Construction Accident Attorneys Serving Clients in Rogers, Arkansas, and Nationwide
Construction accidents are far too common. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction and extraction jobs have the second-highest rate of occupational fatalities in the United States. Overall, 951 construction workers died on the job in 2021 (the most recent year of data).
For those who work in construction, nothing is more devastating than a job-related injury. Workers often suffer severe, life-altering injuries in construction accidents. Every year, nearly a thousand families grieve the loss of a loved one in accidents on construction sites.
Oliver Law Firm has the experience, knowledge, and resources to maximize compensation for our clients. Many construction accidents are preventable. We see it as our duty to hold negligent parties accountable when their carelessness leads to an occupational injury.
For a FREE case review, call Oliver Law Firm at 479-202-5200 today. Our construction site accident lawyers serve clients throughout Arkansas and the nation as a whole from our office in Rogers.
What Are the Most Common Construction Site Accidents?
Construction sites are dangerous places. Bumps, bruises, and cuts are all in a day’s work. However, serious injuries should never be overlooked. A thorough investigation by a construction accident lawyer may turn up evidence of OSHA violations and other forms of carelessness that could be grounds for legal action.
Some of the most common construction accidents our firm sees include:
1. Falls from Heights
Falls to a lower level are the single most common cause of death in the construction industry. BLS data show that 370 construction workers were killed in falls in 2021—an increase of approximately 7% from the year prior.
Catastrophic injury and death may occur in any of the following falls:
- Falls from ladders
- Rooftop falls
- We handle cases nationwide on behalf of contractors and subcontractors who fall from roofs and suffer injuries due to the negligence of contractors and other parties (such as failure to provide fall protection).
- Scaffolding falls
- Trench and excavation site falls
- Falls from heavy equipment and machinery
- Elevator shaft accidents
- Falls in an unsafe or incomplete structure
2. Falls on the Same Level
Although falls to a lower level account for the majority of fatal falls in the construction industry, it is important not to ignore the dangers posed by falling on the same level. From spilled liquids to walkways littered with objects and power cords, a number of unsafe practices on a construction site can cause workers to fall to the ground and suffer severe injuries.
3. Electric Shocks
Electrocution is another common cause of workplace fatalities in construction. Construction sites have a number of electrocution hazards, from overhead power lines to exposed electrical wiring.
4. Fires and Explosions
Severe burns and other catastrophic injuries can occur in fires and explosions on a construction site. Prompt investigation is crucial for determining the cause of the accident and who is responsible.
For example, although a fire or explosion may have been directly “caused” by a carelessly discarded cigarette, it may be discovered that flammable or combustible materials were stored improperly. Such a finding may impact the legal options available to you after a construction accident.
5. Caught-In & Caught-Between Accidents
“Caught in-between” hazards are part of OSHA’s Construction Focus Four (the four leading causes of workplace injuries and fatalities that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration aims to prevent through training). Examples include:
- Trench cave-ins
- Contact with running machines
- Being caught between a moving object (such as equipment in operation) and an immovable object (such as a wall)
6. Struck-By Accidents
A struck-by accident may be caused by any falling, flying, rolling, or swinging object on the construction site. The most common example consists of tools or supplies falling from heights onto a worker below, but these accidents also occur when workers are struck by vehicles and equipment.
7. Transportation Accidents
We’ve all seen the signs telling us to reduce our speed when entering a work zone. Unfortunately, negligence on the part of motorists presents a major threat to road workers. From 2018–2021, the Arkansas Department of Transportation reported 6,124 work zone accidents. These crashes resulted in 52 serious injuries and 13 deaths.
As with any car accident, a driver can be sued for any injuries caused by their negligence. Oliver Law Firm can help if you or a loved one suffered injury in a work zone accident.
8. Crane and Hoist Accidents
Some types of construction equipment are more dangerous than others. From 2011–2017, the BLS recorded 297 deaths involving cranes. Workers being struck by the crane or a load accounted for the majority of fatalities, followed by falls and transportation incidents.
