Seattle Construction Site Accident Attorney
Washington State’s Safety Laws for Construction Sites
The Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA) sets forth mandatory safety standards for the construction industry and general contractors. WISHA assigns the overall responsibility for enforcing state and OSHA regulations and providing supervision to ensure that everyone on the job site adheres to these regulations.
All workers on the site, both the contractor’s employees and any subcontractors and workers, are owed a duty of care and safe working conditions by the general contractor, as per WISHA regulations; general contractors are obligated by law to create a reasonably safe working environment for all workers.
Types & Causes of Construction Accidents in Seattle
More than 20% of all worker deaths in the U.S. are due to construction injuries, according to OSHA reporting. These accidents and injuries are so prevalent that OSHA has dubbed them the “Big Three”:
- Slip and falls
- Struck by an object or caught between objects
Many construction workers are harmed by the Big Three, but these are by no means the only way a worker or subcontractor can get hurt on the job. Other causes of construction site accidents include:
- Mechanical hazards
- Collapsed scaffolding or structures
- Lack of oversight concerning safety regulations
- Poor safety protocols
- Falling debris or objects
- Toxic exposure to fumes or chemicals
- Misuse of equipment or tools through lack of training or disregard for protocols
- Malfunctioning or defective equipment
- Explosions or fire
Most accidents at construction sites can be avoided if the proper safety protocols are in place and enforced and the equipment, including safety gear, is properly maintained.
Because so many construction accidents can be avoided, many workers may be eligible for compensation for the injuries they sustain in an accident. Your Washington workplace accident lawyer can tell you for sure.
Common Construction Site Accident Injuries
Every part of a worker’s body can be vulnerable at a construction site — even with protective hard hats, steel-toe boots, and goggles. Construction accidents can lead to these severe consequences:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) or concussions
- Spinal cord injuries, including partial or total paralysis or herniated discs
- Severe burns from fires, explosions, electrocutions, or chemicals
- Crushing injuries and involuntary amputations
- Respiratory diseases or cancer from long-term exposure to toxic chemicals
- Internal organ damage and internal bleeding
- Untimely or wrongful death
You may need long-term financial support, and a construction injury lawsuit litigated by experienced construction site injury attorneys may be able to help you achieve it.
Who Is Liable in a Washington State Construction Accident?
Most construction companies that carry workers' compensation insurance policies are exempt from personal injury lawsuits filed by employees. However, other parties may have contributed to your accident, such as a reckless coworker or a negligent outside contractor. These parties are generally not covered by workers' compensation laws.
Your construction site accident lawyers may include more than one defendant in your suit, such as:
- Construction site owners, depending on the level of control they have over the property
- Engineers and architects, who may be responsible for poorly designed and dangerous structures
- Prime contractors, who are responsible for the overall safety of everyone on construction sites
- Subcontractors, who are also required to provide safe working conditions and follow safety laws
- Construction tools and equipment manufacturers, who are responsible for producing safe products
These may not be the only parties held responsible for your injuries. As your construction site accident attorney (Seattle) investigates your accident, they may list additional defendants.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages for Construction Accident Injuries
Washington State civil tort laws permit construction workers or others injured on construction sites to seek compensatory damages from the person or entity that caused their injuries. Some cases may be subject to workers’ compensation laws, so it’s important to find a construction accident injury attorney who has a deep understanding of Washington laws and how they apply to your case.
Construction accident victims who file lawsuits are usually entitled to seek two types of compensation: special damages, which cover quantifiable economic losses, and general damages, which cover non-economic losses like pain and suffering.
Economic damages include your out-of-pocket costs after the accident:
- Outstanding medical bills
- Costs for ongoing, long-term care, such as physical therapy or a nursing home
- Assistive medical equipment, like a wheelchair, modifications to your home, or a prosthesis
- Physical or occupational therapy to regain your abilities
- Lost wages from time you missed at work
- Loss of earning potential, if your injuries preclude working in your current job
Non-economic damages are tricky for construction accident lawyers to put a dollar value on, as they relate to the impact the injuries have on your life. For example, you may be in chronic pain from your injuries, or your reduced physical abilities may prevent you from enjoying hobbies or pastimes.
Other non-economic damages you may be eligible to claim include:
- Damaged personal relationships or loss of consortium and companionship
- Diminished quality of life
- Emotional trauma, like PTSD or situational anxiety
Washington caps non-economic damages at 43% of the average annual wage in the year that your accident occurred, multiplied by your life expectancy at the time of the accident.
Civil courts in Washington generally do not allow a Seattle construction accident attorney to seek punitive damages in personal injury lawsuits.
Why Do You Need a Construction Accident Attorney for This Case?
A construction accident liability case can be complex, especially when workers' compensation is available. The job of your construction accident injury attorney is to guide you through the process and protect your interests by:
- Investigating your case and gathering evidence
- Seeking a professional medical evaluation of your injuries and establishing their impact on your life
- Conducting all official appeals
- Handling all communications with the other party, their insurance company, and their lawyers
We have the experience you need and the tenacity and compassion you deserve following a construction accident.
Why Choose Our Seattle, WA, Construction Injury Law Firm?
The legal team at Lehmbecker Law has decades of collective experience litigating even the most complex construction accident injury cases. We offer:
We are dedicated to securing the maximum settlement for our clients, even in cases where there may be multiple defendants.
Contact Seattle Construction Accident Lawyers Today
The Washington workplace accident lawyers at Lehmbecker Law are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with a construction accident lawyer.
Flexible appointments, including video calls or hospital visits
Timely communication at every step of the process
Fierce negotiation in mediation or court
Get Legal Help from Top-Rated Seattle Construction Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured in a Seattle construction accident, you have legal options. Our construction injury law firm seeks maximum compensation for injured construction workers like you.