Ensuring Safety and Legal Security in Real Estate: Selecting the Right Construction Accident Lawyer

Posted On Thursday, 22 February 2024 13:10

How do you stand firm when the ground beneath you shakes? In the realm of construction, where every project combines ambition with risk, accidents cast long shadows over both achievements and plans.

This guide peels back the layers of immediate action and legal wisdom, revealing how the right steps can transform a moment of chaos into a path toward resolution.

What Might Go Wrong: The Most Common Construction Accidents to Consider

Slips and Falls

Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in construction, representing about one-third of all fatalities in the industry, according to OSHA. The high incidence of these accidents underscores the critical need for comprehensive fall protection systems, including guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems, especially when working at heights above six feet.

Trench Collapses

Trench collapses, or cave-ins, pose one of the most lethal risks in construction, with the weight of a cubic yard of soil capable of exceeding 3,000 pounds—potentially fatal upon impact. OSHA mandates protective systems for trenches deeper than 5 feet, such as sloping, shoring, and shielding, to safeguard workers from these disastrous collapses. Despite every carefully considered safety measure, incidents, though not as common as slips and falls, might have fatal consequences.

The Machinery Menace

Heavy machinery, while indispensable, contributes to a significant number of construction accidents. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that contact with objects and equipment accounts forapproximately 26% of worker fatalities in construction. Effective safety measures include rigorous training, regular equipment checks, and strict adherence to operating procedures.

Falling Objects

The risk of being struck by falling objects is a constant threat on construction sites. OSHA requires hard hats and other personal protective equipment to mitigate this risk, along with tool lanyards and debris nets to prevent objects from falling.

Secure storage and handling practices for materials and tools at heights are essential for minimizing this hazard, though sometimes, depending on the size and weight of the falling object, these might not actually save a life. 

Chemical and Electrical Hazards

Chemical and electrical hazards present complex challenges, with the potential for burns, explosions, and long-term health issues. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), hundreds of construction workers areelectrocuted each year, emphasizing the need for electrical safety practices, proper labeling and handling of chemicals, and the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

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Securing Justice: What to Do After the Accident Happens

Despite taking every precautionary step, using the equipment and machinery according to plan, and wearing all safety gadgets, accidents do happen. The next step is answering yourself: What good can come from this bad? 

Just keep following the law and obtain your legal rights through a legal case, supported by enough evidence. Before diving into details and explaining how to choose a construction accident attorney, we’ll cover the basics of what YOU need to do right after the accident happens to secure the most positive income in your legal pursuit.

•  911 Alert: Make the safety of all individuals your first priority by immediately calling emergency services. Injured persons should stay put unless in immediate danger while ensuring non-involved individuals are moved to a secure area.
•  Accident Notification: It's critical to formally report the incident. This involves notifying OSHA, your insurance carrier, and potentially other relevant parties such as equipment manufacturers or project suppliers.
•  Witness Collaboration: Engage with employees who witnessed the accident. Their accounts could be crucial, as they might play a role in the claims process, providing key insights or evidence.
•  Collection of Crucial Evidence: This is a very essential step you or your close ones need to take in order to obtain a positive outcome in your case. Secure any time-sensitive evidence as soon as possible. This includes emails, video surveillance, witness statements, and photos. Quick action here helps prevent future disputes and strengthens your legal position.


What To Look for in a Construction Accident Lawyer

When you or a loved one has been involved in a construction accident, finding the right lawyer is a critical step in ensuring you receive the justice and compensation you deserve. Here’s what to focus on in your search:

#1 Specialized Expertise in Construction Accidents

Look for a lawyer who specializes in construction accident cases. They should have a deep understanding of the laws and regulations that govern the construction industry, including OSHA standards, state and local building codes, and workers' compensation laws. Their expertise should be evident through their track record, publications, or speaking engagements in the field.

#2 Proven Experience and Success Rate 

Experience is paramount. Inquire about the number of years they’ve been handling construction accident cases and their success rate.

Ask for examples of similar cases they’ve managed, focusing on outcomes. Successful negotiation of settlements or winning verdicts in court for past clients is a strong indicator of a lawyer's capability and experience. 

#3 Transparent Fee Structure

Most construction accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case.

Ensure you understand their fee structure, including what percentage of the settlement they will claim and whether you will be responsible for any costs if your case is not successful. Transparency in these matters is key to avoiding any surprises.

#4 Free Initial Consultation

Your chosen lawyer should offer a free initial consultation. This meeting is crucial for evaluating whether they are the right fit for you. It’s an opportunity to discuss your case, understand their approach, and gauge their responsiveness to your concerns.

Use this time to ask questions about their experience, strategy, and the specifics of how they would handle your case.

#5 Track Record of Compassion and Communication

The relationship you have with your lawyer should be based on trust and open communication.

Choose a lawyer who listens to you, understands your situation, and communicates in a clear, empathetic manner. You want someone who will keep you informed throughout the process and is available to address your concerns. 

#6 Personalized Approach

Every construction accident case is unique. Look for a lawyer who provides a personalized approach, taking the time to understand the specifics of your accident and how it has impacted your life. They should be committed to tailoring their strategy to meet your individual needs and goals.

#7 Positive Client Testimonials and Reviews

Client testimonials and reviews can provide valuable insights into a lawyer's performance and client satisfaction.

Look for feedback from previous clients about their experiences working with the lawyer, paying attention to comments on the lawyer’s expertise, communication, empathy, and success in securing compensation.

#8 Professional Affiliations

Membership in professional organizations, such as the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, or local and state bar associations, can indicate a lawyer's commitment to staying current with legal developments and adhering to a code of professional ethics. Look for lawyers who are active participants in these communities.

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The Verdict

Navigating the aftermath of a construction accident can be overwhelming, but you don't have to face it alone. Armed with the right knowledge and actions, you can lay a strong foundation for a positive legal outcome.

For expert guidance and representation that ensures your rights are protected and maximizes your compensation, reach out to the experienced team at Spar & Bernstein.

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