Construction fall injuries in Maine can often be fatal or nearly lethal, resulting in serious permanent injuries and economic damages to an employee and his or her family. When a workplace fall threatens to derail you and your family’s livelihood, the Portland, Maine-based personal injury lawyers of Hardy, Wolf & Downing are only a phone call away. Our elite team of construction accident lawyers is intimately familiar with the various ins and outs of Maine’s laws as they pertain to your case, and we work closely with medical and insurance experts to get you the compensation you deserve.
Lost work and wages. Medical bills. Permanent disability and the pain and suffering that go with it. All sorts of losses associated with falling on a construction site can conspire to ruin your life. We want to help: call us at 1-800-INJURED for a free consultation to get you started on the road to recovery.
Types of Construction Falls and Injuries
In the year 2012, construction accidents in the U.S. accounted for nearly 20% of over 4,000 worker fatalities. Of these, construction falls were the leading cause of worker fatalities.
In the year 2013, falls were at the top of a list of most commonly cited work safety and health violations as documented by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In fact, OSHA has enacted a whole campaign to prevent construction falls, having named them “the leading cause of deaths in construction.” In 2010, for example, there were 774 total fatalities in construction; falls comprised nearly 264 of these fatalities—all of which, according to OSHA, were “preventable.”
The most frequently occurring types of construction falls in Maine include accidents involving:
- Improper scaffolding
- Roofing collapse
- Unprotected roof and structural edges
- Unsafe portable ladders
Almost two-thirds of fatal construction falls in the U.S. were from roofs, scaffolds or ladders. Injuries incurred in these sorts of falls can run the gamut.
The following injuries are common in construction falls:
- Head traumas
- Spinal injuries
- Bone fractures
Liability in a Construction Fall in Maine
Under the terms of The Occupational and Safety Act, the state of Maine holds employers accountable to some clear standards when it comes to protecting the safety and health of their employees.
When working from heights such as ladders, scaffolds, and roofs, employers must:
- Plan appropriately so a job can be completed safely. This means deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved and what safety equipment will be necessary.
- Provide for suitable safety equipment. In a roof repair job, for example, your employer must preemptively consider various fall hazards and then select the right safety equipment, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) that will ensure your safety.
- Train employees to use equipment safely, including mechanisms for fall prevention. Falls are preventable when workers are empowered to use equipment safely, but in order to do this, workers need to be trained to use the equipment correctly. Your employer is responsible for this task.
“Liability” has to do with reasonable responsibility for which a party can be held accountable to discharge. An employer can be held liable for injuries incurred in a construction fall if that employer cannot prove they did everything reasonably in their power to prevent your fall. If at any point during a construction project, your employer did not train you, for example, about how to use a personal fall arrest system or failed to provide the necessary equipment, you may have a valid personal injuries claim.
Find the Right Lawyer to Represent You in a Construction Fall Lawsuit
In Maine, plaintiffs alleging construction fall injuries have been awarded generously for their pain and suffering at the hands of negligent employers. These are only a few of many examples:
- One construction worker received $3.5 million when, in his case, a wall fell on top of him.
- A fall resulting in the death of another construction worker garnered $1.7 million for the man’s family.
- $1.2 million went to a worker who slipped and fell down a stairwell while painting on a construction site.
The right lawyer can help you traverse the many complicated gradations in the law around worker’s compensation issues and employer liability, depending on the nature of your construction fall. Certain employers, such as seasonal employers or independent contractors, for example, are not required to have workers’ compensation and can be sued directly. In Maine, however, the law presumes a worker is an employee until a business or person who hires the worker can prove otherwise.
If you are an independent contractor or a visitor to a Maine construction site and are hurt because of a falling object, you may be able to bring a negligence or personal injury lawsuit to recover damages depending on the circumstances.
Maine Construction Accident Attorneys at Hardy, Wolf & Downing Can Help
An experienced personal injury attorney with Hardy, Wolf & Downing will be able to advise you of your rights, depending on your circumstances. Our construction fall attorneys have a strong record of representing clients bringing personal injury claims against potentially negligent employers—and we can help you do the same. Call us today for a no-charge, no-obligation consultation at 1-800-INJURED.
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