Were you injured in an Atlanta construction accident? The construction industry is noteworthy for its high potential for serious accidents. When construction workers get injured on the job, they often need extensive medical care, resulting in hefty bills that strain a family's finances. If you or someone you love was seriously injured on a construction site, you may deserve financial compensation. Getting that compensation after such an ordeal can be complicated and stressful, however.
Our Atlanta personal injury lawyers have helped clients just like you receive fair compensation after their injuries for years. You can learn more about your legal options during a free case review. Our Atlanta construction accident lawyers are ready to help.
Atlanta Construction Continues Amidst City’s Growth
Atlanta has grown in population faster than the national average for many years, according to real estate investment firm JLL. Our city is ranked seventh among metro regions across the country for its net population gains. Between 2010 and 2019, Atlanta also added 621,200 jobs. In other words, Atlanta is a growing city, and that means increased demand for new construction.
Many major developments are in process or planned for future development in the city, including:
- Hospitality industry projects, such as the Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart, Bellyard Hotel, and Chattahoochee Food Works (Discover Atlanta)
- Community and neighborhood developments, such as Centennial Yards (CIM Group)
- Other major projects, such as the expanded footprint of Amazon (Atlanta Business Chronicle) in Metro Atlanta and the conversion of the former GM Doraville plant into the state’s largest movie studio (Fox5 Atlanta)
Families Can Face Serious Challenges When Accidents Happen
While these projects may be promising, the fallout from a serious construction accident can change lives forever.
The emotional and physical pain can make getting on with your life feel impossible. Medical bills can add up quickly, causing serious financial problems that can take years to recover from. Even after leaving the hospital, victims may need to take medication and get physical rehabilitation, adding more expenses to the accident fallout. On top of it all, the loss of income if you cannot go back to work can make your life even harder.
Our Atlanta construction accident lawyers can help you seek needed financial compensation to assist with your recovery.
Who Do I Sue for My Atlanta Construction Accident?
One challenge construction accident victims face is the inability to sue their employer if they are injured on the job.
However, there are other recovery options open to these victims, including:
- Workers’ compensation benefits
- Third-party negligence claims
Workers Compensation In Atlanta
Many things can injure workers on the job for several reasons. The employer may not have followed safety protocols or provided inadequate training.
In most cases, the worker can still seek workers’ compensation to help with the medical expenses tied to their injuries—no matter how the accident happened. The exclusive remedy doctrine, found in O.C.G.A. § 34-9-11, allows workers to get workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job, even if they cannot sue their employers.
Third-Party Construction Accident Liability
You can hold a party who is not the employer legally responsible for the accident, however. If a piece of equipment or vehicle malfunctions and causes an accident, the makers of that equipment could be held liable. These are known as third-party liability claims.
Some third parties who you may hold responsible include:
- Architects - If the building’s design proves to be flawed and was the cause of the accident, the designer of the building may be held accountable.
- Manufacturers - When equipment or vehicles malfunction and cause injuries, the company that made the equipment may be held liable. They must build safe products and ensure their equipment remains safe when following maintenance protocols.
- Building owners - You can hold the building owner accountable for injuries if they don't meet safety standards and other conditions.
- General contractors - The general contractors and their subordinates must let workers know of any possible dangers in the work environment. They are also to hire competent employees who know how to do the job and maintain safety standards.
If you are injured on the job at a construction site, you may file a third-party liability claim if your workers' compensation cannot meet your compensation needs.
How Much Will My Atlanta Construction Settlement Pay Me?
Personal injury cases may recover two forms of compensation: economic and non-economic. Details about what each form of compensation covers is below.
When you suffer financial loss, that is considered economic damage. These damages result in direct financial costs to you and can take many forms.
Some economic damages include:
- Medical Expenses - Your hospital bills, emergency care, follow-up doctor's visits, medications, and physical therapy are just some of the medical expenses you may incur because of your accident.
- Wages - If you miss weeks or months at work, your economic damages can include lost wages. If your injuries are so severe that you cannot return to work in the future, you may also qualify for loss of future wages compensation.
- In-Home Care - If your injuries are extensive and prevent you from performing normal household duties you performed before your injury, you may be able to seek compensation for hiring assistants to help you in your home.
Non-economic damages stemming from your construction accident injuries are those without a direct financial cost. “Pain and suffering” is the phrase many people are familiar with regarding non-economic damages, but you could seek other forms of non-economic damages, such as emotional anguish or loss of enjoyment in life.
