Construction workers have an important job and contribute to our economy, our infrastructure, and our communities. However, despite the important work that construction workers perform, they often perform their job in some of the most dangerous conditions possible. Construction workers are constantly at risk of injury from heavy machinery, falling objects, improperly maintained or installed scaffolding, dangerous chemicals, and a whole list of other hazards. If you or a family member was injured in a severe construction accident in Fayetteville, Arkansas, you should work with an experienced Fayetteville construction accident attorney to discuss your legal options.
At the Law Offices of Ken Kieklak, we know that there are strict standards and regulations that have to be met, and we know that when a construction worker is injured on the job, they often face an uphill battle trying to recover damages for their injuries. However, we are here for injured construction workers in Fayetteville and bring more than twenty years of experience to our personal injury cases. You do not have to fight your construction accident case alone. To schedule a free and confidential legal consultation to discuss the details of your construction accident, you should contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438. You may also use our online submission form to schedule your free case review.
Causes of Construction Accidents in Fayetteville, AR
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. In addition to a large number of workers in this industry, the construction industry is one of the most notorious injuries for injuries. That is often because construction sites are filled with heavy machinery, toxic chemicals, and employers who are looking for any opportunity they can find to cut corners and to save money. This is often at the expense of the health and safety of their workers. Because of the dangers on a construction site, even a worker who is diligent in adhering to safety measures can find themselves injured when working on a construction site. Some of the most common types of accidents that lead to an injury include the following:
- Defective Equipment – If an employer does not perform frequent maintenance on equipment needed by workers, it could easily result in a worker being severely injured.
- Scaffolding Falls – Slip and fall accidents involving unstable scaffolding could lead to a worker being severely or possibly fatally injured.
- Poor Safety Precautions – It is the obligation of an employer to ensure that construction workers are provided with a safe workspace. Unfortunately, some employers may value profits over safety, which could lead to a personal injury claim from an employer.
- Electric Shocks – Electrocution is one of the most common causes of construction accidents. Depending on the severity of the electric shock, a worker may need weeks or months to recover.
- Burns – Burns could occur under many circumstances at a construction site. If a worker sustains a third degree or fourth degree burns, they could need surgery to correct the injuries.
- Chemical Spills – Construction workers often have to work with a number of dangerous chemicals. If these materials are mishandled, it could result in a fire or an explosion that could endanger several workers.
- Crane Accidents – If a crane malfunctions or is improperly handled, a construction worker could be crushed or severely injured due to falling debris.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these 11 million workers are at a statistical risk. In a series of data that was collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 781 fatalities in 2011 and 933 in 2014. However, there has been a shift in recent years. Concerning to many is that certain features of a construction site are more dangerous than others. Scaffolding accidents, in particular, are a primary cause of construction site accidents and deaths across the construction industry, and injuries stemming from scaffolding accidents account for nearly 10,000 injuries every year. One of the biggest contributing factors for scaffolding injuries is how the scaffolding used throughout construction sites is assembled and maintained.
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.
Most Common Construction Injuries in Fayetteville, AR
Working with heavy machinery, sharp blades, all while trying to balance on an often insecure plank on scaffolding, sounds like an act you might see when you go to the circus. However, this is not the circus. These scary conditions are the real working conditions of construction workers all across the country and right here in Fayetteville. As discussed above, there are many different reasons why there might be an accident on a construction site. When these accidents do occur, the following are some of the most notable injuries.
- Repetitive Stress Injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Lower back injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
While this list may appear short, these are only some of the injuries that we have seen in our experience representing injured construction workers. There are countless other injuries that construction workers are exposed to on a daily basis.
Injured on a Construction Site? Contact a Skilled Fayetteville, AR Construction Accident Attorney
If you have suffered a serious injury or if you have lost a loved one due to the recklessness or carelessness of another, Fayetteville, AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak can fight for you. For more than 20 years, Ken Kieklak has stood up for hard-working people who have been injured through no fault of their own. To schedule your free and confidential personal injury consultation, call (479) 316-0438. You could also contact the firm online to schedule your consultation.