Construction is a dangerous industry, and workers are made to perform difficult physical labor in conditions that have great potential for accidents. If you have been injured working in construction and are in need of a lawyer in Philadelphia, call the Heslin Law Firm to schedule a free consultation regarding your case. Attorney, Gary Heslin will sit down with you, discuss all the details of your situation, and let you know if you have a legitimate claim.
Construction Accidents and Injury Claims
Those not working in construction, such as pedestrians and bystanders, can be seriously injured by falling debris and other dangers. It just seems like there’s an endless amount of ways to be hurt. In 2012, over 180,000 construction workers were injured and over 750 of these workers died as a result. Although OSHA, a division of the Department of Labor, sets safety standards that most employers follow, and construction work can be done safely, each year, there are more work-related injuries in the construction field than most other industries.
Personal Injury Law
Personal injury law aims to promote safety by holding unsafe individuals or parties accountable for their actions. Workers or other people may be able to sue if they are injured at or near a construction site.
Construction Worker Injury
When it comes to construction accidents and injury, there are four categories that the OSHA has dubbed “the fatal four” because they account for 60% of deaths from construction accidents. The four categories are:
- Struck by an object
- “Caught in-between”
Workers’ Compensation for Injured Workers
When a worker is injured in an accident, the most important factor in recovery in a lawsuit is whether workers’ compensation rules apply. Every state has some sort of workers’ compensation system in place. These rules state that when an employee is injured while working, he is entitled to compensation for his injuries. This applies even if the employer wasn’t negligent.
In a workers’ compensation case, the employee will generally recover less than he would in a personal injury lawsuit. Workers’ compensation represents a compromise in a lot of ways because it’s a no-fault system. In most cases, it’s an injured worker’s exclusive remedy.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
Workers’ compensation laws don’t apply to every lawsuit that is brought forth by an injured worker, and laws will vary from state to state. In general, however, these rules only apply between a worker and the direct employer. For instance, if an employee of a subcontractor is injured on the job, and the worker sues, the compensation rules will usually apply. If the worker sues the manufacturer because of faulty equipment, those rules will not apply.
Pedestrians can be hurt near construction sites by falling debris, unmarked roadways, and the like. General contractors have a duty to at least warn the public of dangers that arise due to construction conditions. In some instances, contractors are obligated to do more like make conditions safe. At the minimum, the contractor needs to take safety precautions that a reasonably qualified contractor would in similar situations.
In some states, contractors who do not take proper precautions will be liable for resulting injuries. In other states, liability isn’t automatic, although contractors can still be liable for negligence.
Call the Heslin Law Firm for Construction Accidents
If you or someone you know has been injured while working on the job or was a pedestrian injured due to negligence, contact the Heslin Law Firm for a free consultation with Philadelphia lawyer, Gary Heslin.