Whether or not you enjoy your line of work, your job is probably necessary to provide for the needs of your family. But, as those who work in the construction industry know all too well, the benefits of a regular paycheck don’t come without a measure of risk.
In fact, about 20 percent of worker fatalities in 2019 were fatal construction accidents. That doesn’t even include the 200,100 nonfatal injuries and illnesses among construction workers that were recorded the same year. Clearly, construction accidents continue to be a major concern, despite recent improvements in workplace safety.
Injured in a Massachusetts construction accident? Better Phone Stone®. There is no reason to hesitate. When you reach out to our Massachusetts team after your construction accident, There’s No Obligation, Just Information® – that’s our promise to you.
We also guarantee that we will return your call or message within 24 hours – or lunch is on Jason! We are happy to arrange your free consultation over the phone, in person, by video call, or by any means that is convenient for you.
Potential Causes of Construction Site Accidents
Construction sites tend to house a number of potential hazards that pose risks to worker safety. While some hazards are somewhat industry-specific, many worksites have more than one hazard present at a time.
Power tools and machinery
A construction site will often have various power tools and heavy machinery being used. Misuse or improper maintenance of these tools and machinery can result in serious injury.
Some power tools and machinery that pose great risk include:
- Air compressors
- Articulated and backend loaders
- Circular saws
- Front-end loaders
- Hydraulic excavators
- Nail guns
- Paving machines
- Power drills
- Road graders
- Table saws
- Wood chippers
Hazards relating to fall protection, fall protection training, ladders, and scaffolding were all among the top 10 cited OSHA violations in the 2020 fiscal year. Clearly, construction accidents caused by falls continue to threaten the health and safety of construction workers.
Toxic substances like asbestos and silica dust can be found on many construction sites. Over time, they can be extremely harmful, with effects sometimes showing up years after initial exposure.
Construction workers who may be exposed to dangerous substances on the construction site include:
- Cement workers
- Demolition workers
- Drywall installers/removers
- Sheet metal workers
- Stucco workers
- Tile installers
Construction accidents from falling objects pose another risk to workers on a job site. Even a small, light object falling from a significant height can cause serious damage.
If materials, supplies, or debris are not properly secured, they can fall and hit a worker below. Overly heavy loads and faulty equipment can also increase the risk of a construction site accident.
When working with electricity directly or indirectly, there is always a risk of electrocution. Depending on the intensity of the current, it can affect the nervous system and cause long-term damage.
Certain jobs are more prone to construction accidents involving electrical current, such as:
- Electrical installers
- HVAC engineers
- Insulation workers
- Powerline workers
- Refrigeration mechanics
Common Construction Accident Injuries
Since construction sites are more hazardous than your average job site, the injuries resulting from a construction accident can be more severe.
Some of the injuries the team at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers has seen from construction accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Cardiac arrest
- Chemical burns
- Crushed limbs
- Head injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Nerve and muscle damage
- Nerve damage
- Organ damage
- Respiratory damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Spinal cord injury
- Sprains and strains
- Thermal burns
- Traumatic brain injuries
Have you been hurt on a construction site? Call Jason Stone Injury Lawyers. Our dedicated Massachusetts construction accident lawyers are ready to put forth the effort to get you the maximum compensation available after your accident.
Construction Safety Regulations
While it’s true that construction sites are often a particularly hazardous work environment, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has put into place a number of safety regulations in an effort to keep workers safe. When a construction company follows these regulations, this decreases the risk of construction accidents.
Hand and power tools
OSHA has set the following requirements for hand and power tools:
- All hand and power tools must be maintained in a safe condition
- Impact tools must be kept free of mushroomed heads
- Safety clips or retainers shall be securely installed and maintained on pneumatic impact tools
- Safety devices on power-actuated tools must be tested each day before loading
- The appropriate guards should be used when designed for power-operated tools
OSHA’s safety regulations for electrical systems include the following:
- The employer shall ensure that electrical equipment is free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm
- Electric equipment shall be firmly secured to the surface on which it is mounted
- Sufficient access and working space shall be provided and maintained around all electric equipment
- A conductor used as a grounded conductor must be identifiable and distinguishable
- The employer shall ensure that all wiring components and utilization equipment in hazardous locations are maintained in a dust-tight, dust-ignition-proof, or explosion-proof condition
OSHA also has set scaffolding requirements as follows:
- Each scaffold and scaffold component shall be capable of supporting at least 4 times the maximum intended load
- Scaffolds must be designed by a qualified person and shall be constructed and loaded in accordance with that design
- Before the scaffold is used, direct connections shall be evaluated by a competent person
- Each employee who performs work on a scaffold must be trained by a qualified person and advised on potential hazards and procedures for fall protection systems
- Retraining is required when changes at the worksite present a new hazard or where there are inadequacies in an affected employee’s work
A construction accident can easily result if construction companies fail to implement or enforce these safety regulations on the worksite.
