Construction sites rank among some of the most dangerous workplaces in Massachusetts and across the country. The list of hazards at a construction site includes potentially toxic materials, elevated platforms, and dangerous equipment and machinery. Given those hazards, the number of potential construction accidents can seem limitless.
These accidents tend to leave their victims with serious, debilitating injuries that prove expensive to treat. The injuries also leave accident victims out of work and unable to support themselves and their families.
If you or a loved one were injured as a worker on a construction site in Brockton or surrounding areas of Massachusetts, contact The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan. We have been representing construction accident victims for more than three decades. Throughout that time, we have earned the trust of clients and peers alike. We strive to provide top-quality representation for our clients and secure high-value case results.
Learn more about your legal rights and options for seeking financial compensation for your injuries. Call us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a knowledgeable construction accident lawyer in Brockton.
We Demand Full Compensation for Injured Construction Workers
Construction workers who are injured on the job usually can file for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits cover medical treatment for work injuries or illnesses, partial wage replacement for lost income, and payments for permanent disabilities. Workers’ compensation typically represents an injured construction worker’s sole remedy against his or her employer.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. That means an injured worker cannot file a personal injury claim against the employer for a construction site accident. At the same time, the worker does not have to prove the employer caused the accident. You only need to prove that your injury is work-related.
A construction worker might be entitled to file a personal injury claim against their employer if the employer intentionally caused the worker’s injury. A worker can also file personal injury claims against third parties who are responsible for the construction site injuries. Those third parties might include the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment or a negligent driver who hits a roadside construction worker.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you suffer a work-related injury or illness in Massachusetts, your expenses will likely be covered by the state’s workers’ compensation program. Benefits provided through this program include:
- Temporary total incapacity benefits – If your work-related injury or illness causes you to miss work for six or more full or partial days, which don’t have to be consecutive, you may qualify for 60 percent of your gross average weekly wage. This benefit is available for up to 156 weeks, with compensation beginning on the sixth day of incapacity. You will not be paid for the first five days of incapacity unless your work-related injury disables you for 21 calendar days or more.
- Partial incapacity benefits – If your work-related injury allows you to continue working but not at the same capacity as you worked before the accident, you may be eligible for this benefit. Partial incapacity benefits will provide two-thirds of your average weekly wage or a minimum of 20 percent of the state’s average weekly wage, as well as cost-of-living adjustments for as long as you are disabled.
- Medical benefits – If your work-related injury causes you to seek medical care, you qualify for this benefit, which will provide adequate and reasonable medical care for your condition, including reimbursement for prescriptions and for transportation to and from your medical appointments. For your first medical visit, you must see a care provider that your employer has designated. After the first visit, you may choose your own healthcare provider. Your employer’s insurer has the right to require you to see its preferred provider periodically to evaluate your incapacity.
- Permanent loss of function and disfigurement benefits – This benefit provides a one-time payment if your injury causes permanent loss of specific bodily functions or produces scarring on your face, neck or hands.
- Survivors’ and dependents’ benefits – If you are the spouse or child of an employee who has died due to a workplace injury, you may be eligible for two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage or the maximum of the state’s average weekly wage at the time of the injury. These benefits are available to children who are under the age of 18 or enrolled as a full-time student. The benefits are also available to spouses who have not remarried. If a spouse remarries, each eligible child will continue to receive $60 a week.
Once you report your claim to the insurance company that provides workers’ compensation coverage for your employer, you will be issued a card with a claim number and contact information on it. Most medical providers will not treat you without this claim number.
Understanding Personal Injury Compensation
If you are entitled to file a personal injury claim following your construction accident – for example, if you have a claim against a driver at the construction site – you may be entitled to seek compensation for damages. Those damages may include:
- Past, ongoing, and future medical treatment expenses
- Lost wages for time you miss from work due to your injuries
- Lost earning capacity, if your injuries cause you to suffer a partial or total loss of your normal income
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life and emotional distress
- Loss of consortium, which compensates your spouse for the loss of your companionship due to your injuries
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt on a Construction Site
If you have suffered an injury on a construction site, take these steps (if possible) to protect your legal rights in the event you later file a personal injury lawsuit against the third party that you believed caused your injuries:
- Report your accident or injuries to the construction company.
- Take photos of the accident scene, including whatever may have caused your accident and injuries, any warning signs or safety equipment, lighting conditions and (if applicable) weather conditions, and any visual obstructions. If you suffered any visible injuries, photograph those as well.
- Get the names and contact information for any eyewitnesses to your accident, in case you later need to take a statement from them.
- Get examined by a doctor even if you don’t feel like you were seriously hurt at first. You may not feel pain or other symptoms of serious injuries for hours, days or even weeks after your construction site accident. However, a doctor may be able to diagnose those injuries in an exam. This will allow you to more persuasively argue that your injuries were caused by the construction site accident and not by something else.
- Talk to a Brockton construction accident lawyer from The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan. Learn how we can pursue compensation on your behalf.
Common Causes of Construction Site Injuries
Frequent causes of construction site accidents and injuries in Brockton include:
- Floor collapses
- Ceiling collapses
- Bucket truck/cherry picker accidents
- Demolition accidents
- Trench collapses
- Highway construction and repair work accidents
OSHA Safety Violations
OSHA is the federal agency responsible for regulating and overseeing safety procedures at work sites. The agency has 2,100 inspectors, including 29 in Massachusetts. This means that there is one inspector for roughly 115,863 workers statewide. Common citations that OSHA issues include:
- Lack of fall protection
- Violations to the hazard communication standard
- Violations to general scaffolding safety standards
- Lack of respiratory protection
- Improper or unsafe use of ladders
- Failure to observe industrial truck safety regulations
- Improper or inadequate fall protection training
- Safety violations regarding machinery and machine guards
- Lack of proper eye and face protection
OSHA reports that in the more than four decades of the organization’s existence, national workplace deaths have decreased from 38 a day in 1970 to 14 a day in 2017. With 10 regional offices and 85 local area offices, the agency conducted more than 32,000 federal inspections in 2018, and nearly 41,000 inspections in accordance with state plans.
How Our Brockton Construction Accident Lawyers Can Help You
When you have been injured in a construction site accident in Brockton or elsewhere in southeastern Massachusetts, contact The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan. We can help you and your family pursue financial compensation for your injuries and damages by:
- Conducting a thorough investigation of your accident to collect the evidence we need to show how your accident occurred
- Identifying potentially liable parties and potential sources of compensation, such as filing a workers’ compensation claim or pursuing a personal injury claim against at-fault parties and their insurance coverages
- Guiding you through the workers’ compensation claim process, if you are eligible for workers’ comp benefits
- Filing claims against at-fault third-parties and aggressively negotiating for a settlement that provides you with fair compensation
- Pursuing your claims for compensation with the Department of Industrial Accidents or in court, if necessary
Schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with a Massachusetts construction accident attorney at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan. We will discuss your legal rights and options for obtaining compensation after your construction accident. Call us today to learn how our firm can help you secure a full financial recovery in your case.