IT'S MORE TO US, IT'S PERSONAL
Our Construction Accident Lawyers Will Protect Your Rights After an Accident
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Construction is not just about raising structures; it's about building futures - for families waiting to move into their dream homes, or businesses anticipating their next chapter. Construction workers are the foundation for our collective future, molding the urban landscapes of tomorrow. While they might shape our cities, they serve a far greater purpose to their families - cherished spouses, devoted parents, and irreplaceable sons and daughters. Unfortunately, it takes only one faulty wire, falling beam, or second of instability to leave a construction worker with devastating injuries. Victims and families are left to pick up the pieces, grappling with the immense physical, emotional and financial toll of the accident.
While workers' compensation may seem like a straightforward solution, navigating this system alone can be challenging. Profit-driven insurance companies sometimes minimize valid claims or create hurdles to prevent paying out the compensation victims need to recover from their injuries. In these difficult moments, our lawyers stand ready to advocate fiercely on their behalf, ensuring that every injured victim of a construction accident receives excellent medical care, compensation, and justice. If you've been injured in a construction accident, we will work to recover every penny you deserve.
Understanding Construction Accidents
Construction work has always carried immense risks - even as safety practices and technology improve, injuries and fatalities still plague the industry today. Every year, one in ten construction workers are injured in an accident, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) , a rate 71% higher than other U.S. industries.
Construction accidents are typically a result of multiple overlapping issues - inadequate training, poor supervision, run-down equipment, or simply the unpredictable, chaotic nature of a building site. Some of the most common risks present day workers face include electrocutions, equipment accidents, collapsing excavations, falls from heights, and being struck by vehicles. When these accidents occur, victims deserve to access the resources they need to heal. Our lawyers have over 50 years combined experience holding corporations, contractors, and property owners accountable for avoidable accidents, and are fully prepared to fight for your compensation.
A Look Back: Historical Dangers of the Construction Industry
For over a century, construction has remained one of America's most hazardous professions. In the early 1900s, workers endured brutal 12-hour shifts without basic safety equipment like hard hats or harnesses. Fatalities were commonplace and expected, with precarious scaffolding and loose, high-voltage electrical lines. Requests for basic protections like gloves, goggles, or steel-toe boots were seen by many supervisors as unreasonable demands. The towering skyscrapers and mighty infrastructure projects that fueled America's growth came at an immense cost of life and limb to the laborers who built them.
Unionization efforts gradually increased pressure for better working conditions and safety standards in construction. However, it was not until the rapid industrialization and infrastructure expansion between the world wars that meaningful state and federal oversight began through New Deal-era reforms. With the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970, national standards (and enforcement) finally began to regulate protections for workers. Thanks to the decades-long fight by workers and their advocates, the construction industry slowly evolved its safety practices.
Today, despite modern equipment, training programs, and strict regulations, construction sites remain extraordinarily hazardous places to work. Our construction accident lawyers seek to honor those who lost their lives in the industry's dangerous early days by continuing to push for safer job sites and adequate compensation for the injured workers of today. If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury on a construction site, please reach out to our legal team today at 877-715-9300 or contact us through our website for a free consultation.
Construction work involves unavoidable risks, but negligence and disregard for safety regulations can endanger workers unnecessarily. When the safety guidelines the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets forth are ignored or insufficiently implemented, the consequences can be severe. Below are some of the most common hazards on construction sites:
Defective Equipment - workers tend to rely on a range of tools and equipment when working in construction. Malfunctions, especially in power tools, cables, scaffolding, and ladders, can lead to serious accidents. Regular inspections and maintenance are essential to prevent any equipment-related incidents.
Falls from Heights - falls, especially from unguarded scaffolding, roofs, or platforms, are among the leading causes of fatalities in construction. Proper guardrails, netting, and other safety measures are crucial to protect workers from these accidents.
Heavy Machinery Incidents - large machinery, such as cranes and bulldozers, can cause serious injuries if operated without proper training or precautions. Dedicated zones and clear communication can minimize the risk of accidents.
Excavation Collapses - trenches or deep excavations can become deadly if they collapse, burying workers under soil or debris. Proper shoring and protective systems are extremely important.
Electrocution - uninsulated power lines, poor wiring, and neglect around electrical components often result in severe injuries or fatalities.
Struck-by Accidents - with numerous vehicles and equipment in operation, workers are at risk of being hit, especially in areas with restricted visibility. Clear signage and signaling can help prevent struck-by accidents.
