Construction Site Accidents Lawyers in West Virginia
It is nearly impossible to drive around West Virginia and not encounter a construction project, if not multiple ongoing construction sites. And while construction and development support the city’s growth and provide jobs for workers, construction sites can be very dangerous, both for those who work on them, as well as for those who pass nearby.
If you have been involved in a construction site accident in West Virginia, our workplace accident attorneys at The Masters Law Firm can help you to understand your rights and recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Types of Construction Site Accidents
Construction sites pose many different hazards. At the average construction site, one may encounter heavy machinery, potentially deadly equipment, workers working at high heights, heavy objects being suspended overhead, and much more.
While good construction management and safety practices often prevent accidents and injuries, errors and negligence can lead to serious harm. Some of the most common types of construction site accidents include:
Falls from heights. Working at a high height is dangerous, and falls are possible. Falls are more likely in the event that safety gear–such as a harness–is defective or is not properly utilized, or if scaffolding or other important structuring collapses or is not used when it should be.
Electrocution injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that electrocution injuries are one of the leading causes of construction worker death.
Slips, trips, and falls. Wet or slippery surfaces, unstable walking areas, the lack of proper footwear, loose cords or wires, unsecured objects, and more all increase the risk of a slip, trip, and fall accident.
Motor vehicle accidents. Accidents involving motor vehicles can be deadly. These might occur within a contained site (i.e. a construction worker is struck by another worker driving a job site truck), or on a roadside construction site, where the worker is struck by a third-party driver.
Caught in/between machinery accidents. Another common cause of construction worker death is being caught in or in-between machinery. If this type of accident is not fatal, it can result in amputation injuries and other serious harm.
Falling objects. If objects overhead are not properly secured–such as metal rods being lifted by a crane–they can cause serious damage when they fall.
Liability for a Construction Site Accident
When a construction site accident occurs and someone is injured, it’s important that the harmed person recover compensation for their losses. Who was injured and who was responsible will play a significant role in how compensation works.
If you are a construction worker who is injured on a construction site, you are likely covered under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. This type of insurance provides compensation for your medical expenses, as well as a portion of your lost wages. Per the workers’ comp system, you are generally prevented (in most cases) from filing a lawsuit against your employer in exchange for no-fault benefits. This also means that you don’t have to prove the negligence of another party in order to recover compensation. Your time limit to file a workers’ compensation injury claim in West Virginia is very short — six months from the date of the injury.
However, if your employer violates known safe work standards or specific workplace safety laws, an employee may be able to file a civil suit in West Virginia in addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
If you are injured on-the-job by the acts of another contractor on the worksite, who is not your employer, you may file a claim or civil suit for your damages against the contractor, in addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
If you are not a worker, however, you will not qualify for workers’ comp. For example, if you were just acting as a pedestrian who was passing by a construction site when a falling object hit you on the head, you cannot seek workers’ compensation benefits. You can, however, file a personal injury claim against the construction company (or whoever was responsible for the accident).
A personal injury claim allows the injured party to seek compensation for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering; a workers’ compensation claim does not. That being said, there are many cases when an injured construction worker will not be fully compensated by workers’ comp alone.
When this is the case, and when the negligence of a party other than the worker’s employer was the cause of the accident, the worker may consider filing a third-party liability claim. This is merely a personal injury claim brought by the worker against the party (other than the employer) responsible for their injuries, such as the manufacturer of defective construction equipment.
A Construction Site Accident Can Change Your Life
When a construction site accident happens, your life can be changed in an instant. In the blink of an eye, you may go from a robust, healthy, strong worker to an individual with a serious injury, perhaps one that will result in a lifelong disability. A serious injury is not only physically painful and emotionally taxing to live with, but also means an inability to work, resulting in lost wages and a range of financial costs.
If you are the victim of a construction site accident, whether as a worker or a passerby, you deserve to be compensated. One of the smartest things that you can do immediately following your accident is to schedule a consultation with an attorney who is familiar in cases like yours. If you were injured on the job, you should report the injury to your employer immediately and promptly file a Workers’ Compensation claim before your time runs out.
Why Choose The Masters Law Firm?
If you’ve been hurt, we want to help. When you choose The Masters Law Firm, you’re choosing a legal team with more than three decades of experience representing people like you in West Virginia. We will work hard to determine how your accident occurred, explore your avenues for compensation, identify potentially liable parties, calculate your damages and losses, file your claim, negotiate your settlement, and more. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you won’t owe us any money upfront and if you do not recover any money, you will not owe any attorney fee.
Call Our Experienced West Virginia Construction Accident Attorneys Today
You deserve someone on your side who is committed to protecting your rights and advocating for you when you need it most. Our construction site accident attorneys will support you in your claim for damages, answering your questions and providing you with guidance every step of the way. If you have been injured, please send us a message, visit our law office, or call 304-342-3106 or toll free 1-800-342-3106. We also work with families of victims of fatal construction site accidents.