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Connecticut Construction Accident Lawyer

Construction accidents on the jobThere is an elevated level of danger associated with construction work, and that makes it essential to follow safety regulations. Ignoring proper precautions or violating protocols can lead to serious injury or death.

However, accidents occur every day on job sites. If you have suffered an on-the-job injury, a construction accident attorney may be able to help you get what you deserve.

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What Is the Most Common Accident in Construction?

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2020 (the most recent year of data), the most common accident in construction resulting in nonfatal worker injury involved contact with an object or equipment. Contact with an object or equipment encompasses the following incidents on construction sites:

  • Struck by object or equipment: Includes injuries caused by falling, flying, rolling, swinging, and discharged objects and construction equipment.
  • Struck against object or equipment: Includes caught-between accidents involving both stationary objects and moving objects and equipment.
  • Caught in or compressed by object or equipment: Includes caught-in accidents involving running machinery and equipment, stationary objects, shifting objects and equipment, and entanglements.

In total, 23,350 construction and extraction workers were injured as a result of contact with an object or equipment on a construction site. These accidents accounted for more than one-third of occupational injuries in 2020 among workers in the construction industry.

common causes of construction accidents

Of course, these are not the only kinds of construction accidents that can result in severe injuries and deaths. Construction sites are full of hazards that can lead to serious accidents.

Some of the most common types of construction accidents in Connecticut include:

The construction industry consistently accounts for the highest rate of worker fatalities in Connecticut. Statistics published by the Connecticut Department of Labor show that construction workers made up more than 30% of workplace deaths in the state.

If you have been injured or a member of your family died working construction, it is important to speak to a construction accident lawyer as soon as possible. The Connecticut construction accident attorneys at The Flood Law Firm can help you pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.

Common Injuries in Construction Accidents

Bumps, cuts, and bruises are a daily part of the job for construction workers. In the event of an accident, however, the consequences can be much worse.

Our construction accident lawyers can help if you suffer the following injuries on the job:

Any type of injury in a construction site accident should be taken seriously. Whether the injury seems minor or not, you should seek medical attention promptly.

How Work Injuries Can Be Prevented

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has several regulations in place to prevent worker injuries. Many of the construction accidents that occur could be prevented if rules are properly enforced. Safety topics include:

  • Ladders: There must be at least a three-foot extension above the upper landing level for which a ladder is being used to gain access.
  • Head protection: Employees are required to wear head protection where there is potential danger of a head injury from impact due to falling or flying objects. Helmets must meet certain requirements.
  • Stairways: Stairways must be constructed every 12 feet or less of a vertical rise; all parts must be free of hazardous elements, such as protruding nails.
  • Training: Employers are required to train each employee who may be exposed to fall hazards, and any employee working at a height that exceeds six feet must have support from guardrails or safety nets.

paramedic preparing neck brace for construction worker lying injured on a building site

What Causes Construction Accidents?

Safety violations are the number-one cause of accidents on construction sites. These violations can take a number of different forms, including:

  • Failure to provide workers with proper safety equipment
  • Inadequate fall protection
  • Failure to identify and warn workers of potential hazards
  • Negligent construction of scaffolding
  • Lockout/tagout errors
  • Improper use of ladders
  • Errors in the operation of heavy machinery such as forklifts, cranes, aerial lifts, excavators, etc.
  • Machine guard violations
  • Insufficient training and negligent supervision of construction workers
  • Objects falling from heights
  • Misuse of power tools
  • Negligent storage of toxic and hazardous materials
  • Lack of fire prevention procedures and equipment
  • Errors in wiring, failure to ground outlets, and contact with power lines
  • Failure to inspect, maintain, repair, and replace tools and equipment
  • Construction errors resulting in building collapse, trench collapse, etc.

Fault can be difficult to assign in the wake of a construction accident. Errors on the part of workers, employers, and other parties could all be a factor.

Comprehensive investigation is crucial for identifying the cause of the construction accident and who is responsible. Your legal rights and options after an injury on the job or the death of a loved one are determined in large part by who caused the accident.

Who Is Liable for a Construction Accident?

Liability is a complex issue in construction accident claims. In addition to the fact that multiple parties may be responsible for your injury or the wrongful death of your loved one, it is crucial to understand the role that workers’ compensation plays in the aftermath of any work-related accident.

Construction Accidents and Workers’ Compensation

In Connecticut, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. Workers who are hurt on the job are entitled to benefits regardless of who may have caused the accident or injury. In exchange, workers are prohibited from filing lawsuits against their employers.

Virtually all employers in Connecticut are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp insurance pays for the following when employees suffer injury or illness related to their work:

  • Medical expenses related to a work injury or illness
  • Partial replacement of lost wages (75% of the worker’s average weekly wage)
  • Vocational counseling and rehabilitation
  • Additional disability benefits (for those who qualify)
  • Death benefits, if a worker is killed on the job or dies as a result of an occupational disease

Unfortunately, workers’ compensation does not cover personal injury damages such as loss of earning capacity and pain and suffering. You will need to prove that one or more third parties are at fault to recover maximum compensation for your losses in a construction accident.

