In many construction accident cases, the injured worker’s only remedy is through workers’ compensation, which pays for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment but only provides a partial wage replacement and pays nothing for pain and suffering. To obtain full compensation, a worker would have to file a negligence lawsuit. However, the law bars such suits against employers and coworkers in most cases. At Goforth & Lilley, we are determined to help injured workers recover the maximum amount of compensation possible. Our attorneys thoroughly investigate the facts of your construction site accident to determine if you have the right to file a third-party lawsuit that would allow full, fair compensation for your personal injury.
When the person or entity that causes a worker’s injury is not an employer or coworker, the injured worker can sue that party for negligence or products liability. For a construction accident, an injured worker might be able to sue:
Our law firm has managed numerous construction accident cases to recover fair compensation. We are adept at managing complex litigation to obtain favorable verdicts and settlements in cases of serious injury and wrongful death.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which maintains statistics on workplace injuries, notes that about 20 percent of all occupational deaths occur in the construction industry. The most dangerous types of accidents, which OSHA labels “The Fatal Four,” account for more than 60 percent of deaths within the industry:
OSHA defines this last category to include incidents in which “construction workers [are] killed when caught-in or compressed by equipment or objects, and struck, caught, or crushed in collapsing structure, equipment, or material.”
OSHA lists “Fall protection, construction” and “Fall protection, training” as numbers one and nine among the most frequently violated safety standards of 2017. “Scaffolding, general requirements, construction” is the third most cited, and “Ladders, construction” is number six. There is little coincidence between the frequency of these violations and the top ranking of “falls” among causes of construction site death.
Federal workplace safety regulations require employers to provide a reasonably safe workplace for their employees. When employers violate the rules, they put workers at unreasonable risk (as noted with the Fatal Four), and OSHA can take action against an employer. In Louisiana, state construction site inspectors can shut down a scaffold or other area of operation if the inspector deems it unsafe. Unfortunately, a violation of state or federal regulation does not create a right for an injured employee to sue the employer for negligence.
However, if the worker has a right to sue a third party, the existence of a safety violation related to the accident can help prove that the third party was negligent. For example, suppose a contractor hires a sub to build a scaffold and the scaffolding fails. An inspector later finds one or more safety violations. An injured worker employed by the contractor can sue the sub for personal injury and can use the safety violation as evidence of negligence.
Goforth & Lilley is a reputable Lafayette law firm with a strong track record in construction accident cases. To learn how we can help you recover fully on your claim, schedule a free consultation and case evaluation. Call us today at 337-446-4239 or contact our office online.
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