Fayetteville, AR Construction Work Injury Lawyer
Construction workers are required to perform highly demanding tasks. Duties, like operating heavy machinery, working at high altitudes, and working at roadside construction sites, can be extremely dangerous. Construction site injuries are often serious and can leave a worker sidelined and unable to continue working. A serious injury may leave you feeling helpless when you have to pay medical bills and any other bills that you are responsible for.
If you or a family member was injured while performing work at a construction site, you should speak with an experienced injury lawyer. Fayetteville, AR construction work injury lawyer Ken Kieklak can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Our law firm has dedicated over 20 years to helping construction workers in Fayetteville, AR file their injury cases and would be honored to help you. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.
Common Causes of Construction Site Injuries
Every year, hundreds of construction workers sustain fatal injuries while working. In 2016, there were 4,693 worker fatalities in the private sector for all industries, 991 of those employees were construction workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), that averages to about 21.1% or one in five worker deaths in the construction industry.
Construction worker fatalities are high because of various hazards present at a typical construction site. Construction sites may have wires scattered across the floor or power tools left in places where they could fall and strike other workers. Here are some common causes of construction accidents:
- Slip and falls
- Struck by falling objects
- Caught-in/between machinery or equipment
- Defective equipment
- Toxic chemicals or substances
- Crane accidents
- Inadequate safety precautions
Prevention is likely the best method to ensure that injuries do not occur at a construction site. This can require well-executed safety precautions and employees who are well trained.
Safety Tips to Prevent Construction Injuries
With adequate precautions, many construction injuries can be prevented. OSHA offers various methods for making a construction site safer for employees. For example, scaffolding injuries may be avoided by building scaffolding that is strong and capable of carrying its own weight, plus four times the maximum intended load, without any shifts. Scaffolding accidents account for approximately 4,500 injuries and 50 fatalities to construction workers each year.
Stairways and ladder hazards account for nearly 25,000 injuries and 36 fatalities per year. OSHA estimates that about half of these injuries required a worker to take time off work. Stairway and ladder accidents can be avoided by:
- Cleaning stairway treads and walkways of dangerous objects
- Resolving slippery conditions on stairways and walkways
- Using the right ladder for the job
- Inspecting ladders for any defects which can cause an injury
Employers can also prevent injuries by outfitting employees with proper equipment. The type of work an employee is performing should dictate the type of equipment an employer should provide. For example, a worker that is working with toxic chemicals should be given protective gear like goggles, a breathing mask, and gloves.
Common Types of Injuries from Construction Work
Due to the wide range of functions that construction workers are expected to perform, they are often subject to many different types of injuries. This is not surprising, considering that construction workers must learn to use heavy machinery or transportation vehicles and may lack the training they need. Here are some of the most common injuries that occur at a construction site:
- Cuts and scrapes
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Lower Back Injuries
- Chemical burns
- Repetitive Stress Injuries
If you suffer one of these injuries or another injury at a construction site, it is important to notify your employer and seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive from a Construction Accident?
In 2020, there are an estimated 11 million public and private sector construction industry workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey. According to the BLS annual survey of occupational injuries and illnesses, the incidence rate of injuries and illnesses in the construction private industry sector is on a decline from previous years where workers were often injured at the workplace. With these numbers in mind, it is important that injured construction workers know that they can recover for their injuries if they were caused by a negligent party. By working with a skilled personal injury and construction attorney, you may be entitled to receive any of the following types of compensation.
- Loss of wages;
- Medical expenses;
- Counseling costs;
- Physical therapy;
- Property damage;
- Ongoing living expenses;
- Mortgage and rent;
- Pain and suffering; and/or
- Loss of consortium for widows or widowers.
In some cases, a plaintiff could be awarded punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for performing a particularly reckless or intentional act. This is why punitive damages could end up being exponential to the amount of damages awarded to a plaintiff. However, you should not assume that punitive damages will be available without speaking to your lawyer about the matter.
