Construction Site Accidents Law
Promoting Jobsite Safety for Massachusetts Tradesmen
We have represented many skilled construction workers and tradesmen whose lives have been thrown into disarray and financial security destroyed by a construction site accident.
While OSHA (the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations have decreased accidents in the workplace, enforcement has been lax and fines do not compensate the injured worker.
As a basic proposition, the general contractor has overall responsibility for safety and must coordinate the activities of subcontractors and others to minimize the risk of injury to all workers at a site. Each subcontractor must also perform its work safely and not place other workers in jeopardy. Suppliers and vendors must provide the appropriate equipment and the right materials so that workers’ safety is not threatened. Work schedules and cost estimates must include time and money for safety.
Construction site injuries can happen without proper workplace safety measures:
- Failure to properly coordinate construction operations
- Violations of OSHA and state regulations
- Lack of fall protection equipment including lanyards, harnesses and netting
- Uncovered holes in floors or roofs
- Missing guardrails and toeboards
- Defective elevators and hoisting equipment
- Inadequate shoring of excavations
- Unsafe tools and equipment
- Construction materials not properly stockpiled or tied down
- Insufficient signage
- Lax jobsite housekeeping
- Wet and icy conditions from not protecting work areas from weather
- Lack of traffic controls
Recovering Damages Due to Workplace and Construction Site Injuries
Workers compensation in Massachusetts generally pays only a percentage of a worker’s salary for a limited period, and some medical bills, but nothing for pain and suffering.
If a “third party” - someone other than your employer - is at fault, we can prosecute a case for broader damages, including:
- Full loss of earning capacity now and into the future
- Medical bills for necessary treatment and medicine
- Expenses for rehabilitation and vocational retraining
- Compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Compensation for loss of consortium and society. Your spouse and children may be entitled to compensation for their loss of your affection, support, companionship and other elements of their relationship with you
Statute of Limitations. Generally, Massachusetts allows three years for you to file a construction site accident case, but the facts of your particular case may result in less time or special notice requirements. Due to the time necessary to properly gather evidence and investigate a case before filing suit, and the need to preserve evidence, you should retain an attorney immediately upon suspecting the basis for a construction site accident case against a responsible “third party.”
How We Use Evidence to Win Construction Site Accident Cases
From the inception of a case, we consider the types of "demonstrative evidence" that will bring alive key pieces of evidence and help a jury understand your case:
- Aerial photographs that illustrate the layout of a construction site
- Digitally enhanced architectural blueprints that focus on areas where an accident happened
- Time records and progress reports to demonstrate who was doing what, where and when
- Calendars, timelines and storyboards to show the progress on a jobsite and the presence or absence of key players
- Enlargements of OSHA regulations and industry guidelines
- Scale models to recreate job conditions
- Case specific illustrations superimposing safety equipment onto photos to show what should have been used
As in our other cases, we use digital technology to create demonstrative evidence to explain our client’s injuries:
- Color enhanced CT scans, MRIs or x-rays that show our client’s injuries
- Case specific medical illustrations showing pertinent anatomy or steps in a surgical procedure
- Medical calendars summarizing our client’s medical treatment
Results in Construction Site Accident Cases
We have over 20 years experience holding responsible parties accountable for construction site accidents:
- $910,000 recovery against general contractor and homeowner in wrongful death case where part-time painter, hired as independent contractor by homeowner, fell through uncovered hole in the floor of a garage loft.
- $500,000 settlement against general contractor for siblings of carpenter who fell through uncovered hole in roof at government project
- $400,000 settlement against general contractor and electrical subcontractor for construction worker struck by unsecured aluminum ladder on high floor of building in windy location
- $350,000 recovery against general contractor for carpenter injured in fall on icy earthen floor of building under renovation
We have also prosecuted product liability cases against manufacturers and distributors of unsafe construction equipment and tools that have caused injuries on jobsites, such as defective cranes, ladders, scaffolds and rigging equipment.