Disorganized Work Areas - cluttered construction sites increase the risk of trips, falls, and misplacement of crucial equipment. Regular cleanup and organized storage can significantly reduce tripping hazards.
Inadequate Safety Equipment - a lack of proper protective gear, such as helmets, gloves, or goggles, exposes workers to heightened risks. Ensuring all workers are adequately equipped is essential to guard against avoidable accidents.
Non-Compliance with Safety Regulations - ignoring OSHA guidelines or local safety codes can result in a wide range of dangerous situations, from structural vulnerabilities to operational hazards. It's vital that construction sites ensure consistent compliance with all safety regulations.
Common Construction Accident Injuries
While immediate and comprehensive medical treatment is crucial for minimizing the impact of the injuries below, prevention remains the most effective form of protection.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) - Blunt force trauma to the head from struck-by hazards, falls from heights, and collapsed structures often cause severe TBIs in construction workers. These permanently damage brain tissue, leading to impaired cognition, personality changes, loss of coordination, and memory loss.
Spinal Cord Injuries - Falls, equipment malfunctions, or being struck by an object can lead to devastating spinal cord injuries with life-altering consequences. Forces that fracture, dislocate, crush, or compress the spinal column and vertebrae often cause partial or complete paralysis. This results in loss of mobility and sensation in limbs or the entire body depending on the location and severity of the spinal injury.
Crush Injuries - Workers caught under collapsed trenches, walls, scaffolding, or heavy machinery suffer extreme crush trauma from the intense pressure. This causes severe muscle and tissue damage, organ rupture, bone fractures, and compartment syndrome. Amputation is often necessary.
Broken Bones - Falls from heights or being struck by heavy objects can easily result in fractured or broken bones. Immediate medical attention and often surgery are necessary to properly set the bones and begin the healing process.
Amputations - Power tools, assembly machinery, and vehicle accidents can violently tear limbs from the body. This causes massive blood loss and sends the body into shock. Prosthetics, therapy, and rehabilitation are needed.
Burn Injuries - Exposed wiring, chemical spills, and explosions can cause serious burns. Treatment for burns can be lengthy, including skin grafts and extensive rehabilitation. The physical and emotional scars of a serious burn injury can be devastating.
Blunt Force Trauma - Struck-by hazards and collapsed structures often produce internal bleeding, organ damage or rupture, and abdominal injuries. This causes severe, prolonged pain and typically requires invasive surgery.
Suffocation/Asphyxiation - Trench collapses, cave-ins, and being buried under heavy materials cuts off oxygen flow leading to suffocation, brain damage, and death within minutes.
Neck and Back Injuries - Sprains, herniated discs, and whiplash are common in falls, struck-by accidents, and overexertion, leading to chronic, severe pain.
Hearing Loss - Consistent exposure to loud noises, from machinery or explosions, without adequate hearing protection can result in long-term or permanent hearing loss.
Respiratory Issues - Inhalation of toxic fumes or dust can lead to acute or chronic respiratory problems. In severe cases, workers may suffer from conditions such as asbestosis, silicosis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Eye Injuries - Foreign objects, splashes from chemicals, or bright welding arcs can damage eyes. Safety goggles can mitigate some of this risk, but severe eye injuries could result in permanent vision loss.
Construction Accidents and Workers' Compensation, Explained:
Workers' compensation is a form of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment. In most jurisdictions, workers' compensation does cover injuries sustained in construction accidents. However, the specifics can vary based on the circumstances of the injury, jurisdictional regulations, and the particular workers' compensation policy. Understanding workers' compensation is crucial for anyone in the construction industry, given the inherent risks involved in this line of work.
To receive workers' compensation, a construction injury typically must meet certain criteria:
It must have occurred on the job site or while performing work duties. Injuries that happen off-site or outside of work hours are typically not covered.
It must be a new injury and not an aggravation of a pre-existing condition. However, if a workplace accident aggravates or worsens a pre-existing condition, the new damage may still be covered.
It must be well documented with objective medical evidence. Vague complaints of pain or injuries that cannot be clinically confirmed often raise skepticism.
Filing a Claim
Report any work-related injury, no matter how minor, to your supervisor immediately. There are strict deadlines for reporting.
Your employer must file a First Report of Injury with the state workers' compensation board within 3-10 days, depending on the state.
