Working at heights, in cramped quarters, around dangerous equipment, exposed to contaminants and electricity – all while doing physically demanding jobs – construction workers face danger at every turn. Statistics show that construction is one of the most dangerous industries. Each year in the United States about 800 construction workers die on the job – nearly 20 percent of all occupational deaths – and another 75,000 are injured.
The roughly 83,000 construction workers in South Carolina are exposed to workplace hazards every day. Slips and falls, falling debris, overexertion and trench collapses are just a few of the leading causes of serious construction site injuries and death. While they have many different causes, these accidents often share the same outcome: workers are left unable to support themselves and their families, perhaps forever.
Construction workers and their loved ones have recourse for on-the-job injuries. Financial relief may be available not only from the South Carolina workers’ compensation system, but also through a third-party lawsuit.
If you were injured on a construction site in South Carolina, or you lost a close relative in a construction accident, Joye Law Firm wants to help. For more than 40 years our lawyers have helped people recover the money they need to rebuild their lives. Let us put our nearly 250 years of combined litigation experience to work for you.
The Most Dangerous Types of Construction Accidents
The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) analyzed both public and private industry data in determining the following top causes of construction accidents:
Construction worker deaths are most frequently caused by:
- Falls (fatal falls are typically falls from a height)
- Transportation accidents (including highway accidents, forklift accidents and accidents involving trucks on construction sites)
- Contact with objects (for example, being struck by an object or equipment, including falling and flying objects, and being caught in or crushed by collapsing materials)
- Exposure (to harmful substances or environments such as electricity, noxious fumes and submersion).
Nonfatal Construction Injuries
- Bodily reaction or overexertion (overuse injuries are responsible for more than a third of all construction injuries)
- Falls (falls from a higher to a lower level result in both fatalities and injuries, although slips and trips on the same level tend to injure rather than kill workers)
- Contact with objects
- Transportation accidents.
- Defective or Poorly Maintained Equipment
- Improper training
Root Causes of Construction Accidents
The “how” of a construction accident – or its root cause – can be distinguished from the “what” of a construction accident. In other words, we may know that a construction worker slipped and fell on a slick surface (the “what”), but it’s still helpful to understand “how” it happened.
According to a study from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), construction accidents may occur due to one or more of the following root causes:
- The presence of an unsafe condition that is not identified before an activity is started
- Proceeding with work despite identifying the existence of an unsafe condition
- Acting unsafely regardless of initial conditions or the work environment.
Third-Party Construction Accident Lawsuits in South Carolina
South Carolina workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. In order to receive partial lost-wage replacement and medical benefits for an on-the-job injury, a claimant doesn’t need to show that negligence on the part of the employer or a co-worker caused the accident. Victims are entitled to benefits by virtue of their employment.
In addition to workers’ comp benefits, you may be able to seek compensation through a lawsuit against a non-employer/non-coworker. For example, if you are a laborer employed by Company A, and a truck driver from Company B negligently backs over you, you may be able to file a lawsuit for damages against the driver and Company B.
Any compensation you recover through a third-party lawsuit does not affect your ability to receive workers’ comp, and vice versa.
Just Call Joye Law Firm
A construction accident has the potential to change your career and your life forever. Workers’ compensation often doesn’t cover the full costs of serious construction injuries, making it critical to explore all potential sources of recovery.
Whether you need help with a workers’ comp claim, a third-party lawsuit, or you just want to understand your legal rights and options, Joye Law Firm is here for you. Trust our attorneys to treat you with compassion and stand up for your best interests.
Get started with a free case review now. Call Joye Law Firm or contact us online.
- U.S. Department of Labor/Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Occupational Health & Safety Administration – Commonly Used Statistics
- The Center for Construction Research and Training – The Construction Chart Book: The U.S. Construction Industry and Its Workers
- Journal of Construction Engineering and Management – Identifying Root Causes of Construction Accidents