Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Over a Construction Accident?


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Construction sites can be some of the most hazardous places to work. With unstable structures, heavy equipment, electrical components, extreme heights, and more, it is pretty easy to see many of the potential causes of injury for the individuals in this industry. How common are these types of injuries? Just a few years ago, in 2012, it was reported that 183,000 construction workers were injured in job-related accidents, and 775 individuals were killed because of their work. In fact, the numbers indicate that more work-related injuries occur in the construction industry each year than any other profession.

While construction may be a dangerous industry, it is also vital and profitable. This means that as long as we continue to need things to be built and renovated, there will continue to be accidents and injuries that occur on construction sites. Fortunately, construction workers do have rights when it comes to seeking legal justice for injuries.

What Types of Accidents Happen at Construction Sites?

Just from a quick look at any construction site, it is easy to see how they do not make for the safest work environments. Some of the most common causes for accidents and injuries for construction workers include:

  • Falling objects
  • Falls from elevations
  • Collapsed structures
  • Injuries from tools
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Defective equipment
  • Electrical incidents
  • Accidents involving heavy equipment and machinery

Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a list of the “fatal four” most serious injuries for those in the construction industry:

  • Caught in/between (equipment, parts, collapses)
  • Electrocutions
  • Falls
  • Struck by objects

How Common are Personal Injury Lawsuits from Construction Accidents?

Individuals who are injured in construction accidents can file workers’ compensation claims to receive benefits that will cover their injuries. While filing a workers’ compensation claim might seem easy enough for minor workplace injuries, what about those instances that result in severe impairments or death?

The deciding factor on whether a personal injury lawsuit can be filed lies in the hands of negligence. To make a valid personal injury case, you must be able to prove that the accident occurred at the fault of someone else and that it could have been prevented if the proper precautions were taken. Additionally, employers and co-workers are protected by the workers’ compensation laws in Pennsylvania. This means that your injuries must result from the negligence of a third party in order to file a personal injury lawsuit.

For example, if a factory worker tragically lost his hand or another limb in a piece of machinery, they are barred in Pennsylvania from suing their employee. But, there may be a successful personal injury lawsuit brought against a third party, say the maker of that piece of machinery, if it is determine that it made a defective product or failed to provide sufficient safety measures that led to the injury.

Do you suffer from a spinal cord injury after a fall because of a harness that malfunctioned? Did your husband experience a fatal electrocution because someone else didn’t do their job right? Were you struck by a piece of machinery that was being operated by someone under the influence? Even though there are safety precautions and standards on construction sites, these types of incidents can still happen. If negligence and/or recklessness occurred, then you have a strong case for a personal injury lawsuit.

How Do I Pursue a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Construction Accident?

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a construction accident, the most important step is to seek proper medical attention. While it may seem appealing and you may be urged to seek workers’ compensation benefits, do not rush to take advantage of this opportunity if you think this was not a true “accident” and someone else was at fault. Receiving workers’ compensation benefits can prevent your ability to file a personal injury lawsuit, so you want to make sure you follow all of the necessary steps.

For assistance in developing your case and proving that negligence did in fact occur, it is imperative that you consult with a personal injury attorney. Additionally, in the state of Pennsylvania, remember that you have two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury claim, so time is of the essence.

The experienced work injury attorneys at Ross Feller Casey have a proven record of winning multi-million recoveries. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.