Construction projects can cause massive amounts of damage to people and property. Because of a construction site’s large-scale, numerous workers, heavy machinery, and raw materials, it is no wonder construction injuries are serious. Contact our personal injury lawyer today.
Arkansas Construction Accidents by the Numbers
Based on data compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Arkansas experienced the following construction-related accidents:
- Approximately 1,100 construction workers were injured on the job in 2020.
- Eleven (11) construction workers were killed on the job in 2020.
Further, the cost of addressing construction accidents is astronomical. According to data compiled by the National Safety Council (NSC), construction accidents amounted to the following in 2020:
- $163 billion in the total cost of injury, including $44.8 in wage loss, $34.9 billion in medical expenses, $61 billion in administrative costs, and $12.8 costs for incidental expenditures directly or indirectly caused by accidents, and approximately $10.5 billion in vehicle and fire-related damages.
- An injured worker’s average economic cost is approximately $1,100, and one fatality costs approximately $1,300,000.
- The cost to treat a construction injury, on average, is $44,000.
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Construction Accident Causes
There are countless ways a construction worker can become injured on the job. Nonetheless, below are some of the more common examples of causes of construction accidents:
- Slip-and-fall injuries
- Scolding-related injuries
- Construction vehicle or equipment injuries, including forklifts, cranes, and hydraulic lifters
- Falling debris
- Fire and explosions
- Chemical exposure and inhalation
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Common Types of Construction Accident Injuries
Construction accidents can be some of the most traumatizing for the human body and can include:
- Head and brain injuries
- Neck, shoulder, and back injuries
- Hip, knee, and ankle injuries
- Spinal cord injuries that cause mobility loss, paraplegia, or quadriplegia
- Burns from exposure to fire or electricity
- Crush injuries
- Loss of hearing or vision
- Countless diseases from prolonged chemical exposure like occupational cancer, and certain lung and skin diseases
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Filing a Construction Accident Lawsuit
If a person was hurt due to a construction accident and was not an employee of the construction site, they may have to file a lawsuit against the construction company tasked with developing the project. Likely, plaintiffs will have to show the construction company or one of their employees acted negligently or criminally when operating on the job site. This requires an experienced Marion, AR construction accident attorney to investigate the claim and advocate on the plaintiff’s behalf.
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Filing a Construction Accident Workers’ Compensation Claim
In Arkansas, employers that employ three or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance allows an employer to provide medical benefits, temporary wages, and permeant disability funding for workers injured on the job. Once a workers’ compensation claim has been filed, the worker may no longer file a lawsuit against their employer. Please see the steps below to understand the basic outline of a workers’ compensation claim.
Reporting an Injury
Employers on the job should immediately notify their employer and seek medical attention for any critical injuries. Employees should never neglect their health and wellness to complete a task. Once any medical emergencies have been addressed, the injured employee should submit to their employer Form AR-N, which is the “Employee’s Notice of Injury Form.”
Form AR-N provides employers and employees with helpful information about the employee’s injury, including:
- Details of the employee’s injury
- Details of the incident that caused the injury, including the time, date, location, and suspected reason that caused the injury
- Details of witnesses or other persons directly involved or near the incident
- Instructions detailing the administrative steps of filing a claim
Employees should always make copies of Form AR-N before providing it to their employer, along with other paperwork. Once an employer receives the Form AR-N, they must fill out a “FIRST REPORT OF INJURY” and file it with the Arkansas Workers Compensation Commission. Employees that neglect to notify their employer within 30 days of an injury may have their claim rejected by the employer or the commission.
Once the proper forms have been filed, the employer’s medical insurance carrier may have the injured employee submit to an independent medical examination (IME) to determine the validity of their injury. The insurance company will notify employees when and where they can go for the IME. The physician will conduct a complete medical evaluation and decide whether an injury caused the employee’s injury or illness on the job. Failure to comply with an IME may reject an employee’s workers’ compensation claim.
Filing and Serving the Correct Forms
The Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission has 42 individual forms that the employee must fill out. Employees should engage an experienced construction accident attorney in Marion, AR to correctly fill out and serve these forms to ensure they are completed accurately.
Although it may seem somewhat unreasonable to fill out and serve 42 forms, each forms serves a specific and vital purpose like the employer’s notice, claims for compensation, claims for compensation upon an employee’s death, claims for compensation regarding an employee’s permanent disability, request for full payment of the injury just to name a few.
Mediation and Settlement Engagement
Workers’ compensation is an administrative procedure where parties engage in negotiations and settlement discussions and attend hearings in front of administrative hearing officers. Both parties are constantly encouraged to mediate their case to settle. Engaging an experienced Marion, AR construction accident lawyer is crucial during this step because employers and insurance companies often employ sophisticated legal counsel to get the best outcome.
Initial offers for settlement may seem enticing initially but are usually just an opening position for much longer negotiation.
If an employee’s claim has been denied, they can always appeal the outcome. By doing this, an employee bolsters any arguments in their case and often receives more lucrative settlement offers if they win their appeal.
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Contact a Construction Accident Lawyer in Marion, AR After an Accident in Marion
If you or a loved one has recently been in a construction accident, you may be entitled to compensation as an employee seeking workers’ compensation or a non-employee for a negligence claim. Contact Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC for a free consultation today.