Construction injuries are sadly common on a work-site.
These sites are dangerous places, and the work is highly physical. Construction workers also often use heavy machinery, climb to great heights, and work on roadsides where accidents are likely.
Many residents of Louisiana work on construction sites. If you are a worker and you sustained a construction injury on a worksite, Louisiana law provides a number of protections for you.
In this post, the worker’s compensation attorneys at Gordon & Gordon will discuss common construction injuries. They will also outline your rights as a worker in Louisiana, and the steps you should take following a construction injury.
What Are The Most Common Causes of Construction Injuries?
Construction sites are risky places to be. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has identified the top causes of construction injuries. These causes for construction injuries include:
Falling From Heights
Construction work often includes climbing to great heights.
A worker may fall from a building, scaffolding, or a piece of machinery. Workers can also fall into holes or ditches on construction sites.
When a trench collapses, debris can cut off a worker’s air supply. This debris can also bury a construction worker or cause severe crushing injuries.
OSHA has strict rules to ensure the safety and stability of scaffolding. Despite this, things can still go wrong. This could cause a worker to fall, or pieces of the collapsed scaffolding could hit a worker on the ground.
Electric Shock and/or Arc Flash
Working with generators, power tools, machinery, and electrical wiring put construction workers at risk. Especially when many construction workers do not have proper instruction on dealing with electricity.
Failure To Use Appropriate Safety Gear
Hardhats, safety glasses, and other personal protective equipment are necessary on a construction site.
But these rules are lax on some construction sites, and workers may not always wear appropriate safety gear. For instance, workers may be eating lunch near their site, but not officially on their site. Because they are not actually on-site and working, they aren’t wearing their hardhats. But they are still near enough that they could sustain an injury if a piece of equipment falls.
Repetitive motion injuries are common in any manual labor job.
When you perform the same physical motion, again and again, the muscles and soft tissues will wear down. Repetitive motions like this are common on a construction site. An injury to the muscle and soft tissue will cause pain and limited mobility. If you don’t treat the injury, it will only get worse, and there could be permanent damage.
These are the most common causes of construction injuries. Other prevalent causes of construction injuries are traffic accidents, collapsing ladders, malfunctioning tools, and errors with tools or machinery.
What are the Most Common Construction Injuries?
Above, we listed the most common causes of construction injuries. Now let’s talk about the construction injuries themselves.
Workers who experience accidents like the ones we talked about can sustain a variety of serious injuries. Some of these common construction injuries include:
- Vision impairment or blindness
- Broken bones
- Knee and ankle injury
- Neck, shoulder, or back injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Illnesses caused by toxic chemical exposure
- Head injury and/or brain injury
There are also tragic accidents on construction sites that result in fatalities.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can I Get For My Construction Injury?
First and foremost, when you sustain an injury on a construction site, you need to pay your medical bills. You might need time off work to recover, or you may need to switch to a less physically demanding job. If your injury is severe enough, you may need to stop working altogether.
These worker’s compensation policies cover any injury for any employee. The policy will cover your injury even if you made mistakes that caused your injury. As long as you weren’t intoxicated or violating company policy, worker’s compensation applies to you.
The worker’s compensation benefits you can receive will depend on your specific injury. Worker’s compensation will cover your medical bills, lost wages, and disability benefits if you qualify.
If you have to switch to a lower-paying job because of your injury, worker’s compensation can provide you with benefits to make up for the disparity.
If a construction worker dies as a result of a tragic accident, worker’s compensation can also provide death benefits.
And if you’re worried your employer might fire you rather than pay your worker’s compensation, don’t. Your employer cannot fire you solely because you receive worker’s compensation.
Third-Party Lawsuit Claims
If you feel that your construction injury was the fault of your employer, worker’s compensation is the only action you can take. You cannot sue your employer for further benefits.
But if someone other than your employer caused your injury, that’s a different story.
For example, let’s say there was an architect overseeing a site you were working on. If the architect’s negligence leads to your injury, you may have a third-party lawsuit claim.
The same concept applies if a tool or machine was defective. You could have a third-party lawsuit claim against the manufacturer of the machine.
A third-party lawsuit will let you pick up compensation that worker’s compensation cannot give you. For instance, you can receive compensation for pain and suffering. But to get this compensation, you have to win the lawsuit. This means you’ll have to prove negligence, or that a product, machine, or tool was defective.
How Can A Worker’s Compensation Attorney Help Me?
A worker’s compensation attorney can guide you through the claim process from beginning to end. Our experts at Gordon & Gordon can:
- Determine whether to file a worker’s compensation or third-party liability claim (or both)
- Deal with the worker’s compensation insurer if there is a dispute
- Gather evidence to prove your eligibility for compensation
- Keep your claim moving forward
- Appeal a worker’s compensation claim denial
- Negotiate a settlement if there is a dispute over benefits
- File a third-party lawsuit in court or negotiate a settlement with a third party
Contact Gordon & Gordon
At Gordon & Gordon, we have years of experience helping the residents of Louisiana with their worker’s compensation claims. If you or a loved one sustained a construction injury on the job, you can call our offices at 318.716.HELP. Lines are available 24/7.
You can also send us a message directly with a brief description of your accident and injury to begin scheduling your consultation.