Golitko & Daly

Types of Construction Accidents

Because of the inherent danger of construction sites, construction workers are often victims of serious, life-threatening injuries.

The compassionate attorneys at Golitko & Daly, P.C. represent injured workers involved in several types of construction accidents

What types of construction accidents are the most dangerous? 

Bird's-eye view of construction site and workers

These Types of Construction Accidents  Are Known as the "Fatal Four" 

Falls 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls accounted for 39 percent of construction accident-related deaths during 2017 alone. Falls from ladders, scaffolding, or other equipment can result in long-lasting or permanent injuries. 

Being Struck 

Eight percent of construction workers who were killed during 2017 were struck by an object such as a forklift, falling equipment, or a construction vehicle.

Electrocution 

Seven percent of construction workers involved in fatal accidents were affected by electrocution. Electrocution could result from improper training, faulty equipment, or improper maintenance

Getting Caught

OSHA estimates that five percent of construction workers who were killed were stuck or crushed by various types of construction site equipment

Were You Injured in a Construction Accident?  We Can Help 

If you were injured in a construction accident, you do not have to face the effects of your injuries on your own. We offer free consultations for clients. Our team can review the details of your case and determine whether you should pursue legal action.

How often do these types of construction accidents occur?

These Types of Accidents  Are Alarmingly Common 

Construction accident statistic

OSHA also reports that 582 lives could be saved every year if the Final Four were properly addressed. 

Our Attorneys Help Clients Collect Maximum Compensation*

If you or a loved one has been injured while working on a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation that can help you recover from injury and other losses. The best way to protect your interests is to secure the help of a law firm with proven expertise in workers compensation and personal injury law. The Indiana Workers' Compensation Act limits the amount of compensation an injured worker can collect from an employer, but with the assistance of our attorneys, injured workers can collect other benefits for losses such as:

  • Permanent disability
  • Lost wages
  • Disputed medical treatment
  • The cost of prescription medication

We have secured maximum compensation for workers injured in many different types of construction accidents. To learn how we can help you, contact our Indianapolis, IN, law firm and schedule a free consultation.

Who Is at Fault?

Construction accident cases are complex because they can involve multiple parties. The experienced attorneys at Golitko & Daly have successfully taken on insurance companies, contractors, subcontractors, and management companies as part of lawsuits involving on-the-job injuries. You can depend on our attorneys to provide the thorough representation necessary to collect the compensation to which you and your family are entitled.

Examples of negligent acts, or a failure to take reasonable care, include:

  • Operating poor or unsafe working conditions
  • Unsafe workplace procedures
  • Failure to follow safety codes
  • Providing inadequate training
  • Unrealistic employer demands that lead to safety shortcuts
  • Negligent management
  • Failure to maintain fire safety equipment
  • Removing or failing to provide proper safety equipment

An Osha-Certified Staff Fighting for Your Best Interests

"​We can handle all our clients' cases all under one roof and give them the focus and attention that their case deserves."

Defective Machinery: Workers’ Comp vs. Filing a Lawsuit

If you or a loved one have been injured on the job due to defective workplace machinery, you may have rights to pursue a lawsuit against negligent parties. Generally speaking, most workers cannot sue for injuries incurred at the workplace, and instead must file workers’ compensation. An exception to this rule are workers who were injured by defective products on the job. Such employees can sue product manufacturers, third parties, or employers for their injuries.

In a defective workplace machinery lawsuit, compensation can be sought for the full value of past and future medical and rehabilitation costs beyond that which is provided through workers' compensation, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering. The potential restitution from a lawsuit far exceeds the standard amount given to workers’ compensation recipients. Since many workers harmed in defective workplace machinery accidents face months or years of therapy, workers’ compensation typically does not come close to covering expenses. The damages won in a lawsuit can, however, relieve the financial burden for accident victims, allowing them to focus on healing.

A lawsuit can secure considerably more compensation than workers' compensation claims, allowing you to cover medical expenses and other costs related to your injury. 

