Construction Accident Attorneys In Portland, CT
According to the National Safety Council, "Every seven seconds, a worker is injured on the job."
Despite the efforts of workers to be safe and responsible on construction sites, construction work is inherently dangerous and various hazards arise every day. Contractors and construction managers must create a culture of safety to ensure that workers are safe.
Federal and State regulations exist to protect you and your loved ones, yet the construction industry experiences thousands of injuries and deaths each year. Many are the result of violations of laws and regulations. Some are the failure to create a climate of safety.
Construction injury claims are complex. If you or a loved one have suffered from a construction accident, we encourage you to contact the dedicated and knowledgeable Portland attorneys at Buckley Wynne & Parese immediately.
Potential Causes/Types of Construction Accidents in Portland:
- Perimeter Protection
- Scaffolding and Ladder Accidents
- Forklift Accidents
- Electric Shocks
- Fires and Explosions
- Fall Safety and Harness Protection
- Warning Lines
- Falling Materials
- Falls from Heights
- Poor Safety Precautions and Oversights
Speak with a Portland construction accident attorney at Buckley Wynne & Parese (BWP) and let us help you receive compensation for:
- Lost income both present and future
- Overall earning capacity
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
- Permanent injury and disability
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Wrongful death and funeral expenses
- Other general damages
Who Can be Held Liable for You or a Loved One's Injuries?
If someone besides your employer caused your injury, you may be able to file a third-party lawsuit to hold them accountable for the accident and injuries that you sustained. However, every construction accident injury and the claim is unique and should be reviewed by an attorney. In an effort to help you recover damages- such as lost wages, medical costs, impairment of earning capacity, and pain and suffering- BWP will determine whether a third party is liable.
Common third-parties for construction-related accidents include:
- Construction Site Owners - The owner of the land where the construction project takes place could be held responsible for your accident. Their liability, however, will depend on their control over the site. In certain construction projects, the contractor receives control of the land from the landowner or another party for the duration of the project. In these cases, the landowner may not be held responsible for an injury because they were not in possession of the land when the accident took place.
- Contractors and Sub-Contractors - General contractors must make sure that a construction site is safe and meets standards that have been set by OSHA. If hazardous conditions are present at the work site, the contractor or subcontractor must take the appropriate steps to correct the hazard. Further, workers need to be informed about the potential dangers of the area and signage needs to be present at the site warning of the hazards. Contractors and subcontractors are also responsible for all construction workers on the site and need to ensure that workers are conducting their work in a safe manner.
- Architects and Engineers - Design professionals must ensure the structure is both safe and practical. Responsibility is usually detailed in the architectural or engineering contract and will likely include the requirement to verify the project meets safety codes in all stages of the construction project. If design safety standards have not been met, and an accident ensues, the architect or engineer may be held liable.
- Equipment Manufacturers – If construction equipment or machinery is defective or has been designed in a dangerous manner, the manufacturer of the construction equipment or machinery may be held at fault for the accident if the equipment or machine led to an accident.
- Scaffolding Companies - Injuries sustained from scaffolding falls are often life threatening. In many construction accident cases, scaffold accidents result from someone else's negligence. If an employee is not trained properly on the scaffolding and makes a mistake erecting it, and the scaffold subsequently collapses, causing injury or wrongful death, the Connecticut courts may determine that the employer is liable for failing to fulfill applicable OSHA training requirements. In other cases, the scaffolding company may be held liable.
Workers' compensation benefits are implemented to compensate employees for injuries sustained while at work. They can cover various damages such as a worker's medical bills and lost wages. Employers oftentimes carry workers' compensation insurance, however problems do occur. It is essential that counsel identify all of the contractors/persons on site. Contact BWP to discuss your options.
How is construction accident liability determined?
Construction accidents can result from a number of factors. And, it isn't always clear as to who is responsible for injuries at a construction site. Often it is many vendors and construction companies. In many situations, the persons involved in the accident try to point fingers at others. The construction accident attorneys at BWP have many years of experience in evaluating construction accidents and determining liability.
Our knowledge base, combined with those years of expert analysis in serious construction accident cases, help ensure that the right persons are held liable for serious injuries.
Before beginning the process to identify liability for your construction accident injury in Connecticut, you should seek to answer the following questions.
- Where did the accident occur? Construction workers perform their job duties at many different locations and in many areas within a construction site. You must be able to ascertain exactly where on site that your accident happened. And, you must be able to demonstrate the location if an investigation ensues.
- What were the conditions of the accident site at the time of the construction accident? Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates job sites. Further, OSHA requires that construction sites meet specific safety standards and regulations. If the scene of your construction accident was not in proper maintenance at the time your injury occurred, the party responsible for maintaining the site could be held responsible for your injuries.
- What construction equipment was involved? Multiple parties are responsible for building, selling, and maintaining the equipment used at a construction site. If the equipment fails or malfunctions in any way, it is possible that any one or more of those parties could be held responsible.
