Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S. Injuries or fatalities resulting from construction accidents can give rise to workers’ compensation claims or, in some cases, personal injury lawsuits.
Serious and fatal construction accidents often result when an employer, property owner or other entity fails to correct a dangerous or unsafe condition on site.
Massachusetts construction accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, are dedicated to fighting for the rights of people injured in construction accidents. We refuse to be intimidated by tactics of large corporations, their insurance companies or the attorneys who try to prevent them from being held accountable for their negligence.Causes of Boston Construction Accidents
While we refer to these incidents as “accidents,” the reality is construction injuries are most often the result of negligence by a contractor, property owner, sub-contractor, equipment manufacturer or other party who fails to adhere to state and federal regulations. Often, the failure involves neglecting to provide proper safety gear or safe equipment on a job site.
The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration reports that of the 4,400 private sector workers killed on the job in 2013, 1 out of 5 was in construction. Leading causes of construction worker deaths nationally were falls, being struck by an object, electrocution or being caught in or in between equipment. If these four hazards were eliminated, it would save 480 construction worker lives each year.
Private transportation and warehousing saw the greatest upticks in worker deaths, increasing by 9 percent from 2012 to 2013.
The most common causes of Massachusetts construction accidents are:
- Scaffolding accidents
- Crane accidents
- Equipment accidents
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals and materials (including asbestos)
- Forklift accidents
- Heavy equipment accidents
- Lack of safety gear
- Poorly-maintained equipment
- Defective ladders
- Unguarded trenches or platforms
- Faulty building materials
- Transportation accidents
- Roadway safety defects
- Nail gun accidents
- Defective power tools
- Elevator accidents
- Fire or burn injuries
- Welding accidents
- Eye injuries from flying debris
- Untrained or inexperienced personnel
- Dropped loads from trucks or cranes
- Improper site design or inspection
- Violation of state and/or federal regulations
Prompt medical attention in these cases is imperative. So too is immediate legal analysis.
Injuries stemming from these accidents are often extremely serious, debilitating or even fatal. They may include broken bones, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and back and neck injuries. Recovery can take months or even years and, in some cases, employees may never fully heal.
Many of these workers are in the prime of their lives, and are often the primary wage earner for their family. That means the economic ripple effect of these accidents often extends to families and ultimately the greater Boston community.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report an increasingly high number of minorities – Latinos in particular – work in construction trades. This contributes to language barriers and diminished knowledge of workplace rights, which may complicate work-safety efforts.
Employers have a duty to ensure all workers on the job are well-trained and well-equipped for the task at hand. There are often many entities responsible for ensuring a site adheres to OSHA safety standards. Too often, however, they fail, and injuries result.Workers’ Compensation vs. Third Party Lawsuit
It’s important to speak immediately with a Boston construction injury lawyer in the aftermath of an accident because you may be entitled not only to workers’ compensation damages, but also to damages from a personal injury lawsuit.
Benefits available through workers’ compensation coverage will allow reimbursement for medical expenses and a portion of lost income. However, such benefits will not cover damages for pain and suffering, future wage losses or other losses.
Workers’ compensation law in Massachusetts includes an exclusive remedy provision that bars litigation against an employer – regardless of negligence – where such benefits are available. However, third-party lawsuits against other responsible parties can help secure damages. Contacting an experienced attorney is essential to preserving your rights.
Most workplace accidents and injuries are preventable. We understand workers may be hesitant to file claims against their employer or big name firms within their industry. But calling out these firms for safety breaches is essential not only to ensuring the financial stability of the injured worker and/or his family, but also to making sure these sites are safe for future generations of workers.
Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman today for a free and confidential consultation.
Call (617) 367-2900 – NO FEE UNLESS SUCCESSFUL