An injury caused by a construction accident can leave victims with life-long pain, scarring, and disfigurement. To make matters worse, these injuries frequently require expensive medical treatments and extended hospital stays.
What many construction workers have found is that in their time of need, the workers’ compensation system fails them.
What Will My Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers compensation covers:
Necessary Medical Expenses
Any costs associated with the treatment of the job-related injury will be covered by workers’ comp, although some procedures may require pre-authorization by the insurance company.
If the injury you sustained results in your inability to work, workers’ comp will cover a fraction of the wages you have earned. The amount you will receive is calculated by a board after they obtain your doctors opinion on how disabled you are. They then multiply a percentage which represents that disability by 2/3 of your weekly wage. So if your doctor things you are 50% disabled, the amount you receive is 50% x 2/3 of your weekly wage.
If you are able to work but not to your normal full-time potential, you may be able to receive 2/3 of the difference in your earnings.
If a construction worker suffers a fatal accident, the surviving dependents may receive funeral benefits. In New York, the maximum funeral benefit is $6,000, or $5,000 in certain counties which are not considered metropolitan.
Dependents may also receive a benefit of 2/3 the weekly wage. Children may obtain this until they turn 18, or age 23 if they go to college. Blind or disabled children may be able to receive the benefit for life.
The Problem With Workers’ Compensation
While workers’ compensation was designed to protect both an injured employee and their employer, a shocking number of workers comp claims are denied every year.
According to the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, in January 2015, 12,192 claims were made by injured construction workers. Only 42% of those claims were approved.
So where do the injured turn when workers comp denies their claim?
Contact A New York Construction Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one have suffered from an injury caused by a construction accident, contact the attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus, and Moverman P.C. today. Our compassionate, skilled, and knowledgeable attorneys have the experience you need on your side should you chose to pursue legal action.
Let us guide you through the legal process and help you determine what your best options are. Our firm works on a contingency fee basis which means that you won’t pay anything until we win your case. Call us now at (888) 930-1447.
We have helped victims regain monetary compensation for a wide range of injuries, so that they can rest easy and worry more about healing than
Common Construction Worker Injuries
Many people would argue that sight is the most important of the five senses. For those who lose their vision due to an accident, the loss can be devastating. Eyes are very easily damaged and injuries are difficult if not impossible to repair.
Types of eye injuries include detached retina, rupture of the globe, punctured eye, scratched cornea, burns, or injuries resulting from the fracture of the surrounding orbital bone.
Accidents That May Injure Your Eyes
There are a startling number of work place accidents that have the potential to cause irreparable harm to the eye. Partial or total blindness or other injuries can result from:
- flying debris
- chemical exposure
- nail gun misfires
- improper UV protection
Broken / Fractured Bones
There are 206 bones in the human body and every single one of those can be broken. Most of the general public isn’t aware that a broken bone and a fractured bone are the same thing – both mean the normal bone structure has been changed. There are three categories:
- non-displaced fracture
- displaced fracture
- stress fracture
Broken bones heal best when they have been immobilized. The process of immobilization may include surgical repair and the placement of pins and screws, or a simple cast. Either way, it will take weeks, if not months, for the bone to mend.
Burns can be extraordinarily painful and can cause permanent damage to almost any part of the body.There are four common types of burns suffered by construction workers.
If the skin comes in contact with an acid, base, oxidizer, or solvent, all of which are frequently found in building materials, a burn can happen. Burns do not have to be instant – constant exposure to a chemical may cause damage over a longer period of time.
Heavy machinery and pipes may contain hot steam. Exposure to this steam can result in burns which could require surgical correction and may leave permanent scars.
According OSHA, electrocutions are one of the leading causes of injuries and fatalities among construction workers. When a high voltage current travels through the body, burns can occur all over, not just where the skin make contact with the electrical source.
Construction sites are full of flammable materials and all it takes is a faulty wire or improper use of a tool to cause a fire.
In 2013, 1,380 amputations occurred on a construction site. 95% of the workers involved lost a fingertip or finger. Of the remaining 5%, the workers lost either a toe, foot, arm, or leg. Not only is the loss of a limb physically and emotionally painful, but the amputation can mean that the victim will no longer be able to work.
Shoulder and Rotator Cuff Injuries
The shoulder is constantly being used during a construction worker’s day to day activities. Lifting, carrying, and shifting materials are just part of the job. Constant overuse or a blow from a falling object could injure the shoulder, requiring months of physical therapy and the possible end of a career.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an infection that is caused by a type of bacteria that over time has become resistant to antibiotics. According to the CDC, nearly 80,000 people become ill due to a MRSA infection and 11,000 people die.
MRSA infections are spread from skin to skin contact or when a person comes in contact with a commonly shared item. Any compromised skin gives the infection an opening to enter into. On a construction site where employees frequently share tools and have cuts and abrasions on their hands, a MRSA outbreak can wreck havoc.
Nerve, Tendon, and Muscle Damage
Most nerve, tendon, or muscle injuries suffered by construction workers are caused by repetitive motions. Most employees don’t recognize the signs associated with nerve, tendon, and muscle damage in the early stages, so the injury turns into chronic pain which can be difficult to treat and manage.
Back / Spinal Injuries
Almost 25% of all construction site injuries involve the spine. Accidents including falls from ladders or scaffolding, being hit by a falling object, or not having access to the correct tools or machinery to lift a heavy object can all result in a back injury. This includes:
- ruptured discs
- pinched nerves
- fractured vertebrae
- spinal cord damage
Back pain can be debilitating and permanent. In severe cases, partial or total paralysis may occur.
Head Trauma / Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries happen when a blow to the head causes an injury which results in disrupted brain function. Most injuries to the head on a construction site come from falling objects. While hardhats are required on all construction sites, the hat may not be enough to protect the brain from heavy falling objects.
Brain injuries can result in long-term disabilities including behavioral changes, motor impairment, cognitive impairment, speech loss, or coma. Often the victim is unable to return to work and requires continuous care by medical professionals and loved ones.