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Construction jobs are, in their nature, among the most dangerous professions in the United States. Each year, thousands of people in Massachusetts alone suffer serious injuries and death as a result of accidents occurring on construction sites. Generally dangerous places, construction site accidents often lead to lifelong disabilities, including the loss of a limb, broken bones, fractured bones, or wrongful death. The great majority of such injuries is caused either by the victim’s own negligence or by the negligence of a coworker and are therefore governed exclusively by the Massachusetts Workers Compensation Act.
See Massachusetts Construction Site Accident Settlements we’ve gotten for clients.
There are, however, construction site workers and bystanders who suffer a large number of injuries each year. These injuries are caused by the negligence of “third parties”—that is, persons who are not employed by the same company as the victim. These so-called “third party claims,” which are not governed exclusively by the Massachusetts Workers Compensation Act, permit the injured party to recover monetary compensation from those responsible for the party’s injuries. This includes compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering, reimbursement of past and future wage loss, costs of past and future medical treatment and other resulting losses from the accident. Our attorneys at Parker Scheer are well equipped to help you get what you are entitled to for compensation.
Whether you are a construction worker, crane operator, electrician, contractor or work in another related trade, Parker Scheer personal injury lawyers have the experience necessary to help you make a claim and build your case. Although there is a large range of potential sources of accidents, some of the most common types of construction site accidents are the following:
- Construction Site Falls
- Crane Accidents
- Dangerous/Unsafe/Defective Equipment Accidents
- Electrocutions/Electrical Accidents
- Elevator Accidents
- Fire and Explosion Accidents
- Forklift Accidents
- Nail gun (explosive and pneumatic) Accidents
- Run-over by Equipment
- Scaffolding Accidents
- Structural Failure/Building Collapse Accidents
- Negligent Supervision
- Welding/Brazing/Cutting (torch) Accidents
Parker Scheer attorneys have represented scores of individuals injured or killed while on construction sites, due to the negligence of third parties. If you think you may have a case, it is very important to take immediate action. You should investigate as soon as possible and preserve any evidence, including materials and machinery that were involved. Speak to any witnesses quickly as well and record their statements, as memories of details tend to fade over time. Taking these steps can help us in building your case to achieve the best possible results. Additionally, these accidents do fall under the Massachusetts Statute of Limitations, so it is important to promptly file your case and act quickly.
Massachusetts Construction Site Accident Settlements & Verdicts
FALL THROUGH STAIRWAY AT A CONSTRUCTION SITE; $380,000
The plaintiff, a then 32 year old man, was working as an apprentice sprinkler fitter at a condominium complex under construction when he injured his lower back after falling through a set of unfinished stairs. Trial report for this construction injury case
FAILURE TO SAFELY OFF-LOAD CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS; $380,000
The plaintiff, a 33-year-old freight truck operator, was hired to deliver two large steel trusses to a construction site in Marlboro, Massachusetts. After arriving, the driver located the steelworker responsible for off-loading the trusses from the plaintiff’s flat-bed truck. Because the steelworker had not made the necessary arrangements to off-load the trusses with a crane, as was customary, the steelworker attempted to slide the trusses from the bed of the truck, using a pair of wooden planks as a ramp. In order to remove the trusses, the defendant steelworker removed one of the truck’s steel side poles (used to prevent heavy objects from falling off the side of the truck) and leaned the side pole against the truck’s headboard. As the steelworker began to slide a truss toward the ramp, the side pole slipped and struck the plaintiff’s head. The plaintiff, a married father of two children, suffered a closed head injury. The settlement included a lump sum worker’s compensation settlement valued at $80,000.
LOW-GRADE ELECTRICAL SHOCK; $200,000
The plaintiff, a 36-year-old union carpenter, was electrocuted when his nail gun contacted with a live electrical junction box carrying 480 volts. Prior to the plaintiff’s beginning his work, one of the defendant’s employees assured the plaintiff that none of the wires were energized. The plaintiff’s injuries included post-concussive syndrome and mild cognitive deficits commonly associated with post-concussive syndrome. The plaintiff contended that the defendant was in violation of OSHA regulations for allowing the plaintiff to work in an area where lines were energized. The defendant disputed the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries by noting that the plaintiff returned to work after only five weeks. The case settled after a one-day mediation.
ELECTRICAL SHOCK; $200,000
The plaintiff, a municipal construction worker, suffered a low-grade electrical injury after his hand made contact with a broken underground water main. An investigation by Parker | Scheer revealed that the presence of the electrical current in a cast iron electrical pipe was due to friction damage to an overhead electrical line. The electrical utility had discovered that a nearby tree branch had worn-away the insulation and grounding wire in the overhead line, forcing the electrical current to the point of lowest electrical resistance: the water pipes. The plaintiff suffered injuries to his shoulder and experienced headaches and difficulty with concentration. The parties reached an out-of-court settlement.
TORN ROTOR CUFF AT CONSTRUCTION SITE; $750,000
The plaintiff was a union sheet metal worker who slipped and fell while operating a pallet jack on which was a large piece of HVAC equipment. He was walking backward when he slipped and fell on debris which had been left by the sub-contractor and tore his rotator cuff. The injured worker, who had 2 prior injuries to the shoulder, came under the care of an orthopedic surgeon who performed 2 surgeries to address the effects of this injury. His medical bills were in excess of $ 54,000.00. At the time of the incident, the plaintiff earned approximately $ 1,400.00 per week. He was paid worker’s compensation benefits for nearly 4 years, after which he settled his case for the present value of the remaining partial disability benefits for which he was eligible. Suit was commenced against the general partnership which oversaw the site as well as the individual general partners and a sub-contractor. The case was settled for $ 750,000.00 following 2 days of mediation less than a week before a jury trial was set to begin.
