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Common Construction Site Injuries a Lawyer Can Help You
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) counts 11.4 million American workers with construction jobs in one recent year, which marked a 25 percent increase since the previous decade. The construction industry is booming, so accidents and injuries are also increasing.
Statistics show that 174,100 nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses happened in the construction industry last year. Reports also indicate that fatal injuries in construction reached 1,102, which was the highest level in a decade. Almost two-thirds of fatal construction injuries resulted from four main hazards: falls, struck-by objects, electrocutions, and caught-in/between accidents.
Construction is a necessary industry, as it keeps our society growing, adapting, and improving. However, construction workers put their health and safety on the line daily, and accidents happen on even the safest construction sites. Workers’ compensation benefits should apply to injured construction workers, and third-party claims might be possible if negligence led to the accident.
Construction workers have options for possible compensation when they suffer injuries, though obtaining funds is not a simple task. Any person who suffers injuries in a construction accident should hire a construction accident lawyer to assess all their options and handle the legal process.
Types of Construction Accident Injuries
Individuals can potentially sustain various types of injuries while working construction jobs. The injuries people suffer can depend on the nature of an employee’s work, the cause of an accident, and the type of negligence involved (if any).
Some accidents may result in only minor injuries that do not involve long periods away from work. For many others, however, accidents can lead to long periods of hospitalization, surgeries, extensive recovery time, and a possible inability to return to work in any fashion.
You have legal rights whether you suffered a relatively minor or severe construction accident injury. Never hesitate to seek legal help just because your wounds healed, as you still have medical bills and other costs to cover.
With the wide range of possible injuries, some common construction accident injuries that a lawyer can assist with are below.
Fractures or broken bones
Many workers perform tasks from significant heights while surrounded by heavy equipment and debris that can threaten worker safety.
When a construction site has negligent maintenance or oversight, construction workers may suffer broken bones and multiple-fracture injuries. Certain fractures will not need too much time to heal, but many other types of fractures can require surgeries or lead to long-term disabilities.
Falls are a common cause of many broken bone injuries. Some workers can suffer broken bones or fractures because of falling objects, machinery accidents, explosions, malfunctioning power tools, or other hazards common to construction zones.
Severe fractures will require reconstructive surgery and the insertion of pins, plates, and screws that require longer hospital stays, rehabilitation, and sometimes additional surgeries. Fractures may range in severity from minor inconveniences requiring very little medical intervention to severe and life-threatening injuries that can take months to years for a person to reach complete recovery.
Concussions occur when a person's brain violently shakes against the inside of their skull. When soft tissues of the brain batter against the bone, blood vessels will break, and tissue becomes bruised. Construction workers suffer concussions in many kinds of accidents, including slips and falls, accidents involving heavy machinery, falling objects, motor vehicle accidents, and explosions.
Concussions can lead to serious health problems, including post-concussion syndrome, when concussion symptoms last well beyond the expected recovery period for an initial injury. Recovery from a concussion requires rest, patience, occupational therapy, and more. Long-term complications can include memory loss, cognitive impairment, or personality issues.
A crush injury is a type of harm that occurs on a construction site when a worker's entire body or a part of their body ends up caught between two components and gets crushed. Such injuries can be fatal, but even nonfatal crush injuries can lead to a lifetime of disabilities and complications. Some crushed limbs require amputation.
The most common cause of crush injuries usually involves large machines that workers operate and may malfunction or harm people when individuals use them without proper training. Still, other common causes may include falling objects that crush workers, large vehicles or equipment running people over, and trench collapses.
An internal injury is one of the most severe construction accident injuries because when such injuries do not receive immediate treatment, they may cause serious complications or even death. Common internal injuries may include brain bleeds, broken ribs, pneumothorax involving a rib puncturing a lung, abdominal aorta aneurysms that compress the stomach during an accident rupture the abdominal aorta, internal organ injuries, ruptured spleens, and internal bleeding.
Workers should never ignore back injuries. Common back injuries may include sprains and strains, herniated or bulging discs, fractured vertebrae, lumbar spine or lower back injuries, thoracic spine injuries in the mid-back, chest, and rib area, herniated discs, cervical fractures, cervical dislocation, muscle tension, spondylolisthesis, cervical radiculopathy, and spinal stenosis.
Back injuries in construction work often happen when workers improperly lift or lower heavy objects, are involved in slip and fall accidents, are struck by something, or constantly repeat any motion. Reports show that back injuries are the most common injuries in construction, accounting for 16 percent of nonfatal injuries resulting in days away from work in construction.
Common kinds of leg injuries may include:
Fractures or broken bones, with tibias being the most frequent
Dislocations involving bones pulling out of their joints
Sprains involving stretches and tears of ligaments
Strains that stretch and tear muscles
Muscle bruises from direct blows causing possible bleeding into the quad or thigh muscles
Bone bruises from direct blows
Stress fractures in the tibia or fibula
Crush injuries and compartment syndrome.
