The construction industry is one of the most important industries in the United States and construction workers have an important part of our economy even right here in Rogers, Arkansas. However, accidents in the construction industry are all too common. Workers face danger from the moment that they step onto a construction site. From large moving machines to sharp tools, and unstable support systems, construction workers put their life on the line every time they go to work. Even though workers may do their best to be careful, debilitating and often horrific injuries are common.
Many injured construction workers mistakenly believe their only recourse is filing a workers’ compensation claim. While our experienced lawyers are available to assist you with this process, you could also have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. In many cases, an injured worker is entitled to significantly greater compensation through a civil claim. Our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers will investigate your accident and evaluate the legal strength of your claim to determine if you have grounds to hold another party or parties liable for your damages.
The attorneys at the GKD Law understand that after an injury a construction worker often is unsure who to turn to and now sure how they will pay for their medical bills and expenses. We bring over twenty years of experience to our personal injury and workers’ compensation practice and are ready to fight for your rights. Call our law offices at (479) 316-0438 to discuss your available options.
Causes of Construction Accidents in Rogers, Arkansas
Construction sites are busy hustling places where even the safest worker can find themselves in danger’s way. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that in any given year there will be an estimated 150,000 construction site accidents, which result in an injury. Throughout decades of representing injured construction workers throughout Rogers, Arkansas, the personal injury attorneys at GKD Law have grown accustomed to the most common accidents in the construction industry.
A common cause of accidents at construction sites is exposed wires. During the building process, live wires are often running overhead or along the floor surface. If not carefully monitored, these conditions present a risk of electrocution. Additionally, a construction worker operating a crane or lift could strike powerlines extending over or running through the construction area. If underground wires have not been properly plotted or identified, a construction worker could unknowingly contact a high voltage wire.
Falls for Scaffolding or Other High Areas
Building and construction sites soar into the air. Construction workers will work on scaffolding or along open areas high above the ground. If proper safety equipment, such as harnesses, are not available, a simple misstep could lead to a life-altering or fatal injury. Sometimes the construction company fails to ensure that safety precautions and protocols are followed. In other situations, the scaffolding could be defective or carelessly erected, creating an unreasonably dangerous situation for the workers working on the structure.
Construction workers could suffer serious burns from a variety of accidents. Without a proper survey or map of underground utilities, a gas line could be ruptured, resulting in an explosion. Additionally, a construction site contains many flammable materials. If these materials are not properly stored or used, it could result in a fire and subsequent burn injuries.
Demolition is often part of the construction process – especially if an older structure is being renovated. When the process involves explosives, all workers in the vicinity could be in imminent danger. Workers should be provided with proper training and safety equipment before undertaking a demolition project. When a demolition accident occurs, the resulting injuries could include broken bones, brain damage, paralysis, or death.
Falling Materials, Tools, or Debris
As stated above, construction sites often extend two or three stories to hundreds of feet skyward. Another hazard construction workers face is falling tools, materials, or debris. If someone loses their grip on a power tool while working above on scaffolding, it could injure an unsuspecting colleague below. In addition to tools, building material could fall and crush workers below. When unfinished sections of work are not secured, they present a risk to everyone below.
Crane or Heavy Machinery Accidents
Construction sites are filled with large and heavy equipment and machinery – from giant cranes to slow-moving but powerful dump trucks and backhoes. Operators of these massive pieces of equipment must be aware of their coworkers. Unfortunately, many construction workers are struck by these massive vehicles. Furthermore, a miscalculation in moving building materials or operating a heavy piece of machinery could result in a severe or fatal injury. Additionally, when large equipment is not secured, high winds could cause a catastrophic accident.
Trip and Falls
One of the most common types of accident that results in injuries are slip and falls. Construction workers also fall victim to these pervasive incidents. Construction sites are full of building materials, parts, tools, power lines, steps, ladders, and other obstacles. If a worker is not careful or if an area has not been maintained, they could lose their footing or trip. Even a simple stumble and fall could result in a serious injury. However, if someone trips while working on a high structure, the resulting fall could be deadly.
