Construction: the labor-intensive, often lucrative, but dangerous industry has been taking off in recent years. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 48,000 new construction jobs were added, not to mention the significant increases in residential/non-residential contractors, civil engineering, and in non-residential building opportunities.
There are two sides to construction safety issues: one deals with the general safety of the public driving in, walking around, or simply being near the heavy machinery and dangerous tools and chemicals utilized by so many work sites. The other applies to the construction workers themselves; construction workers have a significantly higher chance at getting injured on the job in comparison to those in positions that do not involve manual labor. Common injuries include crush injuries from heavy machinery, tool malfunction, chemical spills and related injuries, scaffolding accidents, and falls.
Types of Construction Accidents and Workers’ Compensation Eligibility
The nature of the accident surely depends on the type of construction being completed, the relative experience of the workers, and the quality of the supervision and training. All of these things can come into play when an accident or injury occurs. Often, with construction site accidents, the employer may be held responsible for your injuries if you were injured while on the clock. Workers’ compensation insurance must be carried by most employers to ensure the safety and financial well-being of their employees in the event they are involved in a work-related accident. Construction is one of the few industries, however, where independent contractors are frequently utilized. Independent contractors are usually not required to be covered under an employer’s insurance. In fact, whether someone qualifies as an independent contractor is a legal determination made by the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents, which is part of the Labor and Workforce Development Department that makes decisions regarding workers’ compensation claims in the state.
Workers’ compensation claims may be made regardless of your involvement in the construction site; that is, it can be something as minor as tripping over a wrench and fracturing your foot to getting crushed by a heavy boulder. Fatal accidents may give rise to benefits being allocated to survivors of the deceased worker; consider the bridge that recently collapsed and claimed the life of a man on a construction site in Ohio, bringing national attention to the many dangers of the industry. A fatal accident may lead to wrongful death allegations, or receipt of Survivor’s Rights Benefits. These benefits may allow surviving spouses to receive up to two-thirds of the deceased workers’ compensation he or she was receiving before the time of the injury. Dependent children may also receive workers’ compensation benefits on behalf of the deceased parent in certain circumstances as well.
Boston Construction Lawyers
If you or anyone you know has been injured at a construction site or at your job, you may be entitled to compensation. Workers’ compensation benefits may enable you to regain some financial stability by receiving two-thirds of the amount of income you were making before your accident or injury. Even when you are entitled to benefits under law, you still need to complete an application and ensure you are abiding by the requirements of your employer’s insurance company. Our patient and understanding workers’ compensation attorneys know how to go about applying for benefits and making sure you start receiving the benefits you are entitled to as soon as possible. Many employers and insurance companies have strict timelines and deadlines regarding these types of claims; do not wait—contact John J. Sheehan’s Boston-based law office today.