When a Manufacturer May Be At Fault

Liability for your accident may fall upon the machine manufacturer for an unsafe design. For example, a machine, such as a saw, that is too easily activated can cause accidental contact during operation, or project debris onto workers. A design should follow relevant safety codes, and makers should reasonably foresee problems during the design and manufacturing process. If potential design problems are not reasonably detected, or detected and ignored, the manufacturer may be liable for related injuries. Even when a product is properly designed, manufacturing errors can render the machinery dangerous.

When Third Parties May Be At Fault

Sometimes an outside party is responsible for maintaining a product or training personnel on using the product. When they are negligent in their duties, a claim may be made against them. For example, a contractor may maintain equipment for an employer, but fail to exercise proper care during safety inspections.

The three main areas where third parties may be found negligent include:

  1. Failure to properly maintain machinery and other equipment
  2. Failure to train employees on the safe use and operation of equipment
  3. Failure to provide proper supervision of employees who use potentially dangerous equipment

When an Employer May Be At Fault

Pursuing a claim against an employer for a defective workplace machinery accident can only be done in limited circumstances. There are two main instances when a claim can be filed against an employer for a defective workplace machinery accident:

  1. If you were injured due to your employer's intentional conduct
  2. If your employer does not carry sufficient workers' compensation insurance

Other Common Accident Scenarios

Injuries occur relatively frequently on construction sites because of the inherent danger involved in working with heavy machinery, working at great heights, and other factors. Common construction site accidents include:

  • Fall Accidents - There are many different types of fall accidents, including falling from heights (from a roof, ladder, or scaffolding) and slip and fall accidents
  • Heavy Machinery Accidents - Construction sites are full of heavy machinery that can be dangerous, even when workers follow all safety protocols. Lift bucketsforklifts, bulldozers, and cranes are all commonly involved in accidents resulting in injuries. When a machinery accident occurs on a construction site, the results can be devastating.
  • Vehicle Accidents - Vehicles are commonly involved in construction site injuries. Hazardous conditions, obstructed roadways, and the negligence of other employees can all contribute to serious auto accidents on construction sites. 
  • Collapse Accidents - Buildings can collapse during construction, resulting in extensive damage and devastating injuries. Trench collapses are among the most serious types of construction accidents. There are many rules and regulations designed to ensure the safety of all workers performing their job duties in these situations. When failure to meet these regulations results in injury, our attorneys can create a compelling case on your behalf to help you secure the compensation you need.
  • Falling Debris - Numerous mistakes can lead to dangerous conditions on construction sites that result in falling debris. When falling objects such as tools and construction materials strike the body, they can cause severe lacerations, broken bones, head trauma, and death.

Eye Injuries & Burns

Although managers and superiors at construction sites are required by law to provide eye protection for their workers, this does not always happen. Without eye protection, construction workers are at risk of sustaining a severe eye injury that can result in blindness. The attorneys at Golitko & Daly can represent you if you have received an eye injury at a construction site, and fight to seek damages for your losses. 

A construction worker working without proper eye protection
Working without proper eye protection provided by site supervisors can lead to debilitating injuries. 

Since workplace eye injuries can lead to permanent vision impairment or blindness, employers are required to follow strict eye protection guidelines, per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Workers must be provided eye and face protection if exposed to harmful or toxic substances, acids, molten metal, radiation, flying objects, or chemicals in liquid, gaseous, or vapor form. Despite these requirements, a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study found that more than 10,600 construction workers miss work each year due to eye injury.

Every year, about 10,600 construction workers endure eye injuries that force them to miss work, and many of these accidents are due to management's failures to provide safety measures and protections.

As if this statistic were not shocking enough, another study has found that most of these injuries were a direct result of the employer’s inadequate safety measures. Specifically, employers or managers do not offer proper training on eye safety or provide the correct protective devices. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 60 percent of workers who endure on-the-job eye injuries were either not wearing eye protection or wearing the wrong type of eye protection at the time of injury.