Defects in the Equipment or Tools
Most of the above accidents result from carelessness or recklessness on the part of another person or party. In other situations, an injury is caused because of a defect in the equipment. For example, if a power tool has a defective power cord, it could result in an injury. A design flaw in a piece of heavy construction equipment is hazardous and subjects workers to an unreasonable risk. In cases where the equipment is defective and dangerous, the manufacturer could be held liable.
Out of these accidents that have become so common to the construction industry, one of the most common types of injuries are falls. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls make up a large portion of the estimated 150,000 construction site accidents each year.
Common Injuries Suffered by Rogers, AR Construction Workers
When there is an accident, there is very likely going to be an injury. Injuries in the construction injury are not only common but in many instances, they are devastating. Often injuries result from a safety regulation being ignored or because it was not followed. Through representing construction workers and other injured workers in Arkansas, we have seen the following injuries as some of the most common in the construction industry.
- Head injuries – it is no coincidence that construction workers wear heavy construction helmets. While these helmets are designed to absorb a lot of blunt force trauma head injuries are still one of the leading causes of long-term injuries in the construction industry.
- Spinal cord injuries – any injury to the spinal cord or the spinal column will likely not only produce life-long and debilitating injuries, but also will often be the end of a construction worker’s career.
- Broken bones – With heavy machinery, tools, and building materials on a construction site it is easy for any one of the bones in the body to break. However, while some broken bones will heal on their own and with minimal medical care needed, such as the case with fingers and perhaps toes. Other bones such as the arms, legs, hips, and bones in the back require prompt medical treatment and care.
- Stress Injuries – Stress injuries or repetitive motion injuries are common in the construction industry. When a construction worker is subjected to lengthy periods of stress from tools and machinery they can develop long-lasting and debilitating injuries.
The list of injuries that construction workers are subjected to is almost endless. While many of these injuries can be prevented with proper care and a rigid application of the OSHA safety requirements, other injuries cannot.
How Can an Experienced Rogers, AR Attorney Help Me Recover for My Construction Accident?
With such a high rate of accidents and injuries every year, construction workers have to face the reality that they too may be injured while working on the construction site. In addition to the amount of injuries that happen every year, these injuries often are debilitating and cause workers to miss work and incur expensive medical bills. In addition to these extensive medical bills, construction workers often find themselves in a position where they can no longer provide for their families, and may not be able to return to work because of serious and long-term injuries.
Many construction workers who are injured on the job will have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim. Under Arkansas law, workers’ comp is designed to provide injured workers a streamlined means of receiving financial benefits to cover their medical expenses and lost wages. The advantages of a workers’ compensation claim are a relatively quick payment and no requirement to prove another party was negligent. However, the insurance company will dictate your medical care, and you will not be able to recover your full lost income or for pain and suffering. While workers’ compensation laws prohibit you from filing a lawsuit against your employer, it might be possible to sue a negligent third party for your injuries and financial losses.
By filing a lawsuit against a negligent party, an attorney may be able to help an injured employee recover for various damages.
If you are injured while working at a construction site, you will incur a significant number of financial losses, including the cost of medical care, physical therapy, and counseling. Depending on the severity of your injury, you could miss weeks, months, or even years of work. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you could recover these losses and any other out-of-pocket expenses associated with your injury.
Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, you are entitled to be compensated for your non-economic damages through a civil lawsuit. For example, a jury could award you a considerable amount of money for your physical pain and emotional suffering. Also included in this subjective category of damages are things such as anxiety, depression, and loss of consortium. Our Rogers, AR construction accident attorneys will work with you to calculate your non-economic damages.
While many workers are required to file their cases through the workers’ compensation commission, in certain cases filing a personal injury case may be the most effective way of handling your case.
Contact a Rogers, Arkansas Construction Accident Attorney if You Were Injured on a Construction Site
If you have suffered a serious injury or if you have lost a loved one due to the recklessness or carelessness of another, GKD Law can fight for you. For more than 20 years, our Rogers, AR construction accident attorneys have 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 or contact us online.