Construction work is frequently dangerous. Four out of every 100 construction workers sustained a non-fatal injury in 2011, causing the injured workers to miss a median 14 days of work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports construction workers have the following lifetime risk of injury over a 45-year career (verbatim):
- Disabling injury — 75-percent
- Fatal injury — 0.5 percent (1 in 200)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — 15 percent
- Dust-related lung damage — 11 percent
In 2011, 4,114 workers were fatally injured on the job in private industries. Construction workers accounted for 721 (17.5 percent) of those deaths. The fatal four, identified by OSHA, is responsible for 410 (57 percent) of fatal injuries suffered by construction workers in 2011 (verbatim):
- Falls – 251 (35 percent)
- Electrocutions – 67 (9 percent)
- Struck by object – 73 (10 percent)
- Caught in-between – 19 (3 percent)
Most construction companies carry workers compensation insurance that provides some benefits to those injured on the job. Workers compensation is often thought to be the only legal remedy available to injured workers. The law does, however, make exceptions.
Injured workers can sue employers for damages in some instances. For example, if an employer knowingly exposes a worker to a hazardous situation, intentionally inflicts a worker to emotional distress, or if a workplace assault occurs, you may have grounds for a lawsuit seeking damages against your employer.
There is also the possibility of filing a third-party claim for personal injury, medical malpractice or wrongful death damages causing or relating to workplace injuries.
- Landlord — An unsafe property condition should have been corrected by the employer’s landlord
- Product seller, distributor or manufacturer — The result of a defective product
- Doctor — A work-related injury is worsened due to negligent medical treatment
- Contractor — When an employee for a company contracting with your employer fails to correct a dangerous situation
There is a two-year statute of limitations for filing most damages claims in Indiana. If you have been injured or harmed as the result of a workplace injury, please contact a licensed attorney experienced in personal injury law.