Causes of Eye Injuries in the Workplace

Any number of situation on a construction site can pose a risk for eye injury for workers. The more common construction site eye injuries include exposure to:

  • Chemicals or toxic substances
  • Radiation from welding torches, lasers, or ultraviolet light
  • Projectiles which might include small particles such as sawdust, wood chips, metal shavings, glass, or dust
  • Medical waste or biological contaminants
  • Falling objects
  • Hazardous conditions, such as wind

Seeking Medical Treatment

If you have suffered an eye injury at a construction site, you should seek medical attention immediately. Delays in receiving care can make symptoms worse, or cause permanent eye damage. Being seen quickly by a healthcare provider also makes it easier to prove that your injury is a result of an on-the-job accident. The longer you wait between the accident and receiving medical attention, the more difficult it may be to substantiate your claim.

Be sure to see a doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Pupils that are uneven or irregular in shape
  • Severe pain in one or both eyes
  • Blood in the eye, especially the clear part
  • The eyes no longer move together
  • One eye protrudes
  • A change in the shape of the eye
  • A cut on the eyelid
  • An object stuck in the eye
  • Loss of vision

Burn Injury Causes & Effects

Burn injury victims may experience a lifetime of hardships, financial burdens, and extensive medical care. To protect your rights, and to ensure that you and your family are properly compensated, the experienced attorneys at Golitko & Daly can represent your construction site burn injury case. We fight to hold responsible parties accountable and win you maximum compensation.

Employees working on an electrical panel
Hazardous chemicals and live wiring can cause severe burn injuries on a construction site. 

Causes of Construction Site Burn Injuries

Many construction workers regularly face risk of a burn accident due to their exposure to hazardous chemicals and live wiring. Second and third degree burns, which require lengthy and painful healing, often result from:

  • Contact with live electrical currents
  • Chemical leaks
  • Explosions or fires
  • Electrical accidents
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Electrocution injuries
  • Cement mixing or laying
  • Exposure to steam

Hardships Burn Victims Face

While workers’ compensation is available to provide injured workers with financial assistance, it is not always enough. Burn victims may require multiple surgeries and extended hospital stays. Rehabilitation can last for months or even years. Mounting medical bills and considerable time off from work can add up to a significant financial burden for victims and their families. In the case of extensive or catastrophic burn injuries, victims may be permanently disabled and lose their ability to pursue their livelihood.

Our attorneys can pursue damages for economic losses related to your accident, as well as pain and suffering.

In addition to the physical pain, burn victims often endure emotional turmoil. It can be extremely difficult adjusting to a disability, unable to perform jobs or other activities as before. Burn injury victims with visible disfigurement may also experience a negative self-concept or lowered self-esteem. It is not uncommon for burn victims to suffer depression or anxiety in the aftermath of their accident.

Injuries Due to Falling Debris

Even a minor mistake at a construction site can result in a devastating injury. When a small tool or building material falls from a height and hits a worker, he or she can suffer severe lacerations, broken bones, head trauma, or death. If you or someone you love has been injured by a falling object while working at a construction site in Indiana, Golitko & Daly can help you obtain compensation through a falling debris lawsuit.

We will provide unwavering support throughout the legal process to help secure just compensated for your falling debris injury.

Factors That Can Lead to a Falling Debris Injury

Construction sites require strict adherence to safety standards due to their inherent danger. Unfortunately, safety lapses and various mistakes can lead to falling debris that cause serious injury. Although many factors can be involved, some of the most common include:

Unsecured Tools and Materials

To avoid falling, tools must be properly secured when they are being used above other workers. Materials such as bricks that are improperly stored at height can also lead to falling-object injuries.

Insufficient Barricades and Signage

Clear signs and effective barricades must be in place so people realize that construction is occurring and there is a risk of falling objects. Signs need to indicate that a hard hat is required, and barricades must be in place to keep pedestrians (who are not expected to wear hard hats) at a distance.

