Workplace and Job Injury Matters
Thousands of workers are injured or killed at work and construction sites each year. Many of accidents involve falls, defective machinery, explosions and scaffolding accidents. Injuries caused by these accident are usually severe and result in serious disability that prevents the injured from returning to work.
Construction site accidents are a leading cause of worker deaths in the United States. As many as 50 people die in crane accidents each year and there are an estimated 10,000 workers injured in scaffolding accidents each year.
Many of these accidents could
have been prevented if proper safety precautions were taken.
The site manager needs to develop clear safety rules and guidelines
concerning safety precautions and ensure these rules are enforced.
People in charge of the site may be held responsible for any
accidents that occur. Often workers are asked to perform unsafe
tasks and fear to complain out of concern for their job.
Our attorneys represent workers in many types of incidents and job areas including: Oil field accidents, oil rig accidents, drilling accidents, coal mining accidents, well servicing accidents, pipeline accidents, work over rig accidents, tank explosions, pipeline explosions, hot work, confined space entry, H2S exposure, disposal well, test tank, tank battery, oil and gas separator, casing job, cement job accidents, workers handling, pulling rods and tubing, roustabout, roughneck, fishing job, pipe inspection dangers.
Manufacturers of construction equipment are responsible designing and maintaining safe products. Defective or dangerous products may include the following: scaffolding, cranes, power tools, derricks, hoists, conveyors, woodworking tools, ladders, winches, trucks, graters, scrapers, tractors, bulldozers, forklifts, back hoes, heavy equipment, boilers, pressure vessels, gas detectors and other types of construction equipment.
It is often possible to find
liable third parties in the event of an accident or injury. Since
most sites involve many subcontractors, it is very common to locate several
potential third party Defendants. The lawyer may also consider
claims against the general contractor, who may be responsible
for supervision and my be contractually responsible for the injury.
In more complex cases, the legal principles of Agency and analysis
of Corporate law may lead to sophisticated determinations as
to who is technically an "employee" and who the "third
parties" are in a given situation.
Workers' Compensation law is designed to help injured workers as well as employers in dealing with the problems of health insurance. The Workers' Compensation Act provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job or suffer an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment. The benefits under Workers' Comp include weekly payments based on a percentage of the employee's average weekly wage for temporary total disability, partial disability, permanent and total disability and permanent loss of function and disfigurement. Workers' Comp also covers medical expenses for treatment that is reasonable, necessary and related to the industrial injury and vocational rehabilitation services.
Unfortunately Workers' Compensation alone may be insufficient compensation especially in the case of very serious and catastrophic personal injuries. As indicated above it is necessary to look for a negligent third party such as the manufacturer of a dangerous or defective product, improper safety devices or some other party who is at fault. These cases require immediate attention and expertise because the responsible third party may be difficult to locate and evidence (such as a piece of defective machinery) needs to be preserved.