Nashville Construction Accident Lawyers Representing Fall Victims
Fighting for Tennessee’s injured workers and their families
At the Rocky Law Firm, our experienced Nashville work injury lawyers fight to get injured workers in Tennessee all the compensation they deserve – including wage loss compensation and payment for all necessary medical bills. We fright aggressively to obtain just settlements, awards, and verdicts for families when a loved one is killed. We understand when workers must prove fault and when employees are entitled to benefits just because they were doing their job. When you need a fighter, it’s time to call Rocky.
Falls are the deadliest construction accident there is
Nearly 40% of all construction deaths are due to falls according to the Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA). Falls also cause numerous injuries. Construction site falls include:
- Falling from scaffolding
- Falling from overhead platforms
- Tripping over objects such as debris and hand-tools
- Falling due to unlevel surfaces
- Falling into holes in floors
- Falling from ladders
Types of fall injuries
In construction fall cases, it is critical that the worker get immediate help – often at a local emergency room. Fall injuries can last months, years, or a lifetime. Common injuries from falls include:
- Traumatic brain injury if the worker falls on his/her head
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Muscle, ligament, and nerve damage
- Loss of limb or other body parts
- Other serious harm
Workers who fall often treat with orthopedists, pain management doctors, neurosurgeons, physical therapists, and vocational therapists. Employers often try to rush injured fall workers back to the job before the employee is physically able. Experienced Nashville construction injury lawyers fight for workers by demanding payment for all medical bills and for the worker right to get the best healthcare possible.
Safety procedures to reduce the risk of falls
OSHA has developed safety rules and regulations that employers are obligated to follow, or face steep fines if a worker suffers an injury that was caused by a violation. They require employers to provide fall protection for construction workers who are working on a surface that has an unprotected edge that is six feet or more above the level beneath. Examples of fall protection that meets OSHA standards include:
- Examining if the walking surfaces have enough strength and structural integrity to support their workers.
- Installing guardrail systems, safety net systems, and other devices for employees who work above ground and in hoist areas.
- Covering all holes. (The workers should also be protected from objects falling through the holes and hitting them, when they are working below ground.)
- Installing toe-boards, handrails and stair rails around all construction sites and areas of work.
- Providing harnesses for all employees working at heights.
- Providing hardhats for ALL employees, and requiring safety glasses and high-vis vests and/or shirts.
There are rules and regulations that govern the use of fall protection systems, and OSHA has recently updated its guide to Fall Protection in Construction, which is a downloadable guide.
OSHA further requires that employers, including construction site employers, keep floors and work areas clean and dry. Personal protection equipment such as helmets should be provided free of charge to the worker.
Workers’ compensation claims for Nashville construction employees
Employees can file a Tennessee workers’ compensation claim against their employer if they are injured while working for the employer.
[embed video: What is a Compensable Injury in a Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Case?)
In construction cases, it can be difficult to know whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Construction site work usually involves the main general contractor, and often includes (many) subcontractors and even sub-subcontractors. Generally, employers control the work tasks, schedule and method of performance of an employee. Independent contractors are usually brought in to handle a specific problem for a short amount of time. Workers who are employees file workers’ compensation claim with their direct employer.
Work injury benefits include 2/3 of the average lost wages until the employee can return to work. Additional pay and pay adjustments are made for workers with permanent injuries and workers who can return to work but with medical restrictions.
Death benefits through workers’ compensation
If your loved one dies as a result of a fall on a construction site, workers’ compensation provides death benefits for your family. There is a weekly wage loss benefit that changes depending on how many children you have, but you are also entitled to $10,000 in burial expenses.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit for negligence or product liability
Workers who are not employees can file a personal injury claim against the construction site owner if they fall due to the owner’s negligence. Negligence can often be shown if the employer failed to follow standard OSHA or construction safety procedures.
Defendants in negligence cases can include general contractors, subcontractors, engineers, and architects. Defendants who are liable should pay for the fall victim’s pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and any scarring or disfigurement.
All workers, whether they are employees or independent contractors, can hold manufacturers liable if they made a defective product which caused harm or death. In product liability cases, there is no need to show negligence. A manufacturer (or anyone who sold a product which caused the fall) can be held liable if the product was defective and the defect was the cause of the accident and the injuries or death.
Products such as scaffolding or ladders can be defective if:
- They weren’t properly designed.
- They were made improperly or with faulty or substandard parts.
- The instructions on how to use the product were inaccurate, were unclear, or failed to address key issues. Key issues include limitations on use and safety instructions.
Need a fighter on your side? Contact our Nashville construction injury lawyers today
Construction work is dangerous work. One slip, one trip, or one malfunction can cause a worker to fall and suffer life-altering injuries. To speak with one of our Gladiators in Suits about your claim, call the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm at 615-425-2500 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment at our Nashville or Hendersonville office.