According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in an average year, construction site accidents result in the deaths of over 700 workers. In Indiana, 4.6 out of every 100 workers are injured or killed on construction sites throughout the state.
Construction sites are incredibly dangerous workplaces. They involve heavy machinery, large vehicles, power tools, scaffolding, and loud noises that make communication difficult. In these environments, injury can happen even when safety precautions are taken.
Despite the many hazards a worker might encounter, a majority (58.1%) of all construction fatalities are a result of “the fatal four” – which include:
- Struck by object
- Caught in/between
Wagner Reese is an Indianapolis law firm with extensive experience in construction accident cases. We understand how to engage productively with insurance companies and employers who will undoubtedly push back in an effort to mitigate their end costs.
We are also familiar with OSHA standards and other safety laws, and we know what to look for when the case appears to involve negligence or carelessness on the part of employers, third-party contractors, site owners, and other potentially-responsible parties.
Our Indianapolis construction accident attorneys do not collect any fees up front, so you can rest assured that your claim is being pursued for its maximum value without having to break the bank. We get paid only after we secure compensation on your behalf.
Did you sustain injuries while working on a construction site? If so, our construction accident lawyers in Indianapolis may be able to assist you in recovering compensation. Call (888) 204-8440 for a FREE consultation.
Understanding the Law & Your Rights
Construction workers, like all other workers, are entitled to a workplace that does not pose a risk of serious harm. Do you feel unsafe in your work environment? You can ask OSHA to inspect your workplace, or you can request information and training about hazards and ways to prevent harm at work – which must be in a language you can understand.
In addition, you have the right to key safety information in the workplace, including copies of any standards, rules, regulations, and requirements, as well as of results of any tests that were conducted to find hazards in the workplace. Lastly, you have the right to exercise your rights without retaliation. Your employer must provide for these rights.
If you were personally injured in a construction site accident in Indiana, you may have grounds to pursue one or more of the following legal options:
- Workers’ compensation, in which an employee is injured at work and for which he or she will be entitled to most losses caused by the injury. The employer need not do anything wrong for the employee to receive workers' compensation, but the compensation received is likely to be less than would be available in a personal injury lawsuit.
- Personal injury lawsuit, wherein a worker must prove that someone other than his or her employer is wholly or partially liable for the accident that caused the injury. In the case of a construction accident, the worker must prove that the defendant had a duty to provide for the worker’s safety, the defendant failed to do so, AND the defendant’s action or lack thereof caused the injury. In many instances, our experienced construction site attorneys will investigate a subcontractor’s liability with regard to a worker’s injuries.
- Product liability lawsuit, in which a worker asserts that their injury was due to defective construction equipment or materials. In order to succeed in a product liability claim, the worker must prove that the equipment was unreasonably dangerous when it was moved out of the control of the defendant, the equipment or material was being used in a foreseeable manner when the injury occurred, AND the defect caused harm.
In construction site accident cases, damages are most frequently assigned for medical treatment, lost wages, decreased quality of life, and pain and suffering. Be aware that, in the majority of construction accident cases, the statute of limitations for the above, as well as for wrongful death, is two years from the date of injury or death in Indiana.
Wrongful Death Construction Accident Claims
If you are considering a wrongful death lawsuit after losing a loved one in a construction accident, you will need to consider who will file the claim, as this individual will need to be appointed by the court as the legal representative of the deceased’s estate.
Indiana law allows for the recovery of death benefits, which may include medical or other related expenses, lost household services, loss of parental guidance, funeral and burial expenses, lawyer fees, as well as lost future earnings and loss of love and affection.
There are some limits on civil damages in Indiana (the money you can recover in a wrongful death suit), depending on the age and familial circumstances of the deceased.
Common Causes of Construction Site Injuries
Construction site accidents may injure laborers, carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, crane operators, plumbers, masons, painters, sheet metal workers, welders, heavy equipment operators, other construction tradespersons, and even pedestrians.
These injuries may be life-altering, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), blindness, dismemberment, or paralysis, and can be attributed to many causes, such as:
- Safety code violations
- Improper site design or inspection
- OSHA violations
- Defective power tools
- Forklift accidents
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Crane accidents
- Scaffolding and ladder accidents
- Trench collapses
- Inhalation injuries
- Fires and explosions
- Building collapses and falling debris
- Elevator and material lift accidents
- Toxic chemical exposure
What to Do After a Construction Accident
If you have been injured by one of the examples above or a completely different type of accident on a construction site, there are a few important steps you should take.
Step #1: First, you should seek medical attention immediately. Ensure your health and well-being are being looked after by following your doctor’s orders and recommendations.
Step #2: Collect names and if possible, statements from witnesses and co-workers at the location at the time of the accident. If pertinent, take pictures of the accident site or equipment involved. Our attorneys will rely heavily on witness statements to help verify your claim and uncover additional sources of evidence for your case.
Step #3: Be sure to notify your employer and file an accident report. If you have an injury or illness that progressively worsened, file the claim as soon as you think it was caused by your job. If you do not file your report within a designated amount of time, usually within 30 days or less, you may lose out on the opportunity to collect workers’ comp.
Step #4: Contact an Indianapolis construction accident lawyer at Wagner Reese to assist you in gathering evidence and filing your suit. Our attorneys have experience with workers’ compensation, third party liability, and product liability, and can simplify the process and provide the legal support you need to build a strong case for compensation.
Step #5: It is also important to keep good records. You will complete many forms. Keep copies of everything, including envelopes or other items that show dates or postmarks. You should also keep copies of your medical reports, pay stubs/checks and time sheets, as well as ongoing notes on how your work was impacted by your injury or illness.
Step #6: Remember not to sign or agree to anything your employer gives you without first consulting with your lawyer. These issues can be complex, and you can bet that your employer will be consulting with their own lawyer. Don’t put yourself at an informational or power disadvantage; get the team at Wagner Reese on your side as soon as possible.
About Our Indianapolis Construction Injury Lawyers
Wagner Reese, LLP have the experience and proven results to handle your construction site injury case. From our offices in Indianapolis, we proudly serve clients throughout Indiana.
Call our firm at (888) 204-8440 for your free initial case consultation.