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Construction Accident Lawyers
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 20 percent of all nationwide worker fatalities in 2019 occurred in the construction industry. Construction workers in Owensboro and elsewhere in the country face numerous risks on the job. They often work from heights or in trenches, handle heavy machinery, and rely on coworkers or subcontractors to keep them safe. When something goes wrong, the results can be catastrophic for workers and their families.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a construction accident, you could be entitled to compensation for medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering, and other damages. However, getting what you truly deserve can be complicated and involve filing a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Morgan & Morgan is here to help and advise injured workers. Our Owensboro, KY construction accident lawyers can pursue justice and compensation on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn about your rights and options.
Kentucky’s Most Dangerous Jobs
Kentucky’s deadliest jobs are in construction, according to The Lane Report. The most common incidents causing worker fatalities in the construction industry in Kentucky correspond to OSHA’s “fatal four,” which include:
- Getting struck by an object
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Getting caught in between
However, construction workers face many more dangers, such as trench collapses, exposure to toxic substances, and injuries from poor weather or overexertion. Other recorded construction industry fatalities in Kentucky resulted from hyperthermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, suffocation, and even homicide.
Construction sites are inherently more dangerous than other workplaces and industries, such as administration or retail. Long work hours, unsafe job sites, and heavy equipment can contribute to worker injuries and fatalities. Injuries and deaths among workers can be even more common at construction sites where employers or other contractors fail to adhere to industry safety regulations and laws.
Common Accidents at Construction Sites in Kentucky
The potential for accidents and injuries at construction sites is almost limitless due to the nature of the job sites and work. However, some of the most common incidents causing worker injuries and deaths include:
Construction sites can be chaotic and full of tripping hazards. Therefore, falls are common on construction sites and can include:
- Slips and trips due to cluttered walkways and hazards
- Falls from height, such as roofs, scaffolds, and swing stages
- Falling into excavated holes and trenches.
For some workers, a fall causes little more than some bruises or a sprained ankle. However, workers falling from great heights or into deep excavations can suffer catastrophic, disabling, and fatal injuries.
Ground and Trench Collapses
During excavation, soil can shift and move, putting workers at risk of injury. Moreover, working in trenches can be particularly hazardous for workers. According to OSHA, 23 construction workers died in trench collapses nationwide in 2016 alone.
Accidents can occur when employers fail to enact important safety measures that prevent trenches from collapsing, such as installing trench boxes or shoring up the sides of the excavation.
Construction sites can be teeming with heavy and dangerous equipment. Accidents are bound to happen if an untrained worker operates heavy and complex machinery or vehicles. While employers must ensure that workers are well-trained and safety conscious, accidents can still occur due to human or technical errors. Machinery can also malfunction due to a defective part or lack of maintenance.
Construction workers frequently work near power sources and overhead power lines. They may also be handling electricity and live wires while working in residential or commercial buildings. Common accidents leading to electrocutions can include:
- A worker coming into contact with an overhead power line
- Touching live wires or transformers
- Contact with electrical currents while working with machinery and tools
Electrocution can affect the entire body and, depending on a current’s voltage, prove deadly for a construction worker.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Construction work often entails heavy physical labor and repetitive motions. Therefore, chronic back injuries can be common among construction workers.
Common Construction Worker Injuries
Kentucky construction site accidents can cause horrific injuries and prove fatal for some workers. According to the BLS, the construction and extraction sector has one of the highest fatalities in the state, with construction trade workers particularly affected.
Injuries in construction site accidents can include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Eye injuries
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Loss of a limb
- Crush injuries
- Diseases caused by exposure to toxins, such as mesothelioma and asthma
Construction site injuries and work-related conditions can be devastating for an injured worker’s career and home life. Severe injuries can lead to steep medical expenses and income losses, making it challenging for workers to support themselves and their families.
Options for Injured Owensboro Workers
If you or a loved one got hurt in a construction accident, you could file a workers’ compensation claim and receive benefits such as wage replacement, medical expenses, and others. If another party, such as a subcontractor, caused your accident and injuries in Owensboro, you could file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation.
However, since the time to file a personal injury lawsuit in Kentucky is short, consider contacting us as soon as possible for help and advice. Our Owensboro, KY construction accident lawyers are here to help workers receive the financial compensation they deserve.
Recovering Compensation After a Construction Accident
Depending on your circumstances, you could have several options for getting your due after a construction site work injury. In the first instance, injured workers typically file a workers’ compensation claim in Kentucky.
Workers’ Compensation Claim
Most employers in Kentucky with one or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Injured workers and their families can receive a range of benefits under the program, including:
- Medical care expenses, such as hospitalization, transportation, medications, and other necessary healthcare costs.
