Maryland Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Assisting Construction Workers
Helping injured construction workers claim compensation when they’re hurt on the job
Here in Maryland, our construction workers build the places we work, shop, and live. We depend on them to build our infrastructure and keep it thriving. It’s a tough occupation and the number of on-the-job injuries is higher than in other lines of work. The statistics don’t lie; OSHA reports that 99 construction workers are killed on the job every week, which works out to more than 14 deaths per day.
If you are a Maryland construction worker injured on the job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The attorneys at Plaxen & Adler, P.A. can help you and your family seek the benefits you need to pay your medical bills and obtain lost wages from the time you’ve taken off work to heal from your injuries. You don’t have to prove any negligence on the part of your employer to claim workers’ compensation benefits. However, you may find your benefits denied, or not sufficient enough to cover your injuries or disability. Our legal team can help.
The “Fatal Four”
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that construction sites follow certain regulations to keep their sites safe and protect their workers from harm. However, even with these rules in place, accidents do happen. Certain construction accidents tend to happen more than others. They call these the “fatal four,” and they’re responsible for more than half of all construction worker fatalities.
- Falls are one of the leading causes of death for construction workers. Many job sites require workers to work at dangerous heights. Things like unsteady ladders, bad flooring, or unstable scaffolding can cause fatal falls. Construction workers performing their jobs above six feet are required to have a fall arrest system.
- Another big risk on construction sites is electrocution. Live electricity, exposed wires, and flammable materials are all hazards, even to those who don’t work with electricity.
- “Struck by object” is another potentially fatal issue noted by OSHA. Even with hard hats, dropped objects and other debris can cause harmful physical trauma to the head or face.
- The last of the fatal four is called “caught in between.” Workers may become trapped in between pieces of equipment or other immovable objects, or crushed by falling pieces or debris.
Construction workers range in occupation from electricians, plumbers, carpenters, masons, builders, painters, iron and steel workers, to name just a few. With heavy machinery, power tools, and elevated work areas, these sites can be extremely dangerous. With proper safety regulations, employee training, and equipment maintenance, construction sites don’t have to be so hazardous, but the truth of the matter is sometimes injuries happen. Other injuries often sustained in construction accidents covered by workers’ compensation claims include:
- Head injuries/traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries/paralysis
- Broken, fractured, or crushed bones
- Amputation/loss-of-limb injuries
- Severe burns
- Back injuries/herniated or ruptured discs
- Hearing loss
- Repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
Many of these injuries require time away from work to heal or rehabilitate. Some might require a change in vocation altogether, and some may end in permanent disability.
Construction injuries related to Maryland’s energy industry
Traditionally, “construction” has meant road work, building new properties, and home renovation. In Maryland, however, green initiatives have led to increased energy sector jobs. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, “Nearly 1.4 million energy efficiency jobs are in the construction industry. Construction firms have also seen a marked increase in the percentage of their workforce that spends at least half their time on work related to improving energy efficiency, rising from approximately 65% in 2015 to 74% in 2016.”
About 5% of all U.S. energy is powered by wind. While Maryland already has some wind farms in the mountains to the west, there is great potential to increase the number of turbines “offshore in the Atlantic Ocean, and on the ridgebacks of the Appalachian Mountains.”
Workers doing construction for the energy sector face the same risks, of course, as other construction workers: falls, crushing accidents, electric shocks, etc. Some energy sector workers may be exposed to additional toxic chemicals (especially those working in traditional fields). Because Maryland uses some amount of nuclear energy, workers could be at risk for radiation poisoning, if there is an equipment or storage failure. Renewable energy jobs, however, tend to happen in more remote areas of the state. Not only does this increase the length of time before a worker can be helped by a doctor, but it also makes it more difficult (and, very often, far more expensive) for EMTs to reach the construction worker.
Whether you work in the traditional energy sector with fossil fuels and nuclear power, or in the green energy sector with wind turbines and solar panels, we understand that the risks you face are great. Plaxen & Adler, PA can assist you with making a claim for workers’ compensation if you are hurt on a construction site, doing work for the energy industry.
Types of workers’ compensation benefits for Maryland construction workers
There are four kinds of benefits available for those injured on the job, depending on the situation.
- Temporary total disability benefits: If you are unable to work at all because of your injury, you can receive these benefits until you are ready to go back to work. If you’re disabled for less than 14 days, your benefits don’t kick in until after the first three days. If you’re disabled for more than two weeks, compensation kicks in on the first day.
- Temporary partial disability benefits: If you are able to work part-time or in a limited capacity and are earning less than you usually would, these benefits are designed to make up for the financial difference.
- Permanent partial disability benefits: If your injury leaves you with a permanent impairment, you are entitled to compensation. Your benefits last for a fixed period depending on the body part injured and the severity of the injury. You can still be working full time and receive these benefits.
- Permanent total disability benefits: A worker is considered totally disabled if he or she suffers a catastrophic injury that leaves him or her permanently disabled. You’ll receive two-thirds of your weekly wage.
Workers’ compensation also provides the following:
- Medical benefits: Coverage of any medical expenses related to the construction accident, like doctor visits, hospitalization, surgery, medications, crutches, etc.
- Vocational services: If you’re unable to return to your job because of your injury, you’re entitled to services that help you find work you’re more suited to perform.
- Death benefits: If a construction worker is in a fatal accident, a spouse or dependent is entitled to death benefits, including coverage of funeral expenses and a percentage of that employee’s earnings.
In some cases with construction site accidents, it may be possible to recover additional compensation by filing a third-party liability claim. With these claims, you must be able to show that negligence on the part of someone other than your employer caused the accident. Examples of third parties might be general contractors, sub-contractors, site owners, or inspectors. It may also be possible to bring a product liability lawsuit if your accident was caused by defective or malfunctioning equipment.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys can answer any questions you have about your accident or claim.
Contact our Maryland workers’ compensation lawyers for help
At Plaxen & Adler, P.A., we understand the complexities of construction workers’ compensation claims. We know how to work with insurance companies and can help you if your claim is denied or if you feel you’re not getting the amount of compensation you deserve. Our Maryland workers’ compensation lawyers will fight for your rights as a worker. To learn more, or to schedule a free consultation, please call 410-730-7737 or fill out our contact form.