Third Party Liability for Construction Accidents

Liability for construction accidents is not always straightforward. The negligence of many different parties can be a factor, and it is often difficult to determine who is at fault.

If you were hurt on the job, it is important to speak to a construction accident attorney as soon as possible. The Flood Law Firm will fully investigate to determine what caused the construction accident and who is liable for damages.

Although you cannot sue your employer for injuries and accidents on the job, you may have additional claims against third parties whose negligence led to the construction accident. Third parties that can be held liable for a construction accident include:

  • The owner of the premises: Owners who retain control of the premises during construction are responsible for maintaining safe conditions on the property. Workers can sue if they are injured due to the negligence of a property owner or occupant.
  • Contractors and subcontractors: The general contractor is responsible for ensuring that the construction site is in compliance with OSHA standards and abides by state and local laws concerning worker safety. Subcontractors have similar responsibilities pertaining to their scope of work on the project. A contractor and/or subcontractor can be held liable if a construction worker suffers harm as a result of their negligence.
  • Engineers and architects: Liability may be imposed on construction design professionals if “negligent preparation of design plans or specifications” results in a work injury (see Connecticut General Statutes § 31-293(c)). These parties can also be held liable if they assume “responsibility for safety practices” as part of the construction project and, through their negligence, a worker is injured or killed.
  • Product and equipment manufacturers: The failure of scaffolding, building materials, tools, machinery, and other products used in construction can be catastrophic. If your injuries or the death of a loved one was caused by a product or equipment defect, you can bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer.

If you were injured in a construction accident and the evidence shows that one or more third parties are at fault, you may be entitled to damages beyond what you can get through workers’ compensation alone. Attorneys at The Flood Law Firm will assess your rights under Connecticut personal injury law, product liability law, and more.

tired construction worker walking job site with coworker

What Damages Can I Recover for a Construction Accident?

If third party liability can be established, you can bring a claim for all economic and non-economic damages you have sustained as a result of the construction accident. Our construction accident lawyers can pursue compensation for the following losses on your behalf:

  • Current medical expenses and the cost of future medical care
  • All of your lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity (if the construction site injury renders you unable to work)
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses, such as in-home medical care, household assistance, accessibility improvements to your home and vehicle, travel for medical treatment and rehabilitation, etc.
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Permanent disability
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Families of construction workers who lose their loved one in a workplace accident are left emotionally and financially devastated. The Flood Law Firm can pursue compensation on your family’s behalf through a wrongful death claim.

Recoverable damages in a wrongful death claim include:

  • Funeral and burial/cremation expenses
  • The cost of medical care administered prior to death
  • Loss of consortium (awarded to surviving spouses)
  • Loss of parental care, guidance, love, and companionship (awarded to minor children of the deceased)
  • Conscious pain and suffering endured by the victim prior to death
  • Loss of earning capacity (i.e., the income a construction worker would have been able to earn were it not for the fatal accident)

Workers’ compensation death benefits only pay $4,000 toward burial expenses and 75% of the worker’s average weekly earnings. You and your family may be entitled to much more, however, if it can be established that third party negligence was a factor in a deadly construction accident.

At The Flood Law Firm, we get results. Defendants and insurance companies know our reputation for fierce advocacy of our clients’ best interests, up to and including going to trial when necessary. This enables us to reach higher settlements for our clients than many other attorneys and law firms.

Work Zones Pose Risks to Construction Workers

In addition to the number of worker injuries that occur from onsite construction accidents, roadway work zones pose hazards for workers who build, repair, and maintain Connecticut’s roads, bridges, and highways. The Connecticut Office of Construction recorded 748 crashes in work zones in 2021. Three of these accidents resulted in fatalities.

According to statistics gathered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, transportation-related construction accidents accounted for 76% of work zone fatalities. The following occupations making up three-quarters of these occupational deaths:

  • Highway maintenance workers
  • Construction laborers
  • Truck drivers
  • Construction equipment operators
  • First-line supervisors of construction

Backover accidents account for a significant portion of worker fatalities in work zone crashes. However, this is not the only type of vehicle collision that can lead to serious injury or wrongful death among employees performing roadwork.

Whether the accident involved construction equipment or a vehicle operated by a private motorist, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and additional compensation for injuries sustained in a work zone. Contact a Connecticut construction accident attorney at The Flood Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Why Hire a Construction Accident Attorney?

A case involving a construction accident can be complex. A full investigation is necessary to put together conclusive evidence to support the claim. Eyewitness accounts, construction site setup and potential OSHA violations are all parts of the case that need to be explored.

An attorney with construction accident experience has access to resources that help piece together photographs, interviews, employee documentation, and other materials necessary to build a strong case.

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