Arkansas Lawyers Help Multi-Story Falls Victims Qualify for Workers’ Compensation
Falls are the leading cause of death in construction. Nationwide in 2018, there were 320 fatal falls to a lower level out of 1,008 construction fatalities.
In 2019 there were 1,102 fatal injuries in the private sector and government construction industry, representing 20.7 percent of workplace fatalities in the United States (5,333).
Falls, slips, and trips were the most frequent, representing 37.9 percent of all fatalities (418 of 1,102). This was a 22.9-percent increase in fatal falls, slips, and trips over 2018. Most fatal falls, slips, and trips are from falls to a lower level.
What OSHA Has to Say About Construction Fall Accidents
One of the most common injuries is falls. Falls are one of the components of the “Fatal Four” accidents that tend to occur on job sites, identified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Globally, falls from height are significant jeopardy on construction sites. They are a leading cause of severe and fatal injuries for construction workers.
The four most common construction accidents that result in injury or death include:
Falls – Off of cranes, upper stories, roofs, scaffoldings, and ladders. Workers can also fall into open pits, excavations, elevator shafts, or staircases. Accidents can result from no fall prevention safety equipment, dangerous scaffolding equipment, unsafe ladders, and faulty equipment.
Hit By an Object – Falling objects are a serious hazard on job sites and can involve objects falling from above, coming off shelves, being dropped by a crane, or being hit by a swinging object.
Electrocution – Can happen due to improper grounding, faulty power cords, or workers not using the proper protective equipment.
Caught Between Objects – Workers can get caught between a wall and moving equipment, a stationary object, or caught in moving machinery.
Even though working in construction is dangerous, this does not relieve your employer’s obligation to provide an adequately safe work environment for you. Sustaining a life-threatening injury is a constant risk that construction workers face. Often, construction workers may need to miss workdays, weeks, or even months due to a work accident.
Common Injuries on Construction Sites
- Serious head injuries from falling or being hit by a falling object;
- Neck and back injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries that result in paralysis or death;
- Broken bones due to falling or being caught between a vehicle and a stationary object;
- Burn injuries from exposed wires and caustic chemicals;
- Amputations are due to sharp tools, whirling blades, and heavy objects;
- Hearing loss from loud equipment, explosives, jackhammering, and other devices; and
- Slips and falls due to icy walkways.
Construction Industry Falls from Height (FFH)
The construction industry has morphed over the last few decades. With the addition of more transitory project workers and more versatile and dangerous equipment, accident rates have shot up. One of the most common accidents on a worksite is falling from a height (FFH). It has the highest rate amongst workers compared to other kinds of accidents. Falls account for 48 percent of severe injuries in the U.S. and 30 percent of fatalities.
Several factors contribute to FFH, including:
- Employees who performed risky activities without the proper safety equipment or due to improper training or lack of understanding regarding safety protocols;
- Work environment conditions at the job site;
- How management directed duties to workers at a job site; and
- Poor weather conditions such as wind, heat, rain, or snow.
The two most frequent causes of FFH were related to workers engaging in risky activities performed at height and the individual worker’s knowledge, attitude, and behaviors. FFH injuries most often happen when a construction crew carries out hazardous tasks, for instance, working on scaffolding and roofing.
Workers’ Compensation and Falls on A Job Site
Accidents at Arkansas worksites typically mean the injured worker applies for workers’ compensation. However, there are instances where an injured worker may be able to file a third-party lawsuit. This depends on the circumstances of the accident, and your workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield can explain the differences to you.
Establishing liability in a construction site accident is problematic because who is to blame is not always clear. In a potential third-party lawsuit, the accident may have been caused by a general contractor, a construction company manager, an equipment manufacturer, the landowner, or even a product supplier.
Another area of dispute for workers filing a workers’ compensation claim and not a third-party claim is that the injured worker must be able to point out the law or regulation that may have been violated, resulting in their injuries. This, too, is difficult due to workers who do not follow the rules and regulations, violating OSHA safety standards.
Multi-story call workers’ compensation claims can become complicated, so you should speak with an attorney at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield as soon as possible. We can help you navigate the Arkansas workers’ compensation system to obtain the necessary benefits you deserve and determine if a personal injury claim might also apply to your circumstances.
What Benefits Can Arkansas Residents Get
Arkansas workers’ compensation benefits include several options. Benefits usually begin on the ninth day of your disability. You receive back pay on the first day if you miss more than two weeks. Typical benefits injured warehouse, construction, and other professional service workers can claim are:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) – You receive two-thirds of your average weekly wages over the past 52 weeks. There are maximums.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) – If your injury permanently impairs you, you may be able to keep getting benefits when you return to work.
- Permanent and Total Disability – If you cannot work in any position due to your injuries, you receive 450 weeks of workers’ compensation payments.
- Medical Benefits – Your employer shares an approved list of physicians in-network or designates a doctor for you to visit.
- Mental Injuries – There must be proof that the condition resulted from a physical injury sustained at work.
- Rehabilitation – Physical or vocational rehabilitation approved by a physician.
After speaking with an experienced attorney at our firm, we can help determine which benefits fit your unique situation.
Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Claims Can Be Denied
Typical reasons for a denial of a workers’ compensation claim are:
- An injury was linked to a pre-existing condition. If the job made it worse, you might be eligible for benefits.
- An injury did not occur at your worksite.
- You did not see an approved physician.
- You failed to notify your employer about the work-related injury.
- You failed to follow the physician’s orders and did not complete treatment.
- You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs when you got hurt.
Contact the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield Today
Call us today for a free initial consultation and to find out what you can expect when you file a workers’ compensation claim. We know you have questions, and we can answer them for you. The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield is just one quick call away: (479) 361-3575.