Philadelphia Injury Lawyers Fighting for Construction Workers and Site Visitors
Helping Men and Women Injured on or Near Construction Sites in Pennsylvania
You can throw a rock and hit at least one construction site or work zone almost anywhere you are in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love requires a lot of upkeep: to the roads, to the historic buildings, and to the open spaces. This means a lot of jobs for our construction workers, as well as other people who find themselves on construction sites and in work zones.
Construction is also a dangerous industry, and people can be seriously injured in industrial spaces and work zones. At Larry Pitt & Associates, we help people who have been hurt while at work, while in the car, or while passing by a construction zone. We have represented the injured in and around Philadelphia for more than 35 years, and you can trust us to do right by you now.
Construction Sites Can be Deadly
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), construction work is among the most dangerous there is. According to their data, “Out of 4,379 worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2015, 937 or 21.4% were in construction — that is, one in five worker deaths last year were in construction.” In fact, they even have a label called the “Fatal Four” – the four types of accidents responsible for more than half of all construction work deaths each year:
- Being caught in-between, or crushed by, a structure, material or machine
- Struck by objects
In that same year, the Greater Philadelphia area suffered 70 worker deaths, placing us 7th out of the top 10 metro areas for fatal occupational accidents.
Workers’ Compensation or Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Employees who sustain injuries while working are entitled to workers’ compensation. Indeed, our firm is well-known for helping employees gain these benefits, and for our work on behalf of Philly’s construction workers in general. But workers’ comp won’t always apply, in which case you might need to file an injury claim instead.
For example, you would file a personal injury lawsuit instead of a workers’ compensation claim if:
- You are a contractor, and therefore ineligible for workers’ comp.
- You are visiting a construction site in a supervisory manner, or delivering materials, or work for an outside vendor – in short, when you are not an employee of the construction company.
- You are passing by a construction site, on your way to someplace else (such as walking to work, or trying to get to another building in the area).
- You are driving through a construction zone.
- You are driving through road work.
- You were injured by a defective machine or tool.
In these cases, a personal injury claim can help you recover any property losses you sustain, cover your medical bills, and help you with the daily costs of living. You may also be eligible for compensation for your pain and suffering. If an injury leaves you unable to work permanently, our team can help you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, as well.
Third-Party Defective Product Claims Arising from Worksite Accidents
Let’s say you’re required to use ladders and scaffolding for your job. You put on your OSHA-mandated helmet, goggles and safety harness, and climb the ladder to the scaffolding. You’re walking along, when suddenly everything shakes, and suddenly you’re falling. The safety harness catches you, but you hit the side of the building with enough force to smash your knee cap, and your head whips back from the impact.
You’re unable to work, so you file for workers’ compensation. An investigation into the accident, however, shows that the scaffolding was defective, and that is why it fell out from under you. In this case, you can file a third-party claim against the manufacturer of the defective scaffolding. The injury lawsuit can allow you to collect for things that workers’ compensation doesn’t, like pain and suffering.
However, if you go this route, you should know that the workers’ comp program can put a lien on your award. Basically, that means if you were already reimbursed for lost wages and medical bills, the carrier can ask for partial reimbursement for what they paid out. These liens don’t cost you any money; you just end up with a smaller payout, because whatever you were awarded for bills and wages – things already covered and paid for by workers’ compensation – can be split between you and the carrier.
Fighting for the Futures of Philadelphia’s Construction Workers
If you were hurt on a construction site, Larry Pitt & Associates are here to help. We’ve been representing construction workers and site visitors for more than 35 years. Please call 1-888-PITT-LAW or fill out our contact form to schedule your free consultation at one of our office locations. We are proud to serve clients in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia County.