Construction Accident Burn Injuries
Construction sites are some of the most dangerous job sites in the nation. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), thousands of construction accidents occur each year, leading to over 900 deaths. Even when accidents are not fatal, workers are left bedridden and in need of long-term medical care.
At Slappey & Sadd, we have helped construction workers receive the compensation they need. In some cases, this will involve obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. In other situations, our clients have a legal claim against a third party whose negligent or reckless conduct led to their burn injury. If you need assistance, please call 404.255.6677.Common Causes of Burn Injuries on Construction Sites
Live wires, high-voltage power tools, and hazardous chemicals all conspire to make job sites a ripe area for burns. Many of our clients have been burned by:
- Contact with live wires
- Chemical leaks
- Toxic chemical exposure
Regardless of how you are burned, victims should receive immediate medical attention. Doctors recommend that people go to the hospital if their burn is at least the size of their palm or if the burn is very deep. However, most workers should probably go to the hospital unless the burn is obviously superficial. Workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals and high heat, which can cause serious injuries. A doctor can assess the burn and provide appropriate treatment.Burn Complications
Second- and third-degree burns can seriously damage skin and underlying tissue, leading to scarring, blistering, and nerve damage. Those suffering from a serious burn might need skin grafts for the affected area and could face a long road to recovery. If skin contractures limit movement, then you might need surgery to improve mobility.
Burns also have serious complications. For example, there is a risk the burn can become infected if it is not cleaned and dressed properly. Infection can spread to other parts of the body, leading to coma and even death. To prevent infection, go to the doctor if you notice your burn begins to leak puss or is otherwise extremely painful.
Burns also cause severe emotional distress in victims. The emotional and psychological repercussions are often as hard to manage as the burn injury itself and can lead to a reduced quality of life for victims and their families. Many burn victims struggle with:
- Anxiety about the future
- Emotional outbursts
Burn victims and their family members should seek out counseling and support services to help them cope and learn techniques for controlling negative emotions. They might also benefit from therapy or prescription drugs.Legal Liability for Burn Injuries on Construction Sites
Many different people or entities could be responsible for your burn injury. Some of them include:
- Your employer
- The property owner
- General contractors
These entities can cause burn accidents through their own carelessness, called negligence. Common examples of negligence include:
- Violating safety codes
- Providing insufficient training to employees
- Poor working conditions
- Unsafe procedures
- Failing to inform of risks
- Failing to have sufficient fire safety equipment
- Employer demands that lead to shortcuts
- Providing dangerous equipment to use
When a person or entity has been negligent, they open themselves up to legal liability, meaning many of our clients can sue the party responsible for compensation. Bringing a personal injury lawsuit is complex, and you would benefit from an experienced attorney by your side who can investigate the accident and build a case against the defendant. As soon as you feel up for it, meet with a Georgia construction accident lawyer for a free consultation.Burn Injuries and Workers’ Compensation
If you were a worker who suffered a burn injury, then the workers’ compensation system will limit your right to sue your employer. Workers’ comp provides all necessary and reasonable medical care for your burn. You might also qualify for wage loss benefits if you cannot work.
However, in exchange for these benefits, you cannot sue your employer, even if they were negligent. This is a tradeoff at the heart of the Georgia workers’ compensation system.
Fortunately, you can still sue a third party if they are responsible for your burn. For example, a power tool might explode because it was defectively manufactured. In that situation, you could possibly bring a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer and receive compensation.
Also, bystanders or visitors to construction sites can bring a lawsuit against any entity responsible for the burn. They are not limited by workers’ compensation but can seek money from all liable parties.Compensation in a Lawsuit
By bringing a lawsuit, our clients can receive compensation for a range of losses, including:
- Medical care, such as surgery, rehabilitation, prosthetics, prescription drugs, and mental health counseling
- Lost wages, if you could not work because of your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
It is possible to receive much more compensation with a lawsuit than our clients can get through workers’ compensation alone, which only pays a portion of lost wages and does not provide anything for pain and suffering or mental anguish.
For this reason, it is worth your time to check whether you can bring a lawsuit. Doing so will provide full and fair compensation for your injuries, allowing you to support yourself and your family even if your burns are devastating.
Each situation is different. There is no “average” compensation for burn injuries. However, a qualified Georgia construction accident lawyer can help you understand how a jury would analyze your case and the amount of money they are likely to award you.Speak to a Construction Accident Attorney in Georgia Today
You might not think you need a lawyer to deal with your burn injury. However, there is a lot to think about in addition to receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Rather than assume that you do not have a valid legal claim against a third party, you should meet with an experienced lawyer to review how the burn happened.
Contact Slappey & Sadd today. Our lawyers have years of experience and can get you the help you need. Call 404.255.6677 or send us an online message. We serve the entire state of Georgia, including Columbus, Fort Benning, Decatur, and Lithonia.