With a population of more than 1.6 million people and growing, Phoenix ranks as the fifth largest city in the United States and this rapid growth means more construction and construction jobs, but it also means more construction site accidents and injuries. The construction industry is unique because while most people in Phoenix go to work every day knowing that there is little chance they will be injured on the job, construction workers are at risk for serious injury or death on a near-daily basis. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Phoenix construction site accident, you may be able to hold the negligent person or party liable for your injuries and losses, in which case you need a personal injury attorney with a reputation for aggressively protecting clients’ rights and best interests. Contact our knowledgeable lawyers at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC today to find out if you are eligible to file a Phoenix construction accident lawsuit.
Knowledgeable Construction Site Accident Attorneys
Despite significant advancements in technology and safety equipment, and stringent state and federal regulations intended to protect the safety of construction workers in Phoenix, construction sites still have a reputation for being notoriously dangerous. Serious or fatal construction accidents can happen at any time, to even the most experienced, cautious workers, but when safety standards are violated, equipment is poorly maintained or job sites are not properly inspected, the risk of construction accidents and injuries is even greater. If you were injured in a construction site accident in Phoenix, you may have grounds to file one or more claims against the at-fault person or party, which is where we come in.
The aftermath of a serious construction accident can be confusing and overwhelming, and it can be difficult to know how to proceed and what your rights and responsibilities are as a construction accident victim. Our personal injury lawyers are well-equipped to handle every aspect of your construction accident claim and we can help you pursue full and fair compensation for your job-site injury, whether that means negotiating with the insurance company for an adequate settlement or taking your case to trial. Pursuing a construction accident claim can be challenging and a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can be a powerful legal advocate when it comes to recovering the compensation you deserve. Contact our firm today to find out how much your Phoenix construction accident claim is really worth.
Common Causes of Construction Site Accidents
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries in the country and construction sites are unfortunately teeming with health and safety hazards that can put workers at risk for catastrophic injury, occupational illness or even death. Construction workers regularly use dangerous equipment and heavy machinery and also commonly work with electrical systems and wiring, flammable and explosive materials, and heavy objects like steel beams. Workers on construction sites are also sometimes exposed to toxic chemicals or materials, like asbestos, which can lead to the development of deadly cancer known as mesothelioma. In order to reduce the risk of occupational injury and illness in Phoenix, construction workers are required to fulfill certain training requirements regarding workplace safety. However, potentially hazardous conditions and materials are everywhere on a construction site, and there are still countless opportunities for a devastating construction accident to occur, even when workers have the necessary training and education. Some of the most common causes of construction site accidents in Phoenix include the following:
- Falling objects
- Falls from heights
- Slip and fall accidents
- Motor vehicle collisions
- Defective tools or equipment
- Workplace safety violations
- Faulty scaffolding
- Crane accidents
- Malfunctioning tools or equipment
- Exposure to toxic chemicals or materials
- Collapsed stairs
- Transportation accidents
- Faulty safety equipment
- Lack of proper safety equipment
- Worker negligence
- Unsafe working conditions
- Untrained workers
- Hazardous weather conditions
Accidents occur so frequently on construction sites that the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has dubbed the four most common causes of injury and death in the construction industry, the “Fatal Four.” These types of accidents include falls, being struck by an object, being caught between two objects and electrocution.
Construction Accident Injuries in Phoenix
Construction site accidents can happen to anyone at any time, and even licensed, fully qualified construction workers with years on the job can be injured in a serious construction accident. Sadly, many employers and supervisors on construction sites cut corners and/or violate safety regulations to save money or meet a tight project deadline, and when this happens, construction workers are the ones who suffer the consequences. In many cases, an investigation of a job site following a construction accident exposes hazardous working conditions or dangerous OSHA violations, such as a lack of fall protection, improper safety equipment, or inefficient eye, face, and head protection. Serious occupational injuries potentially resulting from Phoenix construction site accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck injury
- Back injury
- Mesothelioma (occupational illness)
- Noise-induced hearing loss
- Serious contusions
- Spinal cord injury
- Crush injuries
- Eye injuries
- Chemical and electrical burns
- Broken bones
- Serious lacerations
- Permanent disfigurement
- Loss of limb
- Permanent disability
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Pursuing Compensation for a Construction Site Injury
The government agency responsible for enforcing important safety laws and regulations for construction sites in Arizona and throughout the United States is OSHA, and the state regulatory branch of OSHA is known as the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH). According to state and federal law, the construction employer bears the responsibility of ensuring that a construction job site is reasonably safe and that employees are properly trained and protected from known hazards at work. Because of this, any time a construction worker is injured on a job site, the employer is generally responsible for covering the worker’s medical bills and lost wages through workers’ compensation, and in turn, Arizona law provides protections for the employer by limiting the legal recourse the employee has against the employer.