- Was the construction equipment used properly? If it is determined that the misuse of equipment caused your injury, the party or person using the equipment when your accident occurred, could be responsible. However, if you were injured while misusing equipment, it is possible that the construction company or equipment manufacturer or maintenance organization will not be held responsible.
- Who had control over the construction site and equipment at the time of the accident? You should identify all parties that were supervising and managing the construction site when your accident occurred. Any supervisor or managerial errors could make him or her responsible for your resulting injuries.
OSHA, The Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Created within the division of the Department of Labor in 1971, OSHA is responsible for worker safety and health protection. It provides uniform, yet minimum, requirements and standards to protect over 90 million American workers.
Most construction-site related accidents occur due to the following issues:
- Falls from heights due to hazardous scaffolding equipment, unsafe ladders, faulty equipment, or lack of fall-prevention safety equipment
- Slips and falls not related to heights
- Falling debris
- Struck by object
- Explosions or burns
- Machinery accidents
- Caught in or between objects
- Trench or ground collapses
- Vehicular accidents
- Injuries due to intoxication or medical conditions of personnel at the work site.
Falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between are the four most common causes of death on construction sites each year.
Most Cited OSHA Violations in 2020
- Fall Protection –5,424 violations
- Hazard Communication - 3,199 violations
- Respiratory Protection - 2,649 violations
- Scaffolding - 2,538 violations
- Ladders - 2,129 violations
- Lockout/Tagout - 2,065 violations
- Powered Industrial Trucks - 1,932 violations
- Fall Protection – Training Requirements - 1,621 violations
- Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection - 1,369 violations
- Machine Guarding - 1,313 violations
Source – Safety & Health Magazine, February 26, 2021
Contact Buckley Wynne & Parese
Portland Construction workers face hazards that can lead to serious injuries, lifelong disabilities, and fatalities on a daily basis. Here at BWP, we know that the losses and damages one's family can face as a result of construction accidents are usually devastating. We endeavor to use our time and resources to help get your family back on their feet. It is important that you contact us as soon as possible to discuss your options. Many time limitations exist to successfully pursue these claims.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Your legal fees are paid on a contingency fee basis unless otherwise specified. That means that we are not paid unless we recover compensation for you.
The law in Connecticut requires that you initially pay for your medical treatment. It is a common misconception that the at-fault driver will pay for your medical treatment. This often leads to frustration. We will do everything we can to help you manage your options, but please note: we are not allowed by law to pay your medical bills. If you had medical treatment (e.g. ambulance, hospital evaluation) and have no insurance or ability to pay for that treatment, the provider may send the bill to collection. While we may send letters to medical providers offering to protect their bills, many providers will not agree to such an arrangement (see discussion below). Unfortunately, we cannot stop a collection action or pay your bills. If you are receiving collection letters or outstanding bills, please contact us to discuss your options in more detail.
There are essentially five ways for your medical bills to be paid and there often is priority under the law. Therefore, be sure we are aware of any and all of the following:
If you were on the job at the time of the incident.
Medical payments (“Med Pay”) coverage on your auto policy
If you have Med Pay coverage on your auto policy, or you were a passenger in a car that had Med Pay coverage, you should use this coverage to pay your bills, even if you have health insurance. Med Pay will pay up to its limits, after which point your bills should be paid through one of the three remaining sources.
Health Insurance & Medicare/Medicaid
Generally, your health insurance will not cover your accident related bills unless and until you can prove that you do not have Med Pay. We will help you secure a “No Med Pay Letter” when appropriate.
Letter of Protection
Under certain circumstances, when someone else caused an accident, and you do not have Med Pay or health insurance, some doctors will accept a Letter of Protection from our office. This obligates our office to reimburse your doctor from the proceeds of your lawsuit settlement or judgment. Because payment is not guaranteed and will be delayed until the resolution of the case, many doctors will not agree to do this.
The final way to pay your medical bills is out-of-pocket. Please be sure to keep track of everything you have paid. All reasonable and necessary out-of-pocket losses should be recorded and provided to us.
A slip and fall action is a type of personal injury lawsuit filed by a plaintiff who has been injured by a slip and fall, usually on the defendant’s property. Examples of very common slip and fall plaintiffs include the grocery store patron who slips on a spill or a piece of food laying on the floor, and falls, causing injury to himself; and a hotel guest who slips in the shower and injures her back in the process.
The plaintiff in slip and fall cases must usually show that the owner of the property had notice or knowledge of the condition, and failed to clean it up and rectify it within a reasonable amount of time. If the plaintiff slipped on a grape that had been lying on the floor for two hours, and the manager of the store had walked past it and inspected it five times before asking someone to clean it up, liability is likely.
If the plaintiff has knowingly encountered a hazard, then he or she may have trouble holding the defendant liable. For example, if a hotel guest squirts baby oil onto the floor of the shower; steps into the shower and attempts to do the jitterbug; and then falls and breaks an ankle, liability on the part of the hotel is highly questionable. However, if the cleaning staff in the hotel repeatedly tells management that the non-skid treads in the bathtub for room 212 are missing and the hotel fails to replace them, the hotel may be liable for damages to a guest who is injured.
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