Construction Site Accidents in Washington State
Construction sites, by their nature, are dangerous places to work. Most construction workers are hard-working, conscientious people who take proper precautions, wear the right safety equipment, and do not take unnecessary risks that violate workplace safety protocols. Nonetheless, accidents on construction sites can and do happen. And when they do, supervisors and construction companies can and should be held responsible.
If you were injured in a construction site accident, you may be entitled to compensation. But getting fully and fairly compensated for a construction site injury is a complicated process that should not be attempted without the assistance of a qualified and experienced attorney. The Campbell Law Firm is here to help.
Common Causes of Construction Site Injuries in Washington
Dangerous equipment like heavy machinery, electricity, flammable materials, and heavy loads are all present on construction sites. This increases the risk of a severe injury caused by a construction site accident. In Washington, deaths due to construction site accidents rank second among workplace fatalities behind transportation and warehousing accidents.
Common causes of construction site accidents include:
- Electrical shocks
- Crane accidents
- Chemical spills
- Injuries caused by falling materials
These hazards pose serious risks to construction site workers, and the injuries that occur on a construction site can be catastrophic and can even lead to wrongful death.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 150,000 construction accidents occur every year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that one in ten construction workers will suffer an injury due to a construction site accident at some point in their career.
Common Construction Site Injuries in Washington
Washington construction workers are exposed to risks of injury every day. Common construction site injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries. Falling objects or other head trauma can cause brain injuries including concussions and long-term brain damage that can cause cognitive deficits, sensory problems, and permanently impair movement and other bodily functions.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. Falls from a significant height can damage the spinal cord and result in partial or total paralysis. Paralyzed workers are often unable to return to construction work and may be unable to find employment at all.
- Burn Injuries. Electricity, chemicals, explosions, and contact with hot machinery can lead to severe burn injuries that can cause temporary or permanent impairment, scarring, disability, and even death.
- Hearing Loss. Prolonged exposure to high decibel levels at construction sites can lead to significant hearing loss. A single exposure to a sudden, loud noise can also cause hearing loss.
- Sharp tools and bright lights are common at construction sites and can lead to impaired vision or even blindness.
Construction Workers Can Receive Compensation Under the Workers’ Compensation System and Through a Third-Party Claim
Washington construction workers who are injured in construction site accidents are usually entitled to benefits under the Washington workers’ compensation system. Washington workers’ compensation system is a no-fault-based system, which means that an injured worker does not need to prove that an employer was negligent in order to recover compensation. However, the amount recovered may not be enough to fully compensate an injured worker.
Under Washington workers’ compensation laws, an injured construction worker can only pursue recovery from their employer through the workers’ compensation system. However, injured construction workers can pursue a third-party claim against other people and companies who may be responsible for their injuries.
Injured construction workers are eligible to seek compensation from third-parties who were responsible for their injuries. Parties responsible for a construction site injury may include supervisors, general contractors, subcontractors, property owners, property managers, leasing companies, maintenance companies, and equipment manufacturers.
Because so many different people and companies are involved in operating a construction site and may be responsible for a construction site accident, construction site accident cases are highly complex. Choosing an experienced construction site accident attorney is critical to receiving fair compensation for your injuries.
What To Do After a Washington Construction Site Accident
If you were injured in a Washington construction site accident, seek medical attention immediately. Then report the accident to your employer. Your employer will help you open a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation will cover your medical bills and lost wages, but will not cover pain and suffering and will not allow you to sue your employer. Because there is a good chance that other parties were responsible for your injuries, a lawyer can help by identifying those responsible for your injuries and helping you obtain full and fair compensation.
How a Washington Construction Accident Lawyer Can Help
Your employer will conduct an investigation, but you should contact your own lawyer who will conduct an independent investigation and preserve any evidence that could be beneficial for your case. At the Campbell Law Firm, our lawyers will investigate whether any safety precautions were violated and identify the relationships between all the parties that were responsible for managing the construction site. We will also determine what insurance coverage is available and will help you recover financial compensation to protect you and your family.
Even a relatively minor construction site injury can have a major impact on your income and your ability to provide for your family. At the Campbell Law Firm, we understand that no amount of money will completely make up for the injuries you suffered. But financial compensation can help by paying for:
- Medical and hospital bills
- Lost wages
- Psychological trauma
- Damage to relationships with loved ones
- Pain and suffering
If you were injured in a Washington state construction accident, contact the Campbell Law Firm today. The attorneys at the Campbell Law Firm will fight to protect your rights and your financial future. Call the Campbell Law Firm at (360) 588-4111, email email@example.com, or complete our online form.
The Campbell Law Firm proudly represents people throughout Northwest Washington, including Skagit County, Island County, San Juan County, Anacortes, Mount Vernon, Burlington, Sedro-Woolley, Oak Harbor, Coupeville, and Friday Harbor.