Summer is finally here in Pennsylvania, and with the warmer weather comes an increase in construction projects both in the private and public sectors. While the increase in construction projects is great for the economy and for revitalizing Pennsylvania, it can also be deadly for Pennsylvania workers. In 2015 alone, 173 workers were killed in on-the-job accidents, and the majority of those deaths occurred in the construction field. It is estimated that hospitals in the area see an additional $206 billion in accident costs due to on-the-job injuries.
Several major construction accidents have already occurred this year. In May, a masonry worker was rushed to the hospital after falling 40 feet off scaffolding at a West Deer construction site. OSHA was on site investigating. On May 1st, two workers at a highway construction site in Union County were injured when they became trapped between steel bridge supports after those supports collapsed. Emergency crews said that the construction workers were securing steel rebar for the concrete pour at the time of the collapse.
Construction accidents range from minor cuts and broken bones to more serious head injuries and spinal cord injuries. Accidents can occur because of equipment malfunctions or falling debris, and they can be made worse when management doesn’t take the necessary safety precautions or encourage workers to seek medical treatment immediately.
According to OSHA, the 10 most common types of construction accidents are:
- Fall protection;
- Hazard communication;
- Respiratory protection;
- Control of hazardous energy;
- Powered industrial trucks;
- Machinery and Machine Guarding;
- Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment; and
- Electrical systems design.
Construction accidents account for more than 21% of all worker fatalities each year – or one in five worker deaths. The leading cause of private sector construction worker deaths was falls, followed by being struck by an object, electrocution, and being caught in-between a variety of objects and structures. These are known as the “Fatal 4,” and reducing or eliminating these 4 causes of death would save approximately 602 construction workers’ lives each year.
- Falls: (38.8%)
- Struck by Object: (9.6%)
- Electrocutions: (8.6%)
- Caught in-between: (7.2%)
A Construction Accident Attorney Can Help
Construction accidents are preventable in many instances. When a construction accident is caused by another employee or contractor’s negligence, improper maintenance, or faulty equipment, it is imperative that you contact an experienced construction accident attorney immediately. Your attorney will need to investigate the accident closely and determine who is ultimately at fault for your injuries. In many cases, the construction company, or a third-party contractor, is to blame.
While your employer must insure you under workers’ compensation coverage, getting those benefits paid can sometimes be difficult without an attorney on your side. You may also be pressured to return to work earlier than you should – and this can further complicate your compensation benefits. All construction accidents should be reported to your employer immediately. The insurance company that covers your employer’s workers’ compensation claims can decide to admit liability, or to deny liability, and refuse to pay your claim.
If your claim has been denied, it is important to know that you can fight this determination. Medical proof is the key to a successful workers’ compensation claim, and a proper diagnosis is essential. If you have been treated for your injuries, all your medical records should be given to your attorney so that s/he can assess the nature, extent, and cause of your injuries. Your attorney will work closely with your physician to determine the true extent of your injuries, your ability to work, and your prognosis for the future.
Contact Our Experienced Construction Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in a construction accident, the experienced Pennsylvania and New Jersey construction accident lawyers at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., can help. Our team of lawyers consists of some of the best attorneys in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and we will fight aggressively for you throughout the legal process.
The construction accident attorneys at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., have more than 90 years of experience representing injured workers and their families across Philadelphia, Berks, Bucks, Dauphin, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Montgomery, and Northampton Counties. We are also proud to serve injured workers throughout the State of New Jersey. Contact us today toll-free at 1-855-633-6251 or fill out our confidential contact form to learn more about your legal options.