employees the replacement wages and medical care they need to return to work if possible and preserve the employer-employee relationship. 

Unfortunately, many employers in construction and their insurance companies want to deny workers’ compensation claims under a theory that the construction worker is not an “employee” for the purposes of workers’ compensation. Our attorneys have successfully fought this and gotten injured construction workers the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. 

Personal Injury Lawsuit

If the worker is truly not an “employee” under workers’ compensation, they must bring a personal injury lawsuit against those who were liable for the conditions causing the accident. 

Even if an injured construction worker is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits through their employer, they may have a cause of action against a third party whose negligence caused or contributed to the conditions causing the accident. 

Product Liability Lawsuit

If a construction worker was injured by a defective product, they may sue any party in the chain of distribution, including the retailer or wholesaler and the manufacturer.   

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In the event a construction worker is killed on the job, their family may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the parties responsible, and recover the wages that workers would have brought home in addition to compensation for the loss of their loved one.

What OSHA Rights Can an Attorney Help Me Protect?

The attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates can help you if you’ve been injured on a construction site. If you believe you are working in a dangerous environment that does not follow OSHA protocols, our attorneys can help you file a complaint with OSHA.

Know that your employer may not fire or demote you if you file a complaint with OSHA. If you feel your employer is retaliating against you or discriminating against you for filing a complaint with OSHA, contact us. We will help you file a complaint against your employer.

Other rights a construction worker has under OSHA include:

  • Asking OSHA to inspect the construction site for compliance;
  • Receiving information and training about construction hazards, ways to prevent injuries on-site, and all of the OSHA standards and protocols that apply to their workplace;
  • Receiving copies of testing done to find out whether there are environmental hazards on-site;
  • Reviewing records of any injuries and illnesses occurring on site.

What are the Common Causes of Construction Accidents?

  • Construction site debris (leftover materials improperly stored, or tools lying around)
  • Falling debris from an elevation
  • Slips, falls, and trips
  • Lack of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Insufficient training or oversight of safety precautions
  • Missing machine guards
  • Defective equipment
  • Improperly maintained equipment
  • Misuse of tools or equipment
  • Insufficient training on tools or equipment
  • Collapsing structures or trenches
  • Falls from elevated heights
  • Faulty scaffolding
  • Crane accidents
  • Harness accidents
  • Hoist accidents
  • Fires
  • Explosions
  • Compressed gas accidents
  • Electrical accidents
  • Welding accidents
  • Exposure to toxins or chemicals, such as asbestos
  • Hypothermia or frostbite
  • Heat exhaustion or heat stroke
  • Heart attack from overexertion
  • Spine injuries or nerve damage from heavy lifting

Who Can Be Held Liable for Construction Accident Injuries?

If your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, they are immune from most personal injury lawsuits. However, if your injury was intentional or egregious, you may have a cause of action against your employer and/or a third party. 

Other potentially liable parties include:

  • Construction Site Owner(s)
  • General and Subcontractors
  • Prime Contractors
  • Architects and Engineers
  • Manufacturers

What Damages Can an Attorney Help Me Recover from a Construction Accident Injury?

Working in construction is dangerous. Construction accidents cause injuries that range from minor injuries that a worker can recover from in a few weeks, to severe physical trauma that causes lasting effects, including physical, financial, and psychological pain for victims and their families. 

A severely-injured construction worker might need extensive medical treatment, then receiving the attendant exorbitant medical bills. They must also deal with the psychological and emotional trauma of a serious injury that, if permanent, will have a negative impact on them for life.

By filing a lawsuit against a negligent or otherwise liable party, our attorneys may be able to help you recover:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Costs of counseling and physical therapy
  • Pain and suffering
  • Compensation for partial or total permanent disability
  • Retraining for a less strenuous job
  • Loss of consortium for spouses
  • Wrongful death compensation for the victim’s family

What Should I Do if I Am Injured at Work?

If you are injured in a construction accident you should:

  • Seek medical attention promptly
  • Report the injury to the employer or manager
  • Take note of who else your employer or manager told
  • Document testimonials of the accident and contact information from any witnesses
  • Photograph your injury, the scene of the accident, and any equipment involved
  • Contact an attorney to learn more about your legal options

Contact Larry Pitt & Associates for Your Free, No-Obligation Consultation

If you have been injured in a construction accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Our attorneys can put their experience to work for you and get you paid through workers’ compensation, a personal injury lawsuit, social security disability, or a combination of these.

Fill out our contact form, call us at 888-PITT-LAW (1-888-748-8529) or for Español: 1-877-PITT-LEY, or email us at lawyers@larrypitt.com and we will be happy to schedule your consultation at your convenience.

Free Consultation with Larry Pitt