Lakewood Construction Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in a construction accident, Briggs & Briggs is here to help. Construction jobs involve a lot of heavy lifting and heavy equipment. It should come as no surprise that construction is one of the industries with the highest rates of workplace injuries. According to the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, in 2016, there were 6.4 recordable cases of workplace injuries for every 100 full-time construction workers statewide. Employers should be expected to take reasonable steps to keep their workers from being hurt, but all too often, they cut corners or bring in contractors who cause serious injuries.
At Briggs & Briggs, our Lakewood construction accident attorneys believe that negligent construction companies and contractors should be held accountable for the injuries they cause to their workers. Our firm has been fighting for injury victims in Lakewood, Tacoma, Olympia, Puyallup, Chehalis, and Bremerton for over sixty years. Contact our Lakewood injury lawyers today at (253) 588-6696.
Types of Construction Accidents
Any construction job can include a number of moving parts and strenuous activities, any one of which can result in an injury. Here are some of the common types of accidents that occur on construction sites:
- Being hit by falling objects
- Burns from overheated equipment, fires, or explosions
- Equipment malfunction
- Being hit by vehicles
- Back injuries caused by working in uncomfortable positions
- Respiratory diseases caused by particles in the air
- Building collapse
Federal and state safety regulations are meant to keep any of these or other types of accidents from occurring, but sometimes employers and contractors fail to follow these guidelines and therefore put workers in danger. When an accident does occur, it can sometimes be difficult to assign the blame.
Who is liable for my construction accident?
In many construction accident cases, the construction company is liable for its workers’ injuries. However, this does not mean that you can file a personal injury suit against the company, even if its actions were obviously negligent. Under Washington State law, employees are typically barred from suing their employers or co-workers for workplace injuries. Instead, they will have to file a workers’ compensation insurance claim, either through the State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), or through their employer’s private insurance. This will be your only option if your employer or co-worker caused the accident.
However, if a third party — that is, someone who is not employed by your construction company — caused your accident, you may be able to hold them liable in a personal injury suit separate from the workers’ compensation insurance process. These types of cases are more common than you might think in construction accident cases, with independent contractors being brought in for a number of tasks and heavy machinery sometimes malfunctioning due to manufacturer error. Whatever the cause of your accident, the Lakewood, Washington construction accident lawyers of Briggs & Briggs can help you chart the best course of action for your case.
The Insurance Claims Process
For most injured construction workers in Washington State, fighting for fair compensation means fighting their employers’ workers’ compensation insurer, typically L&I. If your employer uses L&I for its workers’ compensation insurance, you can expect coverage for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Prescription medication costs
- Travel expenses
- Property damage
- Permanent partial or total disability
In theory, you should be covered for any of these costs that you incur in the recovery process. However, L&I or your company’s private insurer may try to deny all or part of your claim. If you believe your claim has been denied unfairly, you can formally protest the denial to the insurer and/or appeal to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals. If you are still unsatisfied with the results, you can appeal your case further in court. The further you get along in this process, the more necessary it becomes to hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help with your construction accident case.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Lawyers can help with more than just lawsuits. Filing an insurance claim for a construction accident is one thing, but fighting a denied claim is another entirely. In order to get your insurer to pay you the compensation you need and deserve, you will need to know what documentation to give and how to best present your case. For construction workers who are not well-versed in insurance claims, this process can be confusing and intimidating. A workers’ compensation lawyer from Briggs & Briggs can help you get all of your paperwork in order and present your medical and other costs in a way that is more likely to be accepted, helping to increase your chances of winning fair compensation.
Suing a Third Party for Damages
If your construction accident was caused by a third party not employed by your construction company, a lawyer can help you to file an actual lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you might sue a contractor, manufacturer, or another party for damages including:
- Medical costs
- Past and future lost wages
- Damage to your property
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Other miscellaneous expenses
Remember that this option is only available to those injured by parties other than their employer. If you are unsure exactly whom to take action against, an experienced Washington construction accident lawyer from Briggs & Briggs can help you decide which course to take.
Recovering from a construction accident can be a difficult time in your life. In addition to painful injuries and sky-high medical bills, you may be unable to return to work and provide for yourself and your family. Fortunately, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you recover the compensation you need.
If you or someone you love was injured in a construction accident in Lakewood, Tacoma, Olympia, Puyallup, Chehalis, or Bremerton, Briggs & Briggs is ready to fight for you. Our Lakewood, Washington construction accident lawyers have the experience and know-how to assist in your insurance claim or lawsuit — experience our firm has been building for over sixty years. For more information on how we can help, call us now at (253) 588-6696.