Washington Construction Accident Lawyer
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Construction sites, with their dynamic nature and the blend of machinery, materials, and manpower, are no strangers to accidents.
When these accidents strike, the repercussions can be disastrous for the injured parties and their families.
A Washington construction accident lawyer becomes paramount in such challenging times.
Navigating through the aftermath of a construction mishap without expert legal guidance can be daunting and detrimental.
Seeking legal help aids in understanding your rights and helps you secure just compensation.
Murphy Trial Law advocates for the victims who suffered in construction accidents, pursuing every legal avenue.
Our construction accident attorneys in Washington fight for your justice and ensure responsible parties are held accountable.
Stats On Construction Accidents In Washington: Fatal and Non-Fatal
The construction industry is recognized for its substantial contribution to Washington’s economy.
However, with the rapid pace of development, the number of accidents on construction sites is alarming.
Washington witnesses a significant number of both fatal and non-fatal construction mishaps annually underscoring the need for safety measures and expert construction accident lawyers in Washington.
Fatal Construction Accident Statistics
- Construction accounts for 21% of all deaths among US workers.
- The number of fatal falls, slips, and trips in the construction of buildings increased from 83 in 2020 to 91 in 2021.
- Falls remain the leading cause of death. It accounted for more than one in three deaths (36.4%) of the total number of work-related fatalities in 2019.
- In 2020, construction workers accounted for 976 workplace deaths, which is nearly half of all fatal occupational injuries.
- Each year, 10.2 of every 100,000 construction workers suffer a fatal injury, which is the third-highest rate of any industry.
Non-fatal Construction Accident Statistics
- In 2020, the incidence rate of overexertion and bodily reaction for construction laborers was 48.3 cases per 10,000 full-time workers.
- In 2021, there were 169,200 total injuries in construction.
- About 40% of construction injuries result in days away from work, and the average days away from work is 11.
- Framing contractors have the highest rate of non-fatal injuries.
- 56% of construction workers have hearing impairment by the time they retire.
Types Of Construction Accidents
Construction environments are intricate, with multiple activities transpiring simultaneously.
It’s no surprise that they house varied risks. A knowledgeable Washington personal injury lawyer can be invaluable when navigating claims resulting from these dangers.
Below are listed 10 major types of construction accidents.
Falls from Heights
One of the most frequent and perilous accidents on construction sites, falls from heights can be catastrophic.
Whether descending from unstable ladders, inadequately secured scaffolding, or unprotected roof edges, the outcomes can be debilitating.
Ensuring proper fall protection, training, and equipment can considerably reduce such incidents.
Slip and Trip Accidents
Often overlooked, slip and trip hazards can cause substantial harm.
Loose cables, scattered tools, wet surfaces, or even uneven ground can catch a worker off guard. These accidents, although seemingly simple, can result in fractures, head injuries, or prolonged back problems.
Prioritizing housekeeping and clear walkways can mitigate these risks.
Electric hazards lurk in many corners of construction sites. From exposed electrical wires and unfinished electrical systems to high-voltage power lines, the threats are numerous.
Electrocutions can lead to heart complications, severe burns, and at times, fatalities. It underscores the importance of regular safety checks and the use of protective gear.
Struck by Object
The dynamic nature of construction sites means objects are constantly in motion.
Falling tools from overhead, swinging machinery parts, or even airborne materials can strike workers with little warning. Helmets, safety nets, and toe boards can significantly prevent these unforeseen injuries.
When delving deep into the earth, the stability of the surrounding soil is paramount.
Trench collapses can suddenly engulf workers, resulting in crushing injuries or suffocation. Regular inspections, sloping, shoring, and shielding methods are crucial to safeguard workers during excavation tasks.
Machines simplify tasks but come with their own set of dangers. Improper operation, entanglement with moving parts, or machine malfunctions can lead to life-altering injuries or amputations.
Regular maintenance, operator training, and machine guarding can prevent such calamities.
Fires and Explosions
Combustible materials, gas leaks, or faulty wiring can quickly transform a construction site into an inferno.
Fires and explosions can cause burn injuries, respiratory problems, and structural collapses. Adequate storage of flammable materials, regular equipment checks, and emergency evacuation plans are essential to maintain safety.
