Unlike many other occupations, construction workers face some of the most demanding and dangerous job conditions. Although the industry is highly regulated to protect the safety and livelihoods of construction workers, thousands are killed every year due to negligence, and even more, suffer serious injuries. If you or someone you love has been injured in a construction accident, please contact the Phoenix construction accident attorneys at Torgenson Law today. We can discuss the details of your case in a free consultation and determine whether you have a viable claim.
Often, individuals think that an employer is held responsible for an injury that happens in the workplace. When we look at the workers’ compensation laws in Arizona, we will see that this system is considered a “no-fault” system. What this means is that an employee can receive compensation regardless of who caused the injury. This system also typically prevents an employee from holding the employer accountable for the incident, with very few exceptions.
In other words, it does not matter who caused the incident; the employee will recover compensation for their medical bills and a portion of their lost wages regardless. The worker will typically not be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer to hold the employer accountable for the injury. Under the workers’ compensation laws in Arizona, this also means that a worker will likely not be able to recover any compensation for pain and suffering damages.
Data presented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that approximately 20% of all workplace fatalities during the latest reporting year in the United States happened in the construction industry. This is an astounding statistic, and we know that many thousands of workers sustained injuries that led to time away from work.
There are various factors that can lead to an unsafe work environment in the construction industry. In Arizona, construction is continuous, but some of the most common factors that lead to an unsafe worksite include:
The most common types of construction accidents that lead to injuries or fatalities, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), are:
Falls account for the greatest number of construction accident fatalities (33.5%). They can often be the result of uneven or unstable work surfaces, a lack or misuse of fall protection equipment, or worker error.
Being struck by an object is an obvious hazard on a construction site, and account for 11.1% of construction worker fatalities. Materials and machinery can fall, fly, swing and collide into workers. Hard hats are essential to reduce the risk of a serious brain injury if struck.
Approximately 8.5% of annual construction worker fatalities are due to electrocution. This can happen when coming into contact with exposed wires, defective tools, the improper use of extension cords, or live power lines.
Being caught in or between objects is the cause for 5.5% of annual worker fatalities. It is an increasing cause of construction accidents. Workers may, for example, get wedged between heavy vehicles, stuck in a trench, or pinned in between objects.
As we mentioned above, it is unlikely that the employer or co-worker will be held liable for a workplace accident. However, if another party other than the employer caused the incident, they could be held liable through a third-party lawsuit. Some of the most common parties that could be held liable in these situations include the following:
If you or somebody you love has been injured as a result of a construction accident in the state of Arizona, you deserve compensation for your medical bills, a significant portion of your lost income, and disability benefits if you sustain a long-term injury. However, we understand that recovering this compensation can be challenging. Employers and insurance carriers can push back against having to pay out compensation for a legitimate claim. We strongly recommend that you contact a skilled Phoenix construction accident attorney as soon as possible.
A lawyer can get involved and handle every aspect of your claim. They will conduct an independent investigation in order to determine exactly what happened to obtain the evidence needed to prove liability. A skilled workplace accident lawyer will ensure that their client is evaluated by trusted medical professionals who can treat their injuries and provide another opinion about the severity of the injuries.
Finally, an attorney will vigorously negotiate with the insurance carriers and help the client move through the workers’ compensation appeals process all the way to trial if necessary.
If your injury was caused by a third party aside from the employer or a co-worker, an attorney will explore filing a civil personal injury lawsuit against the party to recover fair compensation for their client.
One of the benefits of filing a third-party lawsuit, if one is appropriate, is that the worker will likely be able to recover additional types of compensation above and beyond what would be available through a traditional workers’ compensation claim. Not only will this include coverage of all medical expenses, but it would include coverage of all lost income as well as various types of pain and suffering damages.
Many Arizona construction workers believe that workers’ compensation benefits are their only option after being injured on the job. This is not always the case. Although workers are often not able to sue their employer, under certain circumstances, accident victims can file a personal injury or product liability lawsuit. Property owners, contractors, product manufacturers, maintenance companies and/or architects may be held responsible if their negligence resulted in the injury or death of a worker. Therefore, you may be entitled to recover full lost wages and benefits, medical expenses, and damages for pain and suffering.
Only a thorough investigation of medical records, the construction site, witness statements, and parties related to the incident can help to determine liability, as well as the laws applicable to your claim. A skilled construction accident attorney will have the ability to investigate your accident, identify any liable parties, and determine the type of claim you should pursue. Construction accident victims in Arizona must act quickly, as the law typically only allows two years to file suit.
Arizona law allows family members of employees killed in construction accidents to seek compensation for their losses. Anytime a person loses their life due to the careless or negligent actions of someone else, the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim.
In general, the family members of the deceased can collect more than what a typical workers’ in Arizona would allow after a construction site injury occurs. We understand that no amount of money can change what happened, but it can help family members cover their financial hardships caused by the death. Additionally, a wrongful death lawsuit can help hold any negligent party responsible for their actions and hopefully prevent future workplace deaths.
If you have lost somebody that you love in a construction accident in Arizona, you need to reach out to an attorney immediately. An Arizona wrongful death lawyer can help file these claims on behalf of the family to hopefully recover:
We have more than 20 years of experience recovering compensation for injured clients. Please contact our Phoenix injury lawyers for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident on a construction site.