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Seattle Construction Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one were injured in a construction site accident you may not be able to return to work for a long period of time, or at all. A Seattle construction accident lawyer can help you recover financially from the at-fault party. With no money coming in and medical and rehabilitation bills piling up, what do you do?  The last thing you should worry about while you’re recovering from a construction site accident is how you will pay for your living expenses, medical bills, and rehabilitation bills.

Due to the heavy equipment and nature of the work, construction site accidents often lead to severe, catastrophic injuries. Catastrophic injuries typically result in long hospital stays and even longer recovery times.

Seattle Construction Accident Lawyer

Fang Law Firm Can Help You

  • 24/7 attorney support. Our Seattle construction accident attorneys will be on your case every step of the way. We won’t pass you off to a junior associate or paralegal.
  • We’re skilled. Our Seattle construction accident lawyers have the skills, experience, and resources to take on large defendants and win. We have a proven track record.
  • 24-hour return call promise. Our personal injury law firm policy is to return your call within 24 hours.

How Can a Seattle Construction Accident Lawyer Help?

A Seattle workers’ compensation attorney can help you file a workers compensation claim against your employer. However, workers compensation is typically woefully inadequate. Oftentimes, a construction accident injury occurs due to negligence or illegal behavior. If you were injured due to a product malfunction, negligence, or illegal behavior, we can help you recover through a third-party liability claim or negligence action.

For immediate relief, a construction accident attorney can help you file a workers compensation claim. When you file a workers compensation claim, your employer’s insurer may:

  • Undervalue your injury,
  • Not approve you to see a different doctor, or
  • Force you to come back to work earlier than expected.

A Seattle construction accident lawyer can negotiate with the workers compensation insurers on your behalf to ensure you receive the coverage and time off work you need. An attorney can also:

  • Respond to requests for additional information.
  • Gather accident reports and medical documents to prove the extent of your injury.
  • Hire expert witnesses or medical personnel to testify to the need to see another doctor.
  • Interview witnesses and collect witness statements to bolster your injury claim.
  • Attend all settlement negotiations and handle all correspondence from the insurance company.

A Seattle construction accident lawyer can assist you in recovering additional damages through a third party liability action against a product manufacturer or an intentional negligence claim against your employer. Whether you were injured by a machine malfunction or the negligent or illegal actions of your employer, a construction site accident lawyer can help you pursue the settlement you deserve from the at-fault party.

What Damages Can I Recover After a Construction Site Accident?

You will spend precious time and resources recovering from a construction accident injury. In fact, a construction accident injury that requires medical attention can cost upwards of $39,000 while the cost of a fatality can cost your family members upwards of $1,150,000.

These figures include lost wages and medical expenses but they do not include temporary or permanent disability and continued rehabilitative care like physical therapy. So, how do you recover? A Seattle personal injury attorney can help! Our attorneys in Washington state can help injured construction workers secure the compensation they deserve from insurance companies.

Workers’ compensation claims in Washington for on-the-job injuries provide compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Disability
  • Funeral expenses and survival benefits in workplace fatality cases

If an injured construction worker files a personal injury claim instead of a workers’ compensation claim against a liable employer or third-party entity like a contractor or property owner they can recover compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses and future medical expenses related to the injury
  • Lost wages and future lost wages during recovery
  • Diminished earning capacity if the injury was disabling
  • Pain and suffering
  • Any other appropriate non-economic damages such as disfigurement, loss of limb, lowered life quality, or PTSD

While personal injury lawsuits provide greater compensation compared to standard workers’ compensation claims, not every injury warrants a personal injury claim if your employer has a contract with workers’ compensation insurance.

How Long Do I Have to File a Construction Accident Claim?

Washington puts statutes of limitations in place for filing injury claims. These limits serve to keep evidence available and witness testimony fresh. It also protects defendants from the long-term threat of lawsuits after an injury. The time limit for filing a construction accident claim depends on the type of claim you file. Construction injury victims have up to 1 year after the date of their injury to file a workers’ compensation claim against their employer.

If a third party such as an equipment manufacturer, property owner, or contractor is liable for the accident, injury victims have up to 3 years to file a personal injury lawsuit.

In the vast majority of personal injury lawsuits, including third-party construction injury claims, the liable party settles out of court through their liability insurance. However, if the insurance company denies a valid claim or offers an overly low settlement amount you can file a lawsuit against them within the state’s 3-year limit to try to recover damages through a jury award.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Your Construction Accident?

Most construction company owners and managers are immune from liability due to their contracts with workers’ compensation insurance. Only in cases of egregious negligence or intentional wrongdoing by an owner, manager, or coworker can they be held liable for injuries or accidental deaths.

However, sometimes injury victims can trace their injury back to a party other than an employer. If a third party’s negligence caused your injury, they are liable for damages. Examples of common liable third parties in construction injuries include:

  • Contractors and subcontractors
  • Property owners or construction site owners
  • Engineers and architects
  • General contractors
  • Manufacturers of defective products or equipment used in construction
  • Vendors on construction sites
  • Other drivers in construction motor vehicle accidents

If your injury resulted from negligence on the part of a third party, you could benefit from filing a third-party liability claim rather than a workers’ compensation claim. Third-party claims pay compensation for medical costs and lost wages and also allow compensation for pain and suffering as well as other non-economic damages such as loss of limb, disfigurement, or catastrophic injury compensation.

Given the complexities and potential for significant compensation in third-party liability claims, especially in cases involving catastrophic injuries, hiring a Seattle catastrophic injury lawyer is highly advisable. Workers’ compensation only compensates for a percentage of medical expenses and lost wages.