Operating a crane and other types of hoists used in construction requires specialized training. An untrained or unskilled operator is highly likely to cause a serious accident.
Other issues—such as overloading the crane, operating it on an unstable surface, etc.—can lead to crane collapses. These catastrophic incidents are among the most serious kinds of construction accidents.
At Oliver Law Firm, we have forged a national reputation for representing workers and other individuals who have been injured or lost family in crane collapses. Our attorneys handle cases involving:
- Construction cranes
- Nuclear power plant cranes
- Bridge cranes
The failure of these large machines poses a major threat to any work site. With our experience, skill, resources, and relationships with leading experts, Oliver Law Firm is uniquely capable of handling the complex issues surrounding a crane collapse or other heavy machinery accident.
9. Equipment Malfunctions
Malfunctioning equipment is a major safety concern on any construction site. Unfortunately, workers often use everything from power tools to heavy machinery with zero knowledge of whether it has been maintained and inspected properly.
10. Structural Collapse
The collapse of a building that is under construction can leave multiple workers buried in the rubble. Prompt extraction is crucial to avoid fatalities.
What Are the Most Common Construction Site Injuries?
Given the many dangers on construction sites, injuries are a regular occurrence. Some injuries can be treated with basic first aid, while others may require immediate medical care in the emergency room.
A construction injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation for the following:
- Head and brain injuries
- Eye injuries and vision impairment
- Permanent hearing damage
- Electrocution injuries
- Injuries to the neck and back
- Bone fractures
- Crush injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Loss of a limb
Some injuries on a construction site may only be compensable through workers’ compensation. Depending on the circumstances, however, you may be able to sue for additional damages. Oliver Law Firm will explore your legal options and help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Do I Need a Construction Accident Lawyer?
Construction workers are usually unaware of their legal rights following an accident. As such, it is important to seek legal counsel to gain a complete understanding of your options. If you or a member of your family suffered harm on the job, you owe it to yourself to consult an attorney and understand what relief may be available for your injuries and damages.
A construction accident lawyer can review your case and perform a complete investigation. In addition to workers’ comp, you may have a third-party claim if the negligence of one or more third parties contributed to the accident. Having an experienced attorney on your side is critical if litigation is required.
Insurance companies don’t play fair. Construction site accident attorneys know how insurers operate and the state and federal laws that may apply to your case. Knowledge and experience is essential for ensuring that you recover maximum compensation.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Construction Accidents?
Liability is a complex issue in construction site accidents. In Arkansas, employees are generally barred from suing their employer for injuries suffered on the job. Most other states have similar rules. However, third parties may be liable if there is proof of negligence or wrongdoing.
Third parties that may be held liable in a construction accident claim include:
Construction Site Owners
Property owners have a duty to ensure that their premises are safe for lawful visitors. Before taking legal action, it is important to determine whether the owner maintained control of the property during construction or if the responsibility was transferred to the principal contractor. A thorough review of the contract can help us determine who may be held responsible for unsafe conditions that led to the accident.
It is the responsibility of contractors to ensure that OSHA standards are followed and workers are properly trained and equipped to do their jobs safely. Negligence on the part of contractors can lead to serious construction site accidents for which the contractor may be held liable.
Architects, engineers, and other professionals involved in the design of a structure may be held liable if an accident during construction (such as the failure of the structure) occurs because of a breach of professional standards. Determining liability requires a comprehensive review of the blueprints, permit applications, and other design documents.
Tools and equipment on construction sites have a number of inherent dangers. If a construction injury is caused by a defect, however, the manufacturer and other parties may be held responsible through a product liability claim.
Other Third Parties
Construction accident claims are complicated. A knowledgeable lawyer can assess the situation and determine whether you have a viable personal injury or wrongful death case.
What Damages Can I Get from a Construction Site Accident?
