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Construction Site Accidents

In Massachusetts and elsewhere, construction sites are considered very unsafe. A simple blunder or negligence can have serious consequences, resulting in severe injury or even death. Despite the fact that there are several workplace safety laws designed to protect construction workers’ health and safety, these laws are often disregarded in order to save time or money by their employers. When this occurs, construction workers are always the ones that pay the consequences, sustaining injuries that could have been prevented if adequate precautions had been taken.

Our Massachusetts construction accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Matthew M. Foti will assist you, by either pursuing the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system for you or by pursuing a personal injury case on your behalf depending upon the circumstances. Even though construction sites are incredibly dangerous places to work, employers also have a duty to keep their workers safe. It does not exclude you from seeking justice if you are injured.

If you have been injured when working at a construction site in Massachusetts and would like to talk with one of our MA construction accident attorneys about your legal options, please contact us today.

Construction Accident Statistics

Annually, approximately 800 people are killed in the construction industry in the U.S. With 781 deaths in 2011, this figure was marginally lower. Falls continue to be the leading cause of work-related accidents in the construction industry, contributing to about one-third of all fatalities.[i]

Construction worker deaths are to blame for 20% of all work-related deaths in the United States, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA). One out of every five workers killed on the job would be working in the construction industry. Construction-related deaths are so common that OSHA has invented the term “the fatal four” to describe the four most common causes of construction-related deaths. Falls, being hit by an object, electrocution, or being caught between two objects on-site are examples of these.[ii]

Construction Site Accidents in Massachusetts

A construction site accident may result in permanent disability, loss of limbs, blindness, brain injury, broken or cracked bones, amputation, bruising, and wrongful death, among other things. Medical costs are often significant, and there may be a long period of disability and lost earnings. Worker’s compensation can cover certain medical expenses and lost wages, but it is inadequate to compensate an injured worker for long-term damages and disability caused by a severe construction accident.

Since the Massachusetts construction workers’ compensation system forbids civil lawsuits seeking damages against an injured worker’s employer, many work-related injury victims are unaware of their legal options, assuming that their workers’ compensation payments are the only thing they can get.

However, in the Massachusetts construction industry, workplace injuries are often caused by the negligence of someone unknown to the injured worker’s employer. As a result, injured construction workers usually have the right to seek both workers’ compensation and personal injury compensation in separate proceedings after the same accident.

Our construction accident attorneys will choose the best course of action for you in the event of your construction site accident injury.

What Are the Common Reasons for Construction Site Accidents in Massachusetts?

Accidents that occur on or surrounding construction sites may be caused by a variety of reasons. The circumstances leading up to the accident, as well as your relationship with the negligent party, will decide which steps you can take and assist your attorney in determining who can be held liable.

The following are some of the potential causes of construction site injuries:

  • Lack of proper safety equipment. Employers must provide workers with the essential protective gear, such as fall prevention measures, dust masks, hardhats, and other protective gear. Employers, on the other hand, often forego these safeguards to save money on work overhead. Failure to follow these standards is a violation of OSHA policy, and the employer can be held liable for damages if a construction worker or bystander is injured.

  • Vehicle accidents on Site. Truck accidents are a frequent cause of injuries for construction workers, whether they are on-site or traveling to and from a job site. Victims may be entitled to compensation from the vehicle’s owner or operator.

  • Lack of proper training. Employers are required by OSHA to provide all workers with safety training, and the inability to do so may be considered negligence. It may be difficult to prove that a lack of training caused the injury, and if you are a permanent employee, you will not be able to seek compensation from your employer for insufficient training. If training was a problem, however, you may be able to get reimbursement from a third party, such as another vendor on the worksite.

  • Violation of Safety Measures. Construction firms and construction site owners are responsible for ensuring a safe workplace environment in addition to supplying protective equipment. Employers and/or landowners will be held responsible for losses caused by construction site accidents if it can be proved that the Jobsite was not adequately protected. Employers must, for instance, post proper signs around hazards such as wide holes and adequately fence off construction sites to protect passing cars and pedestrians.

  • Maintenance. Employers are also responsible for maintenance activities and must check equipment, devices, and other machinery regularly for protection. An employer that uses a forklift, for example, must ensure that it is in good working order and that all of the components are in good working order and do not pose a safety danger. If an employer is found to have ignored machinery maintenance and an accident occurs as a result of this negligence, the employer may be held liable.

  • Third-party negligence. On a construction site, there are often several multiple organizations at work. General contractors, subcontractors, and workers of various vendors can all be involved in a construction project. If the accident was caused by one of these parties’ negligence, you will be entitled to claim compensation for your losses.

