Construction sites are among the most dangerous workplaces, even for highly skilled and experienced professionals. Many construction workers must work at great heights while on scaffolding, roofs, or lifts. Falls from height accidents in construction can cause devastating injuries and death, and many of these accidents are preventable.
Falls From Heights Construction Accident Attorney
If you or your loved one have been injured or passed away due to a fall from great heights on a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation. After decades of successful legal practice, Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC is one of the top personal injury law firms in West Virginia. We are committed to seeking justice for construction workers who’ve become harmed after falling from great heights. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Common Causes of Falls from Heights Construction Accidents
Working on a construction site frequently involves working above the ground. Far too often, construction workers are injured or killed after working on high buildings or locations or on scaffolds. Sometimes, workers or public members can become injured or killed when buildings or scaffolds collapse. A construction worker doesn’t have to be working above ground to fall and suffer a serious injury. In other cases, construction workers fall from the ground level into a well or pit, sustaining serious injuries.
Employers and building site managers have a responsibility to ensure that the working conditions for their employees are reasonably safe. Many falls from height accidents are caused by scaffolds that were not properly put together, were not properly inspected, or were never safely secured on solid, level ground. The manager may not have ensured that the roofer was using proper safety measures in roofing accidents. Perhaps the company did not require employees to wear harnesses while on roofs. Other causes of falls from heights include:
- Falls from bridges or ladders
- Falls caused by heavy equipment and vehicle failures
- Falling objects
- Accidents with cranes or rigging
In other cases, the safety equipment may have been defective or not working properly in other cases. Determining the cause of the fall from height is one of the more complicated aspects of construction accident lawsuits. At Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC, one of our experienced personal injury attorneys will investigate your case to determine who is liable for your injuries.
Injuries Caused by Fall From Heights Accidents
Unfortunately, the majority of fall from heights accidents are catastrophic. They usually have devastating consequences for individuals and family members. In many cases, a construction worker who falls from great heights will not survive the fall. For those who do survive the fall, their injuries could be catastrophic, including:
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Damage to nerves, joints, and muscles
- Vision and hearing loss
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries that caused paralysis
- Broken bones
- Crashing, squeezing, or pinching of body parts
Who Is Liable for West Virginia Fall From Heights Accidents?
If you’ve been injured in a fall from great heights, your attorney will need to investigate your accident to determine who is liable. Under West Virginia personal injury laws, the plaintiff who pursues compensation must prove that the defendant’s negligence or intentional actions caused their injuries. Negligence means a failure to use reasonable care under the circumstances.
For example, suppose an employer allows a group of construction workers to skip important safety steps when putting up scaffolding in order to save time. One of the construction workers became injured when the scaffolding broke, and he fell from a great height. The employee would likely be able to show that the managers of the company failed to use reasonable care under the circumstances, causing his injuries.
Premises Liability and Negligence
Some construction accidents involving falls from great heights may fall under the premises liability category. This is especially true when the injured party isn’t a construction worker but a visitor to the construction site or an innocent pedestrian. Property owners have a legal duty to ensure that their property is reasonably safe to protect visitors from accidents and injuries.
If the construction site owner failed to meet specific safety requirements, and that failure led to the accident, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the property owner. However, West Virginia has “an open and obvious” hazard doctrine. The property owner isn’t responsible for an accident when a visitor ignores an evident and reasonable apparent danger.
Should I File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits After a Fall From Great Heights?
When a construction worker becomes injured due to a fall from hives while on the job, he or she can pursue workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits will provide compensation for medical care for your injury, including payment of medical bills and prescriptions. You may be entitled to partial coverage for the wages you’ve lost due to your injuries.
Applying for workers’ compensation can be tempting because you will quickly receive weekly benefits. However, we recommend discussing your case with an attorney before you agree to apply for workers’ compensation benefits. Once you start accepting workers’ compensation benefits, you will lose your right to bring a legal claim against the person or company who caused your injuries.
Damages Available in Falls from Heights Construction Lawsuits
One of the benefits of pursuing a personal injury lawsuit involves the amount of damages available. In workers’ compensation claims, you are only entitled to medical care and a portion of your lost income. You can seek economic, non-economic, and possibly punitive damages when you pursue a personal injury lawsuit. In other words, you may be able to obtain significantly more compensation through our personal injury lawsuit than through workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact a Fayetteville Falls from Heights Construction Accident Attorney Today
If you or your loved one have become injured after falling from great heights on a construction site, it’s important that you discuss your case with an attorney. You only have a limited amount of time to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. The sooner you reach out to an attorney, the sooner your attorney can begin preparing your case. Contact Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC as quickly as possible to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about how we can advocate for your right to compensation.