You must seek initial medical treatment from an approved provider in the workers' compensation network. All further treatment must be pre-authorized.
You should keep detailed records of all medical appointments, expenses, medications, tests, work absences, lost wages, and treatments related to the injury.
Your employer’s workers’ comp insurer will investigate the claim. This stage may involve interviews, obtaining medical records, and assessing employment factors.
This insurer must decide to accept or deny your claim within a specified timeframe, usually 14-90 days depending on the state.
If your claim is approved, you will receive medical treatment and partial wage replacement for lost work time related to the injury. We advise that you communicate regularly with the insurer, employer, and all doctors regarding your treatment progress, work status, limitations or restrictions, and planned return to work. Benefits typically will continue until you can return to full duty work, reach maximum medical improvement, or receive an approved settlement.
Workers’ Compensation Claim Denials
While many valid workers' compensation claims are approved and paid without issue, some claims can be denied for various reasons, including:
If there's doubt about whether the injury actually occurred during the course of employment, the claim may be scrutinized and possibly denied.
Some minor injuries that don't require medical attention or don't result in any time off work may not be eligible for compensation.
Inaccurate or incomplete documentation, such as medical records or incident reports, can be a basis for denial.
Sometimes claims are denied or delayed due to simple administrative errors, like incorrect filing or missing deadlines.
Unfortunately, there are also cases where employers or insurance companies deliberately attempt to avoid payouts by disputing the claim or complicating the process.
If your claim is denied, we advise that you immediately consult with a workers' compensation attorney to review the reasons for denial. Our attorneys can help you file an appeal with the Workers' Compensation Board and present evidence to prove the claim is valid. Your attorney may schedule a hearing, where various parties can provide testimony, witnesses, medical evidence, employment records, etc. After this, a workers' comp judge will evaluate the evidence and arguments and issue a binding decision on whether benefits should be awarded.
If you are unsatisfied with the outcome of your claim, your attorney can help file appeals with the state Appeals Board, Court of Appeals, and ultimately the Supreme Court, if necessary. At every appeal level, new evidence may be introduced and arguments made to reverse earlier unfavorable decisions. The appeals process is complex but provides multiple opportunities for injured workers to fight against wrongful denials and obtain rightful benefits. Skilled legal counsel is essential throughout this process.
The Importance of Legal Representation
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied after a construction accident, you have the right to appeal the decision. Appeals processes can involve multiple complex steps - having access to legal counsel during this process can make a substantial difference in your claim.
The appeals process can be challenging, particularly for those who may be unfamiliar with the complexities of employment law and regulations. Worse, you’re not just dealing with bureaucratic hurdles - you’re also facing physical pain, emotional distress, and financial instability. In these circumstances, legal representation is a necessity, providing expertise, advocacy and peace of mind throughout the process.
Stages Where Legal Aid Can Help
Initial Consultation: Before filing a claim, consult with one of our workers' comp attorneys to understand your rights and navigate the complex process to avoid common mistakes. Wettermark Keith offers free consultations with our legal team.
After a Claim Denial: If your claim is denied, a workers' comp attorney can immediately file an appeal and build your case, presenting evidence and legal arguments.
Mediation: Many states require mediation to resolve disputed claims before a hearing. An attorney can negotiate in your best interest at this stage.
Workers' Compensation Hearing: If unresolved in mediation, an attorney can represent you at your workers’ compensation hearing, arguing your case before a judge through witness testimony, evidence presentation, and oral arguments.
Appeals Process: If still unsatisfied after the hearing, your attorney can file appeals with the state board and higher courts. At each level, new evidence may be introduced and arguments made.
Who’s Liable For My Injuries After a Construction Accident?
After a construction accident, determining who is liable for your injuries may be a challenging task due to the involvement of multiple parties on the worksite. Typically, your immediate recourse would be filing a workers' compensation claim with your employer, as this system is designed to cover injuries sustained on the job without needing to prove fault.
However, in certain scenarios, other parties might also be liable. For instance, if a subcontractor's negligence led to your injury, or if a piece of machinery malfunctioned, the subcontractor or equipment manufacturer might be held accountable. General contractors, who are responsible for overall site safety, and even the property owner can sometimes be liable as well.
Given the potentially complex landscape of responsibilities and legal obligations, consulting with our attorneys can be an effective way to navigate the system and ensure that you receive the compensation you're entitled to.
What Damages Can I Claim?
