Columbia is an attractive place to live and work. As a result, more and more new residents and companies are flocking to the area and causing a boom in construction. An increase in construction activity, however, can also lead to a rise in accidents and injuries among workers. If you or a loved one is among those who has suffered harm in a construction accident in Columbia, you owe it to yourself to get help from an experienced work injury lawyer who will skillfully pursue all compensation that you are due.
At Joye Law Firm, we know how construction accidents can quickly lead to financial disaster for injured construction workers and their families. If your family is struggling after a construction injury, we want to help you through this difficult time. We will explore all of your legal options, seek just compensation for you and work hard to restore the quality of your life – just as we have done for clients throughout South Carolina since 1968.
To learn more, contact us today for a free consultation through our Columbia office.
About the Columbia Construction Industry
Columbia has gone through a massive revitalization in recent years, including the redevelopment of nearby Cayce and the projected development of the 10,000-foot Steel Hands Brewery, according to Columbia Regional Business Report. With more people moving into the region, the demand for housing has sharply increased. The Post and Courier reports that Columbia and the rest of the state have, in particular, seen a significant rise in apartment complex construction. “In the Midlands, about 3,600 units are proposed for the region, with the bulk of those close to downtown Columbia,” according to the newspaper.
Causes of Construction Accidents and Injuries in Columbia
While construction keeps the Columbia economy humming along nicely, it can also be a highly dangerous line of work. Whether they work on high scaffolds or in tight, cramped quarters, construction workers face all sorts of hazards at job sites. The injury statistics are staggering. The construction industry accounts for 20 percent of all work-related deaths in our country, including 991 fatalities that occurred in 2016 alone, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Some of the leading causes of construction-related injuries in Columbia and throughout South Carolina are:
- Falls (including slip and falls and falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolding)
- Transportation accidents (including car accidents, truck accidents and forklift accidents)
- Contact with objects (such as getting hit by an object or getting stuck in an object)
- Exposure to “live” power lines (causing electrocution)
- Defective products or poorly maintained equipment
- Improper training or lack of supervision
- Faulty trenching or excavation
- Fires and explosions
- OSHA violations (including the lack of proper fall protection systems and communication about hazardous chemicals).
All too often, accidents occur at construction sites because workers fail to identify an unsafe condition before they start an activity, or they move forward with a project even after they identify the hazard. Unfortunately, many construction industry employers put profits before worker safety and pressure workers to engage in dangerous activities.
If you are hurt on a construction job site in Columbia or anywhere in the Midlands, you should seek medical attention right away. For the sake of your health, you need to get immediately examined, diagnosed and started on a course of treatment. You also need to document your injury.
Additionally, you should report your injury to your employer as early as possible. As you move forward, make sure to follow your doctor’s orders, keep a journal that documents your recovery, hold on to all your medical bills and other accident-related receipts, keep track of witness contact information and meet with a lawyer as soon as you are ready to take legal action.
Workers’ Compensation for Columbia Construction Workers
In general, when you are injured on the job, your exclusive remedy is to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. Most South Carolina employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This is designed to provide a mechanism for you to be compensated for your injuries without having to go through the court process. In fact, the law is designed to give you these rights without having to prove your employer was negligent. Under South Carolina workers’ compensation law, you may be entitled to:
- Medical benefits that cover all of your injury-related care and treatment
- Disability benefits that cover a portion of your lost wages (if you suffer from a total or partial, temporary or permanent disability).
Some construction companies – or their insurers – refuse to pay workers or fail to provide the full amount of benefits they are due. In some cases, construction companies wrongly claim that a worker is an “independent contractor” and not an “employee,” so the company is not legally obligated to provide workers’ compensation benefits.
If you face any problems with securing the benefits you are due, contact Joye Law Firm immediately. We will take swift action to protect your legal rights and seek the benefits you deserve.
Personal Injury Claims for Columbia Construction Workers
In most cases, construction workers cannot file personal injury claims against employers. Workers’ compensation benefits serve as their exclusive remedy against their employer. However, if a non-employer’s negligence caused your construction injury, you may be eligible to bring a claim for personal injury damages, including compensation for all of your past and future medical expenses, all of your lost income, pain, suffering, emotional distress and more.
For instance, say you are working on a scaffold, which was defectively installed by a third-party. If you fall and suffer serious injuries, you could potentially be eligible to file both a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s insurance carrier as well as a third-party liability claim against the installation company for negligence. Joye Law Firm was able to secure a significant settlement for a construction worker injured in this way, which was in addition to his workers’ compensation benefits. Read more about our results.
To maximize the compensation for you and your family, Joye Law Firm will determine all potential sources of compensation. The law can be very complex, and often there are offsets in place to prevent you from receiving double compensation. It will be extremely important to work with an attorney who understands these offsets and complex rules.
Our Columbia Construction Accident Attorneys are Here for You
With years of success and a solid and growing record of recovering compensation for clients throughout the state, Joye Law Firm has the skills, resources and experience necessary to take on the most challenging construction accident cases. We will charge no fees unless we obtain a recovery for you. So, if you or a loved one has suffered a construction-related injury in Columbia, don’t wait to take action. Call or reach us online today for a free consultation.