Most injured construction workers file their injury claims under the Workers’ Compensation commission. However, that does not mean that you are not entitled to the above types of compensation. When there is a construction accident it is often the result of a complex set of facts that have all come together to result in an accident. This means that while filing a Workers’ Compensation claim may be appropriate in many instances, in others, filing a personal injury case may be the best method for you and your family to recover from your injuries.
Our firm is here to discuss whether a construction accident lawsuit or a Workers’ Compensation claim is best for your particular situation. For example, if an employer intends to vehemently challenge your right to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits, it may be wise to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against them. Additionally, if you were injured at the workplace due to the actions of a negligent coworker, a lawsuit against that party may be more appropriate.
It is important to remember that you cannot pursue a Workers’ Compensation claim and a construction accident lawsuit against your employer. You will have to make a decision between the two.
To learn more about filing a construction accident lawsuit in Arkansas, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Fayetteville construction accident attorney as soon as possible.
When to File a Construction Accident Lawsuit in Fayetteville, AR
If you have decided that you will pursue a construction accident lawsuit against your employer instead of a Workers’ Compensation claim, you should know that you only have a small timeframe to get your case filed with a court of law. The filing deadline for construction accident lawsuits and many other types of cases is due to the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations dictates the length of time that a potential plaintiff has to file their lawsuit with a court of law. Note, however, that the statute of limitations is subject to change based on a number of factors. For example, different states will select different filing deadlines for the same type of case. As a result, a plaintiff may have more or less time to file their lawsuit in comparison to other states. Additionally, the circumstances of your case could also affect the filing deadline.
If you are filing a construction accident lawsuit in Arkansas, you will only have three years from the date of the injury to file your case with the appropriate court of law. However, if you are unable to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations deadline expires, the court has the authority to bar your claim permanently. If this happens, the plaintiff will be left with no other options to seek compensation for their injuries and other related losses.
If you are unsure about when the filing deadline for your case will expire, you should waste no time to speak with an experienced construction accident attorney as soon as possible. Please avoid making any hasty assumptions about your filing deadline as filing your case even a day late would be destructive to your case.
Elements of Negligence for Construction Accident Lawsuit in Fayetteville
If you were injured in a construction accident, you would have to prove how your employer was responsible for your accident. For example, if your employer provided you with faulty equipment, this could be used as evidence for your case. Specifically, a plaintiff in a construction accident lawsuit will have to prove the following elements of negligence:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant breached their duty to the defendant
- The plaintiff was injured due to the actions of the defendant
- The plaintiff could pursue compensation for their injuries in a court of law
Once these elements are proven, the plaintiff could be awarded damages for their case.
Workers’ Compensation Claims for Construction Injuries
If you suffer an injury while working at a construction site, you should seek immediate medical attention and notify your employer as soon as possible.
To qualify for Workers’ Compensation, you must be able to show that you were injured in the course of your employment and that you were working at the time of the injury. Next, you must show that your injury was a direct result of working or that working aggravated a pre-existing condition. The mere fact that you were at work when your injury occurred is not enough to successfully claim Workers’ Compensation. Finally, you must show that you sustained an actual loss because of your injury. An actual loss can be a wage loss, a loss of function, or the cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Injured workers who are approved for Workers’ Compensation can receive medical benefits and wage loss benefits. Filing for Workers’ Compensation will bar you from filing a personal lawsuit against your employer, but you may still be able to sue liable third parties for your injuries.
Additionally, there is a time limit for filing a workman’s compensation claim. For more information on these time limits and your rights in an injury case against your employer, you should speak with an experienced workplace injury attorney.
Fayetteville, AR Construction Injury Attorney Offering Free Consultations
If you or a family member has been seriously injured at a construction site, you should talk to an attorney about your claim. Fayetteville, AR construction injury attorney Ken Kieklak can help you claim workers’ comp. benefits for your injury. Ken Kieklak will work diligently to ensure that you get the money you need. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (479) 316-0438.