Construction workers are at a higher risk for injury than those in many other professions. Some types of construction accidents are so common that they are known as the fatal four or Focus Four. These accidents don’t always result in fatalities, although some do. In addition, passersby can experience injuries near a construction site.
Do you know what to do if you sustain injuries in a construction accident? Cellino Law is here to help. We can provide information about workplace injuries and assist injured workers with accident claims.
What Are OSHA’s Focus Four Hazards?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recognizes the most common construction accidents as its Focus Four Hazards, sometimes referred to as the fatal four.
Falls are the most common construction accidents and can happen in different ways:
- Falling from a height
- Falling into a hole
- Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall
- Objects falling and striking workers
Many falls happen when holes or unprotected sides are present, such as with scaffolding, ladders, roofs, and skyscraper construction. OSHA standards and New York’s Scaffold Law require varying degrees of fall protection depending on the height.
Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents can happen at ground level if a worker slips or trips on an object and falls as a result. Common construction site accidents of this nature include:
- Loose wiring or cables
- Improperly stored equipment
- Materials in a walkway
- Tools or debris on the floor
- Poor lighting
Caught-In or Caught-Between
Some construction sites use heavy equipment and machinery. Some people sustain injuries from a body part being caught in this equipment or caught between two or more objects, resulting in that person being crushed, squeezed, pinched, or compressed.
These accidents can happen in excavation trenches, but they also commonly occur in other areas.
Construction sites are typically full of materials, tools, and equipment. Any of these items can fall or otherwise strike workers or others at a job site. Other injuries can happen just by bumping into a structure.
Electrocution can produce burns, arcs, explosions, and shocks that are sometimes fatal. You can be electrocuted by touching exposed wiring, but other construction site electrical hazards include:
- Loose electrical cables
- Ungrounded electrical tools
- Energized equipment
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Construction Site Injuries?
Laws require most employers to carry workers’ comp insurance. These policies pay for certain expenses if a worker sustains injuries while on the job, including medical expenses and lost wages. However, certain factors may complicate things.
- On large construction sites, there may be several work crews present working for different companies. This can make determining the at-fault party difficult.
- If negligence played a part in your accident, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim.
- Construction site accidents can injure people not working for any construction crew.
If you’re injured due to a construction accident, contact an attorney from Cellino Law. We will assess your accident and tell you what your options are for recovering compensation.
How Can a Construction Accident Attorney Help You?
Whether you’re a construction worker or passerby, injuries from a construction accident can severely impact your life. Your finances are likely strained, and you may face a lengthy recuperation period. A competent construction accident lawyer can help you in several ways:
- Provide information and legal advice
- File insurance claims or civil lawsuits
- Investigate your accident
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- Speak to investigators and insurance company representatives on your behalf
- Complete and submit paperwork
- Negotiate a favorable settlement or take your case to trial
In New York, you have three years to file a lawsuit in most construction site injury cases. You only have two years to make a workers’ compensation claim, but you must report your injury within 30 days.
Construction sites are constantly changing. Evidence to support your claim will likely disappear quickly, and witnesses’ memories can become foggy as time passes. Contacting a construction accident attorney soon after it occurs gives your lawyer the best opportunity to find solid proof in your case.
Another benefit of hiring a lawyer is that many injured accident victims receive more compensation with legal representation than those without. Accidents and related claims differ, but some offer you the opportunity to request compensation for some forms of non-economic damages. Pain and suffering falls into this category, and many people aren’t aware that they’re eligible without advice from a knowledgeable attorney.
At Cellino Law, we understand the underhanded tactics that insurance companies and employers may use to minimize what they pay you. We won’t let them take advantage of our clients. When we review your case for free, we can tell you how much your case is worth.
What Should You Do After a Construction Accident?
You’ll likely be confused and in shock after a construction accident. Follow these steps as soon as you’re able.
Report to Your Employer or Appropriate Authorities
It’s important to report your accident when it happens. If you’re a construction worker, inform your boss. If you’re a bystander, you can also inform the construction company, but you may also need to call the police so they can make an incident report.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t think your injuries are severe, you need to have an immediate medical evaluation. This assessment can identify unseen or slow-to-develop injuries and provide a record of your medical condition after the accident.
If your injuries allow, you have an opportunity to gather evidence that can be invaluable in supporting your workers’ comp or personal injury claim. Use your phone to take photos and make videos of any details you can, including:
- What caused your accident
- Witnesses present and their statements
- Your injuries and those of others involved
- The entire accident area
- Any hazardous conditions present at the time
Whether by design or just due to progress, the area where your accident occurred will change quickly. Materials are used or moved, debris is cleaned up, handrails can be added, and light bulbs replaced. Depending on what caused your accident, the photos you take can prove the conditions when it happened.
Especially at work sites with multiple crews present, you may not know every worker or person who witnessed your accident. Photos can help your attorney track down these people to get their statements.
Contact a Construction Accident Attorney
You can make innocent mistakes in the aftermath of a construction accident that may damage your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. When you contact Cellino Law, we will advise you of things you should and shouldn’t do.
For example, doing some things can harm your claim and the chance of compensation. Don’t:
- Admit to any degree of fault
- Sign anything until your lawyer reviews and approves it
- Post anything on social media
- Refuse medical attention or cease recommended medical treatments
- Speak to insurance company representatives or investigators without your attorney present
Why Should You Choose Cellino Law?
A trusted Cellino Law firm has assisted injured New Yorkers for over 60 years, and we have obtained over $2 billion for our clients through settlements or litigation. We have offices in Buffalo, Manhattan, Melville, and Rochester to best serve our clients.
If you sustained injuries in a fall or other kind of construction accident, Cellino Law can help. You can reach us 24/7 to request your free case review, and you won’t pay us unless we win compensation for you. Call (800) 555-5555 or submit our online contact form today.