Phoenix Construction Accident Attorneys
With over 1.5 million people, Phoenix ranks as the fifth largest city in the United States, and it's growing. Estimates predict that Phoenix will have a population of around 2.2 million by 2020. This expansion means a growth in construction jobs, but more construction also means more accidents.
Most people go to their job knowing that their workplace is secure and safe. For construction workers, the story is different. Construction is among the most dangerous industry in this nation, and workers face daily dangers that can threaten health, lives, financial futures, and stable homes. Here's what our Phoenix workplace accident lawyers think you need to know about construction accidents.
The heavy machinery and dangerous equipment used on construction sites can be hazardous to workers. Injuries on Phoenix construction sites can result from falling objects or tools, faulty scaffolding, electrocution, malfunctioning equipment, motor vehicle crashes, slip-and-fall accidents, explosions, OSHA safety violations by other workers, and numerous other factors. Here are the most common causes that we see:
- Vehicles are used to carry equipment and personnel at construction sites, and if an inexperienced or inattentive driver operates one of these vehicles, another worker could easily be injured or killed. Trucks, bulldozers, and other pieces of equipment are large, and if they collide with a victim, the outcome can be deadly. It is the responsibility of the construction company to make sure that workers operating these vehicles (including smaller vehicle, like forklifts) possess the necessary experience, qualifications, and licenses.
- When an employee falls from a high altitude. Platforms enable construction workers to do their job, but they can be immensely dangerous if they are outdated, poorly maintained, or malfunctioning. Falling off a platform can easily result in death or life-threatening injuries. Ladders, scaffolds, and lifts can also pose the same threat to workers.
- Construction sites are often the home of flammable and explosive materials. Gas lines, building material, and gasoline can easily ignite and cause extensive injuries and deaths. The owner of the site is legally responsible for ensuring that flammable items are stored safely.
- Construction sites contain numerous heavy objects and materials that can cause injury if they fall on a worker or pedestrian passing by. Tools, debris, bricks, and other objects can cause severe head and neck injuries if they fall from a high altitude, and there have been instances of falling debris killing workers.
- At most construction sites, workers will be required to install or remove electrical systems and wiring. This puts workers at risk of electrocution, especially if they handle electrical equipment that has not been properly inspected. Electrocution can result in third-degree burns, and in many cases, death.
- Slips and falls occur in workplaces all over the country, but when they occur at construction sites, they can be deadly. Equipment that is left on the ground, in addition to uneven pavement, holes, and spills, can expose workers to the threat of falling. Some slips are minor, but others can result in broken bones and concussions.
Testimonial by Jesse S. - formerly of Arizona, now Texas:
I had a fall at work. Breyer Law Offices, P.C. had a quick and timely filing of this case with the Court. At mediation, I was very impressed at how all things fell into place. Mark's ability to verbally communicate with all the parties involved; I [was] really very impressed. Their experience and professionalism made me feel confident of the case. They were honest and straight forth from the beginning of the case. Every aspect of the case was handled well.
Accidents can affect workers with any level of expertise in any area of a site. A beam could fall from above, hitting a worker's head and causing a traumatic brain injury. Exposure to toxic chemicals could lead to an occupational illness. Trenches or stairs could collapse, injuring or killing an unsuspecting worker. Dangerous situations are everywhere.
If you are injured on a construction site (including injuries which may occur over a long period of time, like noise-induced hearing loss and mesothelioma), please seek medical treatment immediately and speak with a lawyer. You will also need to file a claim within one year of your injury.
Falling objects, live electrical wires, explosions, malfunctioning equipment, and slip and fall type injuries are common construction accident hazards on many sites.
Construction accidents often have wide-ranging physical and financial consequences. Contusions, broken bones, lacerations, serious disfigurement, traumatic brain injury (TBI), paralysis, and even death can result from an accident on a construction site. These accidents can require amputation or extensive reconstructive surgery, and leave innocent victims with conditions that impact their ability to hold down a job or pay for their own care.
While workers' compensation covers many construction accidents and the associated injuries, the money from an Arizona workers' compensation claim is rarely enough to provide for an injured worker's financial needs.
In addition to workers’ compensation claims, injured construction workers may have the right to bring a lawsuit against a negligent third party that worked for a different subcontractor or company at the job site. This claim can ask for money to pay for a wider range of medical services, lost wages, and non-economic damages that are not part of a workers’ compensation claim: pain, loss of enjoyment of life, anxiety, and permanent disabilities.
Due to the extremely complicated nature of construction accidents (including issues like comparative fault, multiple layers of insurance coverage, and others), we recommend you consult an experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to help determine the best course of care and legal action.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is the governmental organization responsible for enforcing laws and regulations made by Congress to ensure the safety of all workers. OSHA expects employers to maintain these regulations, which are reinforced by state and local laws. The state regulatory arm of OSHA is known as the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH). Arizona runs a health and safety program that was agreed upon by OSHA in accordance with Section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
It is the responsibility of the employer, not the employee, to ensure that a worksite is safe. When a worker is injured on a construction site in Phoenix, it is usually the employer who is responsible for paying medical expenses and at least some lost wages through workers’ comp. Arizona law generally protects employers by limiting the workers' compensation claim against them, but an injured worker may also file a claim against negligent general contractors, subcontractors, vendors, and employees. In this way, it is possible to receive fair compensation for an injured worker in a construction accident.
Construction work sites are notorious for the hazards they pose for workers. Fatal accidents and injuries happen when these sites are not properly cleaned, equipment is not maintained, or OSHA standards are violated. External factors such as weather can also play a role in accidents on construction sites. One of the most dangerous causes of construction accidents, however, is a lack of worker education or training when it comes to maintaining a safe workplace – which is also an employer’s responsibility.
Arizona law allows families of workers killed in construction accidents to seek compensation for their losses. When another party's carelessness or lack of responsibility led to the death, the parents, spouse, or children of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim. They can generally collect more than what a workers’ compensation claim in Arizona allows after a construction site injury. Though this cannot replace a family member, it can help the family financially, as well as punish those whose negligence led to the loss of the family member.
If someone you care about is killed while working at a construction site, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the owner of the site or employer. A wrongful death claim could entitle you to money for:
- Current and future medical bills
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of wages
- Emotional pain and suffering
As compassionate Phoenix wrongful death lawyers, we understand the suffering and heartbreak as well as the anger and helplessness felt by people who have lost a loved one in a construction accident. At Breyer Law Offices, P.C., we believe families should hold employers and contractors responsible when their actions or lack of care causes a wrongful death on a construction site. As experienced construction accident attorneys, we will fight aggressively for fair compensation for the family members who are left behind. We invite you to speak with us about whether you have a valid claim for compensation above what workers' compensation may pay.
You may contact The Husband and Wife Law Team at (602) 457-6222 for additional information and for a free, confidential case evaluation. We will not only tell you what we think, we will provide you with facts that will allow you to determine the best decision for yourself and your family on whether or not to proceed.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer