Every year, more American workers are injured or killed in construction-related accidents than in any other industry: the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 150,000 individuals are injured each year on construction sites.
Although safety technology is advancing in many ways, it does not appear that these numbers are diminishing: between 2011 and 2019, construction site injuries increased by over 41%, proving that the dangers of the building industry aren’t going away anytime soon. Even work sites that pay strict attention to safety standards can host a tragic accident.
If you were seriously injured while working on a construction site, there are two potential avenues for compensation: a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit against a third party that does not employ you. A Hillsboro construction accident lawyer at Harris Velázquez Gibbens, PC can assist you in identifying the right option for your case and pursuing an outcome that covers your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.
Types of Construction Accidents in Hillsboro, OR
More than 4,764 occupational fatalities were reported in the United States in 2020. Construction and materials moving occupations account for 47.4% of all fatalities and a higher percentage of workplace injuries. Some of the accidents that can occur on a construction site are highlighted below.
- Machinery Accidents: Construction workers are exposed to a variety of dangerous machinery, from motor vehicles to drills and other power tools. There is a risk of severe injuries when these are defective, have malfunctioned, or are accidentally misused by others.
- Electrocution Accidents: When exposed to high-voltage equipment, construction workers risk serious or fatal injury. Overloaded outlets, exposed wiring, power lines, damaged extension cords, and static discharges, can all result in an electrocution expert.
- Fall Accidents: Most construction workers, especially those involved in erecting buildings, work at significant heights. If fall protection is absent or defective, they can slip or lose their balance and fall. Injuries can also occur when objects like tools and building materials fall from cranes or buildings and hit workers on the ground.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents: Various kinds of vehicles are used on construction sites, from large trucks to bulldozers, forklifts, cranes, excavators, motor graders, and trenchers. When operators aren’t paying attention or the vehicle malfunctions, workers can be struck, run over, or hit by falling objects. Injuries also occur when negligent drivers pass through or near the job site, striking those at work.
- Fires and Explosions: When there are flammable chemicals on a construction site, it only takes a small spark to ignite a fire, putting many workers at risk of burns and smoke inhalation injuries. Upon starting a fire, it may be difficult to contain and combustible dust could ignite, causing a second fire.
When any of these accidents occur, the following elements can make the situation even more dangerous:
- Lack of Safety Training: Despite the hazards of their work, many construction workers lack safety training. Even those who are trained may disregard key safety instructions, resulting in accidents and injuries.
- Lack of Face and Eye Protection: Often, construction workers neglect to wear eye and face protection. The most common causes of eye and face injuries are being struck by heavy equipment, chemical exposure, and electrical shocks.
- Lack of Respiratory Protection: When workers inhale chemicals or dust specks, they can develop severe respiratory disorders such as asthma. Many of them have been diagnosed with lung cancer as a result of exposure to silica dust, asbestos, and other industrial chemicals.
Common Injuries in a Hillsboro Construction Accident
There is a high risk of life-threatening and long-term injuries following construction accidents. They include the following:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Severe burns
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
Injuries like these can be painful and difficult to treat, resulting in long-term disabilities. A Hillsboro construction accident lawyer will aggressively pursue the compensation you need to manage your life after your accident.
Third Parties Involved in Hillsboro, OR Construction Accidents
Every state, including Oregon, has a workers’ compensation system to compensate injured workers. In exchange for receiving workers’ compensation benefits, construction workers generally relinquish the right to sue their employers. Still, they do have the option of filing a direct claim against any third party involved in their accident. Depending on the cause of your injuries, these parties may include:
- General Contractors: General contractors manage daily operations at a construction site. If they fail to maintain proper safety levels and you aren’t employed by them, you can file a personal injury lawsuit for any injuries resulting from their negligence.
- Subcontractors: General contractors hire these parties to perform specific tasks on a job site. A subcontractor may be liable for your injuries if their negligence causes an accident.
- Equipment Manufacturers: Many workplace incidents are caused by defective machinery and construction materials. If this happens to you, you can seek compensation from the manufacturer.
- Delivery Vehicles: Drivers delivering materials to construction sites don’t always pay attention to safety. If they are distracted, impaired, or careless, they can strike and seriously injure those working on-site.
Compensatory Damages in a Hillsboro Construction Accident
Depending on who caused or contributed to your injuries, you may be able to seek compensation through both workers’ compensation and work injury lawsuits. When severe injuries occur, third-party injury claims can often result in settlements that far exceed workers’ compensation benefits.
For example, in Oregon, workers’ compensation covers your medical bills, two-thirds of your weekly wage, disability, and re-employment help if necessary. With a construction accident claim, you may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- Wrongful death
At Harris Velázquez Gibbens, PC, we have vast experience defending the rights of people injured in construction accidents. Many managers and companies will challenge your workers’ compensation claim or, in the case of a personal injury lawsuit, try to blame the accident on you. Oregon is a modified comparative negligence state for accidents, so if you are more than 51% at fault for your injuries, you can’t recover compensation. Insurers know this and will sometimes use extreme tactics to make you admit fault and absolve them of liability.
A construction accident lawyer at our firm can protect you from these underhanded strategies by handling all communication with insurance companies and making sure that you don’t unintentionally jeopardize your rights. We can also help you maximize your settlement so that you have access to the money and medical treatment you need to recover from your construction accident. You only pay us if we win your case, so you have absolutely nothing to lose by learning more about what we can do for you.
Get a Free Consultation From a Hillsboro Construction Accident Lawyer
Construction has well-known risks, but that doesn’t negate your rights. If you have been seriously injured and left with both medical bills and income loss, you can recover compensation that will promote your financial security and maximum recovery. Our Hillsboro construction accident lawyers are available to help you or a loved one who has been injured in a construction site accident. Call Harris Velázquez Gibbens, PC, at 503-610-4398 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.