Nashville Construction Accident Attorneys Representing Clients Hit by Falling Objects
Aggressive representation for Tennessee construction workers and their families
Being hit by a falling object can be painful; being hit by a falling piece of material or machinery on a Tennessee construction site can be deadly. At the Rocky Law Firm, our Nashville construction injury attorneys fight aggressively for all workers. If you were hurt by a falling object while on the job, we want to help. Contact us today to find out more.
Types of injuries from falling objects
One in five worker deaths in 2017 occurred in the construction industry. After falls, the second leading cause of worker deaths in the construction industry was being struck by a falling object. The other two leading causes were electrocutions and being stuck between objects or being crushed by (or in-between) an object.
Workers who are struck by an object can die from head injuries. Survivors can suffer the following injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries. These injures affect the worker’s physical, cognitive, and emotional skills. Many workers with a TBI need a lifetime of care with numerous types of doctors and therapists.
- Spinal cord damage. Damage to the neck, back, and spine can cause full or partial paralysis. Many workers with spinal cord damage live with a lifetime of chronic pain.
- Broken bones/fractures. Broken bones often require surgery. Most breaks take months to heal during which time the worker can’t do his/her job. Some broken bones don’t heal correctly or don’t heal fully.
Other injuries due to falling objects include eye damage and muscle, ligament, tendon, and nerve damage. Workers who are injured by a falling object usually need to be rushed to the nearest emergency room.
How objects fall and strike workers
Falling objects are quite common in the construction industry because many workers do their job (with their tools) at elevated heights. Workers who are positioned below scaffolds, cranes, ladders, or higher floors to a building may be more likely to be hurt, and the damage done by the object can range in severity depending on the type of object and the height from which it fell.
Some of the most common falling objects include:
- Hand tools
- Small power tools
- Building materials, including sheetrock, chunks of concrete, and rebar
- Demolition debris
- Power lines
Objects can fall because a worker trips or because the flooring isn’t secure enough to hold to hold heavier objects. Objects can fall while they are being pushed, moved, or loaded.
Safety precautions to avoid falling object injuries
Construction site owners and contractors should take every step possible to secure the work area from falls. For example, if workers are on scaffolding, no one should be underneath the scaffolding. Warning signs should be placed to alert workers of dangers from above. Construction workers should regularly wear safety helmets when underneath any work area, so there is some protection from falling objects. OSHA requires that construction workers obey hard hat rules. There are specific OSHA requirements for when scaffolding can be used and how it should be used. For example, workers shouldn’t work on scaffolding when it’s excessively windy.
Other hazards which can result in falling objects are:
- The use of sheds on higher platforms
- The use of hoisting machines
- Falling cinders, water, and steam which can cause chemical burns
- Having workers work near or under cranes
Sites may be required by federal or Tennessee law to have catch platforms specifically designed to catch falling objects
Liability for construction accidents due to falling objects
The requirements for filing and proving a workplace injury case vary depending on when and where the accident happened and how it happened. Depending on the type of claim you file, different parties may be held liable for your injuries.
There is no need to prove liability in workers’ compensation cases
Employees who are injured by falling objects only need to show that they were an employee, that there was a workplace accident, and that the accident caused their injuries. There is no need to show that the employer failed to follow OSHA safety laws or that they were careless or irresponsible in order to collect workers’ compensation. Employees injured on the job are entitled to:
- Payment for all reasonably necessary surgeries, hospital stays, doctor visits, therapies, medical devices, and medications.
- Compensation for lost wages. The amount is generally 2/3 of their average weekly wages for the time they can’t work. Workers with specific types of permanent injuries such as amputations, loss of use of a hand, and blindness, are paid according to the severity of their injury and the type of injury.
Strict liability in product defect cases
If an object fell because a forklift failed, the scaffolding wasn’t stable, or due to any product defect; the injured worker can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer. Like workers’ compensation claims, there is no need to prove negligence. The worker must prove the product was defective and that the defect caused the injuries or death. Workers can claim all their lost wages (not just a reduced amount) and all their medical bills. They can also demand payment for their physical pain and emotional suffering.
Liability for negligence in personal injury cases against third parties
Independent contractors and passersby who are struck by a falling object can file a personal injury claim against everyone who failed to protect the safety of the worker or passerby. In addition to the construction owner, claims for negligence can be filed against contractors, subcontractors, engineers, and architects. Like product liability claims, damages include pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost income.
What happens if my loved one died on a construction site in Tennessee?
Death claims also depend on the underlying claim. In workers’ compensation cases, the families can file for funeral and burial benefits up to $10,000 and for a percentage of the average weekly wage up to the maximum weekly benefit limit.
In product liability and negligence cases, families can file wrongful death claims against the wrongdoers. Generally; spouses, children, and the parents of minors are entitled to wrongful death claim damages. These damages include more than just the funeral bills and economic loss. They also include the value of the society, comfort, and companionship the decedent would have provided his or her loved ones – and the mental anguish suffered in losing a loved one.
Speak with our tough as nails Nashville work injury lawyers today
Experience matters. Aggressiveness matters. The insurance company adjusters and lawyers will do everything that can to deny or limit your recovery. You need lawyers who aren’t afraid to challenge and contest any attempt to deny your claim, force you back to work to soon, or say you’re not really hurting. At the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, we’ve been fighting for Tennessee workers for years. Call our Gladiators in Suits at 615-425-2500 or complete our contact form to make an appointment in our Nashville or Hendersonville office today.