Accidents on construction sites are some of the most dangerous accidents of all. Of all fatal accidents in workplaces, one out of five takes place in the construction industry, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Just recently, a youth died and a man injured in a collapsed ditch on a construction site in northern Virginia.
Experienced Construction Accident Lawyers With Proven ResultsIf you or a loved one were hurt or killed in a construction accident, get in touch with an experienced Richmond personal injury lawyer. We can investigate the causes of the accident and work with you to ensure that justice is sought. Several years ago, for example, a construction accident worker fell 14 feet to a concrete floor, through an unsupported opening covered by a panel of fiberglass, which was painted a color similar to the roof. He suffered multiple fractures and a traumatic brain injury (TBI). His injuries resulted in permanent pain, and he is unable to return to competitive employment. Richmond construction accident lawyers at Emroch & Kilduff obtained a $2.25 million settlement for him.
What Injuries May a Worker Suffer in a Construction Accident?While collapsed ditches and tunnels are dangerous, the four most common fatal accidents on construction sites are called the Fatal Four:
- Being struck by an object
- Accidents in which a worker is caught between two or more objects.
- Fractured bones
- Severe burns
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Head injuries
- Crush injuries
- Nerve damage
Who Is at Fault for Construction Accident InjuriesConstruction accidents can occur for many reasons. Sometimes, appropriate safety equipment, such as harnesses for workers on high floors, are not provided. In fact, OSHA issues violations for instances when safety standards are not met in the workplace. In 2016, violations relevant to construction sites made the list several times. Violations of fall protection standards were number one, violations of scaffolding standards were number three, and violations of standards for ladders on construction sites were number seven on the overall list. In most cases, however, fault does not matter where your employer is concerned—workers’ compensation insurance kicks in. You will still want a construction accident lawyer to help with your case, however, because the insurance company may place its bottom line profit ahead of your need to recover from your injury. A construction accident attorney will make sure you get the full compensation you deserve under the law. If third parties violated safety standards and led to an accident—for example, the manufacturer of faulty equipment—a court can hold them liable for any resulting injuries. Companies owe a duty of care to workers on their construction sites. The sites must be kept as safe as possible. Any violations must be fixed within a reasonable time, and companies are expected to know if there are unsafe conditions or violations. If they try to argue they did not know, the law applies a reasonable person standard, where a court determines whether a reasonable person would have known that conditions were unsafe and needed to be rectified. If live wires were laying out on the floor for an entire day, for example, a court may find that a reasonable person would have known the condition was unsafe and should have taken measures to rectify the situation. If conditions or equipment are not safe and a responsible third party fails to fix them, this inaction may constitute a breach of duty of care. If such a breach causes the accident, a court can hold the company negligent and thus liable for the accident. Because of the multiple factors that lay behind the causes of an accident, an investigation is usually required to find out if a third party was responsible. Your lawyer can examine records and interview witnesses regarding any dangerous conditions.
Richmond Construction Accident FAQsThe construction industry in Richmond offers workers well-paying positions where they can learn on the job and expand their skills. From large-scale building construction on the VCU Medical Center campus to Richmond Department of Public Works road and bridge projects, to the smallest home renovation and repair jobs, construction workers in Richmond enjoy a wealth of opportunities. All of that construction in Richmond comes at a cost, however. As an employment sector, construction consistently ranks among the most dangerous for workers. All manner of accidents and incidents can occur on Richmond construction sites large-and-small, inflicting serious injuries and fatalities on workers, and sometimes, the general public. Victims of Richmond construction accidents have questions that need answering about their legal and financial rights. Below, we address some of the most frequently asked of those questions. For a free consultation with an experienced lawyer who can answer your specific questions about a Richmond construction accident that harmed you or a loved one, contact Emroch & Kilduff today.
What kind of Richmond construction accident cases do you handle?All kinds. If it happens on a construction site, and it results in someone getting injured or losing their life, then the team at Emroch & Kilduff has the experience, know-how, and resources to take legal action seeking compensation. The many types of harmful events on a construction site in Richmond that our firm can handle include:
- Falls from high heights;
- Getting struck by debris, equipment, or motor vehicles;
- Injuries from being pinned or crushed under or between objects or equipment;
- Construction and safety equipment malfunctions and defects;
- Harmful exposure to hazardous materials or substances;
- Fires and explosions; and
- Structure collapses and cave-ins while digging.
What Richmond construction accident injuries do you handle?The full range. Construction accidents can cause virtually any injury imaginable. Our firm has years of experience representing clients injured by other people’s wrongful decisions and actions. The types of injuries for which our team can help Richmond construction accident victims recover compensation include:
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries causing paralysis and loss of bodily function;
- Crush injuries resulting in the amputation of limbs or permanent disability and disfigurement;
- Burns and other injuries caused by fire, electricity, and caustic chemicals;
- Complete or partial loss of vision or hearing;
- Severe bone breaks and orthopedic injuries;
- Back, shoulder, and neck injuries that leave victims in chronic pain;
- Illnesses and health complications caused by repetitive stress and long-term toxic exposure; and
- Wrongful death.
What are my rights to compensation as a worker injured in a Richmond construction accident?As a Richmond construction worker, you may pursue workers’ compensation insurance benefits to help pay for your medical care and, if your injury left you disabled, to replace some of your lost income temporarily or permanently. You likely do not have the right to sue your employer for your injury, although you may sue the workers’ comp company if it wrongfully denies your claim, and you may have the right to file a lawsuit for damages against someone other than your employer or a co-worker in certain circumstances, if that other party’s wrongful actions contributed to the cause of your injuries. Families of workers who tragically died in Richmond construction accidents may also pursue death benefits through workers’ compensation, and sue a liable third party for damages. At Emroch & Kilduff, we have years of experience helping injured Virginia construction workers, and grieving families of workers who die in accidents, apply for workers’ compensation benefits, appeal denials of their workers’ compensation claims, and pursue legal claims for damages against third parties.
What are my rights to compensation as a non-worker injured in a Richmond construction accident?If you suffered injuries in a Richmond construction accident that was not related to your job, then you likely have the right to seek compensation by filing a lawsuit for damages against a party at fault, such as:
- Construction contractors whose workers caused the accident that injured you;
- Property owners of the construction site where you suffered your injury;
- Construction equipment or materials manufacturers, if their products malfunctioned and caused your injury; or
- Engineers and architects who designed unsafe structures that failed and injured you.
- Medical expenses for treating your injury;
- Other out-of-pocket expenses caused by the accident and your injury;
- Your lost wages and future income, if an injury keeps you out of work;
- Your pain, suffering, and diminished life enjoyment; and
- Sometimes, punitive damages to punish the conduct that caused your injury.
How can a lawyer from Emroch & Kilduff help me after a Richmond construction accident?Every Richmond construction accident case differs. At Emroch & Kilduff, our lawyers tailor the services they provide to meet the personal needs and priorities of each construction accident victim they represent. Some services we often provide include:
- Investigation of a construction accident to determine its root cause(s) and to identify the party or parties at-fault who should pay damages;
- Preparation of insurance claims and legal filings that demand full and fair compensation for our clients;
- Clear and regular communication with our clients about their cases’ progress, and to answer any questions that arise;
- Negotiation with insurance companies and defense lawyers in hopes of securing a full and fair settlement of our clients’ claims; and
- Representation of our clients in Richmond courts, including in trials before Richmond judges and juries.
- Ensuring timely payment of claims and damages to our clients.