How to Ensure You Receive FULL Compensation For Your Construction Job Injury Lawsuit
Workers at construction sites are exposed to inherently dangerous conditions every day. Workers operate heavy machinery, use power tools, and perform their duties at elevated heights making the risk for serious injury extremely high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2015, more than nine hundred fatalities occurred in the private construction industry, which was the highest number of construction-related deaths since 2008. These construction accident deaths accounted for more than twenty percent of all private industry worker fatalities, or in other words, nearly one in five worker deaths in 2015 were due to a construction accident. However, what these statistics don’t account for are the numerous other injuries that happen at construction sites.
Parker Waichman LLP Has Recovered Over $2 Billion For Injured Clients Nationwide
If you’ve been involved in a construction accident in New Jersey, it is imperative that you consult with one of our New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyers as soon as possible, especially because construction accident cases can be particularly complicated. Call Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to find out what we can do for you.
Types of New Jersey Construction Site Accidents
While any accident at a construction site can cause serious injuries or even death, there were four types of accidents in particular that accounted for more than sixty percent of all construction worker deaths in 2015. These “fatal four” accidents include:
- Falls from elevated heights;
- Being struck by objects;
- Getting caught between objects; and,
Causes of Construction Site Injuries and Wrongful Deaths
Construction accidents can happen for a number of other different reasons. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that employers conduct regular inspections of construction sites, obtain appropriate permits, and implement safety protocols in order to prevent or limit workplace accidents. However, worker or employer negligence, failure to adhere to safety policies and procedures, and product defects can all lead to a construction site accident.
Some of the other common causes of construction accidents include:
- Inadequate safety precautions and oversight;
- Insufficient training;
- Inexperienced workers;
- Improper use of equipment;
- Inadequate or improper maintenance;
- Crane accidents;
- Harness accidents;
- Hoist accidents;
- Mechanical hazards;
- Collapsed structures;
- Exposure to toxic substances;
- Compressed gases;
- Slips or trips and falls;
- Explosions and fires;
- Defective equipment;
- Scaffolding accidents;
- Welding accidents;
- Vehicle accidents;
- Getting struck or run over by heavy machinery;
- Operating machinery or tools while under the influence;
- 3rd-party negligence.
The Most Common Types of Construction Accident Injuries
Construction accidents can result in a wide variety of injuries ranging from bumps and bruises to concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and even death. At Parker Waichman LLP, our lawyers have represented construction workers who have sustained injuries that include the following:
Head Injuries. Head injuries can lead to significant and permanent brain damage. Head injuries can adversely affect your ability to think, function, and move. Some common kinds of head injuries include skull and facial fractures, facial lacerations, concussions, comas, and traumatic brain injuries.
Bone Injuries. Bone injuries are a common construction accident injury, and could involve dislocated joints or bone fractures.
Soft Tissue Injuries. Soft tissue injuries are not always apparent immediately after an accident, but they can be painful and even debilitating. These types of injuries typically involve stretching or tearing of tendons, muscles, or ligaments.
Back and Neck Injuries. Back and neck injuries can be extremely painful and might require extensive surgeries and rehabilitation. In extreme cases, a back or neck injury can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis.
Crushed or Amputated Limbs. These types of injuries often occur when construction workers operate or work around heavy machinery and power tools.
Burns. When fires, explosions, or chemical spills happen at construction sites, workers can sustain serious and sometimes disfiguring burns.
Death. In some instances, a construction accident can result in fatalities. When a worker dies in a workplace accident, their family can typically bring a wrongful death claim seeking damages on their behalf.
If you’ve sustained injuries in a construction accident in New Jersey, it is important that you consult with an experienced and skilled New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyer today. Depending on the seriousness of your accident, injuries, and other damages, it is possible that you are facing a long road to recovery and that you may be unable to return to the job you once held. In order to protect your rights to the compensation you deserve, be sure to call Parker Waichman LLP today to discuss your case.
CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT CLAIMS AND LAWSUITS IN NEW JERSEY
When you are injured in a construction accident, there might be one or more ways to pursue compensation for injuries and other damages including:
Workers’ Compensation Claims. In many instances, injured workers are entitled to benefits under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage. As long as they are injured while on the job, workers can usually receive benefits under workers’ compensation regardless of who is at fault for the accident. The benefits that injured construction worker may be entitled to include medical expenses, temporary or permanent disability benefits, funeral expenses, and death benefits. It is important to note that workers’ compensation typically bars a lawsuit against the employer for damages.
General Negligence Cases. Sometimes a construction accident is caused by the negligent actions of a third party. In these cases, an injured worker may sue this third party for damages. In accidents that involve independent contractor negligence or that are caused by the negligent actions of someone visiting the construction site, injured workers often pursue personal injury actions against these third parties.
