Washington, D.C., Construction Accident Attorney: Fair Compensation for Serious Injuries
Each year thousands of construction workers and their families live with the consequences of serious job-related injuries. The most recent Department of Labor Statistics data shows that of 4,693 fatalities in private industry jobs, 991 victims (21 percent) were construction workers. OSHA’s top 4 causes of construction accidents—Falls, Struck by object, Electrocutions, Caught-in/between—are also known as “Construction’s Fatal Four.”
Injured construction workers and their families often depend on Workers Compensation insurance to pay medical bills and replace lost income. These benefits may fulfill the employer’s financial obligation, but if someone else caused the injuries through their own negligence or wrongful conduct, they should be held to account as well. Building owners, contractors, architects, and other entities may be responsible for a worker’s construction injuries. But, these parties rarely own up to their responsibilities on their own.
The Abelson Law Firm believes that every injured worker deserves justice and fair compensation. We understand the financial challenges and life complications that come with construction accident injury cases. We draw on our substantial experience to work through the legal issues and achieve the best outcome for our clients. If you have been injured in a construction accident in the Washington, D.C., area, call The Abelson Law Firm online or at (202) 331-0600 for a free consultation.
Our Case Results
Each construction accident has unique issues and injuries. We can’t guarantee specific results, but we work for the best possible outcome for each of our clients. If a negligent party negotiates in good faith, we will settle our client’s case.
The Abelson Law Firm has a 40-year history of successful outcomes, including multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts. The cases below represent just a few of our successes.
- Electrocution: A 19-year-old brick mason sustained a fatal electrocution injury when a high voltage power line came into contact with a scaffolding support wire. The parties in control of the site failed to de-energize the power line creating an unsafe work environment. Our firm settled a wrongful death case on behalf of the decedent’s parents.
- Electrocution: A 42-year-old truck driver was electrocuted by a high power line while delivering materials to a construction site. We filed a wrongful death case on behalf of the widow and received a favorable verdict. The jury found the general contractor failed to maintain workplace safety by neglecting to de-energize the high-voltage lines.
- Highway construction site hazard: A college student sustained a traumatic brain injury in an auto accident caused by an obstructed view. The construction crew created a foreseeable hazard at an intersection by blocking sight-line visibility. A jury found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded compensation for his injuries.
Common Construction Accident Injuries
“Construction’s Fatal Four” play a role in 63 percent of construction fatalities and in many serious injury events. Workers fall from, to, and into surfaces and equipment. They lose control of tools and materials, causing other workers’ injuries. Live power lines cause electrocutions when they come in contact with metal tools and on-site structures. The OSHA category, “caught in/between,” includes injuries caused by structure collapse, heavy equipment incidents, vehicle accidents, and many other types of occurrences. Any of these incidents can result in death, disability, or serious injuries, such as:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic amputation
- Electrocution injury/fatality
- Traumatic brain injury
- Anoxic brain damage
- Vision or hearing loss
- Crushed limbs and digits
- Multiple fractures
Who Can Be at Fault for Construction Accidents?
Construction projects typically rely on a network of specialty contractors whose operations and equipment are often inherently dangerous. Often, each contractor supervises and controls their own employees and operations but the General Contractor is responsible for overall workplace safety. When an accident occurs, the chain of responsibility may become muddled due to supervision and control issues and contracts which assume or transfer liability.
Our law firm investigates each construction accident case to determine the responsible parties and their role in causing our client’s injuries. These may include:
- General contractors
- Owners, operators or manufacturers of powered construction equipment, including jackhammers, cranes, forklifts, and earth movers.
- Owners, operators or manufacturers of construction site vehicles such as dump trucks and concrete mixers
- Property owners and others responsible for maintaining safe worksites
What Are Recoverable Damages for a Construction Accident Injury?
An injured construction worker may be entitled to damages in two broad categories: economic damages (sometimes called “specials”) and general damages.
Economic damages have a calculable cash value based on bills, invoices, wage loss statements, or other financial measures, including:
- Lost wages and future wages
- Reduction in ability to earn
- Medical expenses
- Transportation and rehabilitation services
- Expenses relating to household services
- Future bills and expenses
Our firm often consults an economic expert to determine the present-day value of lost future earnings and expected future expenses.
General damages are a powerful component of an injury claim but they can be hard to evaluate. They’re based on an injured person’s feelings about pain, suffering, scarring, disabilities, and how an injury affects their life. We assist our clients in evaluating their general damages by helping them document their thoughts, feelings, and physical limitations throughout their healing process. A general damage claim may seek compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Changes in the marital relationship
- Struggles with child care and parental relationships
- Emotional issues related to scars, functional impairments, and disabilities
Finally, in limited cases, a judge or jury may award punitive damages if the responsible persons or companies caused injuries by committing outrageous acts.
How Do Liable Parties Try to Avoid Paying Their Fair Share?
After a construction accident, employers and other responsible parties often count on the injured worker looking to workers’ compensation as their sole financial resource. To avoid financial consequences to themselves, potentially liable parties may refuse to report an insurance claim or report it in such a way that their insurance company questions their liability. When called to negotiate or forced to defend a suit, negligent companies, their insurance companies, and their defense attorneys often assert a variety of defenses:
- No negligence: A refusal to acknowledge negligent acts.
- Contributory negligence: An assertion that the injured worker contributed to the accident
- No defect: An declaration that there was nothing wrong with the equipment, premises, vehicle, etc. and if there were, the defect did not contribute to the accident or injuries.
- Contractual transfer of liability: The general contractor usually requires subcontractors to assume all liability, hold the GC harmless, defend the GC, and indemnify them for any costs or judgments they’re forced to pay. A GC may also seek statutory protection under workers’ compensation laws.
- Disputing damages: To discredit a damage claim, liable parties may dispute the cause and extent of a worker’s injuries.
How much does a lawyer cost me?
At The Abelson Law Firm, we understand the stress and uncertainty construction accident victims and their families often feel. To help ease that stress, we offer free consultations for victims and their families to help evaluate their legal options. In appropriate cases, we may also agree to represent a client on a “contingent fee” basis in which the client pays little or nothing up front and our fees are paid only out of a final settlement or judgment.
We Want to Help You
If you or a family member were seriously injured in a construction accident, call us at (202) 331-0660 or contact us by completing our online contact form. The Abelson Law Firm is dedicated to seeking justice and fair compensation for seriously injured people in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Let us help you.