St Louis Construction Accident Lawyer
St. Louis Construction Accident Lawyer
Construction is an inherently dangerous occupation. The average construction worker is exposed to multiple hazards every day, including heights, heavy loads, dangerous tools and equipment, toxic chemicals, and many others.
In 2020, more than 1 in 5 workplace fatalities occurred in the construction industry. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 1,034 construction site workers died in fatal accidents in 2020, over a third occurring due to slips, trips, and falls.
The BLS also estimates that over 150,000 construction site accident injuries occur yearly.
Did you suffer injuries in a construction site accident? If so, you may be able to recover financial compensation by filing a workers’ compensation claim. Our construction accident lawyers can help you understand your rights as a worker and recover fair workers’ compensation for your accident, even if you are partially to blame.
Contact the construction accident attorneys at Injury Lawyers Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, for a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
Types of St. Louis Construction Accidents
Construction sites pose many different risks to workers. Hence, construction accidents can occur in many different ways, including:
- Falls: Fall accidents are the leading cause of death and injury on construction sites, accounting for more than a third of fatalities in the industry. Due to insufficient fall protection and safety gear, workers can fall from scaffolding, ladders, windows, and roofs.
- Struck-By Accidents: These construction site accidents occur when an object strikes a worker’s body and creates an injury. Construction workers can get hit by a falling, rolling, or swinging object, such as a crane or loader truck.
- Caught-in Accidents: When a worker gets caught, crushed, or pressed between two or more objects, the incident is a caught-in or caught-between accident.
- Slip and Falls: Workers can trip, slip, and fall due to stray tools, uneven grounds, puddles, and other workplace hazards.
- Electrocution: Construction sites often have exposed wiring and power lines. If a line or electrical component is left lying around, a worker may come in contact with it and suffer an electric shock.
- Fires and Explosions: While rare, fires and explosions on construction sites still occur and are extremely dangerous. Common causes include leaking gases, unfinished piping, and unfinished electrical systems.
- Machinery Accidents: Construction workers often use a lot of heavy machinery to get work done. Mishandling tools like jackhammers, bulldozers, and nail guns can result in catastrophic injuries. Similarly, malfunctioning or broken machinery puts workers at risk.
- Overexertion: Workers usually have to endure hot or humid conditions during hours of work every day. Unfortunately, some suffer heat strokes, loss of consciousness, and soft tissue injuries due to overexertion. A worker losing consciousness while on the job can be highly hazardous, posing a risk of falling from a great height.
- Exposure to Toxic Substances: Construction workers may be exposed to several hazardous chemicals, such as asbestos, lead, and formaldehyde. Constant exposure to these substances can lead to severe and long-term health complications, including respiratory problems, brain damage, and cancer.
Common Construction Site Injuries
Construction site accidents can lead to serious injuries, such as:
- Head Injuries: Falling from a great height or getting struck by an object can lead to a traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as a concussion, contusion, or brain hemorrhage. Severe impacts to the head can cause the skull to break, increasing the risk of severe complications, such as brain damage, leaking of cerebrospinal fluid, and seizures.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Injury to the spinal cord can cause permanent changes in strength, sensation, and other bodily functions below the injury site. Severe cases of spinal cord trauma can lead to permanent disability due to the loss of movement.
- Lacerations: Coming into contact with sharp objects can cause deep cuts on the skin, also known as lacerations. These injuries are common in accidents that involve broken glass, sharp tools, and twisted metal.
- Fractures: Some construction accidents involve a severe blow to the body, strong enough to break a bone. Common causes include struck-by accidents, falls from great heights, and machinery mishaps.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Overexertion and repetitive movements increase the risk of sprains, strains, and other injuries to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
- Crushing Injuries: When a worker gets caught between two or more objects, the immense pressure on the trapped body part can damage the muscle, break bones, and cause irreversible nerve damage.
- Amputation: Severe injuries may require amputation of affected limbs, especially when they are infected beyond repair.
- Sensory Issues: A worker may lose hearing due to constant exposure to noise. Similarly, construction activities like welding and cement mixing may produce dust and grit that can harm the eye.
- Burns: Flames, electrocution, and caustic chemicals can create painful burns on the skin. In severe cases, burns can lead to shock and even death.
Compensation for Injured Construction Workers
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning you may be entitled to financial compensation if you suffer an injury at work, regardless of who is at fault. By filing a claim, you could receive compensation for your medical bills and lost wages.
Your payments will depend on the extent of your disability and whether or not you can return to work:
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): Compensation that an injured worker receives while recovering, typically a percentage of the worker’s expected salary.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD): Payments are made to workers who cannot work while recovering.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): Payments are made to workers who have sustained a permanent partial impairment due to their injuries.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD): Monthly payments made to injured workers who are left totally disabled from their injuries. Workers typically receive these benefits until they die or return to work.
Workers’ compensation benefits will compensate you for medical expenses, vocational rehabilitation, and lost wages. Unfortunately, you will not be paid for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life. To recover compensation for these losses, you will need the help of a personal injury attorney.
