At our Maryland law firm, we represent many injured construction workers to recover their rightful workers’ compensation benefits to help with medical bills and lost wages. We also fight for the surviving loved ones of construction workers who have met premature deaths in the course of their jobs. Survivors are likely eligible for death benefits under Maryland Workers’ Compensation law.
For losses related to work-related injury and death, workers’ compensation is normally the only legal remedy against the employer, regardless of who was at fault. However, we also investigate the circumstances of each construction work client’s injury or death to determine whether any third party (other than the employer) may be liable in a third-party lawsuit. For example, a manufacturer may have sold a defectively designed or manufactured piece of dangerous construction equipment that contributed to an accident.
Unfortunately, construction accidents are not uncommon in Maryland. In September, for example, a crane basket loaded with cement fatally struck a Baltimore construction worker in the early morning hours in Harbor East. This summer, another worker died from a fall from an upper floor of a University of Maryland building under construction.
The Fatal Four
Based on national statistics about the nature of construction worker accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, known as OSHA, has dubbed the most common kinds of construction injuries that result in death as the “Fatal Four”:
- Falls: 38.8 percent of construction deaths in 2015
- Struck by object: 9.6 percent
- Electrocution: 8.6 percent
- Caught in or caught between: 7.2 percent
OSHA calculates that about one in five private industry work-related deaths in 2015 were in the construction sector (937 of 4,879). The Fatal Four caused almost 65 percent of construction deaths that year.
OSHA sets legal standards for workplace safety, often specific to particular industries. Three of the top 10 safety standards most often cited in FY 2016 for violation were in construction:
- Fall protection
Seek legal advice
In any construction work-related injury, illness or death, an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney should immediately be consulted for assistance with the claim for benefits and for assessment of a potential third-party lawsuit.