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West Hartford Construction Accident Lawyer

When construction workers suffer on-the-job injuries, they can pursue workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can ensure you get the basic medical treatment and therapy you need to return to work. But they only cover a portion of your income losses while you recuperate from your injuries.

As a result, you should also determine whether you have any third-party claims against parties other than your employer. Third parties that contribute to the cause of your injuries often share in the liability for your losses.

After you suffer an injury in a construction accident, a West Hartford construction accident lawyer from Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge will analyze your situation. We will identify all possible sources of compensation and pursue the insurance claims and lawsuits necessary to recover full and fair compensation under Connecticut law.

How Do Construction Accidents Happen in West Hartford, CT?

The construction industry has one of the highest rates of non-fatal work-related injuries in Connecticut. About four construction workers out of every 100 full-time construction employees will suffer a non-fatal injury that forces them to take time off. Equally importantly, the construction industry leads all industries in accidental deaths.

These numbers are not surprising. Job sites are loaded with potential dangers to workers and visitors that could cause construction site accidents. Even a small job could expose workers to ladders, power tools, and hazardous materials. Massive job sites add many other hazards, including:

  • Construction vehicles
  • Exposed electrical lines and wires
  • Open trenches and pits
  • Dirt and aggregate mounds
  • Scaffolding
  • Stacked building materials

Construction companies also provide or require workers to provide safety equipment such as hard hats, anti-fall harnesses, and steel-toed boots. When these protective measures fail, victims can suffer more serious injuries than if they had functioning safety equipment.

Although job site accidents can happen in many ways, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified the four types of accidents responsible for most fatal construction accidents. OSHA calls them the “Fatal Four.” 

Falls

Construction worker falls in 2022 resulted in 1,069 deaths in the U.S., according to a query on the National Safety Council’s Industry Profile Dashboard. The same dashboard reports that falls caused over 144,000 non-fatal injuries from 2021 through 2022.

Falls include both falls from one elevation to a lower elevation and falls on the same elevation. Elevated falls include falls from scaffolding, ladders, and roofs. They also include falls down stairs or through openings in floors.

Same-elevation falls include slips and trips that result in your body hitting the ground. These falls can also produce severe or even fatal injuries, particularly if the worker is carrying something or otherwise cannot use their arms to break their fall.

Caught In or Between

Construction workers can get caught in objects or between surfaces in many ways, including accidents where:

  • A trench or tunnel collapses
  • A motor vehicle pins you to a fixed object
  • You get trapped between two motor vehicles
  • Your clothing or body gets caught in a construction machine

One danger of these accidents is suffocation. If the victim cannot breathe, they only have a few minutes before they lose consciousness, suffer permanent brain damage, and die. Non-fatal injuries from getting caught in or between objects can include crushing injuries such as shattered bones and internal injuries.

Struck By

“Struck by” accidents include impacts from anything, including:

  • Falling objects
  • Collapsing dirt mounds
  • Dropped tools or building materials
  • Rolling equipment or materials
  • Moving vehicles

The impact from these vehicles can break bones and hyperextend soft tissues. You can also suffer head and brain trauma in the initial impact or the secondary impact when you fall on the ground. 

Another catastrophic injury from these accidents happens when something hits your spine or knocks you onto your back. The impact can fracture your vertebrae, threatening to permanently paralyze you.

Electrocution and Electric Shock

Construction workers face many sources of electricity on a job site, including:

  • Overhead lines
  • Buried lines
  • Broken lighting
  • Frayed extension cords
  • Damaged or defective power tools
  • Improperly grounded generators

Electrical current can cause havoc inside the body. It can cause your heart to beat irregularly or stop altogether. The current can fry nerve and brain cells. And since your body is mostly water, it can superheat your tissues, causing internal and external burns.

Typical Course of a Construction Accident Claim in West Hartford, CT

Every construction accident involves unique facts, such as how the accident happened and what injuries you suffered. However, the procedure for pursuing compensation usually remains constant.

Connecticut law requires all employers with at least one employee to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The only exception applies to government entities. As a result, almost all construction workers will have a workers’ comp claim after a work-related injury.

Additionally, everyone has the right to pursue injury claims against any person or business that injured them, excluding their employer. In other words, you do not lose your right to pursue an injury claim against third parties simply because your injury happened at work.

Combining these principles, most construction workers will have at least one claim, and many will have two claims for compensation. 

Workers’ Compensation Claims

Workers’ comp insurers are like all insurers. They collect premiums and pay claims. But the big difference is that they collect premiums from your employer and pay claims filed by employees.

After you suffer an injury, you will notify your employer. You have up to one year to make this notification, but the sooner you notify them, the sooner your benefits can start.

Your claim gets assigned to an administrator who reviews it and decides if the workers’ comp policy covers your injury. The insurer can deny your claim for several reasons, including:

  • You were not injured at work
  • Your injuries were pre-existing conditions
  • You were intoxicated by drugs or alcohol when you were injured

If your claim is denied, you can request a hearing to review the decision. You might benefit from legal representation. A West Hartford construction accident lawyer from Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge will fight for you against workers’ comp insurers who unfairly and improperly denied your claim.

Third-Party Claims

You may have a personal injury claim against anyone besides your employer who contributed to the cause of your injuries. Some examples of third-party claims that can arise during a construction accident include:

  • Product liability claims against manufacturers of defective equipment or tools
  • Car accident claims against negligent drivers who hit you while working
  • Negligence claims against subcontractors that performed substandard work
  • Premises liability claims against property owners who created hazardous conditions on job sites

Unlike workers’ compensation claims, the damages you can recover from third-party claims do not have limitations and caps.

How it Works

Contingency Fees

At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, P.C., we handle all Construction Accidents cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not get paid unless and until you receive a settlement or a jury award.

Schedule a free, confidential consultation with a skilled Connecticut personal injury lawyer today. Contact us online or call our New Haven law firm directly at 203-865-8430.

Questions

Construction Accidents FAQs

How Much Does a West Hartford Construction Accident Attorney Charge?

A construction accident attorney will charge a contingency fee to represent you in your workers’ comp and third-party claims. The contingency fee for workers’ comp cases is usually set at 20% of the compensation recovered. The lawyer will set the fee for any third-party claim.

What if My Actions Contributed to the Construction Accident That Injured Me?

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. You can receive workers’ comp benefits for on-the-job injuries, regardless of who bears the blame for the accident. There are narrow exceptions for injuries that happened during horseplay or while intoxicated.

For third-party claims, Connecticut uses a version of comparative fault in which you can still recover injury compensation unless you are more than 50% at fault for your injuries. 

However, the court or claims adjuster will reduce your compensation by your share of the fault. Thus, if you were 20% at fault for your injuries, you can only get 80% of your losses compensated.

Will I Need to Repay Workers’ Compensation if I Win a Third-Party Claim?

Maybe. The law generally prevents you from getting double recoveries for an injury. If you get compensation from your third-party claim for medical treatments already paid for by workers’ compensation, the workers’ comp insurer may seek repayment.

Working with a construction accident lawyer will help focus your third-party claims on damages not covered by workers’ compensation, such as your full income losses and any non-economic losses.

Contact Our West Hartford Construction Site Accident Lawyers to Learn More

Construction accident law can present complexities, particularly when your accident results from multiple causes. At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, our West Hartford construction accident law firm can provide knowledgeable and aggressive representation to identify and pursue all possible sources of compensation. 

Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your construction accident injuries and how we can help you

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