You should not assume that workers’ comp is your only option following a construction accident. If third party liability can be established, you may be entitled to full recompense for any damages you have sustained.
Our construction site accident lawyers will calculate all of your losses to date and any additional damages you will face in the future. The compensation available in a third-party claim can be categorized as follows:
These are the financial losses you sustain as a result of the construction accident. You may be entitled to recovery of the following:
- Medical bills to date
- Lost wages
- Out-of-pocket expenses for rehabilitation and therapy, medical-related travel, home-based care, etc.
- Future medical care costs
- Loss of earning capacity
As the name suggests, non-economic damages do not have a definable monetary value. Rather, they are intended to compensate you for losses such as physical pain, mental and emotional suffering, inconvenience, embarrassment, and loss of enjoyment of life.
There are limited circumstances where punitive damages may be awarded. If your case proceeds to trial and the defendant is found liable, the court may award punitive damages if one or both of the following conditions are met:
“(1) The defendant knew or ought to have known, in light of the surrounding circumstances, that his or her conduct would naturally and probably result in injury or damage and that he or she continued the conduct with malice or in reckless disregard of the consequences, from which malice may be inferred; or
“(2) The defendant intentionally pursued a course of conduct for the purpose of causing injury or damage.”
NOTE: The rules for punitive damages and how much may be awarded vary by state. In Arkansas, for example, punitive damages are limited to either (a) $250,000 or (b) three times the value of compensatory damages, up to $1 million—whichever is greater (see Ark. Code § 16-55-208).
How Long Do I Have to Make a Claim After a Construction Accident?
Workers need to be aware of several deadlines for taking action after sustaining a construction injury. First, whether you are limited to workers’ comp or you have a third-party liability claim, any work-related injury needs to be reported to your employer as soon as possible. In addition to preserving your eligibility for workers’ compensation, reporting the injury creates a record of the accident.
Next, you need to know how long you have to make a claim. In Arkansas, workers’ comp claims need to be brought within 2 years of the date of injury while the statute of limitations for personal injury is 3 years.
It is important to seek legal counsel promptly if you or someone you love suffered injury while working construction. A construction site accident lawyer will review your case for free and pursue any and all claims within the applicable time limit.
How Our Attorneys Can Help After a Construction Site Accident
Many law firms focus solely on workers’ compensation matters. At Oliver Law Firm, our emphasis is litigation. We take the time and make the effort to ascertain third party liability. Our exhaustive investigations enable us to pursue all legal remedies available to our clients.
We have developed a comprehensive process centered on our commitment to providing the highest quality of legal service. This is the The Oliver Difference. When you hire our firm to handle your construction accident claim, you can expect the following:
The success of a case depends on compelling evidence. Our construction accident lawyers start the research phase immediately so no important evidence falls by the wayside. We will collect the following on your behalf:
- Your medical records
- The report of a work-related injury you provided to your employer
- Witness testimony
- Photos and video footage (if available)
- Any additional reports (e.g., police reports, workplace inspections, etc.)
Defendants and insurance companies will start taking steps right away to protect themselves from lawsuits. Our attorneys work quickly to find the proof we need for your case to succeed.
2. Case Preparation
Next, we review the evidence thoroughly to determine fault for the construction accident. Multiple issues of negligence may be grounds for a claim, including:
- Inadequate worker training
- OSHA violations
- Failure to provide protective gear
- Improper supervision
- Failure to maintain tools, machinery, and equipment
- Unsafe working conditions
- Negligence design
- And more
Our lawyers will develop a unique legal strategy specific to your situation. In addition to preparing exhibits and deposing witnesses, this often entails the creation of compelling visual aids, accident reconstructions, and even video biographies to show jurors who you are and how the construction site accident has impacted your life.
