Construction injuries are unfortunately common and can have devastating consequences, ranging from minor sprains to life-threatening conditions. The legal maze surrounding these incidents often adds an extra layer of complexity to an already stressful situation. At Wells Trumbull, our dedicated team of Edmonds construction injury lawyers stand ready to represent victims and their families, offering experience, compassion, and a thorough understanding of construction injury law. Contact our experienced personal injury attorneys in Edmonds today for a free consultation.
Types of Construction Injuries Commonly Sustained
Construction injuries vary greatly in their severity and long-term impact. Here are some common types that often warrant legal action for compensation:
- Minor Injuries
- Sprains and Strains: These injuries are common but can lead to prolonged suffering if not properly treated.
- Cuts and Abrasions: These might require stitches and may be prone to infections, particularly when caused by rusty or dirty equipment.
- Moderate to Severe Injuries
- Broken Bones: Fractures can occur from falls or accidents involving heavy machinery.
- Burns: Often caused by electrical malfunctions or exposure to hazardous materials, burns can require intensive treatment.
- Electrocution: This can lead to severe internal injuries and require long-term medical care.
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Amputations: Severe accidents can result in the loss of limbs, impacting a victim’s life permanently.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: These can lead to paralysis and require lifelong medical care.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: These can occur from falling objects or severe falls, leading to permanent disability.
Common Causes of Construction Injuries
There are a variety of factors and circumstances that can cause construction injuries, including:
- Falls from Height: Lack of proper safety equipment or negligence can result in dangerous falls.
- Equipment Failure: Machinery malfunctions can be catastrophic if proper maintenance has not been conducted.
- Heavy Machinery Accidents: Machinery like cranes, bulldozers, and forklifts are often essential to construction work but can be extraordinarily hazardous if not operated correctly. Injuries may occur due to operator error, lack of training, or mechanical failures.
- Electrical Injuries: Construction sites are replete with electrical hazards, from exposed wiring to power tools. Electrocutions or electrical burns are not uncommon and can be severe or fatal.
- Falling Objects: Items falling from heights can pose significant risks. Even a small tool dropped from a high elevation can cause serious injuries to workers below. Hard hats are a mandatory requirement but may not provide adequate protection against heavy falling objects.
- Exposure to Hazardous Materials: Inadequate safety measures can lead to dangerous exposure.
- Human Error: Negligence or lack of training can also contribute to severe injuries.
Construction Safety Laws In Edmonds
Construction sites are inherently dangerous environments that pose a variety of risks to workers, from heavy machinery operations to working at heights. To mitigate these risks and ensure the safety and well-being of workers, construction companies must adhere to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) guidelines.
OSHA mandates that employers must provide workers with appropriate PPE, such as helmets, gloves, and eye protection. Employers are responsible for providing adequate training on machinery, safety protocols, and the use of PPE safety equipment. A comprehensive site-specific safety plan must be developed and should be accessible to all employees.
Workers are at risk of falling from ladders, roofs, scaffolding, and other elevated platforms. When work is being conducted at heights exceeding six feet, it is mandatory to have effective fall protection mechanisms in place. Guardrails are a popular choice, offering a physical barrier to prevent workers from accidentally stepping or falling over the edge. Safety nets, on the other hand, are typically installed below the working level and act as a catch platform for falling workers or tools. Personal fall arrest systems, commonly known as harnesses, are a lifeline for workers operating at significant heights.
Not adhering to OSHA’s fall protection guidelines can lead to citations and fines. Repeated violations can result in larger penalties and potential legal action.
Washington Statute of Limitations For Construction Injuries
In Washington State, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including construction injuries, is generally three (3) years from the date of the injury. This means that if you have been injured on a construction site, you have a three-year window to file a lawsuit for compensation. Failure to do so within this timeframe will almost certainly result in the court dismissing your case, leaving you without an avenue for seeking damages.
However, there can be exceptions, particularly if the victim is a minor or mentally incapacitated. If the injury was due to employer negligence, and the employer failed to provide the necessary safety measures as stipulated by OSHA or state law, the timeframe for filing a workers’ compensation claim might differ from a standard personal injury claim. Therefore, it is crucial to consult a construction injury attorney in Edmonds as soon as possible to protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our The Edmonds Construction Injury Lawyers At Wells Trumbull Today
Facing a construction injury is a distressing and complex ordeal. At Wells Trumbull, we strive to relieve you of the legal complexities so that you can focus on your recovery. With an unparalleled dedication to our clients and a history of successful outcomes, our team of specialized Edmonds construction injury attorneys is ready to advocate for you. Due to the statute of limitations, time is of the essence. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation and take the first step toward reclaiming your life.