Furthermore, these workers’ compensation benefits are capped based on the Missouri average weekly wage, which may not be enough to cover all your needs.
If another person or entity played a role in your construction site accident, you could hold them liable for broader damages, including:
- Lost income not available through workers’ compensation
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Disability due to serious injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
During your free case evaluation, your construction accident lawyer will help you determine the extent of your losses and translate them into potential values.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
You must report your construction site injury to your employer within 30 days of the underlying incident or discovery of the injury.
Afterward, you have two years to submit a claim to the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). You may lose your right to receive benefits if you miss the two-year window, so file your case as soon as possible.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Unfortunately, not all workers’ compensation benefits are enough to cover severe accident outcomes, such as spinal cord injuries and permanent partial disability. In other cases, Workers’ Compensation denies claims due to preexisting medical conditions, clerical errors, and intentional neglect.
If your claim is denied for an unfair reason or you don’t receive enough compensation for your work-related injuries, our St. Louis accident attorneys can help. We handle appeals for unfair denials and workers’ compensation claims across St. Louis, MO.
You can learn more about what our personal injury attorneys can do for you during your free consultation.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit
What if a third party is responsible for your workplace accident? In that case, you could file a personal injury claim or lawsuit to pursue damages that worker’s compensation does not cover.
However, for a third-party injury claim to be successful, you must prove that:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to you
- The defendant breached this duty of care
- The breach resulted in your accident
- The accident directly led to your injuries and other damages
For instance, an employer that fails to remove hazards from a construction site may be considered acting “negligently” and face legal repercussions if their actions (or lack thereof) cause a construction accident injury.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will help determine who should be liable for your construction accident injuries. Responsible parties in your construction injury case may include:
- Construction companies
You must prove that the negligent third party caused your accident. Furthermore, you must have evidence to demonstrate the extent of your damages. Your personal injury attorney will help you gather relevant documents to support your construction injury case, such as:
- Photos of injuries
- Medical records
- Incident reports
- Surveillance footage
- Documentation of the accident scene
- Witness accounts
- Expert testimony
- Medical bills
Reaching a Settlement
After filing a legal claim against the negligent third party, their insurance company may offer you a settlement. If the defendant is your employer, they might use their general liability insurance. Contractors and subcontractors, on the other hand, may use their professional liability coverage.
In any case, do not accept payment without legal representation. Insurers rarely offer fair compensation amounts the first time and may even deny construction accident claims without proper reason. Let our personal injury attorneys handle communications with the defendant’s insurance company and negotiate for a better offer.
Additionally, remember these tips when dealing with insurers:
- Do not sign over any documents or provide a recorded statement
- Do not admit fault
- Do not share the information of other people involved.
Other Legal Options
What if the defendant’s insurance company refuses to make a fair offer? Or what if the defendant denies responsibility for the construction site accident?
If either scenario occurs, your lawyer could help you file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue damages. Your case will go to civil court, where a judge or jury will hear evidence from both sides before deciding a verdict. Personal injury suits usually take more than a year to resolve.
Alternatively, your lawyer could help you pursue damages through other means, such as arbitration or mediation. These alternative dispute resolution methods are often less formal, less expensive, and less time-consuming than a court trial.
Our St. Louis construction accident attorneys will discuss all possible legal options during your free consultation.
The Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in St. Louis, MO, is five years from the date of the underlying incident or the discovery of injuries (Section 516.120 of the Revised Missouri Statutes).
Have your St. Louis personal injury lawyer file your case as soon as possible to avoid losing crucial evidence or missing the deadline.
The Role of Your St. Louis Construction Accident Lawyer
Holding a negligent third party accountable can be challenging, especially if it is your employer or another powerful entity. It helps to have an experienced St. Louis construction accident lawyer who can help you:
- Investigate how and why the accident happened
- Establish the fault of at-fault parties
- Determine the extent of your injuries and damages
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- File your claim
- Negotiate with the defendant’s insurer
- File your case in civil court, if necessary
Your lawyer will discuss these responsibilities further during your free case evaluation.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced St. Louis Construction Accident Attorney Today
Construction workers face countless dangers at work every day. Sadly, the risk of construction site accidents is part of the job.
More than that, injuries suffered on construction sites tend to be more severe. Construction accident victims may lose their jobs, struggle with medical bills, suffer life-long health effects, and even die due to construction site injuries.
You might be entitled to workers’ compensation if you or a loved one suffered work-related injuries on a construction site. However, workers’ compensation benefits are based on the Missouri average weekly wage (AWW), which may not be enough to cover your losses.
The experienced attorneys in St. Louis, MO, can help you appeal the decision for your workers’ comp claim to maximize your potential benefits. If someone else’s negligence caused your construction accident, our lawyers could file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.
Contact our St. Louis construction accident lawyers today for a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our personal injury team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
Our attorneys handle all accepted construction accident cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay for our legal services unless we win your case.