3. Calculating Damages
Accurately accounting for the damages in your case requires extensive experience and specialized knowledge. We work closely with you, your loved ones, your doctors, and additional experts to assess the full financial, physical, and psychological impact of your construction injuries. From there, our firm will submit a demand for relief to the appropriate party or parties.
4. Settlement Negotiations
Without an experienced lawyer to represent you, the likelihood of getting the compensation you deserve is very low. After building a strong case on your behalf, our attorneys will aggressively push for a fair settlement.
Construction accident claims often involve multiple defendants, which means multiple insurance companies will be involved. While the majority of our cases settle out of court, we will not hesitate to file a lawsuit and pursue litigation if it means securing a better outcome.
5. Trial Preparation
Led by Trial Attorney and Managing Partner Sach D. Oliver, Oliver Law Firm is celebrated for our successful handling of complex legal matters in the courtroom. Going to trial requires extensive preparation. Winning demands skill, passion, and experience.
You can expect all of this and more with the the Oliver Difference. We put every resource and every member of our team to work so we can achieve the result you and your family deserve. The thought of going to court is scary, but we will do everything in our power to make the process as free from worry and stress as possible.
Contact a Construction Injury Lawyer Today
A construction accident is a life-changing event. This is true not only for workers but for their loved ones as well.
In the aftermath of construction accidents, a qualified attorney can mean the difference between recovering the compensation you need to move on with your life and getting substantially less than you deserve. You need a law firm dedicated to your rights, your needs, and the well-being and peace of mind of your family.
Oliver Law Firm has extensive experience helping those whose lives have been changed forever by catastrophic injuries or the death of a relative. Our compassion for our clients’ circumstances drives our commitment to unparalleled legal service and our desire to win.
Call 479-202-5200 today for a FREE consultation. Oliver Law Firm serves the victims of construction accidents in and around Rogers, throughout Arkansas, and nationwide.
How to Determine if You Have a Construction Accident Claim
If you sustained injuries in a construction accident because of someone else’s negligence or mistakes, you may be able to seek a compensation claim. However, the kind of claim that you can seek largely depends on the cause of your accident.
Most construction workers who are injured in a workplace accident typically seek compensation through their employer’s workers’ compensation coverage.
However, because a construction site usually has multiple parties or companies working on the site at the same time, you may also be able to seek compensation through a third-party claim if the party was responsible for your injuries. Examples of third parties include:
- General contractors, subcontractors, or prime contractors
- Equipment manufacturer
- Property owner or site manager (if different from your employer)
This is difficult to do by yourself, which is why you need an experienced construction accident lawyer in Arkansas who can help evaluate your case and determine the extent of your claim.
How to Prove Negligence in a Construction Accident
The basis of all personal injury claims is negligence. You’ll need to show that the at-fault party’s negligence led to your injuries. To prove that, your attorney must establish the four critical elements of a negligence case. These are:
- The liable party had a duty or an obligation to keep you reasonably safe — For example, a construction site supervisor has to remove hazards and minimize personal dangers on a construction site.
- The entity intentionally or unintentionally breached that duty — For instance, the site supervisor overlooked the hazards and did nothing about removing them.
- The negligent action led to serious injuries (causation) — Because the site supervisor didn’t eliminate those hazards, you sustained severe injuries.
- You suffered losses (damages) — because of your injuries, you have to seek medical treatment, pay medical bills, and possibly lose income because you can’t work.
Once your construction accident lawyer can prove that the reckless actions of another person led to your injuries, you may be able to file an injury claim against a third party and/or seek workers’ compensation.
How to Preserve Evidence Needed in a Construction Accident Claim
Evidence deterioration is a real problem. Arkansas has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. That being said, you’ll need as much evidence as possible to file a workers’ compensation claim or sue a third party in a construction accident case.
And you’ll also need to preserve this evidence. To do this:
- Write down all the accident details as quickly as possible because you’re more likely to have a better recollection right after the accident.
- Record the scene and take pictures if possible.
- Get the contacts of eyewitnesses and their possible statements early.
