Construction sites are known to be dangerous workplaces. Visitors to construction sites, along with workers and their supervisors, can face a range of hazardous situations in connection with property conditions, construction equipment, falls, disrepair, and defective machines. As a worker, you may not have enough saved to pay for the expenses of serious injuries and take time off work in the event you are left disabled by a work accident. Workers’ compensation benefits do not fully make up for losses. If you were injured in a construction accident, you should call the Grimes Law Firm.Construction Accidents
Construction accidents in New Jersey may involve many different kinds of incidents including:
- Falls from scaffolding or roofs,
- Falling objects,
- Toxic chemical spills or exposures,
- Machinery or equipment failures,
- Trench collapse,
- Welding accidents,
- Inadequate safety equipment and training,
- Dim lighting,
- Accidents involving tools such as power saws and nail guns.
While construction sites are supposed to follow stringent safety standards, contractors and property owners may not stick to the letter of these rules, in practice, or may even place profit ahead of worker and visitor safety.
Generally, the remedy employees have against their employers after a construction accident is a workers’ compensation claim. However, workers may be able to bring a third party lawsuit against other parties responsible for their injuries. Potential parties to consider include the property owner, contractors other than the employer, a manufacturer, or a supplier. For example, if you work for an electrician and fell from two stories, breaking your back and suffering head injuries, due to a defect in scaffolding set up by the framing subcontractor, you may be able to bring a lawsuit for damages against the manufacturer of the scaffolding and the framing subcontractor.Liability
Many lawsuits brought because of injuries, whether serious or minor, are pursued under a theory of negligence. In order to establish negligence, our attorneys would need to prove it is more likely than not: (1) you were owed a duty of reasonable care by the defendant, (2) the defendant’s departure from the duty of reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. For example, if a crane operator is under the influence at the construction site and, as a result of his carelessness with the crane, you are catastrophically injured while working for the masonry subcontractor, our lawyers should be able to show that the crane operator departed from the duty to use reasonable care.
Sometimes several different people at a construction site are responsible for an accident. These could include the general contractor, architect, product supplier, manufacturers, subcontractors, and engineers. It may be critical for us to investigate, or even conduct accident reconstruction and retain an expert, to pinpoint which parties other than your employer were responsible for your injuries. We would bring them into the lawsuit.Damages
If we can establish a defendant’s liability for a construction accident in which you were injured, we should be able to recover compensatory damages, both economic and noneconomic, that flow from your injuries. These can include:
- Medical bills,
- Lost income,
- Out-of-pocket expenses,
- Pain and suffering,
- Mental anguish,
- Household services.
Additionally, if you lost a loved one in a construction accident due to another’s negligence or other fault, there may be grounds to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Any criminal action with regard to homicide charges are distinct and independent; criminal charges must be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is a higher standard than the “preponderance of the evidence” standard applied to civil lawsuits. Even so, what happens in a criminal action can have an effect on the damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, and it is wise to retain an attorney early on in the process of seeking damages.
Wrongful death damages may include:
- Medical expenses,
- Funeral and burial expenses related to the final injury or illness,
- Loss of wages and financial support,
- Value of household services,
- Loss of companionship and guidance.
As a construction worker in New Jersey, your life may be dramatically altered by a catastrophic injury. Likewise, the loss of a loved one to a preventable accident is devastating. If you think you may need to recover damages as an injured worker or visitor to a construction site, you should talk to the experienced New Jersey construction accident lawyer Raymond Grimes. The Grimes Law Firm represent injured workers and their families in Somerset County and throughout the state and the Tri-State area. Please call us at (908) 371-1066 or complete our online form.