Construction sites are inherently dangerous environments. A single slip-up or error can be fatal, and a series of mismanagements can cause workers severe and lasting harm. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly one in five workplace injuries occur on construction sites.
Construction site accidents account for about 20% of fatal work injuries and 10% of non-fatal work injuries in the United States each year. That is why employers and contractors must provide adequate training, safety equipment, and organized work environments for construction workers.
At the District of Columbia law firm of May Lightfoot, PLLC, our attorneys represent workers and pedestrians in the D.C. area and Maryland injured in construction site accidents. We assist with filing claims, settlement negotiations, and litigation, aggressively pursuing the compensation our clients need to pay for the costs of medical bills, lost income, and other relevant expenses.
At May Lightfoot, PLLC, our construction site accident attorneys are:
- Knowledgeable in both workers’ compensation and personal injury law;
- Determined and driven to meet your case goals; and
- Honest and forthright, offering practical advice and sound opinions regarding legal claims.
If you were hurt in a construction accident and want to speak to an experienced construction accident attorney about your options, please call May Lightfoot, PLLC, for a complimentary consultation.
Let Our Washington D.C. Construction Site Accident Attorneys Help You
Seeking compensation after a construction accident can be a complicated process since a site may involve several contractors and employers. The circumstances of the accident will determine who is responsible for damages. In some cases, a third-party insurance claim is the appropriate route, while other instances call for a workers’ compensation claim.
For example, an injury caused by defective equipment or poorly maintained property involves the legal aspects of products liability or premises liability. Suing the liable party is often the proper legal channel to obtain damages for your losses. However, if you were an employee on the construction site, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim to collect benefits.
Construction site injuries are often debilitating and severe and may take months or even years to recover from. There are significant medical bills, lost wages, prescription costs, and other expenses, all in addition to the stress of filing a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury claim. Sometimes there are challenges in the workers’ compensation process that delay coverage or result in the denial of workers’ compensation altogether.
To receive workers’ compensation benefits, you must follow strict deadlines, submit complete and accurate documentation of your injury, and avoid any mistakes that could lead to insufficient benefit payments. Personal injury claims also have filing deadlines and are a risky undertaking on your own. Do not try to handle your case without an experienced Washington, D.C., construction site accident attorney like ours at May Lightfoot, PLLC.
At May Lightfoot, PLLC, our construction site accident attorneys take on the challenges of filing for workers’ compensation benefits or a personal injury claim on your behalf. This includes:
- Investigating the cause of the accident;
- Collecting evidence to prove the injury occurred on the job;
- Gathering your medical records and medical bills;
- Interviewing eyewitnesses to the accident;
- Reviewing any video surveillance of the accident scene;
- Examining photos of the accident scene;
- Determining responsibility for your injury;
- Hiring any needed experts;
- Documenting your lost wages;
- Filing your paperwork in a timely manner; and
- Getting you the maximum benefits available by law.
We will stand up to any insurance company and go to a hearing or trial whenever necessary. At May Lightfoot, PLLC, we provide the legal services and support you need from start to finish of your workers’ compensation claim or personal injury case.
Many people find that speaking with an attorney after a construction accident relieves a heavy burden of stress. Dedicated to the practice of personal injury and workers’ compensation law, May Lightfoot, PLLC, can review the circumstances of your injury and determine a legal strategy for recovering the maximum amount of compensation possible. We are prepared to help you pursue a claim against any and all parties responsible.
Whether your case requires aggressive negotiations with an insurance company, a personal injury lawsuit, or a workers’ compensation appeal, May Lightfoot, PLLC, is here to fight for you.
Causes of Construction Site Accidents in Washington D.C.
