As a construction worker, you’re well aware of the potential for an accident to happen. Even a well-maintained job site can lead a worker to experience unexpected injuries and suffering. A minor accident can result in weeks or even months of recovery. Catastrophic injuries have the potential to result in a lifetime of disability or death.
While many Ohio construction workers are entitled to workers’ compensation in the event they’re injured at work, those benefits aren’t always enough to help a person support their family while they recover. In addition to that, the victim may want to seek additional compensation in the event someone else’s negligence caused their accident. When that’s the case, a Cincinnati construction accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help.
Table of Contents
The Dangers of Working Construction
Working in construction is inherently more dangerous than working in an office. This is because workers are frequently around heavy machinery and toxic substances, may have to work at high heights, and are primarily doing manual labor.
To mitigate the risks of construction accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established safety standards for general industry and construction. Some of the most common site safety regulations include wearing a hard hat and protective footwear, using high visibility jackets, and wearing ear protection. It’s also required that all workers be sufficiently trained for their positions and be aware of the dangers of working with heavy machinery, as well as what to do in the event something goes wrong.
Common Construction Safety Violations and Accidents
Even with the safety regulations in place, construction sites around the country are regularly cited for violating the standards. The top ten most frequently cited standards include the following:
- Lack of fall protection
- Inadequate hazard communication
- Dangerous scaffolding
- Improper control of hazardous energy
- Inadequate respiratory protection
- Improperly used ladders
- Dangerous use of powered industrial trucks
- Inadequate fall protection training
- Improper machinery and machine guarding
- Inadequate eye and face protection
As a result of those violations, construction workers have suffered from head trauma, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, the loss of a limb, and burn injuries. While some patients recover from their injuries, a number experience lifelong consequences.
Workers’ Compensation Versus Third-Party Work Injury Claims in Ohio
According to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, any business that employs at least one person in the state is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
To be eligible for benefits after a construction accident, an employee needs to be able to prove a relationship with their employer and show the injury was in the course of employment and arose out of the employment. This means that the injury happened on the job and was caused by a risk or hazard directly related to employment. An injured employee also has to prove the injury was accidental in character, meaning the employee was following workplace protocol when their accident happened.
On average, workers’ compensation benefits are equal to 66.67% of the workers’ average weekly wages, within the state maximum and minimum. That amount changes on an annual basis. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation benefits don’t always cover all your losses and expenses. If that’s the case, you’ll want to speak with a lawyer to determine if your situation warrants a third-party construction accident claim.
In the event a third party, which includes individuals or businesses other than your employer, is responsible for or contributes to your construction accident, you can take legal action to hold them financially liable for your injuries.
Examples of construction accidents involving potential third-party liability include the following:
- A transportation accident resulting from a defective equipment or vehicle part
- A work-related burn injury or electrocution caused by a negligent subcontractor who installed improper or faulty wiring
- A scaffolding accident caused by improperly built equipment
- A work-related car accident caused by another driver
- A loss of limb caused by defective machinery
Your lawyer can help you determine what the best way for you to seek compensation is, so you receive the funds you need to recover and move past your accident. If you decide to file a third-party work injury claim, we’ll guide you through the personal injury claims process and help you build a claim that proves you were wronged.
It’s important to note that while most personal injury claims settle through negotiations, there is the possibility your case could go to trial if the opposing party is unwilling to offer a fair settlement. If that’s the case, we’ll remain by your side and help you achieve the monetary award you deserve through a verdict from a judge or jury.
Fatal Workplace Accidents in Cincinnati
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 158 total fatal workplace accidents in Ohio in 2018. Nearly 20% of those occurred in the construction industry, resulting in 29 deaths. If you’ve lost a loved one from a construction accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
The deadliest construction site accidents, which OSHA deems the “fatal four,” include falls, struck by object accidents, electrocutions, and caught-in/between accidents. Falls account for nearly one-third of all construction accident-related deaths, which is why it’s so important for those in charge of job sites to properly manage scaffolding and ladders.
As with a construction accident where the victim lives, the surviving family members of an accident victim have the right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits and a personal injury claim. Handling both matters at the same time can seem overwhelming, especially when you’re grieving the loss of your loved one. That’s why we recommend working with a Cincinnati attorney to ensure everything is filed properly and a strong case is built that proves your loved one’s accident should have been prevented.
Seek Compensation With Thomas Law Offices
At Thomas Law Offices, we understand how quickly a job site accident can upend your life. That’s why a Cincinnati construction accident lawyer is prepared to help you recover compensation for your losses. If you’re filing a third-party claim to seek additional benefits outside what you’re receiving for workers’ compensation, you may be eligible for both economic and noneconomic expenses.
Economic expenses can make up for any outstanding medical bills or lost wages workers’ comp won’t or doesn’t cover. Compensation from noneconomic damages can help you recover from any pain and suffering you endured from your accident, in addition to any loss of enjoyment of life you’ve experienced.
No matter what type of construction accident you were in, our attorneys are prepared to evaluate your case and help you determine what steps to take to secure your financial future. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and options.