Common Injuries in a Construction Site Accident

The types and severity of injuries that occur on construction sites are numerous. They are mostly life-changing for the injured worker and his family. The following are some of the common injuries:

  • Traumatic Brain and Head Injury
  • Skeletal Injuries
  • Multiple Fractures and Broken Bones
  • Severe Internal Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Burn Injuries
  • Wrongful Death
  • Herniated Intervertebral Discs and Back Injuries
  • Skin Injuries
  • Vision and Eye Injuries
  • Nerve Injuries
  • Ligament and Tendon Injuries

Many of these construction site injuries have the potential to result in long-term disability, impairments, loss of functions, and discomfort. Our clients have been injured in construction accidents, which have prevented them from doing jobs, attending major family events, and social functions.

In our decades of defending construction site employees, our MA construction site injury attorneys have helped workers and their families with all of these types of cases.

Steps to Take After a Construction Site Accident

If you think you have been injured on the job as a result of hazardous or unsafe environments, you should notify your employer as soon as possible and seek medical help. Your employer must file the Employer’s First Report of Injury or Fatality (Form 101) with the Department of Industrial Accidents if you have skipped five full or partial calendar days or more at work. Your employer must also file this report with the workers’ compensation insurance provider within seven calendar days of the fifth full or partial calendar day you have been injured due to the accident or sickness (excluding Sundays and legal holidays). After receiving the form, the insurance provider has 14 calendar days to review the claim and decide whether or not to pay it.

When you are healing from your accident, getting legal advice will help you reduce the amount of physical and mental stress. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Foti, our Boston construction accident lawyer works with you to ensure that your claim is processed successfully, and our experienced lawyers can quickly settle any conflicts.

What Is the Worth of My Construction Site Accident Claim?

Every injury case is different. Seeking the money you deserve after an accident on a construction site can be a ruinously difficult process due to the various potentially responsible parties. The worth of your case can be determined by several factors. Your claim’s worth would be determined by whether you will only recover workers’ compensation benefits, in addition to the value of your economic damages such as medical expenses. A personal injury lawsuit can allow you to recover non-economic losses that are equal to or greater than the value of your economic losses.

The amount of workers’ compensation benefits is determined by your average weekly salary. The state’s average weekly salary serves as a revenue ceiling. A one-time payout may be calculated in cases of disfigurement, amputation, or disability depending on the extent and position of the injury.

Workers’ compensation benefits pay for your medical costs and a portion of your missed wages, but they may not be enough to sustain your standard of living. If you may file a third-party case, you will be able to get even more money in compensation. When you’re unable to work and make a living, you must seek workers’ compensation benefits available to you.

You may be eligible for benefits for the following, depending on your particular injury and claim:

  • Medical costs
  • Temporary incapacity
  • Partial incapacity
  • Permanent and total incapacity
  • Permanent disfigurement and loss of function
  • Relatives and survivors

You should also consider filing a claim not only against your employer but against a third party (not your employer) who was liable for causing your injuries. This will help you recover more compensation, and you’ll need to hire an attorney who understands this.

Can I Recover Compensation if I Was Partially at Fault?

With a few exceptions, you will recover workers’ compensation benefits even though you were partly to blame for the construction accident. Damages would be shared with all responsible parties if you pursue a third-party claim. In personal injury cases involving shared blame, Massachusetts applies a modified comparative negligence law.

if you are partly to blame for the injury, you will still be able to recover damages in a case. Your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your share of the responsibility. However, if a jury finds you to be more than 51 percent at fault for your injury, you will be barred from receiving further compensation. The 51 percent Bar is the name for this rule.

Remember that when filing a workers’ compensation claim, the rules are different which is why you need an experienced attorney on your side.

Proving Negligence in Workers Compensation Claim

To recover benefits from workers’ compensation in MA, you do not need to prove negligence or fault. With a few exceptions, this no-fault scheme entitles you to benefits even though you are at fault for the accident.

Outside of workers’ compensation, claiming a third-party requires proving negligence. These cases operate in the same way as every other personal injury claim does. You must show that a third party owed you a duty of care, that this duty was breached, and that this breach caused the accident.

Accident reports, witness testimony, specific product liability laws, and other facts can be used to determine liability, based on the cause of the accident and the party responsible. These claims can necessitate a thorough investigation with the assistance of a Massachusetts construction accident attorney and experts in a variety of fields.

Contact our Massachusetts Construction Accident Attorneys Today

Our construction accident attorneys will assist you if you have been injured on a construction site in Boston or anywhere else in Massachusetts. The construction injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Matthew M. Foti have severalyears of experience representing people who have been injured on construction sites and will help you determine your losses and claim any compensation you are entitled to.

We are pleased to provide the services of some of the finest construction accident attorneys in Boston and across Massachusetts. Construction sites can be very dangerous places to work, and the employer must ensure that employees are safe while on the job.

We’re here to help you with your legal concerns and to secure your legal rights. To begin a consultation, please contact us today.

Reference for Statistics

To recover benefits from workers’ compensation in MA, you do not need to prove negligence or fault. With a few exceptions, this no-fault scheme entitles you to benefits even though you are at fault for the accident.

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