Insufficient Equipment Inspection

Devices such as hooks and cords that are used to attach objects to equipment such as cranes and hoists will weaken with age. For this reason, they must be regularly inspected for wear and other flaws and immediately replaced when an error is spotted to avoid causing injury.

Scaffolding Accidents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has estimated that 65 percent of construction employees frequently work on scaffolding. Meanwhile, some of the most common types of construction injuries involve falls from scaffolding, lifts, and ladders. Falls can result in astronomical medical expenses and the need for extensive rehabilitation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a scaffolding accident, our attorneys at Golitko & Daly can help you collect maximum compensation in order to rebuild your life in the wake of loss. 

Our attorneys have a proven track record of reaching settlement agreements with liable parties, in addition to fighting for workers who have been denied workers' compensation benefits.

Investigating the Cause of Injury

Working on a scaffolding structure involves many dangers. Slips, trips, and falls can occur while climbing and working, or as a result of equipment failure and other accidents. We will investigate whether the cause was related to negligence, defects, improper training and systems, failure to comply with OSHA regulations, or other factors. Meanwhile, we can help you file your workers' compensation claim to illustrate the full extent of your injury and loss, and to ensure that you are not denied benefits. The sooner you can meet with one of our expert attorneys, the sooner we can begin to build a compelling case on your behalf.

scaffolding
Contact an attorney as soon as possible if you or a loved one has suffered a fall from scaffolding.

Crane Accidents 

An incident caused by a crane can lead to catastrophic injury or death. Attorneys Matthew M. Golitko and John P. Daly, Jr., can act swiftly to preserve evidence, determine whether equipment was faulty, and discover if the injury or death is a result of negligence.

Cranes are used at construction sites for various reasons. Due to the inherent danger in crane use, strict adherence to safety protocols, as well as worker training, is essential. When there is a failure in protocol, injuries and even death can occur. The most common ways for crane injuries to happen involve:

  • Contact with power lines: When any metal part of a crane makes contact with a power line, the whole machine can become electrified. Crane operators, workers in contact with the crane, and sometimes even those nearby can be electrocuted as a result.
  • Overturns: When a crane is operating on unstable ground, if the crane operator lifts a load beyond the crane’s capacity, or if the load swings too fast or too far, the crane can tip over.
  • Falls: If safety harnesses are not worn or if they malfunction, a worker falling from a crane can suffer severe injury or death.
  • Mechanical failures: If a crane has a manufacturing or other defect, the machine can fail and injuries can occur, despite workers taking all necessary precautions.
  • Boom collapse: The crane’s boom can collapse if it is overloaded or rigged improperly.
  • Insufficient inspection: If inspection protocols are not followed, a worn, broken, or defective part can be missed and may lead to crane failure.

The experienced attorneys at Golitko & Daly can help you establish your case to let you focus on recovery. We will work tirelessly to help you gain the full compensation you deserve.

Determining Liability

Responsible parties can include the site owner, the general contractor, and any subcontractors. If the crane operator, or another worker, acted negligently and caused the crane injury, they can be held personally liable. Considerations also include whether or not there was a safety breach, how the safety breach occurred, and who caused the safety breach.

There are many standards that set forth design requirements for commercial cranes, and if these standards are not followed, injuries can occur. Cranes that are poorly designed or prone to malfunctioning may cause injuries. If the crane malfunctioned due to a manufacturing or design defect, a product liability case can hold responsible parties accountable. 

Black and white photo of two large cranes
Crane injuries can have catastrophic consequences that require the counsel of an attorney.

Accidents Involving Heavy Machinery

Construction, farming, and other professions often require the use of large, heavy equipment, which can lead to accidents and devastating injuries. Heavy equipment accidents can be caused by malfunction, improper upkeep, and other negligent reasons. Our attorneys at Golitko & Daly will work to determine the cause of injury or death. 

There are three common types of equipment that can cause significant injuries.

