Phoenix Construction Accident Lawyer

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Phoenix Construction Accident Attorney

One of the most underappreciated jobs is that of a construction worker. We count on them to build infrastructure that is safe and reliable for us, but to do so is one of the most dangerous professions.

Luckily, on-the-job accidents warrant workers’ compensation, but it’s not uncommon for problems to arise during the process. For protection and advocacy while you work toward your claim, a Phoenix construction accident lawyer is crucial.

A construction site is full of potential injury risks, made all the worse by the number of different parties that pass through. Contractors, sub-contractors, and many others are often on the job site. If they aren’t careful enough, the likelihood of an injury increases.

A construction accident can leave workers with significant injuries. Those injuries come with a significant cost for any injured worker. Sadly, the rules governing workers’ compensation, which protect employers and workers’ compensation insurance providers, mean that many workers don’t receive enough compensation to cover the totality of what they’ve had to endure. In many cases, workers’ comp alone is not enough to provide fair compensation.

There may, though, be a way for injured workers to receive everything that they deserve through personal injury law. While employers can’t have this kind of claim filed against them in most cases, there are often third parties that may have had a part to play in the accident and can be held liable by this mechanism. Working with a Phoenix construction accident lawyer can be a critical option when seeking to get the full compensation that you deserve.

At the Bleaman Law Firm, our Phoenix personal injury attorneys work exclusively in accident and injury law, affording us deep knowledge and experience that we can put to work in your construction accident case.

What Is Compensated Through Workers’ Comp in Phoenix, AZ?

It’s the responsibility of an employer to maintain a reasonably safe workplace for their employees. That’s why when you get injured on the job, it is typically their responsibility to compensate you.

However, what they are required to compensate for is determined by workers’ compensation laws and typically paid out through workers’ compensation insurance. These laws limit the kinds of compensation significantly when compared with a standard civil claim. Workers comp will reimburse:

  • Medical Costs – Injuries can create a wide variety of potential medical expenses, which should be covered by workers’ compensation. Things like doctor visits, testing, surgeries, hospital stays, medication, medical equipment, and physical therapy and rehabilitation are all covered by workers’ comp.
  • Wage Replacement – The wage replacement coverage that workers’ comp offers is not necessarily a full replacement of your wages but rather a percentage of your weekly average wage.
  • Vocational Training – If you are going to need to change careers because of your injuries, workers’ compensation will cover the cost of training and job placement services to get you set up with a new career.
  • Travel Expenses – In some cases, travel to and from medical appointments and vocational training, if it’s a significant distance, may be covered.
  • Death Benefits – In cases where a construction worker dies, then things like funeral expenses and support for the workers’ dependents will be covered. A Phoenix wrongful death lawyer can help you understand the specifics of such claims.

It’s important to realize that none of the psychological and emotional effects of an injury are covered by workers’ compensation. The wage compensation is also not full wage reimbursement, either. In many cases, the coverage that workers’ comp offers is simply not enough, but your lawyer can help ensure it covers everything possible.

Who Else Could Be Liable Besides an Employer?

In many construction accidents in Phoenix, AZ, it’s possible that a third party may be liable, and compensation can be sought from them through a personal injury claim, just like a car accident, slip and fall, or other injury caused by the negligence of someone else might be addressed.

What’s necessary for a third party to be liable is that their mistake or error contributed to the accident and, therefore, your injuries. Some of the potential third parties that could be liable include:

  • General Contractors and Subcontractors – A construction project often has a variety of other general contractors and subcontractors passing through and doing various jobs. The larger the overall project, the more contractors and subcontractors that there are passing through. If these people fail to maintain a safe work environment, and that leads directly to an injury, then it’s possible that they may be liable for the injuries.
  • Manufacturers – A construction site is often full of a wide array of equipment and machinery. If something goes wrong with the equipment that leads to an accident, the manufacturer of the equipment may be liable, so long as proper maintenance was kept up with.
  • Equipment Rental Companies – Some of the equipment on a job site is rented from companies that provide it. If those companies have failed to properly maintain the equipment, then it’s possible that they may be liable.
  • Property Owners – In some cases, there can be a structural issue or other hazards related to a property, and the owners of the property are responsible for sharing that information with those working on the property or addressing the concerns. Failure to do so could result in property owners being held liable.
  • Architects and Engineers – Although rare, there are some circumstances where the design plan and specifications for a construction project are incorrect and lead to an accident and subsequent injuries. It could be the architects and engineers who are at fault in these situations.