For a workers' compensation claim, the types of damages you can claim are generally restricted to medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. Workers' compensation usually covers the cost of doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription medications, and physical therapy that you may require to recover. It also typically provides wage replacement benefits, but these are often a fraction of your regular earnings, meant to tide you over until you can return to work.
If you've filed a personal injury lawsuit, however - against a subcontractor, equipment manufacturer, or other third party - you might also claim additional damages, or compensation. These can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and in some cases, punitive damages intended to punish exceptionally negligent behavior.
Consult with our expert construction accident lawyers to fully understand the range of damages you may be eligible to claim, as these can vary depending on the specifics of your case and the jurisdiction in which you're filing.
The Benefits of Hiring a Construction Accident Attorney
Construction accident victims have legal rights to lost income, medical cost coverage, and damages that account for pain and suffering. But navigating the claims process is complicated - especially when insurance providers try to deny or minimize valid claims.
This is where our dedicated accident lawyers make all the difference.
We conduct thorough investigations gathering evidence to prove liability
We negotiate with insurance providers to ensure a fair settlement
We file lawsuits against negligent parties
We work closely with medical providers to document injuries and treatment needs
We calculate and demand full compensation for all economic and non-economic damages
If necessary - we go to court in your defense
For over five decades, we've helped clients recover millions in compensation through negotiations, settlements, and litigation if needed. No insurance corporation is too large for our lawyers to take on.
With an experienced lawyer on your side, you can focus on treatment and recovery instead of fighting your legal battles alone. Hiring an attorney improves your odds of a favorable outcome and ensures your access to committed legal counsel.
Frequently Asked Questions
In most jurisdictions, workers' compensation is designed to be a "no-fault" system, which means that you generally cannot sue your employer for injuries sustained on the job. By filing a workers' compensation claim, you usually waive your right to file a lawsuit against your employer. However, there are exceptions, such as when an employer's conduct is egregiously negligent or intentionally harmful. Laws can vary by jurisdiction, so it’s important to consult with a legal advisor to understand your specific options.
The time limit to file a construction accident claim, otherwise known as the statute of limitations, varies by jurisdiction and by the type of claim you're filing. For workers' compensation claims, you may have a very short window—sometimes as few as 30 days—to report the injury to your employer. For personal injury lawsuits against third parties, the statute of limitations is generally longer, often ranging from one to four years, depending on the state. It's crucial to consult with an injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure you don't miss any deadlines.
The cost of hiring a construction accident lawyer can vary. Our lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. We understand you may be facing an unstable financial situation - and assure you that you will never pay a lawyer fee upfront or out of pocket. We also offer free consultations.
Our lawyers can bring specialized knowledge and experience to your case. After a construction accident, your lawyer can guide you through the complex landscape of workers' compensation and personal injury law, helping you understand your rights and options. Your lawyer will handle all the paperwork, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. If necessary, your lawyer can also represent you in court, aiming to secure the best possible outcome for your case.
Yes - these tragic cases often fall under "wrongful death" claims. Family members may be eligible to receive compensation for funeral costs, loss of financial support, and even emotional suffering. Your experienced lawyer can guide you through the complex legal process, ensuring that all responsible parties are held accountable and that you receive the compensation you're entitled to.
Your health and safety should be your first concern after any accident. Seek emergency medical assistance right away even if you believe you are uninjured, as some conditions like concussions take time to manifest symptoms. Alert your supervisor and follow company protocol for reporting the incident, but do not delay getting medical attention. Document the accident with photos and written notes if able. Once initial treatment is secured, consult an experienced construction accident attorney to discuss your options. You may be entitled to workers’ compensation or personal injury damages, depending on the specifics of your case. An attorney can help you navigate the system and advise on steps to take to protect your rights.
Filing a workers' compensation claim after a construction accident provides several valuable benefits:
- Coverage of all medical expenses related to injury and rehabilitation
- Partial wage replacement for missed days of work during recovery
- Vocational training if injury prevents returning to previous occupation
- Not having to prove employer negligence
- An impartial administrative system versus civil court
Overall, workers’ compensation provides support for medical care, lost wages, and recovery without you having to prove blame. While benefits may be lower than personal injury settlements, workers' compensation offers reliable assistance - which is especially valuable when the liability of an accident is unclear.
