Construction workers in Stroudsburg, PA are regularly exposed to workplace hazards that could result in life-altering injuries or even death.  As such, it’s critical that those individuals working in the construction industry understand their rights in the injury context and to what extent they are entitled to recover damages as compensation for their injuries. Consulting with a Stroudsburg construction accident attorney at our law firm will help you make sense of your claim and will set your case in motion.

Injured man laying on ground after contruction accident on site

Common Injuries at Stroudsburg Construction Sites

Construction accidents are among the most common in the state of Pennsylvania and throughout the country.   According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction accidents account for approximately one out of every five workplace fatalities annually. Construction accidents are responsible for a disproportionate percentage of non-fatal workplace injuries as well.

Common on-site construction injuries include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Falling injuries
  • Electrocution
  • Crushing injuries (i.e., getting stuck between two heavy objects)
  • Impact injuries (i.e., from swinging objects)
  • Chemical injuries
  • And more

Risk factors include:

  • Inadequate training
  • Failure to provide proper safety equipment
  • Dangerous condition of property
  • Failure to adhere to OSHA and state workplace safety regulations
  • Inadequate supervision of the worksite
  • Negligent scheduling of workers
  • Inadequate lighting
  • And more

Construction Safety Violations Explained by Our Stroudsburg Construction Accident Attorneys 

OSHA, as part of its research mandate, has detailed the ten most frequently cited standards violations:

  1. Fall protection: Falls from platforms, elevated workstations, or into holes.
  2. Hazard communication: Failure to communicate information about hazardous material in an understandable manner.
  3. Improperly constructed scaffolding.
  4. Inadequate respiratory protection.
  5. Inadequate control of hazardous energy, such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, and thermal energy.
  6. Defective ladders or inadequate ladder safety training.
  7. Defective or improper use of forklifts.
  8. Inadequate training regarding fall protection.
  9. Defective machinery and inadequate machine guarding.
  10. Inadequate eye and face protection.

These violations likely sound familiar to construction workers. It is dangerous work, but it can be made safer.  In fact, business owners have a legal duty to provide a safe working environment. According to the OSHA ACT of 1970, Section 5:

Each employer:

  1.     “Shall furnish to each of his employee’s employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees; and
  2.     Shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act.” (29 U.S. Code § 654)

Still, OSHA believes that progress is being made. Specifically, OSHA states:

“In more than four decades, OSHA and our state partners, coupled with the efforts of employers, safety and health professionals, unions, and advocates, have had a dramatic effect on workplace safety. Worker deaths in America are [down on] average, from about 38 worker deaths a day in 1970 to 14 a day in 2017. Worker injuries and illnesses are [down from] 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 2.8 per 100 in 2017.”

So we know that standards are in place, and we know that employers are mandated to comply with those standards, but what happens when they don’t?  What happens when you get hurt because your boss did not make your workplace safe?

Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania

If you are injured in a workplace construction accident in Stroudsburg or elsewhere, you may be covered by workers’ compensation, and as such, whether or not the accident was caused by the negligence of your employer, you will be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits to account for wage loss, medical expenditures, and other losses.  Workers’ compensation does require you to relinquish any and all claims you would have brought against your employer, however. Your Stroudsburg construction accident lawyer will better explain the specifics of your claim during your consultation.

Third-Party Liability in Construction Accident Claims

Even if you collect workers’ compensation benefits, you may be entitled to sue and recover damages from liable third parties.

For example, suppose that you suffer injuries due to a fall you sustained while straddling a ladder at a construction site.  You are receiving workers’ compensation benefits for wage loss and medical expenses, but you also have a claim against the ladder manufacturer for selling a defective product — the ladder is defectively designed and has poor stability, which resulted in your injuries.  You can sue and recover additional damages from the manufacturer, so long as you can prove that the product is defective.  That’s where you’re attorneys at Drake, Hileman & Davis come in.

Defective Equipment in Pennsylvania Construction Accidents

Defective equipment is one of the leading causes of construction accidents and is generally categorized as:

  • Manufacturing defects, including lack of quality control and/or inferior materials, 
  • Design defects, such as poor or lack of safety features, and 
  • Defective warnings. 

These types of defects can be further compounded by a lack of proper training, a lack of proper upkeep and repairs, and poor documentation and/or maintenance procedures.

On a construction site, defects can critically affect essential equipment such as forklifts, cranes, tools, and scaffolding. Accidents caused by defective equipment are not your fault, yet you are the one who was injured.  You are the one who suffers. Workers have a critical self-interest in reporting defective equipment to management, and management has an absolute duty to remove, replace, or repair defective equipment. Simply eliminating this type of accident can make the workplace significantly safer.  When your employer cuts corners to save money at the expense of your safety, he is liable for your injury. 

Which Type of Construction Accident Claim Should You File?

If you have been injured in a construction accident (or if you have tragically lost a loved one), which type of claim should you file? Should you file a workers’ compensation claim, a third-party liability claim, a product defect claim, or all of the above?

The answers to these questions depend on how your (or your loved one’s) accident happened. If you accidentally injured yourself, or if your employer’s negligence is to blame for your loved one’s death, then you may be limited to seeking workers’ compensation benefits. But, if a third-party or defective product is to blame, then you may be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim to recover full compensation. A Stroudsburg construction accident attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis can assess your legal rights, and your attorney can file your claim (or claims) on your behalf.

If a third party or a defective product is responsible for what happened and you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, your attorney can work to help you collect benefits while your personal injury or wrongful death claim is pending. While you may eventually have to repay these benefits out of your settlement or verdict, this is something your attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis has the experience in dealing with and can address when the time comes. As the victim of a construction accident (or as a family member of a victim of a construction accident), you can, and should, seek financial compensation by all means available, and you should work with an experienced attorney who can help maximize your overall financial recovery.

Protecting Your Legal Rights After a Serious or Fatal Construction Accident in Stroudsburg

Regardless of which type of claim (or claims) you can file, you need to be careful to protect your legal rights. For example, you need to make sure you file your claim on time, and you should try to document your financial and non-financial costs as much as possible. Keep your medical bills and receipts, take detailed notes, and keep copies of all documents you receive from your (or your loved one’s) employer.

When you hire a Stroudsburg construction accident attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis, your attorney will guide you through everything you need to do. Your attorney will also be able to take many important steps on your behalf—and your attorney can take these steps immediately if you are running out of time. We provide these services at no out-of-pocket cost, and we do not charge anything unless we get a recovery for you.  

Given the challenges involved in filing a successful construction accident claim, the best thing you can do is hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible. We are here to help, and we are prepared to do everything we can to make sure you and your family receive the financial compensation you deserve. 

Connect With a Stroudsburg Construction Accident Attorney Today

If you have suffered injuries in a construction accident, you may be entitled to recover damages to compensate you for your injuries.  Litigating a construction accident claim can be rather complicated, however, and a favorable resolution to your claims is more likely with the aid and guidance of an experienced Stroudsburg construction accident attorney who has a track record of success in obtaining compensation for clients just like you.

The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania for workers’ compensation claims is three years, and is two years for third-party personal injury claims (that would be brought against a liable third party).  As such, it’s important that you contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible so that your claims can be assessed and filed in a timely manner.

Call in today at 570-421-8119 to schedule a consultation with one of the experienced attorneys here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC. The initial consultation is free.  During this consultation, we will assess your various construction accident claims and help you to develop an effective litigation strategy for recovering the compensation you deserve.  We can meet at your home, or in any one of our five locations.  We are ready to help you.