Construction sites are hazardous and can pose serious risks if safety procedures are not observed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 1,102 fatalities in the construction industry in 2019 alone. The majority of these fatal accidents were falls, slips, or trips.
If you were injured or a loved one lost their lives in a construction accident, a Shelby construction accident lawyer at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can help you navigate your legal options and build a strong case to seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation with our skilled construction accident lawyers.
When Do Construction Accidents Occur?
Exposed wires, open trenches, heavy equipment, and other factors can all cause construction site accidents. Many times, accidents occur when safety procedures have not been followed or there are equipment malfunctions, poor site management, or lack of personal protective gear. These types of accidents are the result of negligence.
What Is Negligence?
Construction site operators are held to high standards of safety. Sites must comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and must adhere to certain regulations outlined for the construction industry. These rules ensure that workers and the surrounding population are safe. When these standards are not followed or overlooked, accidents caused by negligence can happen.
Most Common Causes of Construction Site Accidents
OSHA identifies the four top causes of accidents that occur on construction sites as:
- Falls – Accidents caused by falling from great heights, trench collapse, tripping, ladder collapses, or slipping on unstable surfaces
- Struck-By – Getting hit by a vehicle, moving equipment, or other moving objects
- Caught-In/Between – Becoming lodged in a hole or trench or wedged between objects or machinery
- Electrocutions – Active or exposed wiring, contact with conductive metals, fallen power lines, damp areas near electric equipment, or faulty machinery and equipment
Who Is Liable If I Am in a Construction Accident?
Multiple parties can be responsible for construction site accidents. In some cases, the site manager is at fault if the accident is related to a safety hazard. However, in cases where equipment malfunctions, protective gear is faulty and other situations where safety procedures are ignored, others can be liable, including:
- The construction company
- Construction site workers
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Property owners
- Third-party companies
- Machinery or equipment manufacturers
- Engineers or architects
What If I Am a Pedestrian Injured in a Construction Accident?
In some circumstances, accidents can occur in public areas surrounding the construction site. If you are injured by a construction site while walking on a public sidewalk, the construction company may still be liable for the accident.
Can I Get Compensation If I Am in a Construction Accident in Shelby?
Yes, you may be entitled to compensation if you’re involved in a construction accident. If you are a worker on the site, you may qualify for compensation under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.
Workers’ compensation will cover your medical expenses and lost wages due to the accident. For non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other physical and emotional injuries due to the accident, you would need to file a personal injury lawsuit. In that case, a third party would be held liable. A team member from our skilled personal injury lawyers team can discuss details with you during your free initial consultation.
What Should I Do If I Am in a Construction Accident?
If you’re involved in a construction accident, make sure to do the following:
Seek Medical Attention
The first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Do not hesitate to call 911 or go to the emergency room. Even if you feel you have not been seriously injured, you should still be examined by a medical professional. Not all injuries are immediately apparent, and waiting longer to get a proper diagnosis after an accident can worsen any injuries you may have sustained.
Notify Your Employer About the Accident
If you were working on the construction site, you need to notify your employer or supervisor about the accident as soon as possible. Do not wait any longer than 30 days after the accident or you may lose your right to workers’ compensation.
Avoid making any official statements to an insurance company before you have a chance to speak with an attorney. You may inadvertently admit fault, which can delay or prevent you from receiving compensation.
Document Your Accident, Injury, and Recovery
In addition to reporting the accident to your employer, you should gather as much evidence as you can. Record your account of the accident as soon as you can so the details are still fresh in your memory.
Evidence a lawyer familiar with construction accidents in Shelby can help you gather include:
- Photos of the construction site
- Photos of the location where the accident occurred
- Photos of any heavy machinery or equipment that was involved in the accident
- Copies of any paperwork filled out by your employer
- Witness statements
- Medical documents (including medical bills, treatments, diagnoses, and any other costs relating to your medical treatment)
Reach Out to a Construction Accident Lawyer
Your next step should be to get in touch with an accident attorney who can help you file a legal claim. A personal injury lawyer can assist by gathering evidence, filing paperwork, and going to court if necessary. They can also help you file for workers’ compensation and build a successful case in order to help recover damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost income
- Physical pain
- Psychological suffering
- Disability benefits
- Wrongful Death
Statute of Limitations in a Construction Accident Case
Time is of the essence to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party or parties. The statute of limitations is as follows:
Personal injury: You have three years to file from the date of the accident per G.S. § 1-52.
Wrongful death: You have two years to file from the date of your loved one’s passing per G.S. § 1-53.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, Today
Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, has offices located throughout North Carolina, and our award-winning team is ready to help. Our lawyers can help you explore your legal options following an accident. If you want to discuss your construction accident, contact our office in Shelby for a free consultation.