The Fatal Four Construction Accidents: A Closer Look

by | Jun 21, 2021 | Construction Accidents, Injuries

Despite a number of obstacles, liek high material costs and labor shortages, housing construction has almost doubled in some areas. Office building and other commercial construction projects are not far behind. The construction boom has many positive effects for many people. But worker safety isn’t one of these areas. Bosses are in such a hurry to complete projects that worker safety often takes a back seat to other priorities.

Construction companies not only have a responsibility to provide protective safety gear. They also have a responsibility to teach workers how to use the equipment, even if the workers speak a language other than English. So, workplace safety is a significant investment of money and time that mist bosses do not want to make.

When accidents happen, a Lexington personal injury attorney can evaluate your situation and inform you of your legal options. Workers’ compensation covers many of these incidents, but not all of them. Victims simply do not know how much compensation they might be entitled to until a lawyer looks at their cases.

Fatal Four Injuries

Much of the construction boom is centered in semi-rural areas. As a result, job injury victims are usually a few minutes further away from the nearest hospital. These precious few minutes often make a big difference in accidents like:

  • Falls: These injuries are by far the most common serious trauma injuries at construction sites. A fall from as little as four stories high is usually fatal. Slip-and-falls often cause serious head injuries. These wounds kill tens of thousands of Americans every year.

  • Caught Between: Usually, these victims are caught between large moving vehicles and walls or other fixed objects. At noisy, busy construction sites, it’s often hard for even experienced drivers to safely operate vehicles and also watch out for darting workers.

  • Struck By: If you drop a hand-held object on your foot, you might need little more than first aid. If you drop a hand-held object from several stories high and it hits someone on the ground, the resulting injury is often fatal, even if the person is wearing a hard hat.

  • Electrocution: The heat from an arc blast is almost as hot as the surface of the sun. Furthermore, electrocutions often throw victims away from the source of the injury, causing one of the fall injuries outlined above.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that the Fatal Four cause most of the deadly construction accidents in Kentucky.

Occupational diseases, like hearing loss, repetitive stress, and toxic exposure, also affect many construction workers. 

Sounds as quiet as 35 decibels, which is basically a busy city interaction, could cause permanent hearing loss. As for repetitive stress, many workers spend much of their time bending or stooping. These joints can only take so much wear and tear. Finally, renovation and demolition workers are often exposed to asbestos. One microscopic fiber is enough to cause mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of heart-lung cancer.

As outlined below, both trauma injury and occupational disease victims could have multiple legal options.

Compensation Available

Most construction workers and their families have little or no savings. Furthermore, the average hospital stay in Kentucky often exceeds $3,000 per day. Additional medical expenses, like pricey prescription drugs and extensive physical therapy, could be even higher than the hospital expenses. Medevac, which as mentioned is often necessary in these cases, could be almost as high as well.

So, injured workers and their families badly need financial compensation. There are basically two ways to obtain this compensation in Kentucky.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ comp is no-fault insurance that covers economic losses, such as medical bills and lost wages. Usually, workers’ compensation pays all reasonably necessary medical bills and replaces two-thirds of the victim’s lost wages for the duration of a temporary disability.

“No fault” does not mean “easy pickings.” Insurance company interests dominate the workers’ compensation process. These bureaucrats and lawyers look to reduce or deny compensation in any way possible.

Nonsubscriber Cases

This phrase is Legalese for an employer that does not have a valid workers’ compensation insurance policy. Some employers simply ignore the law and don’t make any effort to buy insurance. Others submit false documents to fool government inspectors.

In these situations, injured workers may sue outside the system and obtain additional compensation for their noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. This compensation is available if the victim proves negligence, or a lack of care. The law deprives employers of some “silver bullet” defenses in these situations, so negligence is easier to prove. 

This avenue might also be open if the employer recklessly sent employees to a dangerous worksite.

 

Job injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. We routinely handle matters in Fayette County and nearby jurisdictions. #goodelawyers