The physical demands of construction work can sometimes lead to overexertion. Carrying heavy materials, repetitive motions, or working in extreme temperatures can result in musculoskeletal injuries.
Regular breaks, ergonomic equipment, and training can help in reducing such incidents.
Exposure to Hazardous Materials
Construction sites often involve the use of chemicals, solvents, or asbestos. Inhaling or coming into direct contact with these substances can lead to long-term health issues or immediate chemical burns.
Proper storage, protective equipment, and handling training can curb these dangers.
Heavy vehicles like cranes, bulldozers, and trucks are commonplace on construction sites. Collisions, rollovers, or struck-by accidents involving these vehicles can be deadly.
Rigorous vehicle maintenance and operator training are the cornerstones to prevent such accidents.
Causes That Lead To A Construction Accident
Despite rigorous safety measures, construction sites in Washington remain fraught with dangers.
The complexity and dynamic nature of these sites can spawn a variety of hazards.
With the expertise of a Washington construction accident attorney, victims can identify and rectify these root causes.
Proper training is the bedrock of safety on construction sites. Without it, workers might not recognize potential dangers or know the best procedures to follow.
Insufficient training can result in a wide range of errors, from equipment misuse to incorrect procedure follow-through, leading to potential injuries or even fatalities.
Insufficient Safety Equipment
A construction worker’s safety often depends on the quality and availability of their protective gear. Helmets, safety harnesses, and protective eyewear are just a few essential items.
If these are not provided, or if they’re of poor quality, workers are left vulnerable to a myriad of dangers, ranging from falling debris to electrical shocks.
Poor Site Management
A well-organized construction site is typically a safer one.
Conversely, sites with poor management may have unclear protocols, leading to chaos and confusion. Such disorganization can result in preventable accidents, as workers might not be aware of ongoing activities that pose risks around them.
Construction sites rely heavily on machinery and tools. If these malfunction due to poor maintenance or inherent defects, they can become potential hazards.
For instance, a malfunctioning crane might drop heavy loads unexpectedly, causing injuries below.
Lack of Communication
Proper communication is the key to coordination and safety.
When instructions are not clearly relayed or when workers are not informed of potential dangers in specific zones, accidents can easily occur.
Skilled supervisors are essential for ensuring workers adhere to safety protocols.
A lapse in supervision can lead to workers taking shortcuts or not using safety equipment, resulting in avoidable accidents.
Hazardous Site Conditions
Environmental conditions, like wet or uneven surfaces, can pose slip and fall risks. Similarly, poorly lit areas can conceal hazards, making them harder to spot and avoid.
Exposed Electrical Wiring
Electrical hazards are among the top causes of construction injuries. Exposed wires or unfinished electrical systems can result in electrocutions or fires if not handled correctly.
Overexertion and Fatigue
Construction work can be physically demanding. Pushing workers too hard without adequate breaks can lead to overexertion, fatigue, and mistakes born from physical and mental exhaustion.
Inattentive or Distracted Workers
With so much activity on a construction site, it’s easy for workers to become distracted.
A momentary lapse in attention, such as not noticing moving machinery or a fellow worker’s actions, can result in severe accidents.
Injuries After A Construction Accident
Construction sites, with their inherent hazards, can be the origin of various types of injuries, from minor to life-threatening.
Understanding the possible injuries can help in creating preventive measures.
Moreover, in the unfortunate event of an accident, a construction accident attorney in Washington would require these details to build a comprehensive claim.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Heavy objects, falls, or machinery malfunctions can result in head trauma. TBIs range from concussions to more severe brain damage, impacting a worker’s cognitive functions, sometimes permanently.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Falls from heights or being struck by heavy equipment can harm the spine. Depending on the severity, such injuries might lead to partial or complete paralysis, significantly altering a worker’s quality of life.
- Fractures and Broken Bones: With the potential for falls, machinery mishaps, or structural collapses, broken bones are unfortunately common in construction scenarios. Recovery can be lengthy and may entail surgery.
- Cuts and Lacerations: Sharp tools, unfinished surfaces, or exposed wiring can lead to deep cuts or lacerations, which, if not treated promptly, might result in infections or other complications.
- Electrical Burns or Electrocution: Exposed wiring or incomplete electrical systems can cause electrical burns or even fatal electrocution, making electrical safety paramount on sites.