- File an incident report or get the police report.
- If there’s physical evidence, try and get custody of it so you can give it to your personal injury attorney.
- Seek medical help and keep all proof of your treatment, including medical records, bills, invoices, receipts, pictures/videos, and other information.
- If you had to get treatment and were only unable to start the process of evidence gathering immediately, your lawyer may have to send an evidence preservation letter to your employer or the liable third party to preserve the evidence in their custody.
Hand over all the evidence you have to your construction accident attorney and they’ll make sure that they are well-kept. Also, they’ll gather more evidence for your case.
How to Choose a Construction Accident Attorney
Unlike regular car accident or premises liability cases, construction accident injury claims are usually complex. You need a personal injury lawyer who knows construction law and has in-depth knowledge of the Occupational and Safety Hazard Administration (OSHA) requirements for construction sites.
This is important because a regular or general personal injury attorney may miss seemingly trivial but vital details that can make a huge difference in your settlement amount. Also, look for experience in and out of the courtroom, records of successfully won claims, and positive reviews from past clients.
Finally, pay attention to how they make you feel and how empathetic they are. You want an experienced construction accident lawyer who knows construction law, handles your case professionally, can fight for your best interests, and is always accessible.
How to Calculate Damages in a Construction Accident Claim
Many construction accident injury claims qualify for workers’ compensation. To claim the benefits, certain conditions must be met. These are:
- A physician must have declared you permanently or temporarily disabled.
- You have not been able to work for a minimum of seven days because of the injuries – aka “lost time” factor.
Once this is confirmed, you’ll receive your first check two weeks after your disability diagnosis. The weekly payment excludes your medical expenses –that’s covered by your employer’s insurer. This check will usually be about two-thirds of your current weekly/bi-weekly income.
But even the weekly benefits payment in Arkansas has a cap:
- Total disability (TD) pays a maximum of $823 per week
- Permanent partial disability (PPD) pays a maximum of $626 weekly
Can I Sue for Damages Beyond Workers' Compensation After a Construction Accident?
If there’s a liable third party, you can also recover some compensation from them. How much you’ll receive as damages depends on factors such as the severity of your injuries, whether you’ll be able to work or not, treatment costs, and more.
In general, there are three categories of damages in every personal injury claim in Arkansas:
- Economic damages — This covers your medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, cost of future or continuous medical treatment, and out-of-pocket expenses brought on by your injuries.
- Noneconomic damages — This covers all non-tangible damages or losses including pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring and disfigurement, embarrassment, and inconvenience.
- Punitive damages — Although rarely awarded, the court awards this if there’s proof of malicious intent to cause harm or reckless negligence. Per Ark. Code § 16-55-208, punitive damages in Arkansas are capped at $1 million.
How to Protect Your Rights Immediately After a Construction Accident
Although a verbal notice of your injuries is good, an official written report is better. So, file a formal notice with your employer within 30 days of your accident. This leaves a paper trail and ensures that your injury is documented.
Then, file your workers’ compensation within two years of the incident or third-party claim within three years. Speak to an experienced construction attorney about your case so that you can get adequate legal guidance, representation, and settlement negotiation.
How to Report a Construction Accident
Even if there’s a police report, it’s important to file an accident report with your employer (remember to keep a copy). Your employer will, in turn, fill out the Accident/Injury Reporting form on the Arkansas Department of Labor website.
Then, you will fill and file the Safety Responsibility SR-1 report available on the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) website within 30 days of the incident. Once this is done, it’ll trigger the beginning of the workers’ compensation process as your details will be sent to the insurance companies and other relevant agencies.
When Oliver Law Firm goes to work for you, we apply every resource and every team member to your case. We form relationships with our clients and often become extended members of the family. Our passion is helping people, to be a voice for the voiceless, a champion for justice, and a protector of your rights. We are not afraid to get our hands and our feet dirty in order to win a desirable outcome.