Residential and commercial real estate development, along with routine road work and other construction projects, is a constant in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. As such, construction accidents are not uncommon. Injured construction workers are generally covered under Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation laws; however, third party claims also often arise in construction accidents.
If you have been injured in a construction accident throughout the Philadelphia area, including Delaware, Montgomery, Chester, Lancaster and Philadelphia Counties, or in New Jersey, contact Cooper Schall and Levy. Our personal injury attorneys will provide you with powerful representation and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Our guiding principle is that construction workers have a right to a safe work environment; negligent third parties must be held accountable for construction accident injuries.
We are keenly aware that being injured in a construction accident will interfere with your ability to work and earn a living. Combined with the pain and suffering and mounting medical expenses, a construction accident can be an overwhelming burden. Our Philadelphia construction accident attorneys can help to lift that burden with a combination of knowledge, skill and compassion. By working closely with your medical team and collaborating with a respected network of investigators and vocational experts, we will work tenaciously to build a strong case and fight for your rights.
Common Construction Accidents
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the leading causes of construction site fatalities, known as the Fatal Four, are as follows:
- Falls — Construction workers are at risk of falling from roofs, ladders, scaffolding, walls and other high places. OSHA reports that falls account for almost 38 percent of construction site fatalities and are the most common construction accidents.
- Struck by object — Construction workers are frequently struck by improperly secured tools, equipment and other construction materials. Struck-by-object accidents cause over 9 percent of construction site fatalities.
- Caught-in/between — Construction workers frequently get caught-in/between or compressed by construction equipment, machinery, and other objects. Workers can also become trapped under collapsing structures. Caught-in/ between accidents are responsible for more than 7 percent of construction worker fatalities.
- Electrocutions — Construction workers are frequently exposed to wires, which places them at a high risk of electrocution. Electrocutions account for over 8 percent of construction worker deaths.
Additionally, construction workers in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester, Lancaster, New Jersey or surrounding counties are also frequently injured in trench collapses, fires and explosions, and equipment accidents:
- Trench Collapses — Construction workers are frequently required to dig trenches, placing them at risk of being trapped in a cave-in, especially when proper safety precautions are not followed.
- Fires and Explosions — Such construction site accidents are often caused by exposed wiring, leaking pipes, flammable chemicals, and fractured gas mains. Additionally, fires and explosions can be caused by unattended blowtorches and welding tools and other hazards.
- Equipment Accidents — Construction workers often operate heavy machinery (e.g. cranes, forklifts) and power tools (e.g. table saws, nail guns, ) all of which contribute to numerous construction accident injuries.
Common Construction Accident Injuries:
Construction workers in Philadelphia experience a wide variety of injuries, including:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Head/brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee injuries
- Muscle and ligament tears
- Broken bones and fractures
- Heart attacks and strokes
- Wrongful death
Serious construction injuries may result in amputations (fingers, toes, or limbs) and workers are at an increased risk of developing respiratory illnesses from exposure to dust, asbestos, and other toxic substances. Finally, the physical exertion of construction work, particularly bending and lifting, can cause repetitive motion injuries, such as muscle and joint damage.
Legal Rights of Construction Workers
When construction workers perform dangerous tasks — operating large machinery and equipment, lifting heavy objects, working at elevated heights — they are placed at a higher risk of being injured than other workers. At the same time, the risk of construction accident injuries can be reduced if required safety practices are in place and proper injury protocols are followed.
Although workers’ compensation is designed to protect construction workers who sustain injuries by providing benefits such as lost wages and medical costs, site owners, general contractors and others employed by a general contractor are required to provide workers with as safe a workplace as possible.
This is important because under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability (1) owners can be held responsible for the negligence of contractors, subcontractors and their agents/employees, and (2) contractors can be held responsible for the negligence of subcontractors that fail to provide reasonable and adequate safety to construction workers.
In the event of an injury due to the actions (or inactions ) of a third party — vendors, equipment manufacturers, engineers, architects, site managers — or as a result of accidents arising from safety violations, an injured construction worker can file a lawsuit against the negligent parties to obtain compensation. If a construction worker is fatally injured in construction accident, surviving family members can obtain justice through a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact Our Philadelphia Construction Accident Attorney
At Cooper Schall and Levy, our legal team is dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured construction workers and holding negligent parties accountable. When you consult us, we will make sure you obtain the medical care you need and receive the compensation you deserve.
Well-versed in the applicable negligence, construction safety, and insurance laws, we know how to fight back against negligent parties and their insurers who often seek to avoid liability. If necessary, we are fully prepared to litigate the matter in court. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a construction accident in Philadelphia, you may be frightened and confused and not know where to turn. Remember, we are here to help. Please contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case.