How Is Third-Party Liability in a Phoenix Construction Accident Proven?

The process of proving a third party liable for a claim is determined by personal injury law. The key to this kind of claim is demonstrating negligence on the part of the defendant. That means being able to show that they made some kind of mistake, error, or other behavior that led directly to the injuries you suffered.

Proving this will rely on a variety of evidence, facts, eyewitness accounts, and expert witnesses, who may be called up to explain the standard expectations within the construction industry. Proving negligence with these tools will require proof of each of the three components that make up negligence.

Duty of Care

The first component of negligence is something called a “duty of care.” In the situation in which the accident occurred, the defendant needs to have had a duty of care.

Our actions or inactions have an effect on those around us. A duty of care means that we take into account those effects and take reasonable precautions to not put anyone at risk or in danger. The exact nature of this duty will depend on the situation, and even different kinds of construction projects may have a different level of duty involved.

Proving a duty of care regarding a construction site is relatively straightforward. The inherent danger of a construction site is fairly obvious. While it would be impossible to eliminate all risk, the nature of construction does make it evident that what are considered “reasonable precautions” should be more extensive on a construction site than in a place like a library. Getting the court to recognize the duty of care for these situations is not a significant hurdle.

Breach of Duty

A breach of duty means that the defendant has failed to live up to the duty of care. In other words, something about their actions or inaction did not meet the responsibility that they had under those circumstances. They failed to take the reasonable precautions that were expected of them. To prove this, your lawyer must first be able to prove exactly what the defendant did or didn’t do in the situation in which the accident occurred.

Once the defendant’s actions have been proven, then it’s necessary to be able to describe why these actions failed to meet the duty that was necessary in that situation. Construction, though, is a field that requires specific knowledge, so helping the court to understand how something is a breach of duty can be a little more complicated.

It can sometimes be helpful to bring in an expert witness—someone who handles the same kind of construction sites, for instance—to help explain to the court what should have been expected and why the actions of the defendant didn’t meet that level.

Cause of Injury

The final element necessary to prove negligence is that the breach in question must have caused your injuries. For a construction accident, this effectively breaks down into proving two connected elements. The first is that the accident was the result of the breach. Anyone who’s been on a construction site knows that there are things that could constitute a breach but don’t result in any accident or injury.

It’s always possible that there are multiple breaches occurring at one time, and what matters is which breach or breaches caused the accident. Your lawyer will need to be able to show how the breach was the direct cause of the accident.

The next thing that your lawyer will need to show is how the accident was the source of the injuries that you suffered. This may appear to be trivial, but it’s important to realize that people have, in personal injury cases, attempted to pass off pre-existing injuries or ones sustained after the accident as being a result of the defendant’s actions.

To prevent anything fraudulent regarding the injuries, your lawyer must make the connection clear. Once the connection from breach to injury is proven, then liability is established and compensation can be collected.

What Is Compensated if a Third Party Is Found to Be Liable?

If your lawyer is able to prove liability, then you will be able to collect damages, which is the term for compensation in a civil claim. These damages will only cover the cost of the losses directly related to the injuries that you have suffered. Your lawyer will be required to demonstrate how the damages that you’re seeking address a direct cost from the injuries. Generally, these damages will be paid out in two—and sometimes three—categories.