If your accident was caused by the negligence or recklessness of a third party outside your employer, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit in addition to or instead of a workers’ compensation claim. This includes accidents caused by:
- Subcontractors ignoring safety protocols
- Defective equipment or machinery
- Hazardous materials providers failing to label chemicals
- Architects or engineers producing unsafe designs
- Vehicle drivers striking workers on a site
Consult a lawyer to explore all options after an accident. An experienced construction accident lawyer can assess if any external parties bear liability for your damages and advise whether a personal injury claim or workers’ compensation, or both, are viable avenues for compensation in your specific circumstances.
The duration of a construction accident case can vary substantially depending on the complexity of issues like causation and liability, the parties involved, location, injuries sustained, availability of witnesses and evidence, and other unique factors. Less disputed, straightforward cases with clear cause and injury may settle within a year, while complex cases involving multiple defendants and jurisdictions can extend to two or even three years. Your attorney should provide an estimated timeline tailored to your specific circumstances, and work diligently to resolve the case efficiently without sacrificing quality of result.
Some common missteps that could jeopardize your case include:
- Failing to promptly seek medical attention and get examined/treated. This causes issues documenting the extent of injuries.
- Neglecting to report the accident to your employer and file an incident report. This raises doubt about what transpired.
- Delaying consultation with a lawyer. This risks losing valuable evidence, witnesses, and rights to compensation.
- Speaking extensively with insurance adjusters before consulting a lawyer. Any statements may be used against you.
- Accepting quick, lowball settlements from insurers before fully assessing case value.
- Posting details about the incident on social media. This can provide leverage against you.
You can avoid these pitfalls by immediately consulting an experienced lawyer to protect your interests from the outset
Wettermark Keith's Promise to You
Over the decades, we've seen countless negligent corporations and property owners cut corners on safety - with tragic results. We promise to always stand up for the injured worker against the interests of big business. You are not just another case to us - we take your representation personally.
Wettermark Keith, with offices located throughout Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida, has an excellent reputation as one of the most accomplished personal injury firms in the country. Our reach is not only regional but includes a diverse range of practice areas, including premises liability law, personal injury cases, auto wrecks, trucking wrecks, nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, on-the-job injuries, social security disability, and veterans’ disability claims, to name just a few.
At Wettermark Keith, we believe in taking cases personally. Our purpose is to practice with care and compassion- to tell our clients’ stories and make their voices heard. We do this by building strong relationships based on constant communication and an unwavering dedication to truth and trust. You should never wonder what’s going on with your case. We will keep you in the loop and represent you as if you are family- because to us, you are.
Wettermark Keith was extremely professional and helpful. This personal injury law firm helped my husband over 10 years ago when he fell and broke his foot on vacation. I called them first because I liked their TV commercials. They are very nice people and I would call them again if I needed a lawyer.
Law firm Wettermark Keith has exceeded my expectations! I recommend these lawyers to anyone and everyone I come across. Their commitment to their clients is outstanding. Communication is easy. And I got my settlement very fast. I definitely recommend working with Lee Hawker. He is very gracious and kind. He looked out for me and my family and went above and beyond for us. I’m very grateful!
My personal embattlement with the Social Security Administration went downhill. From a personal recommendation, I reached out to Wettermark Keith law firm. Brian Smith and his team took my case and throughout the whole process, I felt more than just another number. Frequent updates were provided, and emphasis was placed on ensuring all needed documentation was in place. In the end, the accident case resulted in a favorable victory. A big thank you to my lawyer Brian Smith and the team at Wettermark Keith for the hard work throughout the entire personal injury process.
I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Mark English at Wettermark Keith law firm after my car accident in December 2021. He was very thorough in everything, did a wonderful job of explaining everything that was happening, and was super easy to get in touch with when I needed him. I never had a question that was left unanswered by this lawyer. He's very kind and patient, and he made the personal injury claims process so easy for me. I absolutely recommend him, it was a pleasure working with him!
I am so elated that I utilized Mr. Muhammad Abdullah’s services. In the beginning, he told me the compensation that I would receive for my personal injury claim and I actually received more than that! After my car wreck (in my brand-new vehicle), I was actually surprised that I was in the pain that I was in. Mr. Abdullah made sure I saw the necessary people for therapy and worked hard to get me back into my car after the accident. I felt that he was diligent, listened to my concerns, and quickly got me back in my car and compensated! I will be utilizing Mr. Abdullah again and again, anytime I ever have to hire a lawyer.