Experienced Wilmington Lawyers Handling Construction Site Injury Claims
Handling crane, electricity, and scaffolding claims in New Castle, Seaford, Wilmington and beyond
Construction sites have a lot of moving parts, which puts workers at risk of being seriously injured. At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, we handle a wide array of personal injury and workers’ compensation claims on behalf of Delaware construction workers. If you are hurt because of a safety violation, a defective product, or negligence, our Wilmington injury lawyers are prepared to represent your best interests. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in New Castle, Seaford or Wilmington.
Common causes of crane accidents
The massive size of a crane is part of what makes it such an effective piece of construction machinery. Unfortunately, this is also what makes it the potential source of a massive construction accidents, causing serious injuries to construction workers and bystanders alike. A crane collapse can lead to life-altering, catastrophic injuries.
Cranes are necessary on for large-scale construction projects, but they put workers at risk of critical injuries. The great size of a crane magnifies the impact of an accident if proper safety precautions and maintenance procedures are not followed. Some of the common causes of crane accidents include:
- Faulty setup
- Unsuitable choice of crane for the job
- Cable failure
- Injuries to workers from a moving load
- Injuries to workers caused by a counterweight
- Falls from crane equipment
- Failing to adhere to manufacturers’ directions for use
- Disregard for the crane’s limitations
Most crane accidents can be prevented if the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, or OSHA, workplace safety rules are followed, and workers are careful to plan every aspect of the crane’s operation.
Types of workplace accidents that cause electrical injuries
Live electrical currents in the workplace expose workers to an occupational hazard. Many workers are unaware of the potential electrical hazards that might be present in their workplace, leaving them vulnerable to getting shocked. Shocks can lead to serious burn injuries. Per OSHA, electricity-related burns fall into three categories:
- Thermal burns, which involve direct contact with fire, steam, or arc.
- Electrical burns, which happen if a worker touches something that conducts electricity, like wires.
- Arc burns, which result from arc blasts, the “explosive release of molten material from equipment caused by high-amperage arcs.”
The most common injuries are caused to the hands and fingers, but any part of a worker’s body can be critically injured from an electricity-related burn.
Construction worker deaths related to electrocution
According to the most recent data put forth by the Center for Construction Research and Training, death by electrocution has dropped in recent years, but exposure to electricity is a major cause of injury and unintentional death among construction workers; it is one of the “Fatal Four” designated by OSHA. Construction sites accounted for 61% of all electrocutions in 2015. The main causes of electrocutions were:
- Power lines, transformers and converters (39%)
- Electrical wiring in buildings (37%)
- Switchboards, switches and fuses (13%)
- Power cords, electrical cords and extension cords (3%)
(The final 8% is designated as “other.”)
OSHA has promulgated several federal guidelines for workplace safety standards designed to protect worker’s life and safety. Employers are required to follow these guidelines, and when a worker is injured or worse, loses their life, the employer may have to pay significant fines for not adhering to OSHA guidelines.
Scaffolding, ladders, and the risk of falls on construction sites
Construction workers who must climb ladders throughout the work day put their health and safety at risk every day. Reports from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) show that falls remain a leading cause of unintentional injury and mortality nationwide. Construction Dive reports that 42% of construction worker deaths are fall-related.
Ladder or scaffold fall injuries can be catastrophic, which is why OSHA requires a safety harness or safety equipment for workers who are higher than 6’ off the ground.
Serious injuries on Delaware construction sites
Our firm has represented victims of serious construction site injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Internal organ or soft tissue damage
- Toxic exposure and inhalation
- Burn injuries
- Crushing injuries, resulting in loss of limb
- Loss of vision
- Loss of hearing
Workers’ compensation and other legal remedies for construction site injury claims
If you are an employee, the law allows you to file a workers’ compensation claim after you have reported a workplace accident to your employer and sought medical attention for your immediate injury. You will receive partial compensation for lost wages while you are recovering from your injuries, and medical expenses pertaining to the injury.
If the workplace injury was caused by a third party, or you are contractor (or other ineligible for workers’ comp) you might also file a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for your injury. For example, you might have been shocked by a piece of faulty equipment, or sustained injuries in a car crash while running errands for your foreman, or been hit with falling debris – or any number of incidents which can lead to injuries. Depending on the circumstances that led to your injury, you may be able to file a claim against another worker, the site manager, the owner of the construction company, or even the manufacturer of the product.
If your loved one died on a construction site, you may be entitled to death benefits through workers’ compensation. You may also be able to file a wrongful death claim or survival action.
Experienced representation for workers injured on construction sites
When you have been injured at work, it is important to be aware of your rights and to pursue fair compensation as soon as possible. The knowledgeable attorneys of Silverman, McDonald & Friedman can help you get the compensation you need to recover. We offer free initial consultations, and house calls may be available at your home or hospital. Please fill out our contact form or call us today at 302.314.5553 to discuss your case. We serve clients throughout Delaware from our offices in New Castle, Seaford and Wilmington.