Construction work is one of the most physically demanding jobs there is — and it is also extremely dangerous. Statistics from the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) indicate that over 20 percent of workplace fatalities nationwide occur in construction. If you’re injured in an on-the-job construction accident and encounter problems getting your workers’ comp benefits, our Richmond workers’ compensation lawyers at Renfro & Renfro are here to help. Our attorneys also assist workers with third-party personal injury claims that arise out of workplace construction accidents. We serve clients throughout the metro area and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
OSHA has a Fatal Four list of causes for construction accidents. The list includes falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and “caught-in/between,” which includes workers caught between equipment and objects, as well as those struck or crushed by equipment, material, or a collapsing structure.
OSHA reports show that falls account for about a third of deaths. Electrocutions and being hit by an object together account for another 20 percent. The remaining number of fatalities result from a worker being struck or crushed and other various causes.
Serious construction accidents often are attributable to the same causes as fatalities. Understanding what causes the majority of accidents helps workers use extra care in those situations.
Regardless of what caused your construction accident injuries — and even if you aren’t sure exactly what caused the accident — you should pursue the legal claims available to you as soon as possible after the accident. That likely means filing for workers’ compensation. In some situations, you also may have a personal injury claim against someone other than your employer.
Worker injuries in construction accidents are often catastrophic. They frequently have long-term and even lifelong impacts on the worker’s employment and personal future. Examples of some of the more common types of serious injuries that occur in construction accidents include loss of a limb (or limbs), spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and blindness or loss of hearing.
Most workers injured in a construction accident must recover through workers’ compensation, which provides specific benefits while foreclosing the possibility of suing the employer for the injury, except in very limited circumstances. Workers’ comp benefits include:
Workers’ compensation claims arising from construction accidents are extremely complex. If you’re seriously injured in any type of construction accident, you have the best chance of recovering the maximum potential workers’ compensation benefits if you retain an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Attempting to navigate your claim without the benefit of a lawyer likely means that you won’t receive all the benefits you are entitled to or a settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries.
Our Richmond workplace construction accident attorneys at Renfro & Renfro have the necessary skill and experience to obtain full Virginia workers’ compensation benefits for injured workers. Workers’ comp cases are a primary focus of our law practice.
If you’re covered by workers’ compensation, you cannot sue your employer for negligence in a personal injury claim. However, there are some situations in which you may be able to make a personal injury claim against a third party, when someone other than your employer is responsible for your injuries.
One possible type of personal injury claim is a product liability claim. If you suffer injuries from a piece of equipment, there are circumstances in which the manufacturer or distributor of the equipment may be responsible. To make that determination, an experienced personal injury lawyer must investigate the case and analyze how and why the accident occurred.
A personal injury claim also may exist if someone other than your employer was on the construction site. If that person’s (or company’s) negligence or safety violations caused the accident that resulted in your injuries, you may have the basis for a lawsuit against them. As with product liability claims, a personal injury attorney must evaluate the circumstances to make that determination.
Compensation in a personal injury claim potentially includes more than your workers’ comp claim. However, even if you have a personal injury claim, it doesn’t mean you recover twice for items like medical expenses. You likely will have to reimburse the workers’ comp insurance company if you recover in a personal injury claim for items they paid.
Personal injury claims for construction accidents involve complex laws that require attention from an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer. Our attorneys at Renfro & Renfro focus our practice on both personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. When a client comes to us with a workers’ comp case involving a construction accident, we thoroughly investigate and analyze the case to determine whether any third-party personal injury claims exist.
If you received injuries in a construction accident, our experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys at Renfro & Renfro are here to help you and your family. You can count on us to get the full amount of workers’ compensation you deserve, as well as evaluate your case for potential third-party personal injury claims. We offer injured workers a free consultation and case evaluation.
We serve clients in the Greater Richmond Region, including in Petersburg and Dinwiddie, and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. We welcome you to schedule a consultation by using our online form.