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Construction Accidents

Attorney Plotnick Delivers Results

Construction workers build America. The houses we live in, the roads we drive on, the offices where we work - all of them exist thanks to the hard work of experienced construction workers across our country. At the same time, construction sites are among the most dangerous places. When accidents happen, these hard-working people often sustain serious injuries due to the dangerous nature of many construction jobs.

Construction work is one of the most dangerous occupations a person can take on. Many construction workers routinely use dangerous equipment and perform tasks at extreme heights or on unstable surfaces (such as scaffolding). Workers must have extensive training and be provided with the right equipment in order to avoid accidents, and employers have a duty to keep their working environment as safe as possible. In a construction company, everyone needs to be on the same page about safety.

Construction accident injuries can take an immense toll on workers and their families. An accident may mean hospitalization, rehabilitation, surgery, long-term medication, physical therapy and recovery. When these expenses are added on top of lost income and wages, many injured workers are overwhelmed.

Knowing what to do after a construction accident can be overwhelming. Many people simply assume their employer will take care of everything. But that's not always the case. That's why it's important to talk to a construction accident lawyer as soon as possible. That's why you need to contact the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC of Rockville, Maryland.

Common Construction Accidents

Attorney Plotnick and his talented legal team have decades of experience handling some of the most complicated construction accidents and personal injury cases in Rockville and other communities in Maryland and surrounding areas. Some of the most common - and serious - construction accidents we handle include:

  • Fall from a height - Falling from a roof or scaffolding can result in serious or even fatal injuries. Even falling just a few feet on a construction site can be dangerous depending on the circumstances.
  • Electrocution - Electricians and construction workers frequently work around high-voltage power lines and utility boxes. Coming into direct contact with such wires or other power sources often results in severe injuries or fatalities.
  • Forklift accidents - Injuries involving forklifts can range from people being hit or run over by a forklift or the forklift operator sustaining an injury due to an accident involving this common type of construction vehicle.
  • Backhoe accidents - Excavators can cause serious injuries if not operated correctly. Backhoe accidents can involve workers being crushed or the backhoe operator being electrocuted if the excavator comes into contact with power lines.
  • Heavy equipment accidents - Many different types of large construction equipment weighing thousands of pounds routinely operate at construction sites, including cranes, bulldozers, loaders, steamrollers and crawlers. Accidents involving these vehicles can be severe given the sheer size of them.
  • Chemical accidents.
  • Power tool accidents - Saws, drills, nail guns and other power tools can cause serious or fatal injuries. Sometimes, a co-worker is the victim. Other times, it's the people operating such devices. Either way, we can help you get your life back on track.
  • Tripping accidents - Construction sites are filled with debris, imperfect surfaces, holes, ditches, tools, building material and numerous other items that, if not stored properly or warned of, create a host of tripping and other hazards to the people who work them.
  • Burn injuries - Burn injuries at construction sites can occur many different ways, including injuries caused by chemical burns, blowtorches, fire, scalding water and coming into contact with hot water or heating pipes.
  • Overexertion - Overworking, especially on a hot day, can cause construction workers to pass out or make a mistake that results in a serious injury. Dehydrated or overheated workers can also cause accidents which result in injuries to co-workers.

Causes of Construction Accidents

Construction accidents in Montgomery County, Prince George's County, D.C. and Virginia are most frequently caused by employees who are under-trained and overworked, and a lack of attention to safety by managers on-site. Faulty equipment, crowded construction sites, and tight deadlines often cause companies to cut corners, compromising the safety of their workers. When builders are faced with a project that may come in over budget, or are running behind, the first thing they usually cut back on is safety equipment and oversight because of the increased pressure to get the job done quickly.

Some of the most common causes of construction accidents are:

  • Faulty equipment or tools
  • Crane collapses
  • Building or trench collapses
  • Explosions and/or fires
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Falls on and over loose debris
  • Poorly constructed retaining walls or railings
  • Negligent management
  • Inadequate training and safety instruction
  • Failure to enforce rules on safety equipment such as helmets or lanyards
  • Violations of safety rules established by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

When employers make unrealistic demands of their workers or fail to provide necessary safety equipment or don't take the time to train them or make the work site safe, they can and should be held responsible for any injuries that arise because of their negligence.

Liability in Construction Accident Cases

A wide range of parties (contractors, laborers) and dangerous items of equipment are usually involved in a single construction project, which means that construction accident claims often involve multiple responsible individuals and companies. If you have been injured in a construction site accident, the following parties can potentially be held responsible for your injuries and losses:

  • Construction site owners - Owners of construction sites have a duty to warn "invitees" (anyone invited on the site for business purposes) of any dangerous conditions. However, since construction site/property owners are not always deemed the persons in control of the site during a construction project, they may be excused from this obligation for the duration of the construction project.
  • Design architects and engineers - These individuals have a duty to ensure safety at a construction site in that their design and building plans meet proper safety codes and engineering standards.
  • Contractors and sub-contractors - These individuals are also obligated to provide a safe working environment, warning employees of potential hazards at the construction site. Contractors are also responsible for training workers to ensure they comply with all safety regulations and providing adequate safety equipment e.g. hard-hats, safety belts. They are also required to inspect the site regularly for dangers.
  • Manufacturers of construction machinery - If construction machinery is defective in any way, the manufacturer and/or supplier can be held responsible under product liability law.
  • Insurers - These parties are responsible for covering all of the costs incurred as a result of construction site injuries. Insurance coverage for a construction project usually includes premises liability insurance, workers' compensation insurance, and other forms of liability protection. Each party involved in the construction project usually has a separate insurance contract.

