Atlanta Construction Accident Lawyers
When safety is shortchanged, however, the results can be devastating. Construction accidents can cause a wide range of life-threatening injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and other severe damage. Some of these injuries can result in life-changing disabilities like paralysis or loss of cognitive functions. Those who survive these serious injuries may find that they face years of expensive and grueling medical care, surgeries, physical therapy, and other procedures in order to regain even a fraction of their former ability to function. The medications and equipment that an injured person may require merely add to the staggering costs of these injuries.
Workers Injured on Construction Sites
Accidents at construction sites cause hundreds of thousands of injuries per year, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). While construction workers suffer most of these injuries, people who are not working on the construction site may be injured as well. These people include passersby, children or pedestrians cutting through construction sites, and people who live in the area of a construction zone who are injured by debris or made ill by toxic chemicals leaking from the site into the air or water.
Most construction workers in Georgia are covered by workers' compensation insurance, which pays for lost wages, medical bills, and other costs related to a construction accident. Nevertheless, lawful workers' compensation claims can be denied or the coverage provided may not be substantial enough. Furthermore, third parties, such as contractors, sub-contractors, manufacturers of tools and machinery, as well as others, can be held liable for a construction accident that causes injury or death. In addition, workers' compensation does not cover non-workers who are injured on or near construction sites. These injuries, along with those suffered by construction workers, make up nearly one-quarter of all workplace accidents that occurred in 2009, according to OSHA.
What Are Common Types of Construction Accidents?
Common types of construction accidents that can injure or kill both workers and non-workers include:
- Excavation. An area underneath the ground or sidewalk that has been dug out may collapse, injuring both anyone underneath and anyone walking over the top. Excavated areas often collapse quickly and without warning, giving both workers and pedestrians no chance to avoid injury in a trench collapse.
- Falling materials. Tools, equipment, and building materials can drop or fall from overhead, especially if workers are working on scaffolding or on a roof at great heights. These items can cause serious injury or death if they strike someone walking below.
- Machinery or equipment failures. Any kind of power tools or equipment, from hand-held drills to backhoes, might have a mechanical failure that can lead to an accident. Large equipment can be especially dangerous if it slips out of gear or malfunctions.
- Scaffold or other structure failure. Scaffolding, fences, sheds, and other temporary structures may fall apart, injuring anyone on or near them, especially if they were not installed correctly or are made of defective parts or materials.
Obtaining Justice for Injured Victims
Construction companies and third parties have a responsibility to both their workers and the general public to follow safety regulations and keep workplaces as injury-free as possible. OSHA and state occupational safety departments provide extensive instructions on how construction sites should handle materials, equipment, and work in order to minimize the risk of injury or death. Companies struggling to meet a deadline or finish a project under budget, however, may cut corners on safety issues.
At Grant Law Office, our Atlanta construction injury attorneys examine cases carefully and choose to represent clients whom we believe we can best serve. If you've been injured in a construction accident, call us today to learn more about your legal rights and see if our experience can help you.