West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers Aid Construction Accident Victims
Focusing on responsibility for construction site injuries
Construction sites are hazardous to employees and passersby under the best of circumstances. Workers and authorized visitors on these sites are exposed to a potentially deadly mix of excavations, loose soil, dangerous power machinery, cranes, electrical equipment, scaffolds, and debris. A preliminary statistical analysis of workplace fatalities by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) bears it out: of the 4,679 workplace fatalities that occurred in the United States during 2014, a total of 874 (18.7%, or nearly one in five) involved workers in the construction industry.
Paulson & Nace, PLLC, our family of personal injury lawyers, understands the emotional and financial effects of construction-related deaths and injuries on families. Our West Virginia personal injury lawyers have been fight for decades on behalf of families devastated by catastrophic injuries due to construction site negligence.
What kinds of injuries can happen on West Virginia construction sites?
A sampling of the kinds of construction site injuries for which Paulson & Nace has represented West Virginians and their families includes:
- Falls. These are among the leading causes of death in the industry. Falls from ladders, scaffolding and rooftops – not necessarily from significant height – present the risk of serious injury or death when the surface on which one lands is hard, uneven and littered with construction debris.
- Heavy machinery accidents. Machinery that is susceptible to tipping over, such as forklifts, cranes and backhoes, can crush their operators or nearby workers. Earthmoving equipment, such as bulldozers and large construction trucks, may run over other workers because of operator carelessness.
- Electrical hazards. Not only do live overhead wires pose a hazard to workers on ladders and scaffolding; defective power cables, improperly grounded machinery and the absence of ground fault interrupts may cause severe electrical burns or death by electrocution.
- Trench and excavation accidents. Trenches and other excavations that are improperly reinforced may collapse and cause workers to be crushed. Workers have been buried alive because a lack of high visibility clothing prevented their being seen by operators of backhoes, bulldozers and dump trucks.
- Unsafe walkways. It is easy for a construction site to become littered with debris and machinery. A lack of safe pathways not only increase a person’s chances odds of tripping, slipping and falling, but increases the risk of severe injury by their landing on debris such as jagged pieces of concrete, wooden stakes and rebar.
- Exposure to hazardous materials. Both construction workers and miners may be blinded, burned or poisoned by dangerous or toxic materials, especially when the construction site lacks emergency eyewash and shower equipment. Workers engaged in demolition may be exposed to dangerous levels of lead in paint, or asbestos in siding.
- Lack of safety equipment. At the very least, workers on construction sites need the protection offered by construction helmets (“hardhats”), and other equipment such as safety goggles, gloves and hearing protection.
- Inadequate lighting. Whether deep in a mine or at ground level, on night duty or in places with limited visibility, workers need to be seen in order to be avoided by equipment operators or passing traffic. That may necessitate the employer’s furnishing special reflective clothing in highly visible colors, or helmets equipped with headlamps.
Many of these kinds of accidents could also be avoided if workers were given not only the correct safety equipment, but thorough safety training as well. A company that trains its workers to act with safety in mind at all times, that has a safety program in place and enforces it, is less likely to experience serious injuries or deaths at its worksites.
Doesn’t Workers’ Compensation prevent me from suing?
If you were injured, or a loved one was injured or killed in a construction site accident, you may have recourse beyond the benefits provided by your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance. For example, if a job-related injury or death was caused by a defective piece of equipment, say, a crane negligently operated by a subcontractor or improperly serviced by a heavy equipment service company, you or your family may be able to recover damages from the subcontractor, the equipment manufacturer, and the service company in a “third party” lawsuit.
Advocating on behalf of West Virginia’s victims of construction site accidents
Living with the tragedy of a spouse or child’s accidental death, or a debilitating injury of your own, because of someone’s negligent acts on a construction site is difficult. Choosing the right personal injury lawyers should not be. Paulson & Nace, PLLC’s distinguished family of attorneys offers the compassionate, personal, and professional attention you deserve. We are widely recognized throughout West Virginia for both our comprehensive legal services and our aggressive advocacy for victims of construction site injuries. When you choose a personal injury attorney from our practice to represent you, you are choosing a team that values families and family relationships. Please call 304-741-8079 or fill out our contact form to tell us your story in a no-obligation consultation. Our office is located at 3501 Maccorkle Ave SE, Charleston, WV 25304.
We have dedicated our lives to helping individuals and families whose lives have been disrupted by negligence in construction areas. Let our family help you and yours.