If you were injured because of your employer's negligence, or the reckless actions of a co-worker at the same company, you most likely will only be able to receive benefits through workers' compensation.

Building Strong Legal Cases For You

Many injured construction workers believe that workers compensation through their employer will take care of everything after their accident. But there are many circumstances where injured workers have other legal options. That's why it's so important to contact a construction accident attorney in Rockville.

If your accident was caused by someone working for another company, you may be able to pursue a third-party construction accident claim. You also might be able to take legal action against the company that manufactured the product that caused your injury if the product was defective or dangerous in some way.

These are just a few examples of ways injured construction workers can obtain financial compensation for their injuries. Find out more about all your legal options. Contact our law firm and schedule your free case evaluation. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Questions About Construction Accidents

What is OSHA?

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) is the main federal agency tasked with regulating worker and workplace safety. OSHA creates and enforces various rules and regulations that are designed to prevent construction accidents from happening and keep workers safe. If necessary, make sure your accident is reported to OSHA or the similar state or local agency, and it will conduct its own investigation, which could be invaluable to your case.  A citation from OSHA or the state can be severely damaging evidence for the responsible party in your case.

Employers, supervisors, contractors, and all other parties involved in a construction project are expected to adhere to OSHA regulations. In certain jurisdictions, state and local agencies may have their own laws as well which also reinforce OSHA rules.

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What types of injuries are usually sustained in construction accidents?

Injuries at construction sites are often serious, sometimes resulting in wrongful death. Our clients have suffered a wide range of construction accident injuries, including:

  • Brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Burn injury
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of limbs
  • Chemical exposure
  • Loss of vision or hearing
  • Back and neck injuries related to heavy lifting

The amount of compensation you are able to recover will depend on the type and severity of your injuries. The more your injury interferes with your ability to work and earn a living, the more benefits you may be entitled to through workers' compensation, and the more damages you can seek in a third-party case.

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My construction site is not safe. What should I do?

If you believe the conditions at your workplace are unsafe, inform you supervisor as soon as possible, and follow up with written communication to document your discussion or the reporting procedure. If your employer takes no action to make your workplace safer, you should then file a complaint with the OSHA or your state or local agency.  Do not continue to expose yourself to a dangerous condition and risk injury or even death!

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Why do I need an attorney for my construction accident case?

Construction accidents often involve multiple liable parties and different layers of negligence. Injured workers can file a workers' compensation claim to receive benefits, but this process is more complicated than it looks. Many victims experience delays or even outright denials of their claim. In addition, resolving your claim with other responsible parties can negatively impact your right to receive workers' compensation benefits.  Our attorneys know how to help you file an accurate claim and push it through the system effectively, helping you receive the benefits you deserve as quickly as possible.

Additionally, many people do not realize that a third party not working for or part of their company may have been partially to blame for their construction accident. We will perform a complete investigation into your accident to identify everyone who is responsible. If we discover that one or more third parties (e.g. an equipment manufacturer or sub-contractor) were responsible for your injuries, we will file a third-party lawsuit to hold them accountable.

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Construction Accident Lawsuits and Workers' Compensation

Construction workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Injuries suffered at construction sites are often life-altering, forcing an employee to go without work for an extended period of time, or potentially limiting their ability to work the same job in the future.

If you have been injured in a construction accident, make sure you know your legal rights. Our experienced Maryland construction accident attorney at the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC has many years of experience helping victims of construction accidents obtain the compensation they deserve. In many cases, you may be eligible to file both a workers' compensation claim and a third-party lawsuit.

To find out how our Bethesda construction accident injury attorney can help you, call (301) 251-1286 to schedule a free consultation today.

Navigating the Workers' Compensation System

Construction companies are well aware of the risks that come with construction work. In most cases the state requires them to carry workers' compensation insurance to protect you if you are injured. If you are injured on the job, you must file a workers' compensation claim to obtain medical and lost wage benefits. However, at the same time when you make a workers' compensation claim, you cannot file a separate lawsuit against your employer for the same injury except in very limited circumstances, and you do not recover for pain and suffering, only medical bills and lost wages.

This process is more complicated than it seems. Many injured workers face long processing delays or even outright denials of their claims. When you have suffered a severe injury, it is crucial that you receive compensation as soon as possible to pay medical bills and make up for lost income. Attorney Stuart L. Plotnick can help you file an accurate, airtight workers' compensation claim. If you already filed a claim that was denied, we will help you counter it with an effective appeal.

Filing a Third-Party Construction Accident Lawsuit

Even though employers are protected by the workers' compensation system, you can still file a lawsuit against any third parties who were liable for your injuries. "Third-parties" are other people or companies who may be responsible for your accident. These parties may include:

  • Manufacturers of defective machinery
  • Distributors of defective machinery
  • Engineers and design architects
  • Other contractors or tradesmen on the same project
  • Delivery companies
  • Inspection companies

Since workers' compensation often limits the amount of compensation you can receive, a third-party lawsuit is often the only way to receive compensation for the full financial impact your injuries have had on your life.

Experienced Maryland Construction Accident Lawyer

With over a decade of experience as a construction and insurance defense lawyer, Stuart L. Plotnick has a detailed understanding of both sides of construction accident cases, giving him unique insight into the many complexities and legal technicalities that govern construction accident cases.

If you have been injured in a construction accident, don't try to handle your claim alone. While you focus on recovering, we will focus on pushing your claim through the workers' compensation system and investigating your accident to identify any third parties that are liable. You can trust us to give your case the personal attention and expert resources it needs to succeed.

Contact our Bethesda Construction Accident Lawyer Today

Please contact the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation with our experienced Bethesda construction accident lawyer. Mr. Plotnick represents injured construction workers throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

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