According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), construction work is one of the 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States. Every year, construction workers employed in all types of trades suffer serious injuries. Unfortunately, some construction accidents also result in fatalities. Often, construction accidents are caused by the negligence of employers and contractors.
Whether you were hurt on a construction site in Jersey City, or anywhere else in New Jersey, your first concern should be in securing medical treatment. Treatement should be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Most often, your employer will assist you in filing for benefits and beginning the process for obtaining them.
Notably, New Jersey law does not require you to prove fault of any kind in order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If you were injured during the scope of your employment, you have certain entitlements as a matter of law. This could include a percentage of lost wages, as well as partial or total permanent disability.
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, like Attorney Anthony Carbone, works to ensure you receive proper benefits related to your employment. However, you will also benefit from the advice of an experienced construction accident attorney to determine all that is available to you. You may be entitled to money from more than one source.
With over three decades of experience, our Jersey City construction accident lawyer will help you determine whether you might also be entitled to a monetary award if someone else’s negligence caused your on-the-job injuries. The same is true if you’ve lost a loved one to a fatal construction accident.
Construction Trades and Professions
As you most likely know, working on a construction site presents a number of occupational hazards. Men and women from various trades often work side by side. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) finds that carpenters make up the largest proportion of construction workers. However, other trades employed in the construction industry include:
- Brick masons
- Drywall installers
- Construction laborers
- Operating engineers
- Truck drivers
- Welders and cutters
- Road workers
When it comes to fatalities on construction sites, ironworkers top the list. Undoubtedly, this is because they often work at high heights. They are, therefore, the most likely to fall and either suffer devasting injuries – or die as a result of them.
Many construction workers secure work as a result of their affiliation with a trade union. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 92.5% of those employed in the construction industry work for companies with under 20 employees.
In many cases, your injury claim may be limited to the pursuit of workers’ compensation benefits from your employer’s insurance company. If another individual caused your accident and you both work for the same company, it may be difficult to also pursue a negligence action. However, that’s something that is best left for evaluation by an experienced construction accident attorney.
However, that’s not to say that you can’t file a lawsuit against another company working on the same site. For example, think of how many tradesmen could suffer injury or death as a result of a crane collapse. More than likely, most won’t be employed by the same company that owned and operated the crane.
Different Types of Construction Accidents
According to OSHA, the largest percentage of fatal construction accidents are related to falls. However, that term in itself may seem a bit vague. A fall involving an on-the-job injury could occur in any of these circumstances:
- Slip and fall
- Fall from a ladder or scaffolding
- Fall into a trench or improperly protected hole
- Fall as a result of a building or crane collapse
In some cases, improperly securing or holding tools can lead to significant injuries. In 2014, a construction worker lost his life when a tape measure fell onto his head from 50 stories above. Falling objects represent yet another occupational hazard on construction sites.
While safety should represent a critical issue in any employment scenario, construction work often presents dangerous conditions. Although you might do your best to take precautions, it’s still possible to suffer accidental harm.
An experienced construction accident attorney investigates the circumstances of the incident to determine negligence. Here are some other examples of work-related accidents that suggest a lawsuit against a potential third party:
- Defective equipment
- Forklift accident
- Occupational exposure to hazardous substances or fumes
- Motor vehicle collision
- Improper use of equipment
- Welding accident
- Fire or carbon monoxide
This list is by no means exhaustive as far as the types of accidents that occur in the construction industry. While medical bills and reimbursement of lost wages are obviously critical, an experienced construction accident lawyer can help determine if you are entitled to additional compensation.
Construction Accident Injuries
In worst-case scenarios, construction accidents can result in fatalities or catastrophic injuries. Bone fractures, as well as herniated discs, often occur as a result of construction site accidents. Meanwhile, exposure to different chemicals and other substances can cause harm.
Some of the hardest and dedicated workers in the country make a living in the construction industry. For most of the trades, daily duties involve an extreme amount of physical labor. The toll of accidental injuries could be life-changing for many.
Physical pain and mounting medical bills represent just part of the problem for those hurt in construction accidents. The prospect of diminished earning capacity could become a reality. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to seek different employment that is not physically taxing on the body.
Construction Accidents on the Rise in Jersey City
It’s no secret – Jersey City and Newark have big plans. Both cities are on the upswing as far as attracting new businesses and residents. The rising costs of maintaining a New York presence have many looking across the river. New construction should increase property value and provide employment opportunities.
If you’re a construction worker employed in the area, you may have helped build the first phase of Mulberry Commons Park. The project took approximately $10M and fourteen years to complete. Newark continues to add more buildings to its landscape.
The Department of Transportation reports that several road construction projects are also underway. Workers on highly trafficked roads such as Route 280 and Route 495 are constantly at risk for injuries
Meanwhile, Jersey City continues to erect a number of high-rise residential units with no plans of stopping. In fact, a new residential high-rise near Newport Mall has just started construction, the first of 12 towers planned for the site for the next 20 years. Construction along Jersey City’s harbor means plenty of work for those in the industry.
However, all this new construction brings an inherent risk. There is danger associated with the erection of large structures. While progress and the promise of employment make a great combination, one fact remains. Safety should be critical in any work in progress.
Unfortunately, not all companies follow accepted protocol when it comes to protecting their employees. And, the fact is that different trades could suffer unnecessary exposure to harm.
Getting to the Bottom of Who’s Responsible
Determining who owes compensation to a person injured in a construction site accident can be a very complex matter. Construction projects generally involve property owners, general contractors, subcontractors and other entities.
If you were working on the site, one issue will be whether the site has any Occupational Health and Safety Administration violations. This could determine whether your employer or some other entity is responsible for your injuries. If another entity is responsible, then, through a personal injury lawsuit, you can pursue additional compensation by proving responsibility with the help of a personal injury lawyer. You may find it more convenient to look for legal counsel in either Essex or Hudson counties. If the property owner created dangerous conditions by failing to maintain the property, you might pursue a premises liability lawsuit. If you were struck by a motor vehicle driven by someone other than a coworker, you may file an auto or truck accident lawsuit. These are just a few examples of legal actions that might come from a construction accident claim.
Again, what if the equipment you used malfunctioned? Did a nail gun fire unexpectedly? Were guards in place to prevent injury? In some cases, you may be able to consider the pursuit of a products liability claim regarding the failures of the machine.
You will not want to take on these challenges alone. New Jersey construction site accident lawyer Anthony Carbone is experienced at sorting out the issues involved in construction site accidents, and we work with expert investigators.
Discuss Your Options with an Experienced New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a fall, received a burn, or had any other accident at a construction site, don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about your options. Medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses are a serious matter, and you deserve the best possible legal outcome. Our construction accident lawyer in Jersey City is here to help you through this difficult and confusing matter.
Could you have a Case for Carbone? The best way to find out is to call the office at (201) 963-6000. Let Attorney Carbone’s 30 years of experience handling construction accident cases help you.