Did you get hurt or sick while working in construction?
Our Macon, GA construction injury lawyers can secure your workers’ compensation benefits.
577 Mulberry St, Suite 600
Macon, GA 31201-8242
8:30am – 5:30pm (M-F)
Closed Saturday & Sunday
Attorneys available on weekends by appointment
Construction workers are an important and essential part of our world. Thanks to their hard labor, homes, buildings, roads, communities and cities are built from the ground up. However, there are serious risks and hazards of working in construction that endanger the safety and lives of those who work in this tough industry. Construction is arguably the most dangerous and deadly industry in the country. This fact is especially concerning considering that 10.3 million U.S. workers were employed in construction in 2016.
Getting hurt on the job can be scary, especially if you don’t have health insurance. You may be wondering how you’re going to pay for your medical bills and provide for your family. If the injury was catastrophic, you may wonder what’s next if you’re unable to work in construction again. Or perhaps you made a mistake which contributed to your injury.
If you were injured while working in construction, we want you to know that you have certain rights under Georgia law — including the right to compensation for work-related injuries or illnesses. But these rights may not be granted to you without a fight. It’s vital you take steps now to secure the compensation you’re owed.
At the law firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson, our Macon workers’ compensation attorneys have represented hundreds of injured workers throughout the state for over 50 years. We can help guide you through the complex workers’ compensation process.
We’ll even look into filing a third-party personal injury lawsuit on your behalf against a manufacturer, contractor, company or other entity responsible for your construction injury to see if we can secure additional compensation for you and your family. We have the experience, knowledge and commitment to see your claim through to the end and secure the best possible outcome.
What to do after a construction accident
You might have thought it was just another normal day working on the construction site, when all of a sudden everything changed in the blink of an eye. Maybe some scaffolding collapsed or a heavy object fell on you from above. You might be in shock, but the actions you take (or fail to take) in the hours, days and weeks ahead can make or break your workers’ compensation claim.
Here are 4 steps you should take after suffering an injury or illness on a construction site:
1. Get medical care.
Your health and well-being should be your top priority. If you were injured in a traumatic accident, shout for help and seek medical attention immediately by going to a nearby hospital or emergency room. If you suspect you were injured or got sick due to your job but it isn’t an emergency, visit a doctor from your employer’s list of authorized treating physicians as soon as possible. You may need to ask your supervisor for this list, but it should also be posted somewhere on the site. Be sure to fully and honestly describe your symptoms to the medical professional.
2. Notify your employer.
Once you’ve been diagnosed or treated for your emergency health condition, let your employer or supervisor know as soon as possible — preferably in writing and within 30 days. This is an important step and should be done before important details, information or evidence is lost. If you wait too long to tell your employer, they may use that as reason to deny your workers’ compensation benefits.
3. Consult an attorney.
Many construction site injuries or illnesses are serious. If this is the case, you will likely benefit by talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer near you who can explain what your legal options are and ensure that you are properly compensated for medical bills, lost wages and other damages. A legal expert can also make sure that your claim proceeds without a hitch and important deadlines are met.
4. File a claim.
After you’ve reported your injury or illness to your employer and have received medical attention, it’s time to file your workers’ compensation claim. Your attorney can help you submit your claim (in writing) to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. You’ll also need to give a copy of your completed WC-14 form to your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
What are the main causes of accidents in construction?
According to OSHA, the top 4 causes of fatal construction accidents are falls, being struck by an object, electrocution and caught-in/between objects. These causes, which are notoriously known as the “Fatal Four,” accounted for more than half (58.6 percent) of construction worker deaths in 2018.
Most construction sites are like an obstacle course — one with deadly consequences and plenty of places to slip, trip and fall if you’re not paying attention. Falls on the same level can be dangerous if a worker slips on a slick floor and bashes their head, but falls from height due to a collapsing structure, a misstep or equipment failure are particularly deadly.
Many construction sites are what we might call “organized chaos,” where there’s a dangerous combination of busy people, loud noises and dangerous objects lying around. Often, it’s impossible to hear someone yell “Heads up!” before it’s too late. Many workers are hurt each year when they get struck by falling tools, moving vehicles, rolling equipment, flying objects and swinging items.
A small amount of electric shock can be uncomfortable and painful, but not serious. However, exposure to a lethal amount of electricity will result in death. When a construction worker unknowingly comes into contact with a high voltage current from exposed wires or damaged equipment without the proper protective gear, arc flashes, thermal contact burns and electrical burns are the result.
This type of injury occurs when a construction worker is caught-in or crushed by equipment, structures, material or other objects. These types of injuries can happen when a cave, trench or structure collapses, or when a worker gets caught in a machine during maintenance or cleaning.
