A Michigan construction accident lawyer can help if you or someone you care about was injured doing a construction job. Construction is a dangerous occupation, and workers are frequently injured or even killed at a construction site.
Both federal and Michigan state laws impose strict safety standards on construction companies. Unfortunately, not every employer follows these standards. As a result, accidents can occur at even the safest job sites. Many times, workers injured on a construction site can sue for pain and suffering damages.
If you were hurt on the job, an experienced Michigan injury attorney from the law offices of Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. will get the compensation you deserve.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney for a free consultation and legal advice. We will start our construction site accident investigation immediately.
- Michigan state safety plan (MIOSHA)
- Construction accident statistics
- How to file a construction accident lawsuit
- Construction accident settlement example
Michigan State Safety Plan (MIOSHA)
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) establishes federal safety standards for construction sites. In addition to the federal regulations, each state has established its own OSHA guidelines. Michigan’s state plan, known as MIOSHA, has adopted many of the federal regulations, but there are several areas in the construction field that differ from federal guidelines. Some safety concerns covered by MIOSHA include:
- Boilers and pressure vessels
- First aid
- Airborne contaminants
- Hazard communication
- Personal protective equipment
- Electrical hazards
- Hoists, powered platforms, and elevators
A Michigan construction accident attorney will fully explain how MIOSHA regulations apply to a particular case. If a construction company fails to follow state or federal regulations, a lawyer be able to hold it accountable for its actions.
Construction Accident Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that about 20 percent of fatal laborer injuries occurred in the construction industry.
On average, construction workers either become ill or injured on three of 100 workdays each year.
The pie chart below shows the distribution of non-fatal injuries at construction sites in the year 2015.
More than half of all non-fatal injuries on construction sites result from falling, slipping or tripping. Approximately 31.4% of construction site injuries occur from tripping or slipping without falling.
How do I File a Construction Accident Lawsuit in Michigan?
Michigan courts have heard several cases relating to construction accidents. Their decisions can play a critical role in the outcome of a current case. If you were injured on the job, you may be able to sue a negligent party for a construction injury. The facts of the construction site play a key factor in determining your legal rights.
Common Work Area
Some construction accidents involve the common work area doctrine, which allows general contractors to be held accountable for the actions of their subcontractors. These cases allege that a contractor or property owner failed to take adequate safety measures within a “common work area,” but the precise definition of such a location can be unclear.
A 2009 Michigan Court of Appeals case, Alderman v. JC Development Communities, LLC, clarified the meaning. The court held that a subcontractor’s crane coming into contact with power lines did not meet the intended definition. Instead, a common work area is one involving significant risk to a large number of workers.
Employees Versus Independent Contractors
An important Supreme Court case in construction accident law, Kidd v. Miller-Davis Co. (1997), discussed the differences in meaning between an employee and an independent contractor for the purposes of gaining relief under the Michigan Worker’s Disability Compensation Act. The Michigan Supreme Court cited prior federal and state court decisions in its arguments.
The court decided that, in order to determine whether an injured construction worker was an employee or an independent contractor, one needs to look at all factors as a whole. Important considerations include the payment of wages, hiring and firing, control, and degree of responsibility, all of which must be balanced in deciding whether or not a laborer is an organization’s employee. A skilled construction accident attorney in Michigan will determine a worker’s employment status and identify all available sources of compensation.
Third-Party Construction Accident Lawsuits
Many construction workers are injured on the job due to the fault of a person or company other than their employer. For example, an electrician may fall due to scaffolding erected by the construction company. Or, a worker might be struck by a crane operated by an employee of a different company at a construction site.
In these cases, the injured worker can file a personal injury claim against the negligent party. These damages do not have the same limits as a worker’s compensation claim. The injured employee can sue for pain and suffering compensation. This is in addition to workers comp payments.
Michigan Construction Accident Case Study
A 62-year-old construction worker fell through a hole in the floor at a job site. The hole was not properly covered to protect workers from injury.
The man suffered serious injuries, including quadriplegia.
A lawsuit was filed against multiple defendants at the construction site. He also sued the general contractor. The case settled for $6,500,00.
Can I Sue for a Construction Accident Death?
The bar chart below shows the number of fatalities from selected construction occupations from 2011-2015.
Labor workers had the most fatalities over the time period and nearly double the fatalities as the second-highest occupation, foreman.
From these occupations from the four-year time span, there were a total of 3,704 fatalities.
Family members of a worker killed on the job in a construction accident can file a workers compensation claim. These workers comp laws provide benefits for 500 weeks of work comp benefits to dependents. There is also a one-time payment of $ 6,000 for funeral expenses.
In cases involving the liability of a third party, the family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. These cases provide family members with settlement payouts for the pain and suffering of the decedent from the time of injury until death. Compensation also includes payouts for the loss of society and the companionship of the loved one.
In some cases, the family can pursue both a workers compensation claim and file a wrongful death lawsuit. Our construction accident lawyers will explore all available legal options.
Speak with a Michigan Construction Accident Attorney Today
If you were hurt on a job site, a Michigan construction accident lawyer will fully explain how state and federal regulations apply to your case.
Construction injury claims are complex, and various factors can change the methods required to gain compensation.
Contact a construction accident lawyer at the law offices of Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. to schedule a free consultation.
We charge no legal fees unless you get a settlement. And, we pay all of the case expenses. It costs nothing to start your case. Call us now for free legal advice.
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