Leg injuries can result from many construction accidents, affecting your ability to walk, stand, care for yourself, and work.
Neck injuries can stem from construction workers being struck by falling objects or materials, falling from elevated heights, or involvement in construction machinery accidents. Regular heavy lifting and twisting motions, carrying heavy loads, overhead work, and many other kinds of physical stress can also contribute to neck injuries.
Common neck injuries affecting construction workers may include ruptured discs, broken or fractured necks, nerve compression, herniated discs, or radiculopathy.
A neck injury not only results in severe discomfort and pain for an injured construction worker, but medication, physical therapy, and even surgery can be necessary to alleviate this discomfort. A neck injury victim may not work during their recovery, possibly causing financial difficulties.
Working overhead can put the neck out of its natural position while you hold your arms in an awkward posture. When you need considerable force to complete a task, you can put excessive stress on your shoulders.
Common neck injury symptoms include migraines, pain that causes insomnia or sleeping trouble, back pain, shoulders, or arms, a stiff neck, and upper body, and pain turning your head or inability to turn your head.
Arm injuries may include:
Bicep tendon injuries or strains
Elbow conditions and injuries such as bursitis and tennis elbow
Hand and wrist conditions and injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
Shoulder conditions and injuries such as torn rotator cuffs dislocated shoulders and arthritis
Tricep tendon injuries or strains
Fractures or broken bones
Sprains involving stretches and tears of ligaments
Muscle strains, stretches, and tears
Muscle bruises or bone bruises from direct blows
Common symptoms may include:
A limited range of motion
Swelling and warmth
Visible deformity with a fracture or dislocation
Treatment for arm injuries can include:
Casting or splinting
Acute arm injuries usually happen suddenly and may result from a direct blow, a penetrating injury, a fall, or twisting, jerking, jamming, or bending a limb abnormally. Pain can be sudden and severe, with bruising and swelling developing soon after an injury. Acute injuries typically require prompt medical evaluation. Overuse arm injuries occur when someone places stress on joint or other tissue, often by overdoing an activity or repeating the same.
Spinal cord injuries
A spinal cord injury involves damage to the tight bundle of cells and nerves that send and receive signals from the brain to and from the rest of the body. A spinal cord injury may result from a direct injury to the spinal cord or damage to the tissue and bones (vertebrae) surrounding the spinal cord.
Damage may result in temporary or permanent changes in sensation, movement, strength, and body functions below the site of an injury. An incomplete spinal cord injury refers to a spinal cord still being able to transmit messages to and from the brain to the rest of the body. A complete spinal cord injury involves no nerve communication and motor function (voluntary movement) below the trauma.
A spinal cord injury can cause numbness, tingling, or a loss of or changes in sensation in the hands and feet, paralysis, weakness or inability to move any part of the body, pain or pressure in the head, neck, or back, loss of movement, loss of bladder and bowel control, unnatural positions of the spine or head, difficulty breathing, problems walking, and changes in sexual function.
Permanent nerve injuries
Peripheral nerves send messages from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. Peripheral nerves consist of fibers called axons insulated by surrounding tissues, and they are fragile and capable of suffering damage. A nerve injury can affect your brain’s ability to communicate with muscles and organs, and damage to the peripheral nerves is known as peripheral neuropathy.
Symptoms usually depend on the specific nerve fibers that sustained damage, but such injuries can affect your movement or sensory abilities and cause chronic and debilitating pain.
An amputation involves the removal of a limb by trauma or surgery. Traumatic amputations can happen in tool and equipment accidents, falls, and more. You may need surgery to control pain in the affected limb or remove a crushed and unrepairable limb.
Amputations are catastrophic injuries that change the lives of construction workers. They might need costly prosthetics and might have to change careers. Losing a body part can take a mental toll, and construction workers need treatment for the potential effects of traumatic or surgical amputation.
Families who lose loved ones in construction accidents have legal rights, and negligent parties can be liable for various wrongful death damages in such cases. Wrongful death damages may include awards for medical and funeral bills, lost earnings, and retribution for pain and suffering, among many other injuries.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Construction Accident Attorney
These are only some examples of possible injuries in construction accidents. If you are dealing with any construction accident injury, retain legal counsel as quickly as possible. When you hire the right lawyer, you will give yourself the best chance to obtain full benefits and hold any negligent parties accountable.
Contact an experienced construction accident lawyer who will know how to commence an independent investigation into your accident immediately and secure all the evidence necessary to prove negligence when applicable. Never wait to take advantage of a free consultation so a personal injury lawyer can thoroughly review your case and discuss your options for compensation.
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