Oregon Construction Accident Attorney

Construction Accidents

Working in a safe environment is the legal right of every employee. However, a job in the construction industry can be dangerous by nature.

Excavation, demolition, and other construction activities often expose workers to risks of accident and injury.

Safety at construction sites for employees is regulated the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

To improve worker safety, employers and contractors in the construction business should identify workplace danger zones in accordance with OSHA rules, and provide working conditions that are free of any known and avoidable dangers.

A worker who gets injured at a construction site during the course of their job will have a right to receive legal compensation for their losses.

If the injuries are significant, it may be best for a construction worker to get in touch with an experienced Oregon construction attorney to pursue a legal claim for compensation from the responsible parties.

Common Causes for Accidents at a Construction Site

The following are some of the more common causes of a construction accident which may result in a worker injury or fatality:

  • Construction equipment or vehicles not maintained properly
  • Lack of appropriate construction safety training for employees
  • Engineering flaws or deficiencies in site design plans
  • Non-availability of safety gear
  • Lack of clear demarcation of job processes and procedures at the construction site
Types of Construction Accident Injuries

A skilled Oregon construction attorney will be able to handle a broad range of construction accident injury claims, including claims for the following typical injuries:

  • Falls from ladders
  • Scaffolding collapses
  • Forklift accidents
  • Crane accidents
  • Other heavy equipment injuries
  • Chemical burns

You can sustain life-changing injuries, including brain injuries, burn injuries, fractures, and neck and back injuries in a construction accident. It is vital to have an accomplished construction accident attorney on your side if your injuries are going to keep you out of work with mounting medicals bills to pay for.

Injured in an Accident? Get a Free Case Evaluation Today!

Injured in an Accident? Get a Free Case Evaluation Today!

What should an Oregon Worker do after a Construction Site Injury?

You should seek workers’ compensation from the employer right after obtaining the emergency medical assistance. The good news is that under the Oregon workers’ comp laws, these benefits are required to be paid quickly under a no-fault system.

This means, you do not have to prove that the employer is at fault for causing the injury in order to receive compensatory benefits.

The downside is that the workers’ comp system may not cover all your future losses and suffering, even though, the benefits cover ‘time loss’ for lost future wages.

Medical expenses for necessary treatment and permanent disability (if there is permanent impairment) are also covered under the benefits. But the compensation provided covers only the loss of your ability to work – even if the injury completely changes your life in many ways.

Legal Steps Available to You

Oregon’s no-fault workers’ compensation system essentially makes you lose the right to sue your employer for negligence for an on-job construction injury.

As per the Employer Liability Law which is in effect in Oregon since 1911, the only remedy available to an injured worker against his employer is the workers’ compensation.

However, you may be able to sue the general contractor or other subcontractors on the construction site, if they are liable for an injury.

Contractors becomes liable for an injury if they had control over the actions that led to the injury, and due to negligence or carelessness they failed to pursue every practical “device, care, and precaution” for worker safety.

An Example:

While loading sheetrock into a building under construction, an installer for ABC Drywall Contractors falls from the scaffold and hurts himself.

In this case, the injured worker can only file a workers’ compensation claim against ABC Drywall Contractors because they are his employers. He can file the workers’ comp claim for his injuries to cover medical expenses, time loss benefits, and a permanent disability award, if the injury is serious.

However, if the same fall injury occurred because XYZ Scaffolding Company did not properly set up the scaffolding, then he may have a claim against XYZ Scaffolding Company for his injuries.

He can file a claim against the Sheetrock Manufacturers as well if his injury occurred because the forklift carrying the sheetrock ran into the scaffolding, causing it to collapse (and the forklift was driven by an employee of Sheetrock Manufacturers).

The injured worker in Oregon can sue XYZ Scaffolding Company and the general contractor as well if he fell down because the scaffolding had no railing.

The injured worker could have a claim against the general contractor for unsafe scaffolding even if the project specified scaffolding with no railing.

The injured worker will have to prove fault in a claim against the general contractor or any other subcontractor under the Employer Liability Law. The victim will have to show evidence of negligence, carelessness, or failure to undertake all practical safety measures on part of the other contractors.

With the right legal support from an Oregon construction attorney, an injured worker in this case can recover adequate damages under the Employer Liability Law for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and other ‘non-economic damages’ in addition to lost wages and medical expenses.

However, construction workers in Oregon should understand that this is not a strategy for double recovery.

The workers’ compensation insurer is entitled to recover a portion of the benefits paid under workers’ compensation, according to a formula established by the law – if the injured worker is able to recover damages in an action against the general contractor or subcontractor under the Employer Liability Law.

What Does the Employer Liability Law Include?

The negligence of general contractors and/or other subcontractors is often the primary cause of construction site accidents. An experienced Oregon construction lawyer can successfully recovered damages for a worker injured on the job in such cases, using Oregon Employer’s Liability Act (ELA), also known as the Oregon’s Employer Liability Law (ELL).

Under this law, a worker may be entitled to recover damages, in addition to benefits awarded within the Oregon Workers’ Compensation system. In some cases, these damages may far exceed the benefits available under the workers’ compensation statutes.

Construction injury law firm Dwyer Williams Cherkoss in Oregon has both personal injury and workers’ compensation trial lawyers in their practice which enables them to legally assist the victims in maximizing the workers’ compensation and addressing any third-party liability in a construction injury case.

Construction Accident Related Third-Party Lawsuits

Third parties involved in a construction accident may include general contractors, subcontractors, equipment manufacturer, architects of buildings on the site and owners of the construction site, among others. It is the shared responsibility of these third parties to provide a safe and standards-compliant construction site to workers in Oregon.

A dedicated Oregon construction attorney will review the actions all of these parties and every other associated party to determine whether a third party is liable for your injuries in the event of a construction related accident.

To this effect, they will establish that a third party owed you a duty of care and violated that duty by acting negligently, which resulted in your injuries and damages. You may even be able to file a product liability case against the manufacturer, if a piece of construction equipment was defective and contributed to your injuries.

Contact us Today to Know Your Legal Options

The attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss will provide you an initial consultation for free. We have some of the most competent and knowledgeable construction accident lawyers in Oregon who will evaluate all aspects of your case. All initial consultations are confidential, free of charge, and incur no obligation on your part. Call us at 800-285-8678 today.