- Respiratory Issues: Inhaling harmful chemicals, dust, or other pollutants can lead to respiratory problems. Prolonged exposure without proper respiratory protective gear can cause chronic respiratory diseases.
- Hearing Loss: Constant exposure to loud noises from machinery without protective ear gear can cause temporary or even permanent hearing loss.
- Chemical Burns: Improper handling or storage of hazardous chemicals can lead to chemical burns, affecting the skin and, in severe cases, underlying tissues.
- Eye Injuries: Flying debris, chemicals, or intense light can cause eye injuries. Without protective eyewear, workers risk everything from minor irritations to blindness.
- Amputations: Severe accidents involving heavy machinery can unfortunately result in the loss of limbs. Amputations are life-altering injuries, requiring extensive rehabilitation and support.
Steps To Take After A Construction Accident In Washington
Accidents on construction sites can be overwhelming and confusing. However, the immediate actions you take can greatly impact your recovery and the strength of any subsequent legal claims.
Engaging with a Washington construction accident lawyer can provide more personalized guidance. Follow the steps below aftermath of a construction accident.
- Report the Accident Immediately: Notify your supervisor or the site manager about the accident as soon as possible. Documenting the incident promptly is crucial for workers’ compensation claims and other potential legal actions.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if injuries seem minor, it’s essential to get a medical evaluation. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and having a medical record post-accident can be invaluable for future claims.
- Document the Scene and Injuries: If possible, take pictures of where the accident happened, any equipment involved, and your injuries. They serve as evidence if there’s a dispute about the accident’s circumstances.
- Gather Witness Information: If anyone saw the accident, gather their contact details. Witness statements can provide additional information and context about the incident.
- Keep a Personal Record: Document your injuries, treatments, and any related expenses. Also, note down your account of the accident while it’s fresh in your memory.
- Notify the Construction Union: If you’re a union member, inform your union about the accident. They can offer support and resources during your recovery.
- Avoid Giving Detailed Statements: Be careful when speaking with insurance companies or representatives from the construction company. Consult with a construction accident lawyer in Washington before giving any detailed statements.
- Consult a Lawyer: A Washington construction accident attorney can help you protect your rights and secure a fair settlement. They inform you about potential compensation avenues.
- File a Workers’ Compensation Claim: If eligible, initiate the claim process for workers’ compensation as soon as you can. A seasoned attorney can help you with it.
Determining Liability And Claiming Compensation After A Construction Accident
After a construction accident, determining who is at fault becomes a complex endeavor.
Multiple parties, ranging from contractors, subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, to even architects, could bear responsibility.
Engaging with a Washington construction accident lawyer can assist in identifying the liable parties and guide victims on potential compensation avenues.
There are three types of damages you may seek compensation for: Economic and Non Economic.
- Economic Damages: These are tangible losses that can be calculated, such as medical expenses, lost wages, future medical care, and rehabilitation costs. Maintaining all related receipts and records is essential to substantiate these claims.
- Non-Economic Damages: They account for intangible damages like pain, suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship. Though subjective, a skilled construction accident attorney in Washington can guide victims in presenting a strong case for these damages.
L&I or Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ Compensation or Labor and Industries (L&I) claim is a primary recourse for many construction accident victims. It provides benefits like medical bill coverage and partial wage replacement.
However, when filing an L&I claim, you typically waive the right to sue your employer. It’s a structured system to ensure timely support without lengthy legal battles.
Yet, disputes can arise, and a construction accident lawyer in Washington can help navigate them.
Outside of Workers’ Compensation, victims might have grounds to file third-party claims if another party’s negligence contributed to the accident. It could be against a subcontractor, equipment manufacturer, or even a property owner.
Such claims can offer compensation avenues not available under L&I, like full lost wages or pain and suffering.
Due to their complexity, consulting with a Washington construction accident attorney is crucial.
Contact Murphy Trial Law For Your Construction Accident Case
Navigating the aftermath of a construction accident is both emotionally and legally challenging.
From understanding the complexities of liability to seeking rightful compensation, victims need a guiding hand.
That’s where Murphy Trial Law steps in. Our seasoned Washington construction accident lawyers are committed to representing your best interests.
We help you uphold your rights and receive the justice you deserve.
We have an in-depth understanding of the intricacies involved in construction accident cases, from workers’ compensation nuances to third-party claim specifications.
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