Proving Liability in Third-Party Construction Accident Claims

As with any personal injury claim, proving liability in a Washington construction accident third-party claim requires demonstrating the following:

  • That the liable party owed a duty of care to prevent injuries by taking reasonable measures to prevent harm
  • That they breached this duty by acting negligently or recklessly
  • That the negligent breach of duty directly caused your injury
  • That the injury caused you to suffer significant damages

People or entities such as contractors, landowners, and others involved in common construction accident claims owe specific duties of care toward workers, including the following examples:

  • General contractors on a job owe workers a duty to comply with Washington’s Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA) in order to maintain a safe working environment
  • Subcontractors owe a duty of care to keep the environment immediately within their work area safe and ensure safe work practices within the scope of their work
  • Construction equipment and product manufacturers owe a duty to produce safe, reliable products and equipment
  • Landowners at a construction site owe a duty of care to promptly address health and safety hazards on their property to prevent injury to workers on the property
  • Drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road, including construction workers on the job, to follow traffic laws and avoid distraction to prevent injury

When any of the above breach their duty of care and the result is a preventable injury with significant damages, you have a right to file a claim against them. In most cases, their liability insurance offers a settlement on the claim. If your attorney is unable to secure an ample out-of-court settlement, they can file a lawsuit within the state’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits.

Construction site in Seattle

Types of Construction Site Injuries

Many construction workers that experience an accident on a construction site will face a long recovery for one of the following types of common construction site injuries:

  • Burns
  • Electrocution
  • Eye injuries that result in blindness or vision impairment
  • Broken bones
  • Knee injuries
  • Back injuries including damage to the spinal cord
  • Illness from toxic materials
  • Head or brain injuries
  • Wrongful death
  • Crush injuries with organ damage

Serious injuries require painful and expensive treatment, often including surgeries, procedures, medications, and physical and occupational therapies. For construction workers, this also greatly impacts their ability to earn a living. The victim of a disabling injury may not be able to return to work in their previous capacity or at all. That’s why it’s essential to hire an experienced construction accident lawyer in Seattle to help you maximize the compensation you recover from the serious economic damages as well as for your pain and suffering.

Causes of Construction Site Accidents

Construction sites are inherently dangerous. Not only do construction jobs require a high degree of skill but they also require extreme caution and trust in managers and coworkers. Construction projects require working from dangerous heights, using heavy and sharp equipment, working with toxic chemicals, and working around dangerous electrical wiring projects. Most construction accident injuries we saw are caused by:

  • Slips & falls
  • Falling debris
  • Electrocutions
  • Explosions
    Machinery accidents
  • Collapsed scaffolding
  • Struck-by accidents
  • Crush accidents
  • Traffic accidents involving construction workers on the job

Construction sites are inherently dangerous and require rigid adherence to safety standards and protocols. When another party’s negligence results in your injury and economic damages, you deserve compensation.

Construction Accident Statistics

Seattle is an ever-growing city with construction sites on every block. The construction industry thrives in Washington but with the dangerous heights, heavy equipment, and toxic chemicals involved in this necessary industry, construction work is a top cause of workplace accidents, second only to transportation injuries. Some startling statistics offer insight into the unique dangers of the construction industry in Washington:

  • 24 construction workers died in Washington in 2022, the largest number since 1998
  • There were 18 construction-industry workplace fatalities in 2021, which was a greater number than deaths in the transportation industry
  • Workers for contractors in the specialty construction trade made up 13 of the 18 deaths in 2021
  • 8 construction workers in Washington died from falls in 2022, including 4 falls from roofs, 1 from a ladder, 1 from scaffolding, 1 from a joist, and 1 through a skylight
  • In 2022, 6 construction workers were killed in motor vehicle accidents while on the job
  • 3 workers died in trench collapse incidents in 2022, 3 from struck-by accidents, and 2 from toxic chemical poisoning
  • Annual deaths in the construction industry more than doubled between 2018 and 2022 (from 11 to 24)

Construction company owners, project managers, property owners, and contractors all owe a duty of care to employees to take reasonable measures to prevent injury. These measures include following industry safety standards, using safe equipment, performing regular safety checks, and more. Failing to take reasonable precautions on construction sites is a form of negligence.

Fatal Construction Accidents

In the most severe circumstances, construction injuries can be fatal. For example, the courts found a contractor in Washington liable for over $437,000 in wrongful death damages after a worker died in a preventable trench collapse incident on a construction site in 2022.

When a loved one dies in a workplace accident, it’s often a financial hardship for the surviving family members who depended on their income. This adds stress to an already grief-stricken family dealing with their unbearable loss. In cases of construction accident wrongful death, a personal representative of the close surviving family members may file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for losses including:

  • Medical expenses before the death
  • Lost wages and lost future income the construction worker would have earned before retirement
  • Lost retirement benefits
  • Lost health insurance benefits
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Grief and anguish
  • Loss of emotional support, companionship, consortium, and household service

If your loved one died in a preventable construction accident, your family shouldn’t be left holding the bag. Though financial compensation can’t bring a lost loved one back, it can provide the financial cushion your family needs so they can focus on recovering from their grief. Contact one of our Seattle wrongful death lawyers today.

Contact Our Seattle Construction Accident Lawyers Today

The Seattle construction accident attorneys at Fang Law Firm are standing by to assist you in filing a workers compensation or lawsuit against your negligent employer or product manufacturer. We have decades of experience in construction accident litigation in the Seattle area. We will fight for the settlement you deserve because you shouldn’t have to worry about medical bills while you’re recovering from your serious injuries. Call us today at (206) 489-5140 for a free construction accident case consultation.

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