A construction site or zone can be incredibly deadly to both bystanders and workers. These are high-risk environments where employees are instructed to perform hazardous tasks which includes lifting heavy objects at great heights, operating complicated machinery, and utilizing dangerous tools. With so much that could go wrong, it’s incredibly important the project managers of the site ensure to have detailed plans to mitigate such accidents. Unfortunately, sometimes this task is not sufficiently completed, and as a result someone is severely injured.
Poorly maintained construction zones and/or negligently trained contractors or staff is a recipe for serious injury and even death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calculated that 5,333 construction employees died while on the job during the year 2019. On average, that’s more than 100 people a week with about 15 deaths a day. This doesn’t even include the number of severe crashes that occur due to confusing construction zones. The Iowa Department of Transportation releases an annual report for Iowa work zone crashes and in 2020 the State recorded 636 accidents total. The year 2021 wasn’t too far behind with 487 work zone car accidents recorded.
A construction accident, whether it’s as an employee or a bystander, can lead to life-changing injuries. That is why we highly recommend you secure legal representation if you’ve been injured in a construction accident. You may be entitled to compensation for the damages you’ve acquired since the injury.
Construction Accident Attorney Des Moines IA
In an effort to prevent accidents in construction zones, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration has implemented strict rules that project managers and their employees must practice. Failure to maintain these regulations or follow safety standards could lead to a serious accident. As a result, the negligent construction employee or site manager could be held legally responsible for any losses the plaintiff has experienced. If you’ve been injured at a construction site, then it’s within your best interest to contact McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C..
With over 3 decades of experience, our personal injury lawyer Gregory Landry of McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. is more than prepared to take on your case. He has years of practice negotiating and litigating for victims of construction accidents. Whether it’s an employee trying to secure worker’s compensation or simply a bystander that was at the wrong place at the wrong time—Attorney Landry can take on your case and work tirelessly for your recovery.
Schedule your first consultation today by calling our office at (515) 279-9700 or simply submitting an online contact form. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has offices in West Des Moines and accepts clients throughout all parts of Polk County and Dallas County including Polk City, Pleasant Hill, Runnells, Dallas Center, Waukee, Minburn, Redfield, Adel, Perry, Des Moines, and Bondurant.
- National Construction Accident Statistics
- Common Injuries from Construction Accidents
- OSHA Safety Standards for Construction Zones
- Construction Accident Liability
- Additional Resources
Although construction work is a very common job with currently 8 million people employed, it’s still considered a dangerous field of work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released annual reports detailing construction accidents occurring to both workers and bystanders in an effort to study trends and create better safety standards. According to these reports, on average more than 100 people a week die due to a construction accident. In fact, about 20% of all worker deaths in the private industry were in a type of construction.
There are many jobs in construction, but a few of them have been determined the main causes of construction accidents due to how dangerous they are. The OSHA refers to these causes as “the Fatal Four,” which include the following:
- Falls – Falls at elevated heights account for approximately 36.5% of all construction-related deaths. Workers may suffer serious injury or die from unprotected sides or holes at a site, improperly constructed walking or working surfaces, roofs, scaffolding, and other various dangerous construction areas.
- Electrocutions – OSHA has determined that about 8.6% of all construction-related deaths were due to electrocution. Risks such as exposed wiring, wet conditions with exposed outlets, contact with overhead power lines, poorly maintained extension cords and power tools, etc. can be the cause of an electrocution accident.
- Stuck by an Object – Reports indicate that 10.1% of deaths at construction sites occurred due to falling, swinging, or misplaced objects. These statistics also include loose or shifting materials, equipment malfunctions, falling objects due to rigging failure, and other incidents where a person could be struck by a heavy or hazardous object.
- Caught-Between or Caught-In – The last of the Fatal Four includes incidents where employees are caught between devices, machines, or tools. These types of deaths account for about 2.5% of all construction-related deaths according to OSHA.
Other common causes for construction zone or construction-related accidents include:
- Sharp materials in the road such as nails
- Malfunctions with scaffolding
- Welding accidents
- Trenches collapsing
- Explosions at the site
- Faulty or Outdated Equipment
- Structural collapse
- Unstable materials
- Forklift accidents
Construction accidents, whether it’s in a construction zone or by sustained by an employee, can result in serious injuries. It’s not uncommon for those involved in construction accidents to need extensive medical treatment and even require surgery due to their injuries. Unfortunately, this scenario can result in serious medical bills, lost wages, and other financial and emotional losses that the injured victim is forced to face for an accident they didn’t cause.
Listed below are some common injuries a person may sustain in a construction zone accident.
- Broken bones
- Hearing or sight loss
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Neck injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Severe burns
- Ear or eye injuries
- Brain injuries
Construction zones can be incredibly dangerous due to the hazardous conditions created by the heavy machinery and power tools involved. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented some rules and regulations in an effort to decrease construction zone accidents across the nation. These safety standards must be followed by both employees and construction zone managers in order to ensure there is a safe space for staff and drivers. Employees or project managers who fail to follow these regulations may be considered negligent in a court of law.
Every construction work zone should include the following plans before commencing:
- Signs for designated traffic paths
- Water, collapsible barriers, sand, crash cushions or other protections to ensure drivers are not near vulnerable parts of the construction zone
- Appropriate lighting for the site and the road
- A detailed traffic control plan to mitigate accidents
- Clear signs that indicate a work zone is nearby and the speed limit for that zone
- Barrels, barricades, cones, and other traffic control devices
- Flaggers to direct traffic
The majority of construction accident claims are filed on the grounds of negligence. Essentially, if the site manager or construction employees are not upholding their reasonable duty of care, then they could be held legally responsible for damages the injured plaintiff has sustained. A site manager, construction company, or construction employee/contractor may be considered negligent by failing to implement OSHA regulations, acting reckless or careless on site, or intentionally “cutting corners” in order to get the job done faster.
In order for a plaintiff to receive a settlement or monetary award, they’ll have to prove the defendant’s negligence was the cause of their injury. This can be accomplished with the help of an experienced Iowa construction accident lawyer. A skilled personal injury attorney can assess the facts of the case, collect evidence to support the plaintiff’s claim, and utilize the resources at their disposal to fight for the compensation they are entitled to.
If the plaintiff is successful, then they’ll either be awarded a settlement or monetary award. The value of this award or settlement will depend on the damages the injured plaintiff has experienced since sustaining the injury. Some of these damages may include:
- Medical costs for the past, present and future
- Rehabilitative costs
- Counseling costs
- Lost wages
- Motor vehicle repairs
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
OSHA Regulations — Visit the official website for the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration to find more information about construction zone traffic safety. Access the site to find more information on flagging, work zone barriers, signs and other rules construction sites must follow to maintain a safe space for motorists.
Construction Work Zone Accidents – Visit the official website for the Iowa Department of Transportation to find statistics involving construction zone accidents based on the severity of the crash, type of crash, and if any fatalities occurred.
Construction Zone Accident Lawyer in Des Moines, IA
If you or someone you know has been injured in a construction zone accident, contact McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. Attorney Gregory Landry of McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has been practicing personal injury law for decades and can utilize his vast knowledge for your case. At McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., we understand health is incredibly important to a person’s quality of life. That is why we want to work diligently to pursue your recovery through excellent legal representation.
Call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. at (515) 279-9700 or simply submit an online contact form to schedule your first consultation.