Bulldozer

A bulldozer is a form of tractor that is equipped with a metal plate or blade that is used to push large quantities of various materials. Bulldozers are often used to dig out trees, spread dirt and rocks, and make the ground level. Injuries can occur when the operator falls off a bulldozer, the machine tips or rolls, or the vehicle collides with another object. Other workers can also be injured if they are run over or get too close to the moving parts of the bulldozer.

Backhoe

A backhoe is a tractor with a scoop bucket on the end of a long arm, commonly used to dig and excavate dirt, rocks, and other materials. Backhoes are complex and powerful machines and require operators to follow strict safety procedures. Failure to do so can put the operator and other workers at risk. The most common backhoe accidents arise from: workers being hit by the backhoe arm; workers being run over by the treads; rollovers; falls from equipment; the backhoe sliding into ditches and trenches; and, the bucket hitting live wires and causing electrocution.

Excavator

An excavator is a large construction vehicle that is used to dig or move large objects. It has two main parts: an operator cabin and a long boom arm with a bucket at the end. Construction site excavator injuries typically occur when: a worker is hit by the quick-disconnect bucket; a worker is struck by the boom or another component; a worker is run over by the excavator; the equipment rolls over; the excavator hits a live electrical wire; or, the excavator slides into a ditch or trench.

The experienced attorneys at Golitko & Daly can help you and your family get on the road to recovery. We will work tirelessly to build your case and gather all necessary facts and evidence.

Common Causes of Machine Malfunction

Working with machinery on the job comes with certain risks, which can be minimized with proper maintenance and safety procedures. When a machine is improperly maintained or malfunctions, it can mean disaster for operators or persons nearby. Some common reasons why machinery malfunctions include:

  • Machine is poorly designed or lacks safety features such as a shield to protect workers from moving parts
  • Machine emits toxic fumes or chemicals without a proper shield to prevent leaks or splashes
  • Machine lacks adequate systems to shut down in the event of an accident or malfunction
  • Machine’s maintenance schedule has not been followed (usually in an attempt to save costs)
  • Machine is “past its prime” and should be replaced
  • Poorly considered operational systems

Black and white photo of a bull dozer and backhoe
Heavy equipment accidents can have severe lifelong consequences. Trust your claim to an attorney with a track record of success.

Trench Collapses

Trench collapses are among the worst type of construction accidents, and one of the most easily avoidable.  OSHA Regulations on preventing trench collapse accidents are clear and easy to follow. Any time an Indiana construction worker is below ground, in a trench, or in another excavation, he or she is at great risk for a potential trench collapse or cave-in. Active measures should be taken by employers to prevent such incidents.

Associated Risks

A trench is defined as a narrow excavation that is deeper than it is wide. Generally, a trench bottom width is 15 feet or less.  An excavation on the other hand is defined as the removal of Earth from an area. The face of the excavation is the vertical surface formed by the excavation.   Excavating is one of the most hazardous construction operations and when trench accidents happen during excavations, they usually result in serious injury or death.

There are several dangers associated with excavation and trenching.  These include:

  • Cave-ins
  • Contacting utility lines
  • Dirt, equipment or other materials falling on workers in the trench
  • Hazardous atmospheres and water accumulation

As trench collapse attorneys at Golitko & Daly in Indianapolis, we have seen firsthand the devastating results of carelessness and the failure to follow trenching and excavation safety rules and regulations. Let OSHA educated lawyers help you with your case.

"I have known John Daly for several years and have worked with him on many construction injury claims. He has always been very professional in his approach to helping the injured worker secure a positive verdict when they have been rightfully injured on the job site due to another's negligence..." Cindy K.

A Leading Cause of On-the-Job Deaths

Unfortunately, cave-ins are the leading cause of death in trench collapse accidents.  According to OSHA statistics, there is roughly one death for every 14 lost time accidents involving cave-ins. The fatality rate for trenching and excavating is over 100% higher than for general construction.

