Construction workers are the force behind development. They build, design and fix the infrastructure that make up our communities. But the profession Is highly dangerous because workers spend much of their time in hazardous conditions and around powers tools, machinery and heavy equipment. The unsafe nature of construction sites can lead to serious injuries, from broken bones and burns to amputation, blindness, head trauma, paralysis, PTSD, frostbite, and more.
The following account for some of the many causes of construction site injuries and fatalities:
- Electrical Shock and Electrocution
- Falling Objects
- Fires and Explosions
- Chemical Exposure
- Repetitive Motion
Because of the severity of these types of injuries that can occur in the workplace, the federal government established the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to regulate safety measures on construction sites. If a contractor violates one of OSHA’s rules and regulations, or a state law, it can result in fines and possible criminal prosecution. In the unfortunate event that a worker is injured, he or she can file a civil lawsuit and/or workers’ compensation claim to recover financial damages. If the injury is fatal, then a wrongful death claim may then be filed.
Numerous parties oftentimes work together on a construction project, which increases the complexity of these types of cases. Padberg, Corrigan & Appelbaum is a St. Louis construction injury law firm with vast experience in serving clients who are injured on the work site. Our team of attorneys have successfully settled and tried hundreds of cases. We stay up to date on state and federal laws and regularly retains some of the best experts in the country.
Notable Construction Site Injuries Cases
For a construction worker who was partially paralyzed when a falling beam struck him in the head.
For the wrongful death of two males who were electrocuted while moving a grain auger that struck a telephone line. The verdict was awarded to the families in St. Louis city courts.
For a bricklayer who fell and was seriously injured on a job site due to the negligence of his co-employees.
What is the difference between a work site injury and a workers’ compensation case? Can I file multiple claims?
A workers’ compensation case can be filed directly against an employer and its insurance company any time an injury occurs at work, to help pay costs of recovery, such as medical bills, and lost wages. A worksite injury civil claim (a third-party claim) is initiated when negligence of a third party contributed toward or directly caused the injury. This civil lawsuit can be filed against a landowner, construction site general contractor, subcontractor, or potentially a manufacturer of a product. In most instances a workers’ compensation claim and a worksite site injury claim can be filed simultaneously.
What parties can be held liable for my construction site injury?
Numerous parties can be involved when an injury occurs on a job site. These might include, for example, the general contractor, subcontractor, site owner, tool manufacturer, co-worker, or other parties. Several tort theories of liability may also apply, including negligence and strict product liability.
How soon after an accident should someone seek the advice of an attorney?
If you or a loved one is seriously injured on a construction site, it is important to seek and receive prompt medical attention for the injuries. Then, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Every construction site injury claim is different and an attorney will need to begin investigating the cause of the injury to determine who is responsible. Additionally, there are statutes of limitations, or filing deadlines. In Missouri, the statutes of limitations for a construction site injury is five years and in Illinois, it is two years. There are factors that can affect this deadline, for example if the injury results in death, so it is always best to consult with an attorney to determine the proper statute of limitations.
What can I expect after filing a lawsuit for a construction injury?
After a lawsuit is filed, a process called discovery is initiated where both parties send written questions and requests for documents to each other. Then, depositions of fact witnesses and experts, including medical experts, are taken where each person testifies under oath. Discovery helps the attorneys prepare their cases for a jury trial. Oftentimes during a construction site injury lawsuit, the parties will engage in a process called mediation where all parties meet with a neutral mediator in an attempt to resolve a case prior to trial. The mediation can be court-ordered or voluntary. Plaintiffs are required by law to attend their own deposition, mediation and trial, if necessary.
It has been our experience at Padberg, Corrigan & Appelbaum that once a lawsuit is filed, a jury trial is scheduled within 18 to 24 months; however, a settlement can take place at any time throughout the litigation process.
Will my construction site injury settle or go to trial?
There are a number of factors that determine whether a construction site injury case will settle or if it will go to trial. After the claim is investigated and it is determined there is a case, an attorney will work towards reaching a fair settlement with the responsible parties and their insurance companies. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, then the case will proceed to a jury trial.
What type of damages can a client recover?
There are two common types of recoverable damages that an attorney can seek from a construction site injury lawsuit, economic and non-economic. Economic damages are exact financial figures, for example medical bills and lost wages. A client can also recover compensation for non-economic damages, such as permanent damage or pain and suffering from the injury. An experienced law firm can best determine available damages for a specific case after reviewing the facts.
What documents should I keep after a construction site accident?
If a person is injured on a construction site, there are many things that should be tracked and collected in order to help the prosecution of the case. The following are examples of important documents a client should provide to his or her attorney:
- Police report
- Photographs of the area where the injury occurred on the construction site
- Photographs of any injuries before and after medical treatment
- Medical records and medical bills
- Communications with insurance companies
- The names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses
- Explanation of Benefit forms
How much does a construction site injury lawsuit cost?
Based in St. Louis, Padberg, Corrigan & Appelbaum is an experienced construction site injury law firm that handles cases in Missouri and Illinois. We work with clients on a contingency basis. Our clients do not pay us anything unless we successfully recover compensation for them. We also pay the upfront costs to litigate and take the case to trial, including experts and depositions. If the case is successful, the client is responsible for paying the firm an agreed upon percentage of the settlement or judgment, in addition to reimbursing the costs incurred. At Padberg, Corrigan & Appelbaum, our team is prepared to go the distance for our clients and we fight on their behalf to collect maximum compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one has been hurt on a construction site, call our office today for a free and confidential consultation.