Georgia Construction Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Construction sites are among the most dangerous workplaces in the U.S resulting in more fatalities than any other occupational group. The number and type of hazards at a construction site are diverse and plentiful. The types of injuries at constructions sites also tend to be much more severe than other job related injuries. A construction accident often results in serious injuries that make it impossible to continue working in the construction industry or at the very least require a significant amount of rehabilitative time away from the workplace.
The emotional and financial consequences of such an injury can be devastating not just to you but to your family. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing folks injured in construction accidents throughout the State of Georgia for over 25 years. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a construction accident, you should contact Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, to schedule an initial free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options. We have provided some answers below to questions we are commonly asked regarding construction accidents.
How serious is my risk of being involved in a construction accident?
The risk of being involved in a construction accident is substantial because there are so many hazards at a construction job site. The construction industry consistently rates as the most dangerous work environment for fatalities amongst all occupations. In a typical year, as many as 1 in 10 workers will be injured and 2,000 people killed in construction accidents.
Can I sue my employer if I am injured at my construction site?
An employee cannot sue an employer for work related injuries. Generally speaking, in Georgia, workers' compensation provides the exclusive remedy for construction workers who are injured on the job with respect to their employer (but you should discuss your situation with an experienced workers' compensation attorney to make sure!). Workers' compensation benefits will pay for medical expenses, a portion of income replacement, and in some instances occupational retraining. It does not pay for pain and suffering. The benefits available through workers' compensation are fairly limited compared to a construction accident claim or lawsuit against a third party. A qualified Georgia construction lawyer can advise you about whether there are third parties against whom you may be able to make a claim in a construction accident to supplement your workers' compensation benefits.
What is a third party lawsuit in a construction accident case?
A third party lawsuit involves suing other parties who contribute to your injuries at a construction site other than your employer. Typical parties who may contribute to a construction site injury include the property owner, contractors and sub-contractors, equipment suppliers, manufacturers or installers, engineers, architects, coworkers, virtually anyone who may be involved in performing work on the construction site. A third party construction accident lawsuit allows for the full range of personal injury damages which typically provides far greater compensation than just a workers' compensation claim against one's employer.
Are there regulations and laws regarding workplace safety that may be relevant to liability in a construction accident?
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations govern workplace safety, and a violation of these rules can be a basis for a finding of negligence against a party to a construction accident claim. There are other state regulations that may also be relevant. An experienced Georgia construction accident attorney will be familiar with the laws and regulations that apply to construction sites and will be able to determine if a violation of these regulations may constitute a basis for imposing liability in a third party lawsuit.
I was injured and my employer is processing my workers' compensation claim. Do I really need a lawyer?
You should always obtain legal advice if you are injured in a construction accident. An employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier may deny the claim or try to pay less than you are legally entitled to under Georgia Workers' Compensation law. A qualified Georgia construction accident attorney will also be able to determine if there are third parties against whom you may bring a personal injury claim in addition to your workers' compensation claim. The complexities involved in a construction accident make it advisable to obtain a law firm with experience handling construction accident litigation. The law firm should have experience with construction industry standards, OSHA regulations, other state and federal safety regulations, premises liability, and product liability law.
What are some of the most common causes of construction accidents and injuries?
There are a wide array of hazards that cause injuries on a construction site, but common risks include the following:
• Falls from scaffoldings, ladders, roofs, unfinished floors
• Electrocution from failure to define the location of electrical lines
• Trench collapses
• Injuries from defective equipment and heavy machinery
• Welding accidents, which affect 500,000 people annually
What if my construction accident was my fault?
Workers' compensation is a "no fault" system, so with limited exceptions your fault does not matter with respect to injuries that were not the result of third parties.
Fault is relevant with respect to bringing a construction accident case against a third party. But even then, if you are determined to be 49% or less at fault, under Georgia law your partial fault will not preclude your ability to obtain compensation but will reduce your recovery by your percentage of fault. If your fault is above 49%, you may be barred from pursuing a personal injury claim against third parties. This can be very difficult to determine so you should consult an experienced construction accident lawyer.
A construction accident in Georgia can mean that you are unable to work and support your family and may face years of rehabilitation. It is important to have an experienced and knowledgeable construction accident law firm representing you in your workers' compensation claim and against third parties. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, our Georgia and Atlanta construction accident lawyers have been representing those injured in construction accidents for over 25 years. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia including, but not limited to, Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.