What You Need to Know about Construction Accidents & Worker’s Compensation

construction accidentsSadly, year after year, we hear about accidents at a construction site — some causing serious injuries and some causing death. For instance, news stories revealed several tragic incidents in the U.S. over the last year.

A year ago, in Georgetown, Idaho, a construction crew was working on a new sewage system for the city and there was a “construction accident” in which two workers died; in June of this year, firefighters in Manhattan were called to 38th Street and Madison Avenue where a 12-ton heating and air-conditioning unit broke free from a crane and fell 30 stories, injuring 10 people; and the following month, at Logan International Airport, an ironworker who was working on a new parking garage fell 40 feet to the ground “after a 32-ton concrete panel he was trying to secure fell from a crane hoisting it to the third floor.” He later died.

Earlier this month, there was an incident at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. In this terrible sequence of events, “a serious construction site accident occurred at the indoor practice facility, located in the back of the Bryant campus adjacent to the baseball fields. The steel which was being erected collapsed forward, resulting in at least six injuries.”

When people hear about construction accidents, one may initially think that they’re straightforward worker’s compensation cases regarding a worker (employee) who was hurt on the job. In this setting, the avenue of recovery for the injured worker to receive compensation for his/her injuries and lost wages is through Worker’s Compensation Court. In most states, employers are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance to cover lost wages and medical bills for injured employees.

However, each of the accidents mentioned in this blog requires a fact-intensive inquiry. Several variables needs to be investigated, including the specific facts of the accident, the individuals involved, what equipment and/or machinery was involved, who owned that piece of equipment, and who was operating it. Inquiry into the different aspects of the factual scenario leading up to the tragic construction accident is crucial in order to decipher any and all causes of action.

What to do if you’re injured on the job:

  • Report the injury to your employer in writing
  • Fill out a worker’s compensation claim form
  • File the claim as soon as possible
  • Seek counsel from an attorney

It is important to remember that, in the case of a construction accident or other work-related injury, worker’s compensation laws may not be your only remedy for the injuries and damages you and your family have sustained. In addition to any worker’s compensation claim against an employer, the injured worker or the family members of a deceased worker may avail themselves to third party causes of actions, such as Products Liability (claims against the manufacture of the equipment/machinery would include causes of action, such as defective design, defective manufacture, failure to warn – to name a few), Premises Liability (claims against the land owner for conditions that may have caused or contributed to the construction accident), as well as an action against another sub-contractor.

Video Profile

Decof, Decof & Barry

Schedule a Free Consultation

We work for clients on a contingency fee arrangement, which means you pay no legal fee or costs unless we obtain a verdict or settlement for you.

Firm News and Events
Decof, Decof & Barry Recognized among Best Law Firms by U.S. News – Best Lawyers®
Read More
Attorneys of Rhode Island Law Firm Decof, Decof & Barry Named Super Lawyers & Rising Stars
Read More
Michael P. Quinn, Jr. Wins Record Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case in Rhode Island
Read More
From our Blog
How to Legally Prevent Unexpected Medical Bills

May 22, 2018

Nationwide nearly one in three Americans with private insurance received a surprise medical bill between 2014 and 2016. A surprise medical bill is an unexpected bill from an out–of–network provider or from a provider not chosen by a patient. Surprise medical billing happens when a patient goes to a hospital, emergency room or doctor’s office…

Read More

What are the Time Limits to Make a Wrongful Death Case?

May 8, 2018

In Rhode Island, the legislature has enacted the Rhode Island Wrongful Death Statute, also referred to as the Death by Wrongful Act (Law § 10-7-1, et. Seq). There are different sections within the Wrongful Death Act in Rhode Island detailing the following aspects: the types of damages recoverable, by whom the damages are recoverable, who…

Read More

What is the Timeline for a Personal Injury Suit?

April 24, 2018

“It depends.” This is a typical response given by a lawyer in response to any question, but there are good reasons for it. For example, when determining how long you have to file a lawsuit, such as a personal injury case, facts matter. Little details, some known to a client and many unknown, can affect…

Read More

Contact form