Construction Site Falls
Construction workers are faced with potential dangers that most workers do not encounter in their regular day job. Construction workers often work in buildings that are unfinished which can present a number of hazards for the workers including falls, trips or slips in the building. The falls, trip or slips can occur due to a stairway that does not have its tread secured or is missing a railing, a hole that is left open without any warning and an unstable working surface such as a floor. There are numerous safety regulations related to work performed at the construction site and the condition of the construction site itself which are required to be followed by all workers at a construction site. The safety regulations are mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), along with the state. Any violation of the safety regulation will be evidence of negligence in any construction site claim against the general contractor and/or subcontractor that failed to adhere to the mandatory regulation where the violation caused another construction worker injury. The general contractor and/or subcontractor may ultimately be liable for the injuries suffered by the worker as a result of the dangerous condition.
The injuries suffered by the workers or bystanders injured in a fall, trip or slip are often fatal. According to the United States Department of Labor’s National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report, which was released on September 20, 2012, a preliminary total of 4,609 fatal work injuries were recorded in the U.S. in 2011. Fatal falls, slips or trips took the lives of 666 workers in 2011, which represented 14 percent of all fatal work injuries. Of those 666 workers who lost their lives, falls to lower levels accounted for 541 of those fatalities. In 2011, the height of the fall of the 541 fatalities was reported in 451 of the cases. Of the reported 451, about one and four fatalities occurred after a fall or 10 feet or less. Another fourth of the reported fatalities resulted from a fall of over 30 feet.
Even if the construction site fall isn’t fatal, there is sometimes a long-lasting impact on the worker from a permanent injury. The construction worker who was injured could be faced with the inability to return to his field of work, in which he has the most knowledge in. In addition, the injured worker may require lifelong medical care. Because of this, it is extremely important to consult a personal injury.
Construction site accidents are very common, in part due to the inherent dangers that come from the machinery involved. And, in the field of construction, a crane is an essential piece of equipment. It is also a very dangerous piece of equipment when not maintained, assembled and operated with the required care. The operator of the crane must know that the crane is on sound footing before operating it and confirm the load capacity to be certain that the crane will not tip over. In addition, the operator of the crane must make sure as he is lifting the load that the crane does not come into contact with any power lines or other construction equipment or workers at the job site. Any contact between the crane and the power line could result in electrocution of the operator.
There are many safety regulations that have been put in place by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) related to the operation of a crane at a construction site. There are also regulations that require crane operators to be trained and licensed as such. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the state mandate the safety regulations to ensure that they are being properly followed and prevent potential crane accidents whenever possible.
The injuries suffered by the crane operator, other construction workers or members of the public who happen to be in the area during the time period of the accident can be extremely serious, and, in many cases, fatal. Even if the crane accident is not fatal, there is still a lasting impact of a permanent injury that the worker has to live with, operator or pedestrian. The injured worker may be paralyzed, have broken and/or fractured bones and may have a brain injury, all of which may require lifelong medical care and rehabilitation. In addition to the serious medical injuries, the injured worker may not be able to return to his regular job as a crane operator, construction worker, or, in the case of a pedestrian, their other regular work. The injured worker may be left jobless, and more importantly, without a way to make money. These workers may be able to be compensated for these injuries as well as lost wages. Because of this, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your crane accident case.
In the construction field workers regularly use scaffolding to meet the demands of their projects. Scaffolding is used to support the workers and hold materials that are to be used in the construction or repair of buildings or other structures. Its main purpose is to provide a safe place to work and give workers safe access to the areas and materials necessary. It can be made of different materials, the most common of which are aluminum and steel. The three basic elements of scaffolding are standards, ledgers, and transoms. Standards are vertical tubes that are responsible for transferring the mass of the structure down to the ground, where a base plate spreads the full load. Ledgers are horizontal tubes and used to connect the standards to one another. Transoms are placed on the ledgers at right angles, and are used to hold standards in place. There are put next to the standards to provide primary support, and more are placed in between to provide extra support.
While scaffolding is a necessary tool intended to increase safety in construction field it also has proven to be extremely dangerous. Falls from scaffolding can result in death and/or serious injuries to the workers. In a Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) study, 72% of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object. The general requirements for scaffolding are described in 29 C.F.R. 1926.451. Other accidents have been attributed to the failure to adequately maintain the scaffolding and defective components.
Scaffold accidents can have a permanent impact on an injured worker, or on the estate of the worker who dies from the accident. The resulting physical injuries can lead to death or a permanent life-altering injury. Unfortunately, due to the accident, there may be severe problems like suffering a head injury, numerous fractures, paralysis and scarring. The injured construction worker will usually require surgeries and medical treatment, including costly rehabilitation. Additionally, overcoming the emotional and physical pain and suffering, the worker will likely not be able to go back to work in his field of construction work. If this occurs, he will not have a place of employment.
Injured In A Construction Site Accident? Speak With A Construction Site Accident Lawyer.
If you have suffered an injury at a construction site, contact us for a free confidential case review and receive a response within hours, or call us toll free at 886-414-0400. If you need a construction site lawyer outside of Massachusetts, contact us for a referral.
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