Product Liability Claims. Construction workers also sustain injuries as a result of defective products or devices. When this happens, an injured individual may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of the product or device, plus any other who was in the chain of distribution. For example, if a worker uses a ladder at the construction site and they fall as a result of a defect in that ladder, and they are injured, they might be able to recover damages from the manufacturer, retailer, or wholesaler of that ladder.
Wrongful Death Claims. If a construction worker sustains fatal injuries on the job, their family members might be able to bring a wrongful death claim on the worker’s behalf. The compensation that a worker’s family may be qualified to file for a wrongful death case which includes compensation for medical and funeral expenses, loss of financial support, loss of value of household services, and loss of companionship and comfort.
Liability in a New Jersey Construction Accident Case
If you are injured in a New Jersey construction accident, and your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you typically do not have to prove liability in order to obtain your benefits. However, you are usually barred from also filing personal injury claims against your employer unless the injuries you sustained were intentionally and knowingly caused by your employer.
While lawsuits against employers do happen, it is actually more common to file a claim against third parties. Some third parties who might be liable for construction accidents include:
Owners of Construction Sites. In instances where the owner of the construction site is different than the actual employer, the liability of the site owner will depend on what kind of control the owner exercises over the premises verses the control that the owner has over the work being conducted at the site.
Prime Contractors. Although there are plenty of rules and requirements that apply to contractors at construction sites, not all of them are liable for accidents that occur at the site that are the result of unsafe conditions. Prime contractors are those who are responsible for completing a project under contract with the owner of the job. They are allowed to delegate some of the work to subcontractors, but they must retain exclusive responsibility for them and their safety.
General and Sub-Contractors. Under OSHA regulations, general and sub-contractors are generally required to provide construction workers with reasonably safe constructions sites, to ensure that work is being performed according to safety regulations, and to warn workers of any potential hazards or dangerous conditions at the site. If an accident or injury happens at the site due to the negligence of the general or sub-contractor, then the injured worker may be able to pursue damage from the contractor.
Engineers and Architects. In some instances, engineers and architects have a duty to ensure compliance with relevant regulations, with building plans, and to make sure that the work is going according to plan. To determine whether an engineer or the architect might be liable for an injury that occurs at a construction site, it is first necessary to figure out whether the engineer or architect owed the injured worker any duty of care.
Manufacturers. If a construction worker is injured by a defective product or device at the site, then the manufacturer of the device, the wholesaler, retailer, distributor, or anyone else in the chain of distribution may be liable for the injuries and other damages.
Damages in a New Jersey Construction Accident
Construction accidents can cause serious physical, psychological, and financial harm to workers and their families. Severe injuries can mean extensive and expensive medical treatment, pain and suffering, and loss of income if you are unable to work. When you file a claim or a lawsuit for damages, you may be able to recover medical expenses, lost earnings, and other costs associated with your injury and physical pain, your mental and emotional anguish, and temporary or permanent disability.
Regardless of whether workers’ compensation insurance will cover your damages or if a third party is liable, it is important to contact an experienced New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyer as soon as possible. Call our lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or fill out our contact form online and find out what we can do for you.
Frequently Asked Questions about construction Accidents and injuries in New Jersey
Q: What should I do if I’ve been injured in a construction accident in New Jersey?
A: If you’ve been injured in a construction accident in New Jersey, it is important that you (1) seek prompt medical attention for your injuries; (2) report your injuries to your employer or manager in order to preserve your rights to a workers’ compensation claim; (3) collect evidence of and information about your accident including witness contact information and testimony, photographs, medical records and any other relevant information; and (4) contact an experienced New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyer to discuss your case and your legal options.
Q: What is OSHA?
A: OSHA or the Occupational and Safety Health Administration is responsible for protecting worker safety and health in the United States. OSHA determines the rules and regulations that provide workplace and construction site safety, enforces these workplace health and safety standards, and also provides training, assistance, and information to employers and workers. OSHA regulates most private sector employers and their employees in the U.S., the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories.
Q: Does New Jersey have a workers’ compensation system?
A: Yes, under New Jersey law, all employers who are not covered by Federal programs must carry workers’ compensation insurance, unless they qualify for and are approved to carry self-insurance.
Q: If I have been injured in a construction accident, will I qualify for workers’ compensation benefits?
A: Whether or not you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits will depend on the facts and circumstances of your accident and injury. Workers’ compensation is a program designed to cover accidental injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace, but you must first be considered an employee, and your employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance in order to qualify for benefits. Workers’ compensation is a no fault system which means that you are entitled to benefits no matter who is responsible for the accident. However, there are certain exceptions. For example, if you were intoxicated at the time of the workplace accident, you generally will be unable to recover benefits.
