Working at a construction site is considered one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Construction workers are exposed to a wide variety of hazards and face a greater risk of injury or fatality than employees in any other major industry in the country. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 21% of all worker fatalities in 2017 were in construction. 

Falls from roofs, scaffolds, or through openings in temporary flooring

Falls from roof, scaffolds, or through openings in temporary flooring are some of the most tragic accidents, but they are also some of the most common. In 2017, data collected by OSHA cited falls as the leading cause of death for construction workers in the United States, comprising of nearly 40% of total construction worker deaths.

A fall from a height, when it does not result in fatal injuries, can leave a worker permanently and partially or completely paralyzed, with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), fractures, or with internal injuries and soft tissue injuries. A worker may not be able to return to a position where they can earn a wage ever again as a result of the fall.

Our attorneys will explore the cause of your fall injury – which is often the result of a safety violation – as well as your options for recovering compensation.

Trench collapses and site excavation

Excavation work is extremely dangerous, and even when safety precautions are taken, something can go wrong leading to a trench collapse or cave in. When a trench or excavation site collapse does occur, workers at the site may face injury as a result of debris or materials falling on their bodies or heads with force (leading to traumatic brain injuries, fractures, soft tissue injuries, spinal injuries, and more), or may become trapped within the collapsed site. If a collapse happens, the worker may suffer from suffocation if rescue workers cannot remove the worker quickly, or suffer from tragic crush or puncture injuries.

While there is a number of steps that workers and their employers can take to prevent trench collapses and other accidents at excavation sites from occurring, when an accident like this does occur, it is important that workers take action immediately to seek medical care and learn about their legal rights.

Defective machinery accidents and run-overs

Much of the equipment used in a construction site is large, powerful, and extremely dangerous. All types of construction site machinery, ranging from small saws to large cranes and everything in between, have the potential to be defective. When human error is involved – such as a distracted machinery operator – injuries can be tragic.

Whether from human error or a manufacturing or design defect in machinery, the attorneys at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A. have seen the devastation that is caused when something goes awry with large machinery. We have represented the victims of amputation injuries, crush injuries, run-over injuries, fractures, spinal cord injuries, and more, as well as their families.

Falling objects

Construction projects often occur at heights – the top of a building cannot be constructed any other way. As such, there is a large potential for items that are kept at height – ranging from building materials to pieces of machinery to debris and tools – to fall if they are not property secured. These accidents are nearly always preventable given that, most of the times, objects on a construction site fall because they are not properly secured or property safety precautions have not been taken.

Explosives

The use of explosives may be necessary at a construction site for demolition or excavation work. In some cases, there may also be explosions due to the presence and improper storage/use of hazardous or explosive materials. Whatever the cause of the explosion, there is no doubt that an unplanned or ill-orchestrated explosion can lead to some of the most harrowing injuries.

Common injuries that are associated with accidents that involve the use of explosives include first, second, and third degree burn injuries; dismemberment and amputation injuries; hearing loss or hearing disorders, such as tinnitus; traumatic brain injury; spinal cord injury; and death. In many cases, workers who suffer injuries from this type of accident, or see their co-workers or friends suffer injuries, also incur psychological harm, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Worker’s Compensation is Often Not Enough

Construction workers that have been injured on the job generally file a Worker’s Compensation claim in an attempt to recover their damages. However, these claims often fail to adequately compensate the workers for all of their losses, which consist of:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Future advancement potential
  • Future loss of enjoyment

Injured construction workers may also be entitled to recover damages from a “third party,” which could include a negligent general contractor, negligent manufacturer, negligent supplier or negligent property owner.

Owners, architects, general contractors, suppliers and manufacturers all have a degree of responsibility in providing a safe work environment. These individuals are required to provide a reasonably safe workplace, warn of hazards, coordinate job safety and supervise compliance with safety specifications.

When a construction accident occurs, these individuals and entities can be held responsible for inadequate safety provisions by worksite accident lawyers in NJ. Some of the most common construction accidents consist of:

  • Roof falls
  • Crane accidents
  • Scaffolding accidents
  • Lifting equipment failure
  • Electric shock
  • Fires and explosions
  • Contact with operating equipment
  • Structure failure

How We Can Help

The vast majority of construction site accidents are preventable with the implementation of safety standards. However, when accidents occur, someone needs to be held liable to ensure that the injured party is compensated for his or her losses, and that other workers are protected from similar accidents in the future. If you have been injured at a construction site, our experienced construction site accident attorneys are available to discuss your case.

For each construction accident case, our team will conduct a thorough investigation to find out the exact cause of the accident and will advise you regarding your recovery options, both in and outside of the workers’ compensation system. Then, we will aid you in filing your claim, proving negligence and damages, and negotiating for a fair award or recovery amount. If your case cannot be settled out of court, we will be prepared to go to trial.

You can request your free case consultation by calling our offices directly, or by completing our contact form below.

  • $2.85 million recovery in a products liability claim arising from a construction site accident
  • $2.75 million recovery for a woman injured when her hand was caught in an industrial conveyer belt
  • $180,000 recovery for a 32-year old shearing machine operator who sustained a crush injury to two fingers while operating the machine

Results achieved in prior matters are not meant to be a guarantee of success as the facts and legal circumstances vary from matter to matter.