It is difficult to assign a specific dollar amount to these damages. A skilled Atlanta construction accident attorney can help you seek the right amount for your injuries and suffering. Your lawyer can also help you file the proper paperwork in these matters, allowing you to focus on recovering from your ordeal.
Wrongful Death Damages
Filing a wrongful death claim may be possible if your loved one passed away from their injuries. You may be able to seek compensation for funeral and burial costs, medical expenses necessary before your loved one’s passing, lost income to your family, and non-economic damages.
Punitive damages fall into a category separate from economic and non-economic damages. While the first two damages compensate you for your troubles, punitive damages exist solely to punish the opposing party.
Courts rarely award these damages, and only in cases where the negligence was particularly severe or even malicious. Juries may award punitive damages if they conclude the defendant's actions were egregious or intended to harm you.
What Are the Most Common Kinds of Construction Accidents in Atlanta?
Construction site workers need to be highly skilled and very observant. Construction work is fast-paced and demanding. If you work outside, you could also face adverse weather conditions. With the hot Georgia sun pounding down on you, it is easy to become dehydrated and suffer health consequences.
When you work on an Atlanta construction site, heavy equipment and power tools surround you. When this equipment malfunctions or breaks down, you might find yourself facing serious threats to your safety. Climbing to great heights to complete the job increases the likelihood of serious injury if you slip and fall.
All of these are reasons why construction sites are on the most dangerous jobs lists in the country each year. If employers fail to meet safety standards or equipment maintenance needs, workers may suffer:
Falling from great heights is one major cause of construction site deaths. Workers are often doing difficult jobs on ladders, scaffolding, and roofs of buildings. When you fall from a high location, it is easy to suffer broken bones, concussions, and other serious injuries.
Good companies take safety protocols seriously and provide proper safety training and protective equipment. If the employer does not follow these steps, their workers are often the ones who pay the price.
Getting Hit by Objects
Because the construction industry uses heavy equipment and tools, accidents are likely. Workers can be thrown against buildings or onto the hard ground. If tools malfunction, parts can be thrown at a high velocity and strike workers, causing lacerations, concussions, or other injuries.
Beams, lumber, and other pieces from a structure can detach and fall, crushing workers below. When employers fail to meet safety standards, falling objects can cause catastrophic injuries. Companies must take stringent precautions to keep everyone on the job site safe. Failing this, workers may find themselves facing unexpected and dangerous situations.
Worksites are, by their very nature, incomplete. Wires are exposed. Lighting panels and other electrical systems are unfinished on many of these sites. Working with electricity is inherently dangerous. Electrical workers require thorough training to meet safety standards. Failing these precautions, workers could find themselves electrocuted and facing serious or fatal injuries. Electrocutions can lead to extremely dangerous and costly expenses and calls for a legal team with the experience to handle these claims. Get an Atlanta burn injury lawyer you can rely on, Get Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group.
When there is a lack of communication or observation of safety protocols, workers can become crushed between large objects, construction materials, or vehicles. Falling structures can crush workers. Workers may suffer bone fractures, amputations, concussions, or death stemming from crush injuries.
Struck by Vehicles
There are multiple kinds of vehicles on a construction site. Cranes, dump trucks, and other large vehicles are also difficult to drive and maneuver in tight spaces. Adding to the potential for danger: Many construction sites are near high-traffic areas.
Construction near busy highways adds to the potential for accidents. If laborers are working right next to oncoming traffic, distracted drivers could seriously injure them. Plus, not all construction takes place during the day. Working at night reduces the visibility of workers, leading to the potential for nighttime accidents.
What Kinds of Construction Site Tools May Be Defective or Dangerous?
The list of construction tools and equipment that could fail and thus lead to a serious injury includes:
- Woodworking tools
- Power tools
- Heavy equipment
- Pressure vessels
While there are too many kinds of construction equipment to include a complete list, the above may serve as a solid overview. If you were injured while using these or other tools, you could seek compensation.
An Atlanta Construction Accident Attorney May Be Able to Help You
If you were injured on a construction job site, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the steps needed to craft a legal strategy. You may also feel as though a liable third party caused your injuries. At Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group, we believe every victim has the right to explore their legal options.
Our Atlanta Workers' Comp Lawyers can investigate the circumstances surrounding your case. We can work to gather evidence to determine who was responsible for your injuries, and we can also negotiate with insurance company representatives who may be delaying or trying to deny your claim. After suffering a serious work injury, you shouldn’t have to fight your legal battle alone. Contact us today at (404) 476-8400 for your free case evaluation.