Home Health Injured in a Construction Zone: Could it Happen to You?

Injured in a Construction Zone: Could it Happen to You?

Construction zones pose serious and hidden dangers to your life and well-being. That’s why it is so important to follow safety instructions, adhere to written warnings, and wear a hardhat on site!

Although it is in our human nature to try to break the rules, in some situations, this cannot be an option, especially when your life is at risk. Past events have proven that construction sites are some of the most dangerous places to work, which is why you will frequently bump into some very strict and serious set of rules. Even though it might sound like a cliché, it is better to be safe than sorry!  Read on to find out more about risks as well as potential liabilities.

Construction Zone Injuries: Yes, It Could Happen to You

Source: Craig L. Manchik & Associates, PC

Construction work is consistently one of the top three most dangerous jobs in the United States every year. The reason for this is that despite big improvements in safety over the years, the risks remain high, with accidents being unpredictable and posing an ever-present risk, even when safety protocols are being followed.

Here are just a few risks and hidden dangers that can be found at many construction sites:

  • Exposed electrical wiring/power sources
  • Nails or screws sticking out of upturned construction material
  • Unsecured or uneven flooring
  • Partially demolished or partially complete materials overhanging the construction zone
  • Dangerous chemicals
  • Extremely hot metals or welding equipment
  • Gaps in pedestrian walkways and throughways

Any one of those dangers can lead to fatal injuries. Even if not involved in a deadly accident, the consequences of a bad fall, equipment malfunction, or chemical exposure can cause a variety of catastrophic ailments.

Construction zone injuries can include:

  • Life-threatening lacerations or burns
  • Broken bones
  • Internal bleeding
  • Concussion, fractured skull, or traumatic brain injury
  • Serious bruising
  • Dangerous inhalation

All of these risks underscore the need to utilize personal vigilance and protection when on a construction site.

However, some dangers cannot be foreseen by the victim, which is where civil law and safety regulation oversight becomes involved. Accidents that occur even when the victim has exercised all necessary caution may be investigated for negligence. Safety rules will always considerably lower the chances of something bad happening, however, they will never guarantee complete safety against the unforeseen events that can happen naturally.

Accidents Versus Negligence

Source: Henness & Haight

Some accidents could have been prevented by the site manager or may have occurred because state-mandated safety warnings were not put in place, while others may take place due to faulty equipment. The law prescribes different remedies for injury victims depending on the precise nature of the injuries and how the accident could have been prevented.

A site may have been required to show warning signs and be fenced off but wasn’t. This is a requirement in many states, so if that fencing or warning signs aren’t present and someone walks through the site and gets injured, the construction company, management, or property owner may find themselves liable for civil damages.

By contrast, construction workers or passersby who are injured as a result of malfunctioning equipment, particularly when the onsite active employees and management otherwise did everything right, can potentially sue the equipment manufacturer.

An important addendum to note when it comes to faulty equipment is that some construction failures and resulting catastrophes may result from faulty equipment that should have been replaced or repaired. Some equipment may not have been installed properly in the first place or faulty equipment could have been reused in other areas of the construction zone.

All construction equipment comes with very clear instructions for how long the product can be expected to last and construction companies are generally held responsible for replacing or repairing parts that they should know will wear down or need fixing after a certain period of time or a certain amount of use.

Legal battles can unfold when a manufacturer should have noted in manuals or contracts the likelihood of certain parts requiring replacement or repair and failing to do so. 

Legal Options

Source: SafeStart

If you have been injured at a construction site and are considering suing for personal injury, it is critical that you keep all records of your medical bills and associated reports. Always hang on to your receipts, and take photographs of them so that you have an extra copy. Make sure to document your case from the earliest days, so that you will have a complete record to present when filing your lawsuit.

It is also very important that you contact any possible witnesses at the scene, as they will be very useful if you do pursue a legal claim down the road. This can turn out to be quite easy to achieve, given that a construction zone is usually populated with a considerable number of workers that may have witnessed the happening and the reason for which it occurred. They will also be able to follow the steps that were immediately taken after an accident occurred.

Read more injury caused by another’s negligence here, as you may find yourself eligible to file suit and collect substantial damages in civil court. It is always best to act soon rather than kick the can down the road, as the sooner after the fact you take action, the higher your likelihood of a successful outcome. It is also very important to remember that such cases are not necessarily the easiest ones to deal with. This is why you should always seek the professional advice of a specialized lawyer. Experience and proper knowledge of the particularities of filing a lawsuit will be one of the biggest assets in court.

Bottom Line

Source: Reaud, Morgan, & Quinn L.L.P.

Being a construction worker is one of the most challenging jobs out there, both mentally and physically. This is exactly why becoming a construction worker asks for a lot of studies and practical experience before going into the actual work. Safety is an absolute must and should become a normal aspect for any construction worker.