Construction site workers face many different hazards at their jobs. Sandblasters, welding torches, and chainsaws can be as dangerous as they are useful. Improper rebar tying and busted rivets have sent numerous workers to the hospital. Some of the most common causes of construction site accidents are:
- Falling debris. Falling objects can cause a wide range of injuries, from head and brain trauma to spinal cord damage and broken bones. In the most devastating cases, a debris strike can be fatal;
- Scaffolding and ladder falls. When ladders or scaffolding platforms are not secured properly, both workers and passersby are put at risk. Paralysis, brain damage, and serious fractures are common consequences of ladder and scaffolding accidents;
- Faulty equipment. Power tools and heavy machinery are capable of inflicting life-changing harm, including severe burns and cutting injuries. A mechanical malfunction caused by improper maintenance, poor design or defective manufacturing may make a dangerous piece of equipment even more deadly;
- Supervisor negligence. Construction supervisors are responsible for maintaining safety protocols and keeping sites up to code. A supervisor who fails to uphold his or her duty of care may be liable for an incident that leads to serious injury;
- Falling from heights. When workers fall from a building or machinery to the ground below or fall into holes or ditches on a construction site, they may seriously injure themselves or suffer a fatal blow to the head;
- Trench collapse. Trench collapses cause workers to lose their air supply and possibly result in being buried alive or being crushed;
- Electric shock and arc flash. Electrical burns are common on construction sites from contact with generators, power tools, machinery, and electrical wiring;
- Failure to use appropriate protective gear. Injuries occur on construction sites when safety glasses, hardhats and other personal protective equipment are not in use;
- Repetitive motion injuries. Repeatedly doing the same job over and over causes muscle and soft tissue wear and damage which limits mobility and causes pain; and
- Slip and fall accidents. Liquid and chemical spills and other wet surfaces cause workers to slip and fall which results in a wide range of injuries from minor contusions to concussions and even death.
Construction Site Accident Compensation
If you were injured while working on a construction job site in Washington, D.C., you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits include:
- Temporary total disability (TTD). When an injury prevents the employee from performing any type of work for a temporary period of time, the employee is entitled to two-thirds (66.67%) of his or her average weekly wage, generally until he or she is able to return to work.
- Temporary partial disability (TPD. Benefits of two-thirds of the injured employee’s average weekly wage can be paid to the employee until he or she fully recovers, including during a period of time that he or she returns to work to perform a job with fewer responsibilities and a lower wage.
- Permanent total disability (PTD). If the injury prevents the worker from returning to employment of any kind or results in the loss of both eyes, hands, feet, arms, or legs, the worker may collect two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage in lost income benefits for as long as benefits are needed.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD). Benefits for the permanent loss of some bodily ability that does not prevent the employee from returning to employment are determined based on the nature of the disability and the worker’s occupation. Payment duration is capped at 500 weeks but may be for far less time.
- Medical benefits. Workers’ compensation may cover medical, surgical, and hospital care as well as the cost of prescriptions and medical devices for as long as they are needed to bring about recovery.
- A worker may receive an additional $7,500 in compensation for serious disfigurement to the face, head, neck, or another area of the body normally exposed during work.
Workers’ compensation benefits are generally available to an injured employee without regard to fault, meaning that the worker need not show that their employer was in any way negligent; the employee only need show that their injuries arose out of the course and scope of their employment.
Pursuing workers’ compensation benefits is only one option that may be available for obtaining a monetary recovery for your construction site injuries. It is not necessarily the only option.
Workers’ compensation benefits are only available to employees. Many construction site workers are independent contractors. This means workers’ compensation may not be an option. Instead, a personal injury lawsuit would need filed against the at-fault parties to get compensation for any injuries.
Certain employees may have the option of pursuing a third party lawsuit against the at-fault party in addition to pursuing workers’ compensation benefits. These types of cases are only available when an employee’s injury was the fault of another party, a third-party, not the employer.
Types of compensation available in a personal injury or third-party lawsuit include:
- Medical bills;
- Future medical bills;
- Full lost wages;
- Full future lost earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering;
- Future pain and suffering;
- Loss of life enjoyment; and
- Loss of consortium.
Every construction site accident is unique. In order to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for a worker’s injuries from any accident there must be a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident and the employment designation of all the other parties on the job site before proceeding with any claim or lawsuit.
Contact a Washington D.C. Construction Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured in or lost your loved one to a construction site accident, you need the help of an experienced construction site accident attorney like those at May Lightfoot, PLLC. The litigators at May Lightfoot, PLLC in Washington, D.C. guide injured individuals through the process of seeking compensation for losses suffered in construction site accidents.
Our law firm represents clients in the District of Columbia and Maryland. To schedule your free initial consultation with our office, call 202-919-6463 or contact us online.