In many ways, construction is the backbone of this country. Construction workers put in long hours and take on plenty of personal risk to build and repair roads, put up new commercial buildings, and bring dream homes to life. However, construction is an inherently risky job. Workplace fatalities are on the rise, and construction workers make up a significant chunk of those deaths. Additionally, over 200,000 construction accidents leave workers injured every single year.
If you have been injured while working on a construction site, you may be able to seek compensation from your employer or a third party. To talk about your case in greater detail, call Reeves & Mestayer at 228-374-5151.
Types of Construction Accidents
A wide range of accidents can lead to serious or fatal injuries for construction workers. Some of the most commonly reported construction accidents include:
- Slip and fall accidents. These are the most common cause of construction fatalities. There are two main types of falling accidents. Same-level falls occur when someone falls down to the same level that they are currently standing on. Falls from heights occur when someone falls to a much lower height than where they are currently standing. Both can cause serious injuries but falls from heights often cause more severe injuries.
- Ladder and scaffolding accidents. This type of work is naturally dangerous, as you can lose your balance or fall at any time. The risk increases with inclement weather, untrained equipment users nearby, and inexperience.
- Injuries caused by heavy equipment. Heavy machinery is one of the main causes of serious injuries on construction sites. In many cases, user inexperience is the culprit. An untrained, inexperienced, or careless worker can cause injuries to those working in nearby areas. However, equipment malfunctions can also have the same result.
- Falling objects. Falling objects are an ever-present risk on construction sites, often leading to traumatic brain injuries and other serious injuries for those walking on lower levels.
- Explosions. The misuse or mishandling of hazardous materials can lead to explosions. Victims may suffer permanent injuries, scarring, and disfigurement.
- Electrocution. Electrical currents and power lines pose constant risks to nearby workers, particularly when safety precautions are not taken.
Common Construction Accident Injuries
Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 200,000 construction injuries per year in the United States. The greatest share of those accidents occurs during the construction of residential and nonresidential buildings. Some commonly reported injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Burns and scarring
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal injuries
- Amputations and loss of limb injuries
For many injured construction workers, workers’ compensation is the only way to seek compensation. Workers’ compensation is a system that seeks to benefit both employees and employers. Employees are able to get money for their medical expenses and lost wages without having to prove negligence on the part of their employer, and employers can meet their employees’ financial needs without putting themselves at risk of personal injury claims.
You may wonder if you can get additional benefits if your employer or coworker was, in fact, negligent in causing your injuries. You cannot. That is the one downside of workers’ compensation. Even if someone in your company directly caused your injuries through their own negligence, you are limited to partial wages and medical expenses.
In MIssissippi, the Workers’ Compensation Commission determines the amount paid and the medical benefits received by injured workers. Medical benefits extend to all treatment related to the workplace injury, as long as it is considered reasonable.
Wage loss payments are based on your average weekly wage but are limited by a statewide maximum. The amount you receive will be as much as two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
Third Party Claims
There is one more option that is available to some injured construction workers—a third party personal injury claim. If your injury was caused by someone who is not your coworker or employer, you may be able to seek compensation from them with a personal injury claim.
This is somewhat common in the construction industry, since many construction sites have employees from a variety of companies and contractors not employed by any one company. Additionally, your construction site might have employees from the power company, water company, and other service providers.
This also applies to people who aren’t even working on the construction site. Consider, for example, a construction crew working on a highway. A negligent driver swerves into the construction site while texting and strikes a construction worker. In this situation, the construction worker can seek compensation from the negligent driver.
The main benefit of a third-party claim is the fact that you can recover more than just medical expenses and partial wages. You can ask for compensation for full lost wages, future medical expenses, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, and other related expenses. However, you will have to prove that the other party was negligent. Because of this, negotiating a fair settlement can be much more challenging with a third-party claim.
How We Can Help
Whether you plan on seeking compensation via workers’ compensation or a third-party claim, it is crucial to discuss your options with an attorney. In many situations, workers’ compensation is easy and straightforward. But there are times that employers or workers’ compensation insurance providers try to keep employees from filing claims or falsely claim that an injury isn’t covered by insurance. This leaves injured workers unsure what to do and worried about losing their job.
At Reeves & Mestayer, we have extensive experience in both workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. We understand that these cases are often very complicated and require a hands-on approach. Whether workers’ compensation, a personal injury claim, or a combination of both is the best option for you, we’re here to help you explore your options and plan for your future.
Choose Reeves & Mestayer for Your Construction Accident Claim
Construction injuries can change your career path, and severe injuries can even impact the course of your life. You need an attorney you can trust during these difficult times. Schedule a consultation with Reeves & Mestayer now by calling us at 228-374-5151 or contacting us online.