What to Do If You Are Hurt on the Job in Massachusetts
If you have been hurt on the job, the first thing you need to do is notify your employer. This is true even if you don’t initially think your injury is serious. Often, an injury you believe will resolve itself can end up being worse than you thought.
Sometimes, a worker in the construction industry might try to ignore the pain and keep working, trying to “walk it off.” But this can cause issues for any workers’ compensation claim you may need to file. If you delay in reporting your injury, your employer or the insurance company could argue that the injury wasn’t serious or didn’t happen at work and deny your claim.
Next, it’s important to see a doctor for a medical evaluation. Not only is it important for your health to get an accurate picture of your injuries, but it is also an important step in strengthening your case. The insurance company may try to say that your injuries weren’t as bad as you claimed. Having the necessary documentation of doctor visits and treatments can help with your case.
Third, Better Phone Stone®. A free consultation with a Massachusetts construction accident lawyer with our law firm can help you understand your options and rights after your accident.
Legal Options After a Massachusetts Construction Accident
It’s important to know your rights as an injured worker. Massachusetts law requires all employees to be covered by a workers’ compensation policy. In most cases, these benefits are available even if you were partially responsible for your own injury.
Whether an injured worker is an employee, independent contractor, or subcontractor is not always clearly defined, but your status can affect your case. A member of our knowledgeable legal team can help answer any questions you have about your eligibility for workers’ comp.
Your workers’ compensation benefits can cover your:
- Medication costs
- Hospital and ambulance bills
- Surgical bills
- Treatment and rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages (66 percent of Massachusetts weekly average)
In the case of scarring, disfigurement, or a loss of function, you may also be able to receive a lump-sum payment. Make sure, though, to be advised by a lawyer before you accept any lump-sum payment, to ensure that you are getting a fair amount.
Before you can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, you must be disabled for 5 full or partial days (consecutive or not) because of your work-related injury or illness. Otherwise, you can file for a medical-only claim to cover your medical bills, but not your lost wages.
Navigating the workers’ compensation appeals process
Even though these benefits are in place to help injured workers, approximately half of workers’ comp claims are contested by the employer or insurance company. If your initial claim has been denied, one of the construction accident attorneys at our firm can help you file an appeal with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA.)
There are four steps in the DIA’s dispute resolution process:
- Reviewing Board
For each of these steps in the process, you can be sure that your employer’s insurance company has retained attorneys to protect their interests. Nevertheless, you have much less to fear when you work with one of the Massachusetts construction accident attorneys at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers. You can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a qualified, experienced lawyer on your side.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit
Generally, an employee who has been injured at work is unable to file a personal injury lawsuit against his or her employer. But there are cases where someone else, perhaps another construction company, was at least partly responsible for the construction site accident and a third-party lawsuit can be filed.
Third-party lawsuits are different from workers’ compensation claims. Two of the main differences is that third-party claims:
- Can recover compensation for emotional damages, and;
- Can compensate for 100 percent of lost wages and medical bills
When facing a lengthy recovery process, mounting financial burdens, and heavy emotional toll, adding a personal injury lawsuit to the mix can seem overwhelming. That’s where working with a construction accident attorney at our firm can help.
As part of our Stone Cold Guarantee®, we get paid only after you get paid. We understand that you may not want to go to court, but sometimes this step becomes necessary. While our attorneys may be able to negotiate a fair settlement, we aren’t afraid to go to bat for our clients to recover the maximum compensation – whatever it takes.
Each case is unique. In order to fully understand the legal options available to you, talk to a Massachusetts construction accident lawyer in a free consultation.
Jason Stone Injury Lawyers Are Here For You
When you have been hurt on a worksite, you need a Massachusetts construction accident lawyer on your side so you can focus on your recovery. Your lawyer can handle the legal side of your case and communication with the insurance companies while keeping you updated every step of the way.
The attorneys at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers understand what it takes to build you a strong personal injury case. With decades of collective experience in handling construction accident cases and beyond, our qualified personal injury lawyers can give you confidence and peace of mind.
Contact us today at (800) 577-5188 or complete our free initial consultation form to schedule your free consultation. There’s No Obligation, Just Information®.