According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of construction worker fatalities is on the rise. While the reasons behind this rise may vary, the irreparable damages construction accidents can have on an individual and an individual’s loved ones remains the same. Between rising medical bills, an inability to perform at work, and months or even years spent in rehabilitation, the sacrifices the injured party makes never seems to end. And while no amount of compensation may make that individual whole again, it’s important to hold property owners, employers, and any other responsible parties accountable so that others may avoid a similar fate.
At Polito & Harrington, Norwich’s attorneys for construction accidents, their experienced, accessible attorneys have the experience and the drive to help you to this end.
Companies Have a Duty to Keep Employees Safe
Construction sites are typically dangerous environments. Though the environments can vary site to site—from road work to working on skyscrapers thousands of feet in the air—the burden falls on the construction site owners, the companies, and subcontractors, to make sure employees have safe conditions in which to work, use the proper safety gear, and follow safety procedures. In addition, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) mandates that employers provide a general duty of care to their employees. Some of these duties include:
- A duty to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their employees;
- Use color codes, posters and signs to warn employees of potential hazards;
- Employees with hazardous chemicals in the workplace must develop and implement a written hazard communication program and train employees on the hazards of exposure;
- Make sure people have tools that are safe and properly maintained equipment; and
- Provide safety training in a language and vocabulary that the employees may understand.
Where construction accidents are concerned, one or more of these laws and the duty of care may have been violated. In some situations, this can translate into a legal claim by the injured worker. However, only experienced attorneys like those at Polito & Harrington can develop the most precise legal strategy to get you what you deserve.
What Is a Construction Accident in Norwich, Connecticut?
Construction accidents vary because of the varied nature of the business. While falls from a great height, such as a scaffold or ladder, top the list, other construction accidents include:
- Forklift accidents or injuries involving other heavy machinery
- Faulty or insufficient safety equipment that fails to protect a worker
- A trip and fall caused by improperly managed equipment
- Hazardous materials such as asbestos or chlorine gas
- Power tool accidents
The above lists just a few ways that construction accidents may happen. In many situations, injuries from a construction accident would be debilitating. In the worst-case scenario, they are fatal.
And Who Is Responsible?
Even the simplest construction projects, there will be multiple parties involved. Of course, the injured party is involved, often working on the project. On the other side, there is the employer, who may be responsible for providing workers’ compensation benefits to the injured employee. Such benefits can be available without the employee having to prove the employer was negligent.
In addition, a third party may have been responsible, or even partially responsible, for creating the dangerous circumstances. There could have been property owners, subcontractors, architects, and engineers involved in the planning and creating of the defective environments. In this situation, an injured worker may be able to take legal action directly against the negligent third party. It is likely that insurance companies would intervene and attempt to settle these matters before litigation, often trying to take advantage of the injured construction worker.
While the stage may seem crowded and confusing after a construction accident, this should give some relief to the injured parties as there is likely a solution and a party that will be required to compensate the injured party for their loss.
If I’m Injured in a Construction Accident, What Do I Do?
Immediately after a construction accident, the first step is to focus on your health. Do not keep the injury a secret—instead, report the injury and make sure to get the medical diagnosis and treatment you need immediately. In addition, try to:
- Make sure to keep an accurate record of medical bills and distinguish what was and what was not paid. Make an Excel spreadsheet if possible.
- Recollect who may have witnessed the accident. Try to get names and contact information of these individuals.
- Visit the accident site. Try to retrace your steps and take pictures of all relevant twists and turns.
- Write down the names of any chemicals or hazardous material involved so that your attorney may research them later. Google the spelling and try to be as accurate as possible.
- Retrieve copies of not only your medical records but also any record that your employer’s insurance company may have, including the adjuster’s notes and observations. If you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, make sure to save receipts.
If the injuries were serious enough that doing any or all of the above is unlikely or excruciating, it does not preclude you from a possible injury claim based on your construction accident. With experienced attorneys like Polito & Harrington, a good legal strategy and assistance with the process is only a phone call away.
Call Polito & Harrington, LLC, Norwich’s Construction Accident Attorneys
Serious construction accidents are the beginning of a long and painful journey to recovery. This journey will take a toll on not only the injured party, but the entire family network. However, it is possible to recover some dignity and financial compensation with the help of our Norwich construction accident attorneys. Our personable, experienced attorneys at Polito & Harrington know the reality of situations like yours, and that’s why they fight hard to get you and your family the compensation that you deserve. Call (860) 447-3300 or contact us online for a free consultation.