Prominent Virginia Construction Accident Attorneys
Construction work is some of the most dangerous work available, and most positions are not all that well-paid. This makes it particularly important that you secure full compensation if you are injured on the job – both for your sake and for the sake of your family. There are two possible ways you might go about seeking compensation, depending on the facts of your case. In either case, it makes a big difference to have a skilled and compassionate Virginia construction accident attorney on your side.
The Workers’ Compensation System
Most construction accident claims are resolved through the workers’ compensation system. The workers’ compensation system is the result of a compromise in which victims of workplace accidents gave up the right to claim damages for “pain and suffering” in exchange for the right to receive compensation without regard to fault.
The Personal Injury Civil Compensation System
Not all construction accident claims are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Even if you are not eligible for workers’ compensation, however, you might still be able to pursue an ordinary personal injury claim. Filing a personal injury claim offers both advantages and disadvantages when compared to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
You Only Pay If You Win
At Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP, we win well over 90 percent of our cases. Although we cannot guarantee victory in any particular instance, we can guarantee this much – if you don’t win, you will never owe us a dime. And if you do win, you won’t owe us anything until you receive your money.
One of Our Clients Speaks Out
“To Mr. Depaolis: I can’t express enough how much your hard work and the results meant to my Dad. If you remember, 3 weeks before his passing he stopped all treatments. After learning about the large settlement he knew that financially my Mom would be OK. He was tired and ready to go and that check made his leaving us so much easier for him. Eleven years last month, I still miss him every day. God Bless” – A Client in Virginia
Our Other Areas of Practice
Car Accidents: Car accident claims are particularly problematic in Virginia because our contributory negligence rules bar any recovery if you were even slightly at fault. Insurance companies are consummate negotiators, and they will skillfully exploit this loophole if you fail to secure effective representation.
Medical Malpractice: Medical malpractice is the nation’s third-leading cause of death. Medical malpractice cases are often complex, requiring the testimony of expert medical witnesses. Since not every undesirable medical outcome constitutes malpractice, however, you may need an attorney to confirm whether your injury was caused by malpractice.
Workers’ Compensation: Nearly three million workplace injuries happen every year in the United States, most of them concentrated in certain occupations such as mining and construction work. The workers’ compensation system is an alternative to the personal injury civil compensation system, and the rules are in many cases quite different. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you navigate the bureaucracy.
Asbestos Disease/Mesothelioma: Asbestos is an environmental toxin that results in chronic, deadly diseases such as mesothelioma. Since symptoms sometimes take decades to manifest themselves, the responsible parties are often companies that are no longer in business. We can help you navigate the personal injury maze to secure the compensation that is justly yours.
Product Liability: Unlike most states, Virginia does not apply the principle of strict liability to product liability actions. This means that if you are injured by a defective product (an automobile airbag, for example), you will have to prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer to win. Nevertheless, many such cases are winnable if you secure the right law firm.
Premises Liability: Whether you visit a public establishment or a private home, you are entitled to expect that the premises will not present unreasonable or hidden dangers that you have not been notified of. If the owner or renter of the premises allows a dangerous condition – such as a broken stairwell railing – to persist without warning of it, and if you are injured thereby, you are entitled to compensation.
Federal Tort Claims Act: Filing a personal injury claim against the U.S. government is different from filing a personal injury claim against a private party, because any compensation you receive will ultimately be paid by the taxpayers who fund the government. For this reason, lawsuits against the U.S. government are forbidden unless the government gives its explicit permission. The Federal Tort Claims Act is how the U.S. government permits itself to be sued for certain types of personal injury claims.
Nursing Home Abuse: Nursing home residents are guaranteed certain rights under state and federal law, such as the right to privacy and the right to see their own doctor. To enforce these rights, both Virginia and the federal government have enacted extensive nursing home regulations. Proving a violation of one of these regulations is one way (but not the only way) to establish a nursing home abuse claim.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between an independent contractor and an employee?
An independent contractor enjoys far more autonomy over his work and his working hours than an employee, and he does not enjoy benefits such as paid vacation time. Think of the difference between a plumber you hire to fix your sink and a full-time cook at a restaurant you own. This classification can result in important legal consequences.
What is contributory negligence and how might it affect my case?
Contributory negligence denies any damages at all to an injured party if he was even one percent at fault for his own injury. Contributory negligence does not apply to Virginia workers’ compensation cases, because compensation is generally awarded regardless of fault.
What are the consequences for me if workers’ compensation does not apply to my construction accident claim?
If you are classified as an independent contractor, or if the defendant is someone other than your employer, you are ineligible for workers’ compensation. You can file a personal injury lawsuit, but keep the differences in mind.
- Contributory negligence will apply (see above)
- You will probably have to prove negligence
- You can recover for pain and suffering (which might amount to more than your medical expenses)
What are my options if my husband died in a construction accident?
You can claim workers’ compensation death benefits if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit under the Virginia wrongful death statute. Damages are substantial and may include amounts for:
- Grief and sorrow
- Loss of guidance and companionship
- Lost earnings
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Punitive damages (sometimes)
What are the most common construction accidents?
Most construction accidents are caused by:
- Falling debris
- Trenching (cave-ins)
- Vehicle collisions
Do I have to be a construction worker to file a construction accident claim?
No, you don’t necessarily have to be a construction worker to file a construction accident claim – you might be a passer-by or a guest hit by a falling object, for example. You would probably be denied recovery, however, if you were injured on a construction site after neglecting to wear a hard hat. You cannot file a workers’ compensation claim, of course, unless you were injured on the job.
Can I file a claim against the owner of the construction site?
Possibly. Although you won’t be able to file a workers’ compensation claim against the owner (unless you work directly for the owner as your employer), you might be able to file a premises liability personal injury claim if your accident was caused by a dangerous condition on the property that the owner should have corrected.
What are my options if I was injured by a defective backhoe that I was operating?
You might be able to file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer and a product liability lawsuit against the backhoe manufacturer. Although both claims might be successful, you are only entitled to one recovery – so workers’ compensation might demand a refund of some of its compensation if you recover from the backhoe manufacturer as well.
Our Legal Team
We are Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP, and we have 35 years of experience demanding justice for personal injury victims. The numbers testify to our success – we have won over a billion dollars for our clients, including many multi-million dollar settlements.
Our thirteen personal injury attorneys are highly decorated by both our clients and our peers in the legal profession – four of our Virginia construction accident lawers have been named Top Lawyers by the Washingtonian Magazine, five have been named Super Lawyers, and five have been named Best Lawyers in America. Our expertise is right here, waiting for you to take advantage of it.
Act Now to Maximize Your Chances of Success – Call Our Virginia Construction Accident Lawyers
The longer you wait to assert a construction accident claim, the harder it becomes to win. If you wait long enough, the statute of limitations deadline will kill your claim altogether. If you have suffered a construction accident in Northern Virginia, call us at (703) 596-1718, or simply contact us online so that we can schedule a free initial consultation with our Virginia construction accident attorneys.