Construction Accident Lawyers

Construction sites account for countless accidents resulting in serious injuries every year, often involving permanent disabilities. Our construction accident lawyers handle construction site cases involving catastrophic injury, and we have a track record of success.

Most construction accidents are attributable to employer negligence and are resolved as workers’ compensation claims. Often, however, there are third parties that can be held liable for construction site injuries outside of worker’s comp. If you have been injured in a construction site accident, contact our construction injury attorneys to determine your options.

Common Construction Site Accidents and Causes

Construction sites are inherently hazardous. This means that accidents happen frequently and for a wide range of reasons. Common causes of construction accidents include faulty or defective equipment, lack of adequate safety precautions, electrocution, machinery collisions, and co-worker negligence.

The largest percentage of construction mishaps occur during the worker’s first year on the job. Inexperience is the most obvious answer for this spike in first-year accidents.  Another problem for workers, particularly new employees, is overexertion.  For new employees, this is usually because the body is often not ready for the demands of the job. For long-time employees, the body may be worn out from the job’s demands.  Overexertion causes about 20% of all workplace injuries.

Another significant risk factor for workers is elevation.  Falls are common.  Injuries from elevation falls are the third leading cause of construction injuries and fatalities. Other common accidents include scaffold accidentsexplosionselectrocution accidents, and forklift collision injuries.

Types of Injuries in Construction Accidents

Physical injuries at construction sites range from minor things such as lacerations and bruises to very severe permanent injuries and even death. The severity of the injury is generally dependent on the nature and circumstances of the accident.

Back injuries are the most common type of injury in construction accident cases. Just over 20% of all construction-related injuries involve the back. Common back injuries in construction accidents include disc herniations, pinched nerves, or cervical sprains.

Head injuries (traumatic brain injuries) are another common type of construction site injury. Head injuries can be severe and are a common cause of disability and death in all accidents, including construction site accidents. Other common construction site injuries include burn injuries, broken bones, eye injuries, and hearing loss or tinnitus.

All of these common construction site injuries require extensive medical care and treatment and may also leave you unable to work for extended periods. For most construction site injuries, the injured victim’s only recourse for financial compensation is to pursue a worker’s compensation claim. However, workers’ compensation doesn’t always cover all the financial losses that a severe injury can present. Fortunately, victims can sometimes pursue compensation from third parties other than their employer in a personal injury civil lawsuit.

Damages for Construction Injuries

In a workers’ compensation claim, the victim is only entitled to limited damages for their injuries. However, the victim can recover more significant damages in a personal injury tort case against a third party. Successful plaintiffs in a personal injury civil case can get damages for the following:

Past & Future Medical Expenses: tort plaintiffs are entitled to damages for the total cost of any medical treatment they incurred due to their injuries. This includes everything from hospital stays, physical therapy, medicines, mobility aids, and any other reasonable and necessary treatment. Moreover, victims are entitled to recover damages for medical expenses even if their health insurance covers them. Medical expense damages cover not only treatment that the victim has already received but also any medical treatment they might require in the future.

Lost Income: Tort plaintiffs can also recover damages for lost wages or income they incur as a result of their injuries. This includes not just past lost wages but also future lost wages.

Pain and Suffering: In addition to “economic damages” for lost wages and medical expenses, personal injury plaintiffs can be awarded damages for mental pain and suffering they incur as a result of their physical injuries.

Liability for Construction Site Injuries

Construction workers injured on the job may be limited to pursuing a workers’ compensation claim against their employer. Workers’ compensation claims offer limited compensation compared to personal injury lawsuits. One of the primary shortcomings of workers’ compensation is that it does not provide compensation for any type of pain and suffering associated with the injury.

The workers’ comp laws generally limit the ability of employees to bring personal injury tort suits against an employer outside of workers’ comp. In most circumstances, if you are injured on the job workers’ comp, it is your only remedy against your employer.

Numerous legal exceptions permit injured employees to bring tort lawsuits against employers instead of workers’ comp claims. One of the most common exceptions applies to independent contractors. If the injured construction worker is an independent contractor (as many construction workers are), they are generally free to file civil tort lawsuits against the owner of the construction site.

What Do Third-Party Construction Accident Claims Look Like

Third-party liability arises when someone other than your employer acts negligently, leading to your injury on the job. There are countless different scenarios in which a third-party claim could be relevant. Here are a couple of common examples of construction site accidents that can give rise to third-party liability claims.

  • Faulty design of safety devices or equipment;
  • faulty plans crafted by engineer or architect;
  • failure to warn of dangerous conditions by a subcontractor;
  • vehicle or equipment accident caused by third parties;
  • The subcontractor did not properly construct scaffolding, making it unstable;
  • a defect on the property, causing a worker to fall and injure himself.

