The Law Office of William W. Hurst has represented hundreds of individuals who have been injured while working at a construction site. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of 14 out of 100 workers was injured on the job in 2015. Furthermore, the Indiana Department of Labor reports that 14 individuals died in construction accidents in 2016. If you’ve sustained an injury in a construction accident, or if you have a loved one who died in a construction accident, contact the Law Office of William W. Hurst today for a free consultation and to discuss your legal options.
Types of Construction Incidents That Cause Injuries or Death
Construction sites are inherently dangerous due to the nature of the work and the large, heavy machinery that’s required to build roads, buildings, bridges, and other infrastructure. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) publishes safety regulations that all industries must abide by, including the construction industry. These rules are in place to ensure that employers, contractors, and subcontractors keep their employees safe. The most common types of construction site accidents include safety violations, equipment failures, poor site security, and defective products.
If you are hurt on the job, you can likely seek compensation from the company that you work for if you are an employee (rather than an independent contractor), or from the manufacturer of a defective part or piece of equipment if it caused your accident. Poor site security may lead to a settlement or lawsuit against the property owner, your employer, or the security company responsible for the property.
Damages Available to Construction Workers
Construction workers injured on the job are eligible to recover some or all of the different types of damage awards that are available either through settlement or through a court trial. Damages that a court may potentially award an injured worker include:
- Medical treatment and future medical treatment, including occupational and physical therapy
- Pain and suffering if the pain you experience due to your injuries is serious and ongoing
- Loss of income because of your inability to work, including future earnings and/or loss of earning capacity
- Property loss if any of your property was damaged by the accident—like if a crane falls on your personal vehicle
- Emotional distress, such as anxiety, sleep loss, and fear that is related to your accident
- Loss of consortium, which may be awarded in an accident that was caused by the death of a spouse or if the accident caused a permanent injury, such as paralysis
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of life in cases where you lost a loved one
- Punitive damages (in rare cases)
Punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the injuries were caused by the extremely careless or negligent actions of another. Think of punitive damages as a punishment for allowing the accident to happen. For example, if an employer refuses to supply the appropriate safety equipment, especially after the employer has already received a warning or citation for not providing the safety equipment, and your injuries were directly caused by the lack of that safety equipment.
Workers’ Compensation Issues
You should consider your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits following any workplace accident. Your attorney will help you file a claim. However, your claim may be denied unless you can prove without a doubt that you were injured on the job. At the Law Office of William W. Hurst, our attorneys will investigate the case, and if needed, will retain expert witnesses to testify about the working conditions that caused your accident and injuries. You have a limited amount of time to file for workers’ compensation and a lawsuit for your injuries, so you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
If you are unable to contact an attorney yourself, a family member may contact a construction accident lawyer on your behalf. If you must file a claim because of OSHA safety violations, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you file your claim on time. Additionally, OSHA will need to investigate the accident before the employer makes the repairs or adds the safety equipment that was missing or defective.
Why You Should Contact a Construction Injury Attorney
Many people would rather apply for workers’ compensation benefits themselves rather than utilize the services of an attorney. However, it is always best to retain a construction injury attorney due to the complex nature of these types of cases. Furthermore, other remedies aside from worker’s compensation may exist that you’re unaware of, including a lawsuit based on OSHA’s safety standards. An experienced construction accident injury attorney will know all potential legal recourses available to you.
Following an accident, you will also have to deal with insurance companies that cover your employer, and those insurance companies will have their own attorneys. While it is nice to settle a claim without litigation, an insurance company is going to attempt to pay out as little as possible. When you retain an attorney, you have a better chance of getting a higher settlement. Furthermore, if we feel that the settlement is not fair, we will gladly take your case to trial to ensure that you receive compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
Should your case go to trial, you’ll have many strict deadlines and requirements that you must meet to prevent the court from dismissing your case. During the discovery period, a court will require that you provide medical bills and any documentation that medical care is ongoing. Missing a court deadline could mean losing your case. Our staff and attorneys work with you to make sure that you have everything the court needs to proceed with your case, and we make sure that you’re aware of all court dates.
Of course, a settlement is the shorter route, but if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement amount that includes compensation for future medical bills that you may incur due to your injuries, you should file a lawsuit and take your case to trial.
Contact the Law Office of William W. Hurst
If you have been injured in a construction accident or if you have lost a loved one due to a construction accident, call the Law Office of William W. Hurst today at (317) 636-0808, or contact us online, to schedule a free consultation with an experienced member of our legal team. Depending on the circumstances of your case, we work on a contingency basis, so your case won’t cost you anything unless we successfully secure compensation.