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Construction sites can be dangerous places to work. Workers often work at great heights, using sharp or electric tools, operating heavy machinery, and handling hazardous materials. Because of this, construction companies have specific safety standards and rules they must follow under the law. However, sometimes, these rules are not adequately followed, and as a result, serious injuries and fatalities occur.
If you or someone you care about was injured on a construction site in St. Louis, you might be entitled to substantial compensation. But, recovering the compensation you deserve is not always as easy as it should be, and that is where an experienced St. Louis construction accident attorney can help.
Call Miller & Hine today at (314) 413-2053 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced St. Louis construction accident lawyer. We promise that we will do everything in our power to get you the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents in St. Louis, MO
At a construction site, there are many ways for a worker, visitor, or passerby to be injured. Some of the most common causes of construction accidents include the following:
- Faulty scaffolding and lifts
- Faulty safety equipment
- Defective tools and machinery
- Objects falling from above
- Electric shock
- Slip and falls
- Falling from heights
- Exposure to hazardous or toxic substances and materials
- Repetitive motion
- Poor maintenance
Common Injuries Sustained in Construction Accidents
Construction accident injuries are frequently devastating and life-altering. The most common injuries sustained in construction accidents include:
- Head injuries
- Burn injuries
- Crush injuries
- Toxic exposure
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Vision or hearing loss
- Repetitive stress injuries
Compensation for Construction Accident Injuries in Missouri
If you have been injured in a construction accident in Missouri, you may be entitled to recover compensation by filing one of the following legal claims:
A Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job or become ill due to conditions at work. Almost every employer in the state must carry workers’ compensation insurance or be self-insured.
To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits after a construction accident, you must:
- Work for an employer with workers’ compensation insurance
- Be injured
- Have suffered the injured injury at work
Workers’ compensation insurance in Missouri provides three main benefits:
- Medical treatment
- Wage replacement benefits (Temporary Disability Benefits)
- Compensation for any permanent disability resulting from a work-related accident (Permanent Disability Benefits)
These benefits are provided to injured workers regardless of fault but in exchange for being unable to sue your employer. Moreover, workers’ compensation does not compensate an injured worker for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.
A Third-party Liability Claim
Under certain circumstances, a worker injured in a construction accident may be able to file a civil claim in addition to their workers’ compensation claim. This is referred to as a third-party liability claim.
Except in very specific circumstances, you can only file a third-party liability claim against a defendant who is someone other than your employer or a co-worker, such as a subcontractor or a vendor. However, with a third-party liability claim, you can recover compensation for damages above and beyond those available through workers’ compensation insurance, including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages and income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages if the court finds that the negligent party’s actions were particularly egregious
To succeed in a third-party liability claim after being injured in a construction accident, you must prove that the defendant is liable for your injuries and losses, based on negligence or strict liability. A product liability claim filed against the manufacturer of a defective tool or piece of machinery is a typical example of a third-party liability claim arising from a construction accident.
Moreover, if the actions of a third party caused a construction accident that resulted in your loved one’s death, you may be entitled to bring a wrongful death action against the wrongdoer to recover damages on behalf of your loved one and their estate.
Deciding Fault in a Construction Accident Claim
There are many different parties involved in work on a construction site, from builders, plumbers, and electricians, to designers and contractors. There are typically multiple parties who could be at fault in an accident. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, liable parties could be any of the following:
- Construction site owner (This is a case of premises liability)
- Architect, designer, or engineer
- Contractor or subcontractor
- Supervisor or foreman
- Manufacturers of machinery or equipment
Construction site accidents occur in a variety of ways, including faulty design plans, equipment failure or malfunction, or unsafe work environments. When any party involved in a construction project is negligent and an accident results, that person or entity is liable for the accident and their insurance must pay for the damages.
A good St. Louis construction accident attorney knows how to investigate the circumstances of your case to determine whether you have a claim for worker’s compensation or a personal injury lawsuit and then gather the evidence to prove liability.
What to Do After a Construction Site Accident
The immediate aftermath of an accident is frightening and often chaotic. You could have injuries so severe that you can do little but wait in place for help to arrive. If you’re able to access your phone, snapping pictures of the accident scene and any involved equipment can be helpful later. Always take the following steps to protect your physical and financial future:
- Report your accident to a supervisor and request a copy of the accident report
- Gather contact information of eyewitnesses
- Seek medical attention immediately and tell the doctor about every injury and all of your symptoms
- Ask for a detailed copy of the doctor’s report, including your treatment recommendations and prognosis
- Follow all of your doctor’s recommendations and attend every treatment, procedure, and follow-up appointment
- Gather all the relevant documents and contact a construction accident attorney
All of the above steps may help you recover financially after an accident by ensuring you have the evidence you need for a St. Louis personal injury lawsuit or a worker’s compensation claim.
How Long Do You Have to File a Construction Accident Claim in St, Louis?
If you’ve been injured on a construction site, you must file a worker’s compensation claim within 30 days of your accident. If you’re filing a personal injury claim against a third party or a manufacturer, you have up to five years from the accident date to file a claim according to the state’s statute of limitations. Missouri’s statute of limitations is generous compared to many other states which allow only 2 or 3 years to file an accident claim.
How a Construction Accident Attorney Can Help You
Once an attorney has evaluated your case, they’ll begin working on a strategy to pursue your goals with the greatest likelihood of success. An experienced construction accident attorney will do the following:
- Investigate the circumstances of your accident to determine fault
- Determine whether your accident is a worker’s compensation claim or a personal injury claim against a third party or manufacturer
- Provide individualized attention to your case
- Diligently ensure that all paperwork is accurate and filed in a timely manner
- Keep you updated on every aspect of your case with open communication
- When appropriate, negotiate for your settlement from a position of power through evidence documenting your injury
- Argue your case aggressively in courtroom litigation if required.
An experienced St. Louis construction accident attorney knows how to maximize your chances for full compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.
Consult With an Experienced St. Louis Construction Accident Attorney at Miller & Hine
If you or someone you care about was hurt in a construction accident in St. Louis, you need an experienced attorney to evaluate the circumstances of your construction accident and pursue every available source of compensation for your injuries and losses.
Call Miller & Hine at (314) 413-2053, or contact us via our contact page to arrange a free consultation with an experienced St. Louis construction accident attorney. The law limits the amount of time you have to file a claim, so call us today!