These Fatal Four may be the most common construction injuries, but they’re not the only ways construction workers get hurt or fall ill on the job.
Exposure to harmful substances and environments is another rampant problem in the construction industry. Many workers get sick due to toxic chemical exposure. For instance, about 2.3 million workers are exposed to silica hazards in their workplaces.
The majority – an estimated 2 million – work in construction. In addition, 20 percent of American workers diagnosed with elevated blood lead levels worked in the construction industry.
Other common causes of serious injury, illness and fatality on construction sites in Georgia and across the country include:
- Workplace violence (by people and animals)
- Transportation accidents (truck wrecks, railroad accidents, pedestrian collisions, etc.)
- Fires or explosions
What are the most common injuries in construction?
While far too many construction accidents are deadly, a majority of workplace incidents result in nonfatal injuries and illnesses. Some of the most common and serious occupational construction injuries include:
- Severe burns and scarring
- Broken or fractured bones
- Loss of vision or eye injuries (blindness)
- Loss of hearing
- Muscle sprains, strains and tears
- Knee and ankle injuries
- Neck, shoulder and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Illness caused by toxic chemical exposure
- Heatstroke and sun exposure
- Cuts and lacerations
Construction injury statistics
As a whole, the data has shown that worker deaths are on the decline compared to past decades. In 1970, about 38 workers were killed on the job every day in the U.S. In 2017, this number had dropped to 14 per day. While this is generally positive news, the fact that 14 Americans per day are killed in deadly work-related accidents is still shocking and sad.
While society has made improvements as a whole, these recent statistics show that we still have a long way to go — especially when it comes to construction safety and injury prevention:
- From 2011-2018, there were 7,178 reported fatal occupational injuries in the private construction industry nationally. Of those, 234 construction workers died in Georgia.
- In 2018, 1 in 5 (21.1 percent) worker fatalities in private industry were in construction.
- One in 10 construction site workers are injured every year.
- There are roughly 150,000 construction site accident injuries each year.
- Workers between the ages of 25 and 34 are the most likely to be injured in a construction site accident.
- 15 percent of total workers’ compensation costs are spent on workers who were injured while at a construction site.
- Compared to the general U.S. workforce, construction workers are more likely to be male (90.0 percent versus 53.0 percent), Hispanic (29.9 percent versus 16.3 percent), and foreign-born (26.9 percent versus 18.1 percent).
- Nearly half of all deaths on construction sites occur in companies with 10 or fewer employees, or among those who are self-employed.
- Electrical power-line installers have the highest rate of fatal injuries.
- The most frequently cited OSHA standards that were violated by the construction industry in 2018 included lack of fall protection, scaffolding dangers and ladder misuse.
Workers’ compensation resources and links
- Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation
- Georgia Workers’ Compensation Employee Handbook
- Enjuris Guide to Workplace Accidents in Georgia
- The Danger of Working with Electricity
- How to file a workers’ compensation claim in Macon, GA
- Georgia workers’ compensation laws & requirements
- Georgia workers’ compensation benefits
- Why workers’ compensation claims are denied
- How to appeal a workers’ compensation denial
- Georgia workers’ compensation FAQ
- Compensation for agriculture workers
- Compensation for automotive workers
- Compensation for industrial workers
- Compensation for construction workers
- Compensation for independent contractors & freelancers
- Workers’ compensation mistakes to avoid
“Great staff. Very professional and knowledgeable. Staff went out of their way to accommodate us in every way possible. Made the whole process less painful. They made sure we understood everything that was going on and would answer any questions a hundred times over if needed.”
The resources needed to win
Unlike some work injury attorneys who settle all of their cases, we are not afraid to appeal a denied claim if needed. Our firm has the resources needed to thoroughly prepare, try and win complicated cases.
We are dedicated to doing everything legally and ethically possible to obtain the best results for our injured clients. Hard work and dedication have allowed us to recover millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients in workers’ compensation and personal injury claims.
Contact us for your free consultation with a Macon workers’ compensation lawyer
If you work in construction and suffered an injury or illness on the job, know that you have rights when it comes to workers’ compensation. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Your employer or their insurance company might try to dispute your claim or minimize your benefits, leaving you short-changed when it comes time to pay the doctor or your bills. We can help fight for your rights.
In addition to offering a free consultation where we’ll discuss your case and offer advice on what to do next, we work on a contingency fee basis — meaning that if you hire us, you won’t pay a penny until we win your case. If we aren’t successful, you owe us nothing. It’s that simple. You have nothing to lose, but everything to gain by seeking legal representation from our top-rated attorneys.
If you have questions, give us a call or contact us online for your free consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer. From offices in Macon, Albany and Warner Robins, we help injured workers throughout Georgia. Don’t settle for less, get more.