Construction accidents are among the most dangerous and deadly types of accidents in Augusta. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) statistics, construction accidents account for more than 20% of workplace deaths. In addition, pedestrians, neighbors, and people who take shortcuts through construction sites are all vulnerable.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a construction accident, an Augusta construction accident lawyer can help you recover money to pay for your injuries. John Foy & Associates has a longstanding reputation as a top-notch construction injury law firm. Call us at (404) 400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
Why Are Construction Accidents So Dangerous?
Construction sites are full of hazards: heavy equipment, live power lines, open trenches, and high places with no protective railings. In addition, ladders, scaffolding, power tools, uneven ground, and unsecured objects can make a construction site an accident waiting to happen.
The hazards are so severe that OSHA has issued guidelines for preventing the “fatal four” safety hazards most likely to result in fatalities:
- Falls from scaffolding or other high places
- “Struck by,” or accidents in which someone gets struck by a moving object, vehicle, or falling debris
- Caught in between, or accidents in which someone is caught between equipment or trapped by a collapsing excavation or structure
OSHA urges all workers and supervisors to be vigilant and protect work sites from these common hazards. But still, accidents can and often do occur. When they do, know your rights under the law and the legal options you have to recover financial compensation.
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Who Is Liable for My Accident If I’m a Construction Worker?
It depends on how your accident happened. Your first course of action is usually to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. A workers’ compensation claim works differently than a lawsuit in that it is a claim against your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy and to get paid. You don’t have to blame your employer for what happened.
All you need to show is the extent of your injuries and that they happened at work. Your workers’ comp claim should pay for your medical bills and provide a paycheck until you can go back to work. Additional money is available if your accident left you with a disability that prevents you from returning to your construction job.
Another party may also be liable for your injuries based on the concept of negligence. The property owner and every company involved in the construction project are responsible for keeping things safe for the people who work there. For example, if you were injured by malfunctioning equipment, you can file a claim against the company that owns and maintains that equipment.
Who Is Liable for My Accident If I’m Not a Construction Worker?
Unfortunately, construction accidents in Augusta can also injure members of the general public who are unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Explosions, fires, heavy equipment, falling debris, live power lines, and unmarked trenches are just some of the hazards that can seriously injure or even kill members of the public.
If you were injured, you have a right to recover money. However, liability will depend on who was negligent. In other words, whichever person or company failed to live up to their duty to create a safe environment for people in the vicinity of the construction site may be liable.
This might mean that safety protocols weren’t followed, equipment or power lines weren’t secured, or hazards weren’t marked or fenced off. The negligent person or company should cover the costs of your damages through their insurance.
What Damages Can I Recover Compensation for in a Construction Accident Claim?
The workers’ compensation system replaces lawsuits when it comes to recovering money from your employer. However, if someone other than your employer is liable, you may be able to recover money for:
- Your healthcare costs such as doctor and hospital bills and physical therapy sessions
- Occupational therapy to help you return to work
- The pay you lost if the accident caused you to miss work
- Emotional trauma, if you were also physically injured
- Funeral costs, if your loved one died as a result of the accident
In many cases, there are other types of damages available that can far exceed the total of your medical bills and lost wages. These damages are usually reserved for more serious injuries, but they include:
- Damages for physical pain
- Damages for emotional suffering, including coping with all the ways the accident has changed your life
- Damages for wrongful death may be awarded to close family members who lost a loved one
There are many different parties potentially involved in a construction accident claim. It’s next to impossible to investigate a claim and hold the responsible parties accountable on your own. That is why we recommend that you always talk to a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
How Much Is the Average Construction Accident Settlement Worth in Augusta?
The average construction accident settlement varies depending on several factors:
- The types of injuries and damages you sustained
- How severe your injuries and damages are.
- What kind of long-term or short-term impact your injuries and damages have had on your body, life, and mental state
It’s hard to calculate an average amount for construction accidents because they vary so wildly. There are some construction accident victims who can win millions in their claims due to the injuries they suffered. Others can receive significantly less, depending on their unique circumstances.
To estimate your damages accurately, getting in touch with one of our Augusta construction accident attorneys is essential. We will ensure all of your damages get calculated accurately, and nothing gets left out of your settlement.
Should I Accept the Initial Offer from the Insurance Company?
Regardless of whether you’re a construction worker, you shouldn’t blindly accept either the first offer from workers’ compensation insurance or from regular insurance. This is because insurance companies are never on the side of victims.
As a business, an insurance company’s first priority is to save money. Therefore, they will often try to get you to settle for less by offering a fast cash settlement in exchange for no further legal pressure. Before you sign or verbally accept any deal, allow us to look it over first.
Many construction accident victims out there get robbed of the fair amount of compensation they deserved simply because they accepted the initial offer.
How Long do I Have to File a Claim?
The clock started ticking on the day of your accident. Usually, the most you have is two years under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §9-3-33, but there are some situations where you may need to act within just a few weeks.
We don’t want you to miss the deadline and lose your chance of pursuing your claim with insurance companies or in the local courts. A construction accident lawyer can evaluate your claim, tell you how much time you have, and the steps you need to take to file a claim.
No Upfront Fees
While you don’t need a lawyer to file a claim or negotiate for compensation, not hiring one can prove to be a big mistake. An experienced lawyer by your side can help your chances of winning a fair settlement immensely.
Many people get nervous when hiring a lawyer because they think a lawyer will take their money and run. Our Augusta construction accident lawyers never take payment upfront, and there are no hidden fees. We guarantee that you don’t have to pay us anything at all unless we win compensation for your claim.
Talk to an Augusta Construction Accident Lawyer Today
At John Foy & Associates, we know how to get you paid for the injuries you suffered in a construction accident. Trust in our ability to get you the money you rightfully deserve. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or fill out the form to your right for your free consultation. We are available to assist 24/7.