Workers’ Compensation and Construction Jobs

Of the 71 fatal work accidents which occurred in Mississippi in 2014, 12 of those took place in the construction industry. Sixty-five percent of the state’s work-related fatalities during 2014, were between the ages of 25 and 54. About 80 percent of these fatalities occurred among workers who work for wages and salaries while the remaining 20 percent were self-employed. Falls, slips and trips are the most frequent fatal work-related events. Construction sites can be extremely dangerous places, creating risks for workers from machinery, tools, building materials and dangerous conditions at the site. The most common types of construction accidents include the following:

  • Tools, machinery or debris falling from one level of a construction site, striking workers below;
  • Slips, trips and falls due to uneven construction sites or other hazardous conditions;
  • Falls from scaffolding, ladders or other heights;
  • Electrocutions from exposed wiring;
  • Respiratory diseases or exposure to lead;
  • Accidents involving power tools;
  • Accidents due to improper storage or use of hazardous materials;
  • Fires or explosions resulting from gas leaks, unfinished pipes and exposed wiring;
  • Construction site vehicle accidents or accident on heavy equipment, and
  • Trench collapses with workers inside.

Even though construction accidents are actually down, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that nearly 4 percent of the nation’s entire work force work in the construction industry—as many as six million workers. While most all construction workers are aware of the inherent dangers associated with their job, this does not mean those workers should be exposed to preventable construction site accidents or that they should suffer undue pain and expense following a workplace injury.

When Workers’ Compensation Does Not Cover Medical Expenses and Lost Wages

If you were injured in a construction accident, you likely have significant amounts of medical expenses and may be unable to return to work for months, or even years. You are entitled, under Mississippi workers’ compensation laws, to receive disability benefits for the time you are unable to work and to have your medical expenses paid. There can be issues associated with workers’ comp claims, and, in some cases, your employer may be hostile to your claim, despite the fact you pay for workers’ comp and are entitled to the benefits for injuries received on the job.

While you cannot sue your employer for injuries received on the job, in some instances, if a third party contributed or caused your accident, you may have additional claims for monetary damages. A company which manufactured, distributed, maintained or rented machinery on your construction site which contributed to your accident, could be held liable, as could negligent subcontractors on the job site. The owner of the construction site who created, or did nothing to rectify, an unsafe condition, or a motorist who caused a vehicle accident at the construction site, could be held liable for your injuries and expenses. Workers’ compensation does not allow claimants to receive any monetary compensation for pain and suffering, however a third-party claim could award pain and suffering damages.

Injuries from Construction Site Accidents

Falls from significant heights, dangerous slip and falls, being struck by falling objects, being pinned by heavy machinery or suffering electrical shocks or serious injury due to equipment malfunction can result in such severe injuries as: broken bones and fractures, deep cuts and lacerations, dislocation and other muscle injuries, back, neck and spinal cord injuries, concussions and traumatic brain injury, paralysis and even death. Under workers’ compensation, employers are obligated to pay for specific injuries according to a schedule of benefits. As an example, a torn knee ligament could pay $4,000, regardless of what it actually costs to treat your injury. If your medical expenses are more than the allowed payouts or if you suffered long-term injuries from your construction accident, an experienced Mississippi workers’ compensation attorney can help you get the total amount of benefits you deserve, and can help you file a third-party claim, if warranted.

Contact Our Jackson Worker's Compensation Attorneys

If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, it is important to understand your legal rights and how to collect all of your worker's compensation benefits. At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, our attorneys fight aggressively for injured employees and their families – to ensure that they receive the money they need to fully recover. Contact Coxwell & Associates today at 1-601-948-1600 or 1-877-231-1600.

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