Construction sites in Maryland account for thousands of accidents resulting serious injuries every year, often resulting in permanent disabilities. The Maryland construction accident lawyers at Miller & Zois handle construction site cases involving catastrophic injury and we have a track record of success.
The majority of construction accidents are attributable to employer negligence and end up being resolved as workers compensation claims. Often, however, there are third parties that can be held liable for construction site injuries outside of worker’s comp. If you have been injured in a construction site accident, contact our construction injury attorneys to find out what your options are.
Common Construction Site Accidents and Causes
Construction sites are inherently hazardous, and accidents happen for a wide range of reasons. Common causes of construction accidents include faulty or defective equipment, lack of adequate safety precautions, electrocution, machinery collisions, and co-worker negligence.
The largest percentage of construction mishaps occur during the worker’s first year on the job. Inexperience is the most obvious answer for this spike in first-year accidents. Another problem for workers generally but particularly new employees is overexertion. Your body is not ready for the demand of the job or, for long-time employees, your body is worn out from the demands of the job. Overexertion causes nearly one-fourth of workplace injuries.
Another great risk factor for workers is elevation. Falls are common. Injuries from elevation falls are the third leading cause of construction injuries and fatalities. Other common accidents include: scaffold accidents, explosions, electrocution accidents, and forklift collision injuries.
Types of Injuries in Construction Accidents
Physical injuries at construction sites range from minor things such as lacerations and bruises to very severe permanent injuries and even death. The severity of the injury is generally dependent on the nature and circumstances of the accident.
Back injuries are the most common type of injury in construction accident cases. Just over 20% of all construction related injuries involve the back. Common back injuries in construction accidents include disc herniations, pinched nerves, or cervical sprains.
Head injuries (traumatic brain injuries) are another common type of construction site injury. Head injuries can be serious and are a common cause of disability and death in all accidents, including construction site accidents. Other common construction site injuries include: burn injuries, broken bones, eye injuries and hearing loss or tinnitus.
All of these common construction site injuries require extensive medical care and treatment. They may also leave you unable to work for extended time periods. For most construction site injuries, the injured victim’s only recourse for financial compensation is to pursue a worker’s comp claim. But worker’s comp doesn’t always cover all of the financial loss that a serious injury can present. Fortunately, victims can sometimes pursue compensation from third-parties, other than their employer, in a personal injury civil lawsuit.
Damages for Construction Injuries
In a workers’ compensation claim, the victim is only entitled to limited damages for their injuries. In a personal injury tort case against a third-party, however, the victim can recover more significant damages. Successful plaintiffs in a personal injury civil case can get damages for the following:
Past & Future Medical Expenses: tort plaintiffs are entitled to damages for the total cost of any and all medical treatment that they incurred as a result of their injuries. This includes everything from hospital stays, physical therapy, medicines, mobility aids, and any other reasonable and necessary treatment. Moreover, victims are entitled to recover damages for medical expenses even if they are covered by their health insurance. Medical expense damages cover not only treatment that the victim has already received, but also any medical treatment they might require in the future.
Lost Income: tort plaintiffs can also recover damages for lost wages or lost income they incur as a result of their injuries. This includes not just past lost wages, but also future lost wages.
Pain & Suffering: in addition to “economic damages” for things such as lost wages and medical expenses, personal injury plaintiffs can be awarded damages for mental pain & suffering they incur as a result of their physical injuries.
Liability for Construction Site Injuries
Construction workers who are injured on the job may be limited to pursuing a workers compensation claim against their employer. Workers’ comp claims offer limited compensation compared to personal injury lawsuits. However, the workers’ comp laws generally limit the ability of employees to bring personal injury tort suits against an employer outside of workers’ comp.
There are numerous legal exceptions that permit injured employee to bring tort lawsuits against employers instead of workers’ comp claims. One of the most common exceptions applies to independent contractors. If the injured construction worker is an independent contractor (as many construction workers are) they are generally free to bring civil tort lawsuits against the owner of the construction site.
Contact Our Baltimore Construction Accident Lawyers
Maryland construction accident law is complicated. There are so many paradoxical laws and confusion abounds even among construction accident lawyers. There are so many potential at-fault parties: the employer, subcontractors, the owner, the architect, general contractors, the owner, and the design professional.
We can help you through this confusing mess and counsel you on the best path to earning compensation for the harm that has been done. If you or someone you love has suffered a catastrophic injury or death during a construction accident in Maryland, call our workplace injury lawyers at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free consultation.