Working in construction is an inherently dangerous way to earn a living. One in five victims of fatal workplace accidents in the United State worked in the construction industry according to the most currently available data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor.
If you or a loved one work in the construction industry, the information that follows looks at the common causes of accidents at construction sites and what to do when one occurs to protect the rights you may have to pursue a claim for damages against the party responsible for it. We’ll also take a look at how a lawsuit loan can relieve financial pressures caused by being out of work while recovering from your injuries and waiting for the claim to be resolved.
Common causes of construction accidents
According to OSHA, the following are the primary causes of construction-site accidents:
- Falling objects.
- Excavation entrapment.
Falling from a height of less than six feet can put you out of work with a serious injury. Ladders, scaffolding, cranes, open excavation, walkways and ramps, and roofs represent only a few of the fall hazards present at most construction sites.
Conditions in and around a construction site may put workers in close proximity to power lines and buried electric cables. Use of electrically powered tools and equipment also present the danger of electric shock or electrocution.
Working with and around construction cranes or on multilevel construction sites poses the risk of objects falling from above and striking a worker. Unsecured construction materials, equipment, tools and debris can cause serious injuries when they fall from heights and strike a person standing or working below.
Unless they are properly reinforced, trenches may collapse. Workers in a trench when it collapses may be buried or crushed. Other hazards workers frequently encounter at construction sites that may cause accidents and injuries include moving vehicles and tripping hazards, such as debris, cables, and construction materials.
What to do after a construction accident
If you are injured in a construction accident, you may be entitled to make a claim for damages against the party whose negligence caused it. Although state laws generally limit you to workers’ compensation benefits in place of pursuing a claim for damages against your employer or a co-worker, you may have the right to sue other parties whose negligent actions caused you to be injured. For example, a fall from scaffolding that was improperly installed may provide you with the right to sue the company that installed it at the construction site.
Protect your rights to make a claim against negligent parties by doing the following after an accident:
- Get medical attention right away either by calling 911 or by going to the emergency department of a local hospital. Letting a doctor evaluate your condition documents the injury and how it occurred.
- Report the accident to your employer. If you were a visitor and not a worker at the construction site, notify someone in charge of the site of the accident and the fact that you were injured.
- Write down the names and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
- Take pictures of the location of the accident or ask someone to do it for you.
You want a personal injury lawyer to begin investigating the accident and working on your behalf as soon as possible after the incident.
Getting help when bills pile up
A construction accident may cause financial hardship as a result of losing time from work while recovering from your injuries or because of income lost through the death of a loved one. A lawsuit loan may offer a solution to your financial challenges while awaiting the settlement of your personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Companies offering lawsuit loans evaluate the strength of your lawsuit and give you money immediately based on its projected value. The money, which is called an advance, is repaid by giving the company providing the advance an assignment of a portion of the future settlement or judgment awarded in the case.
Unlike conventional loans that rely upon the creditworthiness of the borrower, a company advances money through a lawsuit loan based on the likelihood of your lawsuit ending in a judgement or settlement favorable to you. The company charges interest or a funding fee, which is its profit for taking the risk by advancing money to you.
Compare companies and talk to your lawyer
Talk it over with your personal injury lawyer for help deciding whether a lawsuit loan is right for you. If you decide to apply for one, compare lawsuit loans offered by different companies to find one with the best rate and term.
Jared Stern is an experienced financial professional with six years of experience in the pre-settlement funding industry. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in economics in 2014, Jared began his career in Morgan Stanley’s mergers and acquisitions investment banking division. After working with another pre-settlement funding company for two years, Jared founded Uplift Legal Funding in 2017 to give injured plaintiffs a better choice in lawsuit loans.