  • Economic Damages – There are many costs associated with a construction accident that are easily calculable. Some of these costs, such as medical costs, should be compensated through workers’ compensation, but if they aren’t, this is the category of damages that they would be addressed through. Additionally, the missed wages that likely won’t be completely addressed through workers’ comp may also be a part of the economic damages.
  • Non-Economic Damages – Workers’ comp fails to address any of the issues that are compensated through non-economic damages. These cover the less tangible costs. The psychological and emotional costs, like pain and suffering, loss of use of a body part, or mental anguish, are compensated through non-economic damages. The financial value is not expected to be a solution to the issues but may, hopefully, make them more manageable.
  • Punitive Damages – These damages are always rare but may be particularly so in the case of a construction accident. They are generally only awarded when there is something particularly reprehensible about the behavior of the defendant, and they act as a kind of civil punishment. A construction accident, though, is unlikely to involve anything malicious or so overly reckless as to warrant punitive damages.

Unlike workers’ compensation, a personal injury claim does have the potential to have your compensation impacted if your own negligence played a role in the injury that you suffered. This is because of Arizona’s pure comparative negligence rules. These rules give the defendant’s team the opportunity to prove the components of negligence with regard to your actions surrounding the accident and injury.

If they are successful, then you will be given a percentage that reflects the court’s opinion of your share of fault for the injuries. The damages you were awarded will then be reduced proportionately to that share.

If someone is found to be 30% at fault on an award of $500,000, they will be paid out $350,000. Part of what your lawyer will be responsible for is preparing to defend against these kinds of accusations on the part of the defendant.

How Can a Phoenix Construction Accident Lawyer Help?

A construction accident injury is a particularly complex situation, given the complex elements of finding where liability lies and determining if a workers’ comp or personal injury claim may be applicable. To ensure that you are pursuing every possible avenue to get the compensation that you deserve, it’s critical that you work with a knowledgeable Phoenix construction accident lawyer.

Our job starts with initiating a thorough investigation of the circumstances around the accident and injuries that you suffered. That process is what allows us to determine the potentially liable parties. We can also gather evidence that can help to make the case for liability before the court, as well as gather evidence to defend against claims of comparative negligence on your part.

In most cases, it will be insurance companies that are responsible for paying out the claims. Your lawyer can represent you in these negotiations, which can be a wise idea because insurance companies tend to take negotiations more seriously when a lawyer is involved.

They may try to present individuals with lower offers but are aware that a lawyer’s knowledge and experience will allow them to quickly recognize unfair compensation. Additionally, because a lawyer is likely to represent their client in the process of filing a claim, a lawyer negotiating carries an implicit threat of taking the case to court, which could motivate insurance companies to make a more serious offer.

Finally, if it is necessary to take the claim to court, it’s our job to represent you throughout the process. We file the necessary paperwork and prepare to make a case before the court. In the trial, we are responsible for making the case for negligence on the part of the defendant, challenging claims that you were negligent, and arguing for a damages package that covers your needs.

You Deserve Enough Compensation to Cover the Costs of Your Construction Accident

The inherent dangers of a construction site make it one of the most likely places for a serious workplace accident. The injuries that can occur on a job site can be substantial and leave workers with difficult and sometimes lifelong problems. A Phoenix catastrophic injury lawyer can provide necessary legal support.

They come with significant costs as well. Medical bills, psychological impacts, and mental disruption are all potential costs. In many cases, workers’ compensation is possible, but often, it’s not enough to cover everything an injured worker has to endure.

Many workers don’t realize that they have options beyond workers’ comp. While they can’t sue their employers for a personal injury claim in most circumstances, their employers may not be the only party that’s at fault.

If a third party is also liable for a worker’s injuries, that may be a way for them to get more of the costs they’ve had to deal with covered. However, using the legal system in this fashion can be tricky because these third parties may often believe that workers’ comp should be sufficient.

Whether or not a third party was involved in your accident, working with a Phoenix construction accident lawyer is critical to exhausting every option possible to get the compensation you deserve.

At the Bleaman Law Firm, we do everything that we can to see that our construction accident clients are properly compensated for what they’ve had to endure. Contact us today if you’ve been hurt in a construction accident.


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