- Wage replacement benefits, such as temporary or permanent disability payments
- Vocational assistance, including re-training, licensing, and other necessary expenses.
A deceased worker’s family could be entitled to benefits under the Kentucky workers’ comp program. If a worker dies within four years as a result of their injury, the family can recover a lump sum for burial costs. The spouse and dependent children may also claim income benefits.
Unfortunately, workers’ comp claims can be anything but straightforward, especially if your employer is not cooperating or you have trouble obtaining an adequate impairment rating. If you are struggling to get what you deserve or have had a workers’ comp claim denied in Owensboro, Morgan & Morgan is here for you.
Personal Injury Claim
Workers often believe that worker’s comp is the only way to receive compensation after a work injury. However, this is not necessarily true. Depending on the circumstances of your construction accident, you could hold a negligent third party accountable and receive compensation above and beyond your workers’ comp benefits.
Moreover, not all workers qualify for workers’ comp. Some tradesmen and construction contractors are self-employed and therefore unable to receive workers’ comp benefits. In this case, filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the responsible party may be the only way to pursue compensation.
Potential defendants in work accident claims can include:
- Property owners who failed to make a construction site safe
- A negligent subcontractor or company working at the site
- A negligent equipment manufacturer
Compensation Owensboro Workers Could Receive With a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Filing a personal injury lawsuit can allow victims to recover a variety of damages, including those that are not available with workers’ compensation, such as pain and suffering, loss of life quality, and others. Compensation can include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Loss of wages and future income loss
- Physical pain
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of a limb or a sense
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Permanent disability
- Loss of life enjoyment
A construction accident lawyer can advise you comprehensively on your options and the types of compensation you could receive with a personal injury claim.
Fatal Construction Accidents and Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Losing a loved one unexpectedly in a construction accident is a great shock. While no amount of compensation can bring back your loved one or lessen your grief, a fair settlement can help avert financial chaos after your loss. Close family members of a fatally injured worker could file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover damages, such as:
- Lost earning power of the decedent
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills before the victim’s death
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of services
If you intend to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Kentucky, time is of the essence. Most wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within one or two years, depending on when the estate’s personal representative was appointed. Our attorneys can help you navigate the legal process and file a wrongful death lawsuit within all applicable deadlines.
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Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer After a Construction Accident?
Whether you need to hire a lawyer can depend on various factors, such as:
- The severity of your injury
- The complexity of your case
- Whether you have high financial damages
- Whether an employer or their insurance company cooperate
In most cases, except for the most minor of injuries, having an experienced attorney by your side can be critical for getting what you deserve, whether with a workers’ comp claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Construction accident cases can be legally complex and involve several responsible parties. Standing up against an employer or corporation on your own can feel intimidating and overwhelming.
An attorney can protect your best interests and ensure you are not leaving any money on the table in negotiations. They can identify all liable parties and avenues for recovering compensation, which could benefit your final settlement. Our personal injury lawyers work for free and only get paid if and when you win. Therefore, you do not take any financial risks when hiring us to represent you.
What Are My Best Steps After Getting Injured in a Construction Accident in Owensboro?
You must report your accident and injury promptly to your supervisor or employer and fill in an accident report. Your employer should then start the workers’ comp claim process.
Your next best step is seeking medical help if you have not already visited a doctor or hospital. Ensure to follow your doctor’s advice and treatment plan, as not doing so could threaten your workers’ comp benefits and sink your personal injury claim.
If you sustained a significant injury and steep medical bills, consider contacting an attorney to determine your options. You may be entitled to damages in addition to workers’ comp benefits.
When Should I File a Construction Accident Lawsuit in Owensboro?
Timely action can be critical when you or a loved one gets injured in Kentucky. Unlike most other states, Kentucky has a relatively short statute of limitation. According to Kentucky Revised Statutes section 413.140(1)(a), you generally only have one year to file a personal injury lawsuit in the state.
Contacting our Owensboro, KY construction accident lawyers as soon as possible after your injury can protect your rights and help you recover the compensation you deserve. On the other hand, filing a lawsuit after the deadline has passed generally prohibits victims from seeking compensation.
Morgan & Morgan Fights for Injured Workers and Their Families
A construction accident can turn your entire life upside down and cause physical, emotional, and financial turmoil. From one moment to the next, you may be unable to work and provide for your family. Morgan & Morgan knows only too well the devastating consequences of construction accidents on Kentucky’s workers and their families. However, you do not have to go through this on your own.
Our qualified and experienced attorneys know how to handle construction accident lawsuits and workers’ comp claims. We have helped countless victims receive their due after getting injured at work. We could fight for you too. Contact Morgan & Morgan today to determine in a free case review how we could help.