Around 85,000 people are employed in construction and extraction occupations in Tennessee, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. With the use of cranes, heavy equipment, power tools and other types of machinery, these workers have been responsible for completing the construction of countless new buildings in cities large and small. Construction workers have also performed numerous repairs, conducted maintenance, made alterations and installed additions for personal residences and small businesses, as well as building structures for large corporations throughout the state.
While the work these individuals perform is essential to Tennessee’s economy, the potential for injury in the construction industry is extremely high. Business Insider includes construction laborers, electrical power line installers and repairers, as well as roofers, on its list of the 10 deadliest jobs in America.
If you have been injured while working in construction in Tennessee, speak with a Memphis construction accident attorney as soon as possible following your accident. In situations like these, is it important to know your rights. An experienced attorney can review the circumstances leading to your injury, determine whether a third party may be responsible for the accident, and advise you about the sources of compensation and benefits that may be available.
Most injured construction workers are entitled to seek workers’ compensation benefits through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. Tennessee workers’ compensation benefits cover related medical expenses, as well as providing partial reimbursement of lost wages for time away from work. Temporary disability, permanent disability and death benefits are also available through workers’ comp depending on the circumstances.
Workers’ compensation does not cover other economic and non-economic damages, nor does it cover pain and suffering or punitive damages. These can be sought only through a third-party lawsuit or liability claim. Examples of potentially liable third parties include other contractors working on the site, vendors, manufacturers of defective tools, delivery vehicle drivers and property owners, just to name a few.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) attributes 20.2 percent (828) of the 4,101 workplace fatalities in a single recent year to accidents in the construction industry. The “fatal four” leading causes of death in the construction industry include:
According to a census from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatal occupational injuries in the Tennessee construction industry occur at a rate of 9.5 for every 100,000 equivalent full-time workers.
Some of the catastrophic and fatal construction-related accidents in Tennessee so far during 2015, as reported by OSHA, involve three workers being hospitalized after exposure to carbon monoxide, one worker sustaining a fatal injury in a fall from a roof and another being killed in a fall from a roof during the demolition of a building.
Seeking workers’ compensation and other benefits following a construction-related workplace injury is not always as straightforward as it should be. In fact, it is not uncommon for employers and their insurance providers to make attempts to deny benefits or offer only a minimal amount of compensation – far less than you may deserve.
A skilled Memphis construction accident attorney can help you protect your interests by being an aggressive advocate for your rights. In cases in which a third party may be responsible for your injuries, a lawyer can work diligently to gather the evidence necessary to prove fault, so the negligent party can be held accountable.