Construction Accident Attorney in Virginia Beach
Companies are constantly constructing new buildings or renovating existing facilities in Virginia Beach because the area’s beaches and economic opportunities attract more and more people from all over the world. Unfortunately, workers on these projects are often forced to work in hazardous and sometimes deadly conditions.
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it accounts for more than 20% of fatal work-related accidents in the country. Whether you are a construction worker, a surviving family member, or a passerby, you have legal rights if you were injured or if your loved one was killed in a construction accident.
The law firm of Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C. is here to protect your rights and pursue the maximum compensation you’re owed. We’ve been helping victims across Virginia Beach and the surrounding areas stand up for their rights for more than 30 years. We have a proven track record of helping clients get top-dollar results for their cases, while also providing them with the compassion and respect they deserve.
As you can see from our testimonials from past clients, our construction accident injury attorneys are dedicated to providing clients with outstanding customer service throughout their case and beyond. You can trust that our experienced lawyers will do everything they can to seek the best outcome in your case.
If you’re suffering from a construction accident, contact Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C. right away. Set up your free consultation by calling us today or filling out our quick online contact form.
What Are The Leading Causes of Fatalities in Construction?
Some of the leading causes of construction fatalities include:
- Vehicle accidents
- Falls from heights like ladders, platforms, and roofs
- Lack of adequate warning signs or barriers to protect the general public
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Machinery accidents
- Ground collapses or falls into ditches or holes
- Suffocation or crushing because of trench collapses
- Equipment failure
- Lack of safety equipment and protective gear like hardhats and safety nets
- Getting hit, crushed, or caught by equipment and other objects
- Explosions and fires
Legal Options After a Construction Accident
If you are a construction worker who was injured in a workplace accident, then your primary legal option to recover compensation for your injuries probably is to file a workers’ compensation claim. Virginia employment law requires employers with three or more employees to carry workers’ comp insurance to cover the workplace injuries that their employees suffer.
Virginia law has a broad definition of the people who employers must consider as employees in terms of workers’ compensation benefits. Any time the employer controls how the person’s work is performed, they must count this person as an employee. They must count any full-time or part-time workers in their total number of employees.
They must also count subcontractors if they hire them to fulfill a contract or do the same trade or occupation as their regular employees. Additionally, they must include seasonal or temporary workers, family members, minors, aliens, and corporate officers – even officers or managers who do not earn a regular salary.
If you are a member of the general public who was injured in a construction accident, then you have the right to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries if you were hurt near a construction site (for example, from falling debris, or if you were hurt in an accident with a construction vehicle).
Under certain circumstances, construction workers can also file personal injury lawsuits for construction accidents. However, since workers’ comp laws typically protect employers from lawsuits for workplace injuries, construction workers can usually sue only if a third-party caused their injuries or in other rare circumstances.
An experienced Virginia Beach construction accident attorney can evaluate your case, help you understand your legal options, and fight for your rights through whatever means possible.
Benefits for Victims of Construction Accidents
For employees injured in construction accidents, Virginia workers’ comp insurance typically provides benefits to cover:
- Payments for permanent, temporary, partial, or total disabilities or disfigurement
- Compensation to replace wages or income lost due to the accident
- Medical expenses related to workplace injuries
If an employee dies because of a work-related injury or illness, then their surviving family members might qualify for death benefits. These workers’ compensation benefits help survivors cover expenses like funeral and burial costs, plus they help compensate loved ones for the loss of the employee’s income.
Non-employee victims of construction accidents or workers who qualify under special circumstances can recover similar types of compensation through a construction accident lawsuit.
Some of the types of compensation that these lawsuits help cover include:
- Outstanding medical bills and current expenses for things like medical treatment, specialist visits, hospitalization, medications, labs and tests, ambulance transportation, and surgeries
- Wages lost due to the accident
- Loss of capacity to work or earn income in the future because of injuries
- Future medical expenses, such as rehabilitation, follow-up visits, therapies, or long-term care
- Pain and suffering, mental anguish, or emotional distress
Getting You the Compensation You Need to Recover
To initiate a workers’ comp claim, injured Virginia employees must notify their employer as soon as possible. The law usually requires workers to tell their employer about their injuries within 30 days of the accident. However, it’s often helpful to notify your employer and file your workers’ comp claim as soon as possible.
If insurance denies your workers’ compensation claim or offers you lower benefits than you deserve, then you can appeal their decision to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. If you believe that the offer from insurance might have been at all unfair, it’s important to appeal as quickly as possible. Virginia law gives you only two years to file an appeal.
It’s critical to make sure you receive enough compensation to cover your current and future losses from the accident. Construction accidents often cause severe injuries like brain damage, spinal cord injuries, lung damage, loss of mobility, post-traumatic stress disorder, and vision loss that can cost you many years down the road. If insurance gives you a low disability rating or doesn’t provide enough benefits to cover your full medical costs, then you might have to pay out of your own pocket in the future.
If your situation qualifies for a construction accident lawsuit, then you’ll need to gather sufficient evidence of the cause and severity of your injuries. For this type of lawsuit, you must prove that a negligent individual, company, or other party caused your injuries.
For example, if you were walking on a public sidewalk when construction scaffolding fell on you, then you must show that you had a right to be on the sidewalk, and the construction company failed to take reasonable measures to protect you. In another example, if you were injured on the job by an equipment malfunction, then you must prove that an equipment defect or some other type of negligence on the part of the manufacturer caused your accident.
To get full compensation, you must also provide solid evidence of your injuries and other losses from the accident. This type of proof typically includes things like medical records, official accident reports, pay stubs, receipts, and bills.
It’s critical to pay attention to laws that might limit your right to compensation. Virginia law follows the harsh contributory negligence rule, which means that victims typically cannot receive any compensation in a lawsuit if they were even slightly to blame for their accident. This means that if the responsible party can successfully argue that you did something small that contributed to the accident, then they might not have to pay you anything.
Under Virginia’s statute of limitations, victims have two years to file a lawsuit in most personal injury accidents. However, if your claim is against a government entity, then you might have as little as six months to bring a claim. If you miss these deadlines, then you might not be able to recover compensation for your injuries – no matter who was to blame.
The best way to get the full compensation you deserve after a construction accident is to work with a trusted Virginia Beach construction accident attorney. Victims often get much less compensation when they try to file on their own because the laws, requirements, and process for these claims are so complicated and confusing.
However, a skilled construction accident lawyer can use their knowledge of local, state, and federal laws, along with their experience from past cases, to fight for the maximum compensation you’re owed.
How Can a Construction Accident Attorney in Virginia Beach Lawyer Help You?
Don’t wait to stand up for your legal rights after a construction accident. Contact Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C. to schedule your free consultation and get on the road to recovery.