Construction workers repair and build our roads, bridges, and buildings. Without them, growth and industry would come to a halt. Yet these workers, who serve as the backbone of our economy, have one of the most dangerous jobs in America. In fact, one in five workplace deaths occur within the construction industry. While workers compensation is available to cover on the job accidents, damages in workers compensation claims are limited.
If the accident is the fault of a third party (a person or company other than an employer or fellow employee, such as another contractor, a delivery person, a design architect/engineer, or manufacturer), additional claims for damages can be brought against the third party and their liability insurance company. If someone you love has been a victim in an accident caused by the fault of someone other than the employer or fellow employee, know your rights, particularly your right to pursue fair and just compensation.
Most Common Construction Accidents
While any number of things can go wrong on a job site, most job site deaths and injuries are caused by one of four hazards. Otherwise known as the “fatal four, ” these hazards cause more than half of the 4, 000 worker fatalities per calendar year. These hazards include:
Falls – Nearly 40 percent of all worker fatalities occur because of falls from ladders, scaffolding, or other structures;
Electrocutions – Often caused by poor communication, lack of warning, or improper lockout/tagout procedures, electrocutions account for 8.2 percent of all construction worker deaths;
Struck by an Object – Falling equipment, tools, and debris or moving equipment and machinery cause 8.1 percent of all worker fatalities;
Entrapment – Workers often find themselves between two objects, which puts them at an extremely high risk of being crushed under the weight of machinery or a collapse. This injury accounts for 1.3 percent of all worker fatalities.
Poor Safety Standards Often Responsible
Despite the disturbingly high rate of fatality within the construction industry, foreman and general contractors often cut corners to save both time and money. As a result, workers are placed at risk for severe injury and death. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) frequently finds infractions at work sites – many of which could result in a serious injury or death to workers. Fall protection, hazard communication, control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), ladders, electrical wiring and components, and electrical system designs are among the top 10 citations.
When Negligence of a 3rd Party Causes the Death of a Loved One
While workers compensation is available when fault for the accident rests with the employee, the employer or a fellow employee, there are situations where additional damages can be recovered when the fault rests with a 3rd party. Failure to ensure the safety of workers – especially when there is a known risk – is more than just irresponsible; it is negligence, for which the 3rd party and their liability insurance carrier may be held liable. And, as the surviving family of a victim, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. It cannot bring a loved one back, but it can help cover your loved one’s final expenses and lessen the burden of losing an income.
At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we aggressively pursue the compensation that you and your family deserve. We stand by you, protecting your interests in the fight for justice, and act as compassionate advocates in your family’s time of need. To learn more about how our Appleton wrongful death attorneys can help with your claim, call 920-739-7366 and schedule your personalized consultation today.