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Catastrophic Injuries on Georgia’s Construction Sites

Catastrophic Injuries on Georgia’s Construction SitesConstruction sites are one of the most dangerous places to work in Georgia and across the United States. It’s not surprising that so many injuries occur as heavy machinery, complex vehicles, and other hazards like nail guns, large equipment, and elevated work areas are plentiful on most worksites.  Unfortunately in places like this, the injuries that workers receive are often catastrophic.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 74,520 construction workers sustained non-fatal injuries and work-related illnesses in 2020. The greatest number of those workers (18,230) were between the ages of 25 and 34. Understanding how these accidents happen is important to avoid these types of accidents, but in the event a worksite accident causes catastrophic injury, it is important to know who can be held liable for the resulting damages.

What are common, catastrophic injuries on construction worksites?

The National Safety Council offers a list of the most common injuries on construction worksites, including injuries like bone fractures and sprains. The most catastrophic injuries, however, can include:

  • Burns: One of the most common worksite injuries, these can be far worse than the sort of burn you might get from a flat iron or a cooking pot. On the worksite, there is the chance that something will catch fire or explode due to risks like dangerous chemicals, exposed wiring, or broken and leaking pipes. Fires and explosions can cause harm not only to one worker, but to everyone nearby.
  • Loss of limb: With a worksite full of heavy tools and large machinery, malfunctions are common. For example, if a large machine or heavy tool unintentionally overturns, limbs or other appendages could be crushed. The resulting damage could be a life-altering injury, such as an amputation. In 2019, there were 610 amputations that resulted from a worksite injury, and 4,100 injuries that resulted from being caught in malfunctioning equipment or machinery.
  • Head injuries: Falling objects, materials, or tools often are some of the major causes of head injuries on worksites. While some injuries may not be too severe (like a minor concussion), there are others that are far more life-threatening, including traumatic brain injuries and lacerations. This is why we often see workers at construction sites wearing helmets – to protect from head injuries.
  • Spinal cord injuries: These are some of the most dangerous injuries you can suffer on the worksite. Spinal cord injuries are most likely to happen from a high fall and can result in paralysis, brain damage, lifelong disabilities, and even death.

Who is liable for my construction site injury?

Exactly who is liable for your catastrophic injury depends on the circumstances and conditions in which it occurred. Construction sites and manufacturing plants must comply with certain federal and state safety regulations. If your injury occurred because of faulty equipment or an unsafe environment, then the worksite owners should be held liable for your injuries.

Also on worksites, there are plenty of contractors, sub-contractors, vendors, and self-employed workers like architects and engineers. If these people somehow played a role in your injury, they and their employers can be held liable.

A lawsuit concerning a worksite injury is very much like a lawsuit for a car accident. There are certain legal elements you need to prove for a successful claim, including:

  • There was another person or party responsible for acting in a reasonable manner regarding your safety;
  • That person or party did not fulfill that responsibility; and
  • Because of this failure or negligence, you were injured and suffered damages.

Perhaps it was machinery or a tool that caused your injury. If the injury was due to a faulty piece of equipment and not because of improper use of that equipment, then you could have a case against the manufacturer of that equipment. This type of claim is a product liability claim. Again, there are certain legal elements you generally have to prove, including:

  • The equipment that caused your injury was defective (either in its design or manufacture); ;
  • You were using the equipment in the manner intended; and
  • The defective equipment caused your injury and damages.

Construction worksites are one of the most dangerous places to work. In 2020, more than 1,000 people were fatally injured on a construction worksite. Catastrophic injuries are all too common on these sites, and more often than not, it’s due to negligence – whether by your employer, those around you, unsafe work conditions, or faulty equipment.

In these situations, you should seek out the help of an attorney who can make sure you are compensated for your pain and suffering as well as your injuries by holding the liable parties accountable while you focus on healing. When you need experienced injury lawyers on your side, contact Harris Lowry Manton LLP by calling our Atlanta office at 404-998-8847 or our Savannah office at 912-417-3774. You can also use our contact page to set up an appointment for counsel and advice.




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