In other instances, if you do not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you may be able to pursue a third party negligence claim against another individual or entity.
Q: What is the time limit for filing a workers’ compensation or third-party claim in New Jersey?
A: Every state has a deadline for filing workers’ compensation and personal injury claims. These deadlines are also referred to as statutes of limitation. The New Jersey statute of limitations for both workers’ compensation claims and personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of the injury or accident. In other words, if you fail to file within the two-year deadline, you could be at risk for losing your right to compensation. It is important to note that there are other important deadlines that arise once you’ve been injured in a construction or work accident, so it is vital that you consult with an experienced New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyer as soon as possible in order to protect your right to recover damages.
Q: Does my employer decide whether I qualify for workers’ compensation benefits?
A: Usually it is not your employer, but their workers’ compensation insurance carrier that decides whether you are eligible for benefits. The insurance carrier will investigate your claim to determine whether the accident was actually work-related, and will determine the extent of your damages before issuing benefits. It is important to note that once you are injured at a construction site, you typically receive your medical treatment benefits right away. Once you qualify for other benefits, you may have to wait two weeks before you receive them.
Q: If I’ve been injured at a construction site in New Jersey, am I entitled to receive more than workers’ compensation benefits?
A: Whether or not you can pursue a claim against your employer is usually limited by workers’ compensation laws, unless your employer intentionally or knowingly causes you injury. However, other third parties might be legally responsible for your injuries and other damages including property owners, contractors, and manufacturers.
Q: If I was not working at a construction site, but was walking by or visiting it and was injured, who can I sue for my injuries and other damages?
A: If you were injured at a construction site but were not actually working there, you might have a claim against the contractors or site owners. Determining liability in this context can be extremely complicated so it is always a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyer who can help you establish who is at fault.
Q: Should I hire a lawyer if I’ve been injured in a construction accident?
A: If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, it really is a good idea to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Regardless of whether your injuries are minor or severe, you may be entitled to benefits under workers’ compensation, or you might be able to seek them from a third-party who caused your injuries and other damages. Filing any type of claim, whether it is a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim can require extensive paperwork, thorough investigation, and consultation with highly qualified expert witnesses. A knowledgeable New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyer will have the experience and resources necessary to make sure you meet any deadlines and can advocate for your rights to compensation, particularly in cases where the injuries are particularly serious or debilitating.
Q: But how can I pay a lawyer if I don’t have any money?
A: In New Jersey, most personal injury lawyers take cases on what is called a contingency fee basis, meaning that you don’t have to pay your lawyer anything up front unless and until they successfully settle your case or you win at trial. If you do obtain a settlement or a verdict, and/or you receive benefits under workers’ compensation, your lawyer will be paid by a percentage of the award or the benefits. If you do not receive any benefits or monetary award, then your lawyer gets nothing. Contingency fee agreements are important because they ensure that your lawyer will make every effort to obtain the compensation you need and deserve.
Why Choose Parker Waichman LLP?
At Parker Waichman LLP we have extensive experience assisting victims of construction accidents with their cases, and we always strive to obtain the best possible results for our clients. Through our hard work and determination, we have earned a reputation for success and over the years have recovered significant monetary awards for our clients totaling over one billion dollars. When you choose Parker Waichman LLP to handle your construction accident case, you can rest assured knowing that we will make every effort to help you recover the compensation you deserve as well.
Parker Waichman LLP has achieved a number of accolades and honors including:
- Lawdragon’s highest ranking of “5 Dragons” based on peer review
- Recognition as “Preeminent Lawyers” by the AV Peer Review Rating
- A listing in Extensive Peer Review’s Best Lawyers Publication
- An AVVO rating of 9.8 out of a perfect 10
These recognitions are evidence of the respect that other lawyers, peers, judges, and clients have for our firm and our lawyers, but they also mean that we genuinely care about our clients and that we are a results-oriented firm. At Parker Waichman LLP, you can expect exceptional legal service and advocacy, and we will work hard to recover to the fullest extent possible in your case.
TALK WITH ONE OF OUR EXPERIENCED NEW JERSEY CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT LAWYERS TODAY
At Parker Waichman LLP, our lawyers have handled a wide variety of construction and workplace accident cases and have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies and other lawyers to help our clients obtain the results they deserve.
When you choose Parker Waichman LLP to take on your construction accident case, you can be sure they will help you achieve the best possible results. No matter whether you’ve sustained minor or severe injuries, or if you’ve lost a loved one in a construction accident, it is imperative that you contact one of the experienced New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP.
Contact us today by calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or fill out our contact form online to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
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