Workers’ Comp Claims for Construction Injuries
If you are employed as a construction worker in Phoenix or the surrounding area and you are injured on the job, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim, which can help cover the cost of medical expenses and lost wages related to the accident. The workers’ compensation system is designed to provide relief for employees and their families for the financial costs associated with a work-related injury, as well as partial pay for any time at work the employee misses due to the injury. Workers’ comp claims do not require the employee to prove that someone is at fault for the injury sustained, only that a work-related injury has occurred. Unfortunately, the money injured construction workers typically receive from a Phoenix workers’ comp claim is rarely adequate. Many of the injuries that typically occur on a construction site require emergency surgery, hospitalization and/or long-term medical care, which can be costly and leave the victim with a diminished ability to return to work or earn a living. Other construction accidents can result in permanent disfigurement, disability or wrongful death.
Filing a Construction Accident Lawsuit in Phoenix
Filing a workers’ compensation claim isn’t the only recourse injured construction workers have after suffering a job-site injury. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, injured construction workers or their loved ones may have the right to file a personal injury, product liability or wrongful death lawsuit against a negligent third party, if that party’s carelessness or recklessness resulted in the worker’s injury or death. Because employers in Phoenix are required to provide injured employees with workers’ compensation, they are protected from liability for a job site accident, which means injured workers who accept workers’ comp benefits generally cannot file a lawsuit against their employer for a construction accident, even if the employer’s negligence caused the accident. The only exception is if the employer intentionally acted in a harmful or egregiously negligent manner and thereby directly caused the worker’s injuries.
That being said, construction accidents typically have a number of potential liable parties and legal claims can be brought against allegedly negligent third parties like general contractors, vendors, subcontractors, construction site owners, equipment suppliers or other workers, if the injured worker can prove that the third party’s negligence or recklessness directly caused his or her injuries. In cases where the worker’s injuries were caused by a defective product, such as a welding torch, ladder or power tool, the worker may also have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit against the company responsible for designing, developing and/or manufacturing the defective product. Filing a construction accident lawsuit against a negligent third party can result in greater compensation for any damages related to your accident, including current and future medical bills, emotional pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity or funeral expenses, and even if you accept workers’ compensation benefits, you still have the option of pursuing a legal claim against the negligent third party.
Statute of Limitations for Construction Accident Claims
When it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent person or party, Arizona law has established a two-year statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a time limit imposed on civil claims to ensure that such claims are made while evidence relating to the personal injury remains intact and also to avoid a prolonged “threat” of litigation. If you or someone you know has suffered injuries in a Phoenix construction accident, and you plan to file a legal claim against the allegedly negligent party, you must do so within two years of the accident. In most cases, once the statute of limitations has passed, you can no longer pursue the compensation you deserve in civil court.
How Our Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help
Because most construction jobs involve a number of third parties, construction accident lawsuits can be incredibly complex and litigious, and it is typically a good idea to enlist the help of a personal injury attorney who has experience handling construction injury claims in Phoenix. Proving negligence in a Phoenix construction accident means thoroughly investigating the scene of the accident, interviewing witnesses, inspecting the equipment, and consulting construction and medical experts to determine the cause of the accident and the extent of your injuries, and these are all matters our attorneys can help with. When you hire our firm, we will carefully evaluate the circumstances of your construction accident to determine whether you have a valid workers’ compensation claim or an injury claim against a negligent third party working on the job site, such as a subcontractor or general contractor. In many cases, filing a construction accident lawsuit against a negligent third party can help injured workers and their loved ones receive the maximum recovery for their injuries and related losses. Before you pursue workers’ compensation benefits and settle your construction accident claim for less than it’s worth, consult our reputable legal team to discuss the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Consult Our Construction Accident Lawyers Today
Our Phoenix personal injury attorneys understand the significant challenges individuals who have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a construction accident typically face, and we believe in the right of injured workers and their families to hold negligent general contractors, subcontractors or others accountable when their carelessness or lack of responsibility causes a job site accident. If you suffered injuries while working on a Phoenix construction site, even if your injury occurred gradually over a long period of time, like mesothelioma or noise-induced hearing loss, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills and other damages. Consult our reputable Phoenix construction accident lawyers at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC today to discuss your potential compensation options.