Massachusetts Construction Accident Lawyer
Severe injuries often occur on construction sites, which tend to be dangerous due to the prevalence of large construction vehicles, tools, scaffolding, heavy materials and the hazards inherent in construction work. When workers suffer injuries on a construction worksite, they need to notify their employers and seek emergency medical care immediately. If the work accident was caused by a safety violation, then the injured worker should also notify OSHA.
Your employer has a limited amount of time in which to notify their insurance carrier of your claim. As a knowledgeable Massachusetts construction accident injury attorney may attest, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation when you suffer injuries at your workplace. In cases such as this, it may be wise to retain the services of a Massachusetts construction accident lawyer for legal assistance. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan for a free consultation at (617) 915-4523.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents in Massachusetts
Due to the hazardous conditions that often exist on construction sites, workers are far more likely to experience injuries as a result of working on construction sites than in other workplaces. Bystanders may also be at risk of injuries from construction sites, especially when companies fail to take adequate safety measures to protect the public from harm. As a result, victims may have a claim against their employers for job-related injuries, and bystanders may have personal injury claims against construction companies based on negligence.
Working on construction sites could result in all types of accidents and injuries. Some of the more common accidents include:
- Slips, trips, and falls from debris and poor housekeeping on the job site
- Falls from ladders, roofs, scaffolding, and other heights without adequate fall protection
- Injuries due to falling materials or other objects
- Heavy equipment failures or malfunctions
- Burns, electrocutions, and explosions
Almost all accidents are preventable. The workers’ compensation system was developed to provide coverage in all worker accidents, regardless of fault. Therefore, workers are typically limited to compensation through workers’ compensation and may not sue their employers for damages related to their injuries.
If the construction accident was caused by the negligence of a third party such as, for example, the general contractor or another subcontractor on the job site, the injured worker may be able to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit against the general contractor or subcontractor. Call our Massachusetts construction accident attorney for information and assistance with your case.
Injuries Commonly Sustained in Construction Accidents
Victims may suffer a variety of injuries stemming from a personal injury. Workers may suffer head and traumatic brain injuries if they receive a blow to the head, either due to objects falling or a piece of equipment that inadvertently strikes them. Falls may also result in head injuries, along with back and spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and internal injuries. Repetitive lifting, twisting, pushing, and pulling may cause injury to the upper extremity and shoulders such as rotator cuff tears or spinal injury such as bulging or herniated discs of the neck and lower back.
Inhalation of chemicals could result in poisoning and damages to organs. In addition, worksite explosions may also cause burns, loss of limbs, loss of sight or hearing, and/or permanent disfigurement. By consulting a construction accident attorney in Massachusetts, you may be able to obtain all the benefits that you need during your period of recovery.
Construction is a very physically demanding profession. Employees will inevitably experience some form of wear and tear on their bodies. However, there is a difference between ordinary wear and tear and an injury caused by repetitive use. Proving an injury is the result of job-related repetitive use can be difficult, but workers’ compensation may cover it. An example of an injury from repetitive use might be injuring your back because your construction job requires you to lift heavy equipment frequently throughout the day. Contact our Massachusetts construction accident lawyer for guidance on how to handle your case.
Construction Accidents Involving Contractors and Subcontractors in Massachusetts
Workers’ compensation applies when an employee is injured on the job. However, the definition of employee, although rather broad, does exclude a few specific groups. For the purposes of workers’ compensation, contractors and subcontractors on construction sites are not usually considered employees of the construction company. This rule means that contractors would be ineligible to receive workers’ compensation. However, it also means that they are permitted to file a personal injury lawsuit against the construction company.
Ordinarily, workers’ compensation bars an employee from filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. Because contractors and subcontractors are not considered employees under the law, this rule does not apply to them. Whether the general contractor is liable for the subcontractor’s injuries will depend on the level of control exercised by the general contractor.
Third-Party Claims for Construction Accidents in Massachusetts
As stated above, a worker injured on a construction site may be able to bring a third-party personal injury lawsuit if the accident was caused by the negligence of some other individual or company not employed by the injured worker’s employer.
Under OSHA health and safety regulations for the construction industry, the general contractor has a non-delegable responsibility for the health and safety of all workers on the construction site. In many cases, the general contractor may be held negligent for the unsafe and hazardous conditions that caused the injured worker’s accident. If the accident was caused by an unsafe condition or hazard caused by another subcontractor, then the injured worker may be able to bring a third-party personal injury lawsuit against both the general contractor and subcontractor.
Get in touch with our Massachusetts construction accident lawyer to arrange a free legal consultation regarding your case.
Construction Accidents Involving Bystanders in Massachusetts
A lawsuit by a bystander who was not an employee of the construction company obviously cannot claim workers’ compensation. However, they may sue just like anyone else would and are not restricted like an employee might be. A bystander injured in a construction accident would most likely want to file a lawsuit for negligence.
Construction companies and the people working on construction sites are responsible for keeping the area as safe and hazard-free as possible. This is for the benefit of people working on the site and for the benefit of any people who might be in the area or passing by. It is not uncommon for construction sites to border busy pedestrian walkways. A negligence lawsuit will require we establish four distinct elements. These elements are duty, breach, causation, and damages.
First, we must show that the construction company in charge of the site where you were injured had a duty to make it safe. This is usually not difficult to establish as there are many rules and regulations surrounding construction site safety that must be complied with. However, this duty may shift depending on how you were hired. If you were hired by a general contractor, that person may owe you a duty. Otherwise, the owner of the construction site could be the one who owes a duty.
Second, we must show there was a breach of this duty. We can establish this factor with evidence of how the construction company deviated from relevant safety regulations. Even relatively minor things like a lack of warning signs could be a safety violation.
Third, we have to show that the construction company’s negligence is the real cause of your injuries. Your injuries cannot have resulted from some other independent source. If you were partially responsible for your injuries, your claim might be subject to the rule of contributory negligence. This rule essentially states that your damages will be reduced in proportion to your own negligence. So if you were 10% negligent, your damages would be reduced by 10%.
Last, we must show damages. This means showing your injuries are real and not theoretical. Evidence such as medical records helps prove physical injuries. Call our Massachusetts construction accident lawyer for help with your negligence claim.
Suing Your Employer After a Construction Accident in Massachusetts
It is unlikely, but you might be able to sue your employer for personal injuries sustained from a construction-related accident. Ordinarily, in Massachusetts, employees are required to file for workers’ compensation. A personal lawsuit against your employer is usually not an option. However, it can become an option if the right conditions exist.
If you wish to sue your employer personally, you must show that your accident was a result of their willful misconduct or wrongful actions. This requires a showing of fault. Workers’ compensation is different because it requires no showing of fault from either party. You could be totally responsible for your own injuries and still receive workers’ compensation.
A personal lawsuit against your employer is more difficult and a bit riskier in terms of success, but there are some advantages. A personal lawsuit can yield much greater financial awards than workers’ compensation. Unlike workers’ compensation, a personal injury lawsuit can include extra damages for pain and suffering. Call our Massachusetts construction accident lawyer for a consultation regarding your case. We can help you decide what course of action is best for you.
Get in Touch with a Massachusetts Construction Accident Attorney
While you are struggling to recover from unexpected physical and emotional trauma, you may find it challenging to keep up with the constant barrage of medical bills and insurance claim forms. Having a Massachusetts construction accident lawyer by your side during this challenging time in your life may give you the benefits that you need to make a full recovery. If you are currently suffering from such an unfortunate circumstance, be sure to get in touch with a determined Massachusetts personal injury attorney about your eligibility to receive compensation. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 915-4523 for a free legal consultation.