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Construction work can be dangerous, even for responsible and cautious workers who take necessary precautions. If you are a construction worker, you understand this and take the proper precautions on the job to protect yourself. But sometimes, a construction accident can still happen. Defective equipment, poor training, and an unsafe work environment can all cause an unexpected injury. If you or a loved one experience a construction site injury in Indiana, knowing what you can expect, what steps to follow, and when to contact an Indianapolis construction accident lawyer is crucial.
Even the most conscientious construction worker can find themselves in a dangerous situation that results in injury. Injuries sustained at a construction site can have devastating effects on individuals. It may lead to weeks, months, or even years of being unable to work. Sometimes, it means never being able to work again. In these instances, you will need a capable and experienced construction accident attorney.
But did you know that you don’t need to be a construction worker to suffer from a construction injury?
While construction accidents are commonly associated with construction workers, the truth is that they can happen to nearly anyone. Non-construction workers can also become victims of construction accidents like these:
When a construction-related material, vehicle, or piece of equipment injures a non-construction worker, the individual can seek legal action. They may sue the construction company, the operator, or the equipment manufacturer for compensation.
Construction accidents can be catastrophic. The tools, vehicles, and materials on a construction site tend to be particularly heavy, powerful, and dangerous. These factors mean that when an accident occurs, the victim may sustain severe injuries with life-long consequences.
Contacting a construction accident lawyer is crucial if you have suffered an injury from a construction vehicle or at a construction site. They can help you recover the damages you need to maintain the best possible quality of life after an accident.
Construction is a growing industry in the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metropolitan area. According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 62,700 people worked in construction in 2021, which represents an increase of more than 10,000 from the previous year.
Because construction includes so many dangerous elements, it’s not surprising that they represent a considerable number of fatal injuries. Nationwide, one in five on-the-job fatalities is due to a construction site injury.
Construction workers experience a large number of non-fatal injuries as well. In Indiana, 19 out of every 1000 construction workers experienced a non-fatal injury in 2020.
If you are one of the many construction workers suffering from a construction site injury, you may be able to receive damages, depending on the specifics of your case. Read on to learn the steps to take after you’ve been in an accident.
There are many different ways a construction site can cause injury. OSHA maintains guidelines on avoiding the four most deadly construction accidents, which they call the Fatal Four.
These four accidents are:
These accidents can cause severe, long-lasting injuries and even death. Do your best to stay vigilant and avoid unsafe behavior on the construction site.
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After your accident, the most important thing to do is to seek medical care immediately. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may have a long road to recovery ahead of you. Once stable, follow these steps to ensure you receive the appropriate compensation for your injuries.
You have the right to a reasonably safe workplace if you are a construction worker. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA establishes safety standards to protect workers from occupational hazards.
If you believe your worksite is unsafe, contact OSHA. They will inspect your workplace for safety violations. Further, your employer cannot retaliate against you for reporting violations under OSHA.
After a construction accident, there are several people you should contact:
Do not delay these critical conversations. Depending on the type of case you pursue, there may be a limited time frame to file a claim. Additionally, medical bills can pile up faster than you may realize. The sooner you seek compensation, the sooner you’ll be free from the anxiety of many bills and payments.
After your accident, you will need to gather evidence and documentation, especially if you plan to file a claim. Before you consult with your attorney, having as much information and evidence as possible is helpful. The following list is a good starting point, but your construction site injury attorney may ask for additional documentation.
Gather the following types of evidence:
Depending on your accident’s circumstances, various parties may be at fault. In some cases, more than one person or party could be partially responsible for the accident.
Your employer might be at fault for failing to provide a safe work environment. This could look like any of the following:
Typically, workers must file a worker’s compensation claim when they sustain an injury that is caused by their employer’s negligence. If you suffered an injury from an unsafe work environment, contact a construction accident law firm to help determine the best course of action for your case.
These individuals may work on a job site but are not your direct employer. You may be working with them, or they may be doing a different job at the construction site. OSHA requires them to adhere to their guidelines and maintain a safe work environment. They may be responsible for damages if their carelessness caused an accident or injury. If your injury was caused by a general, prime or sub-contractor, you do not have to generally pursue the claim through worker’s compensation. Contact WKW to determine the best course of action for your case.
A defective vehicle or equipment can still cause injuries, even if you and your co-workers follow every safety precaution. Construction vehicles can weigh several tons. If they malfunction, they can act erratically, possibly rolling over, crushing, or striking someone. These machines are big, but they can be fast. When they malfunction, they can move faster than you might expect. If a device, machine, or vehicle malfunctions and causes an injury, the manufacturer may be responsible for damages.
In some cases, the engineers or architects are at fault. Often, this happens because they fail to follow the construction plans properly or adhere to code regulations.
After a construction accident, the best thing to do is to contact your personal injury attorney. There are many different paths to receive remuneration for your injury, and many parties may be at fault. Your attorney can help determine who may be at fault and how to proceed.
Although construction accidents can impact anyone, some people have a higher likelihood of injury. Of all construction workers, those at most significant risk of an accident may be those who are most at risk of falling. Believe it or not, a worker can fall at a construction site in many different ways. Workers can fall and injure themselves in many ways:
Although nobody wishes for these accidents to happen, they do occur. Unfortunately, many happen partly due to an unsafe work environment. Suppose your employer or other party knowingly allowed you to work unsafely. In that case, they may be liable for any injuries that occur.
You may or may not be able to sue your employer after a construction accident. In many cases, if you file for worker’s compensation, that is the only compensation you receive from your employer.
However, there are some circumstances in which you could receive more damages. If other parties were at fault–at least partially–you may be able to recover damages from them too. These other parties might include the property owner, the manufacturer, or another contractor.
To ensure fair compensation, contact your construction attorney as soon as possible after your accident to determine the best course of action.
In Indiana, an individual has a two-year window to file a personal injury lawsuit following an accident. Although it may seem like a long time, it will not feel like it when you are recovering from your injury. Between doctor’s visits, physical therapy appointments, and other life demands, you may discover that two years passed more quickly than expected.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury in a construction accident, you contact the Indianapolis construction accident attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can review your case to see if you’re eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. Call 317.218.9643 or complete an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.