Cave-ins happen because cutting into the soil disturbs the connection holdings altogether. The deeper the cut, the less stable the soil becomes. When cracks in the side of the trench begin, weight is concentrated on the bottom of the trench, which gives way and undermines the support for the trench walls. Surprisingly, dirt is extremely heavy, with a cubic yard of dirt weighing up to 3000 pounds.

With the amount of weight that caves in on a worker, it is not surprising that injuries are devastating or fatal.  Often times death or paralysis are the most common injuries – leaving millions of dollars in medical bills and lost wages to the survivors of the deceased. Unfortunately, by the time an Indiana construction worker is aware of the trench collapse, it is usually too late.

Your Indiana work injury lawyers at Golitko and Daly represent laborers, union members, and other construction workers who have been killed, paralyzed, or seriously injured in trench collapse and other excavating accidents. 

trench collapse
Injuries resulting from a trench collapse require the counsel of an attorney who can help you collect compensation.

Electrical Accidents

Electricity is the silent killer at Indiana construction sites. Contact with power lines, equipment malfunction, improper insulation, inadequate personal protection, and poor or non-existent training can all lead to instant death. 

At Golitko & Daly we have seen the devastating effects of electrical accidents and injuries firsthand.  These energy injuries can lead to deathparalysisquadriplegia, and paraplegia, and may result in multiple claims being filed, such as an Indiana workers’ compensation claim that can help covers lost wages and future medical expenses.

A Hazardous Workspace

Because of the large power needs of commercial buildings, there are often high voltage power lines both above and below ground. There are also frequently temporary power supplies and power generators.  These power supplies can be hazardous if not properly set up and maintained.

A common Indiana construction accident involves a crane coming into contact with overhead power lines.  This can be deadly for not only the crane operator, but also construction workers on the ground. 

At Golitko & Daly, we have OSHA-certified staff and focused Indiana workers’ compensation attorneys to help you file all the claims that you or your family may be entitled to.

Serious injuries or death can lead to multiple claims, including workers’ compensation claims before the Indiana Workers Compensation Board, located in Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne, Muncie, Kokomo, Batesville, Evansville, Hammond, Elkhart, New Albany, and many other Indiana cities and towns. 

Determining Fault

A proper construction site safety plan specifically addresses how electrical safety is to be handled and who has responsibility for each aspect.  However, as the general contractor is the party with ultimate control of the job site, the responsibility lies with them to provide a work site free of construction hazards, particularly electrical ones.

electrical worker
Electrical accidents in the workplace can have serious lifelong consequences. Trust your future and your wellbeing to an attorney prepared to protect your rights.

Our Background in Electrical Cases

Electrical accidents and crane accidents are very common throughout Indianapolis, Indiana, and the United States.  We have had several large projects in Indiana recently, like Lucas Oil Stadium and Duke Energy, which resulted in near continuous construction around Indiana involving high voltage power.

Unchecked, these power sources can lead to:

We have had several successful cases against Duke Energy and various other large construction companies doing business in the state of Indiana. Though most of our cases are settled out of court, we have the resources and the knowledge to take your case all the way to trial, if need be. 

How Golitko & Daly Can Help

If you have been injured on the job, it is important to seek expert legal counsel as quickly as possible. The experienced attorneys at Golitko & Daly can help you and your family get on the road to recovery. We will work tirelessly to build your case and gather all necessary facts and evidence. Once the cause of injury has been established, our attorneys will work on your behalf to maximize any workers’ compensation benefits, social security disability benefits, and any other monetary awards to which you may be owed.

Golitko & Daly, P.C.

Golitko & Daly office

Our attorneys are committed to protecting the rights of injured workers. In addition to our aggressive representation, we pride ourselves on our: 

  • Proven results 
  • Free consultations for clients 
  • Contingency-based services 
  • Affiliations with the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, Indianapolis Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, and more 

To speak with one of our attorneys about your case, call us at (800) 520-1644 or request a consultation online

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