How to Calculate Construction Accident Settlement Amounts

Settlement amounts in construction site accidents are determined through a complex process that considers just a ton of factors.  So there is no compensation formula out there.  The biggest question is can you prove a deep pocket defendant is at fault.  That is hurdle #1.  When you get past that, here are the six key factors in calculating construction site compensation payouts:

  1. Severity of the Injuries: It starts here. The more severe the injuries – the greater the suffering – the higher the potential settlement payout. This bleeds into all of the other categories we list.
  2. Medical Expenses: All medical costs related to the injury are considered, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any future medical treatments or rehabilitation. High medical bills are correlated by insurance companies and defendants with serious injuries.  Sometimes this is true and sometimes it is not.
  3. Loss of Earnings: This includes lost wages due to time off work for recovery and potential loss of future earnings capacity if the individual cannot return to work or must take a lesser-paying job due to their injuries.
  4. Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress experienced by the victim, which is more subjective and can vary significantly from case to case. This is the biggest component of damages in most construction accident lawsuits.
  5. Insurance Coverage: The amount of insurance coverage available can also influence the settlement amount, especially if the liable party has substantial coverage.
  6. Legal Representation:  Your lawyer matters.  You want to pick the right one. The skill and experience of the legal representation can significantly affect the settlement amount. Experienced attorneys can negotiate more effectively with insurance companies and present a stronger case.
Construction Site Accident Verdicts and Settlements

Below are sample verdicts and settlements involving construction site accidents. Does this tell you the settlement amount you should expect if you have a similar case? No.  But it does give you some idea of the ranges of values in comparable lawsuits and in successful construction site injuries in general.

  • $1,004,000 Verdict (New York 2024): While performing construction work alone in a bathroom, a 64-year-old carpenter experienced a severe accident involving a hand saw, which led to significant injuries to his finger, shoulder, and neck. The carpenter, who was tasked with tile work that required sawing wooden boards, was injured when one of the boards fell, causing his hand to be pulled into the saw’s blade. He subsequently filed a lawsuit against the apartment owner, the co-op building owner, and the project’s general contractor, alleging negligence in providing a safe workplace and violating New York State Labor Law. The defense argued that the carpenter had chosen to use the hand saw and could have expressed his reluctance to do so.  The carpenter sustained critical injuries, including a nearly severed finger, nerve damage, and a rotator cuff tear, leading to surgery and long-term physical limitations. Despite the defense’s claims that his hand injuries had mostly healed and that his neck and shoulder injuries were due to his construction work history, the jury found the defendants to be predominantly at fault. The carpenter was awarded over a million dollars in damages, reduced by his percentage of fault to a net verdict. The court also granted a motion for contractual indemnification against one of the defendants, emphasizing the complexities of liability and compensation in workplace injury cases. The jury attributed 32 percent of the responsibility for the incident to the plaintiff and assigned 68 percent of the fault to the defendants. As a result, the plaintiff was awarded $1,004,000 in damages. Following the application of comparative fault, the adjusted final award came to $682,720.
  • $7,558,000 Verdict (Illinois 2023): The plaintiff was loading plumbing materials into the back of a truck at a large, busy construction site. Another worker at the site backed a vehicle up and pinned the plaintiff’s left knee between the two vehicles, resulting in permanent damage to his knee. The plaintiff was able to bring a third-party liability claim because the driver of the other vehicle was an employee of a subcontractor.
  • $11,000,000 Verdict (New York 2023): The plaintiff, 38 years old, reportedly was involved in an accident as a construction worker when a portion of heavy fencing fell on his head, neck, and left shoulder as he walked along a sidewalk adjacent to a construction site owned by the defendant. He sued the property owner (premises liability) and the subcontractor performing the demolition work (negligence).
  • $1,000,000 Settlement (Florida 2023): The plaintiff was reportedly working at a construction site when he fell from a wooden plank on which he was standing onto unprotected steel rebar, impaling himself. He filed suit against the general contractor, alleging they failed to provide fall protection and other safety measures.
  • $500,000 Verdict (Utah 2023): The plaintiff slipped and fell fifteen feet to the ground while working at a construction site. He reportedly broke his feet at the heels and his ankles. The plaintiff claimed permanent impairment, scarring, and disability. The plaintiff contended the defendant was negligent in not recognizing that the ladder at the construction site was placed and secured negligently.  Hard to imagine that case only being worth a half a million dollars. That is a brutal injury.
  • $2,900,000 Settlement (New York 2023): The plaintiff, 44 years old, said he was performing work at a construction site where the defendant was the general contractor when he fell from a makeshift scaffold to the concrete surface below. The plaintiff suffered severe injuries and sued the defendant for failure to provide a safe workplace.

Hire a Construction Site Accident Lawyer

If you were injured at a construction site, contact our injury lawyers today for a free consultation. Call us at 800-553-8082 or contact us online.



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