Factors That Contribute to Construction Injuries and Fatalities

By Peter DePaolis

Construction sites can be dangerous places. Oversized equipment and large-scale movement and activity can cause safety threats that may result in construction accidents or fatalities. You may be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident. Our Washington DC personal injury attorney is here to help you recover fair and often much-needed compensation when these accidents occur.

How Do These Accidents Happen?

Construction accidents can happen in many ways. A pedestrian walking near the construction site may be hit by falling debris or tools or trip on materials left out improperly. Workers on site can also be injured by falling from heights, electrocution, repetitive motion injuries, safety violations, and much more. 

Common injuries from these accidents can include:

  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Neck, back, and shoulder injuries
  • Knee, foot, and ankle injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Loss of a limbs
  • Blindness
  • Loss of hearing
  • Nerve damage and paralysis
  • Burns
  • Death

All of these injuries can significantly impact a person’s life.

Recovery Options

Employees at a job site may be able to recover from their injuries through workers’ compensation. However, there are factors involved in whether their claim will be successful. They may have to prove one or more OSHA violations at the site to avoid any claim of contributory negligence on their part.

So, workers injured on the job should file a report immediately after their injury. If OSHA issues a citation to a company for a violation after an accident, the employee may use this in support of their workers’ compensation or other claim. OSHA violations are evidence that a worker was working in unsafe conditions when the accident or injury occurred.

Pedestrians or passersby do not have the option of a workers’ compensation claim. They may have to file a lawsuit to recover. Doing this without the assistance of an experienced attorney can be very difficult. Calculations on economic and non-economic damages have to be made. You also have to deal with potential claims against you that you contributed to the accident in some way. 

Who is Responsible for a Construction Accident?

There may be multiple parties responsible for a construction accident. This can include the site’s owner, foreman, site manager, general contractors, subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, materials suppliers, or insurance companies.

However, there are complexities to determining who is responsible for an accident. DC is a contributory negligence jurisdiction. This means that if a person was contributorily negligent towards their injuries or damages and there was no OSHA violation, they may be unable to recover anything.

Speak With an Attorney

Dealing with the aftermath of a construction accident can be overwhelming, and you may need to focus on your health and recovery. Most people do not like dealing with legal matters or insurance companies alone. If you have questions about a constriction accident in the District of Columbia or need an attorney for your or a loved one’s pending case, we can help. Do not delay seeking help, as the timelines for filing a claim or lawsuit can be stringent. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.