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Construction Accidents and How to Prevent Them

In rapid-growth San Antonio, there’s pretty much always the chance of construction accidents. There’s never a time you can relax in a work zone, whether you’re part of the crew or a regular citizen passing through.

 

If you work in a construction zone:

 

  • Attend all your manager’s safety meetings—even if you don’t think the topic applies to your particular job. You may not be the one high up on the scaffolding, but pay attention, because the machinery you’re running on the ground always has the potential to compromise the safety of those working over your head.

 

  • Use all your provided safety gear—and then some. Don’t complete your hard-hat-and-high-vis-vest attire with camouflage pants. Especially if you’re working close to high-velocity traffic, the more colorful and reflective your apparel, the more likely you are to be seen and avoided, not unseen and hurt.

 

  • Get and stay in shape. Even just a few extra pounds around the middle can contribute to construction accidents, especially your ability to get out of the path of danger quickly should the need arise. No one likes to think about advancing age, but the fact is, age-related changes in your hearing, vision, and balance can impact your safety and that of the people working around you.

 

If you’re passing through a construction zone:

 

  • If you’re walking, never take a shortcut through a construction area, no matter how late you are. A high percentage of construction accidents happen because people are too impatient or too preoccupied to notice the danger to themselves and others.

 

  • When driving through a construction zone on city streets or on the highway, take a deep breath and slow down. Tailgating isn’t going to compel the law-abider in front of you to break the posted speed limit.

If you or someone you know has been involved in construction accidents, contact us. We can help build your case.

A Quick Guide on Avoiding Construction Accidents

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Accidents happen, even if you think you’ve taken every precaution. Avoiding construction accidents should be everyone’s top priority, from the boss right on down to the newest member of the crew. This should also be a goal for people who don’t work the concrete ribbons or the big steel, but encounter a construction site while going about their everyday business.

 

 

What the Company Can Do

  • Provide effective training.
  • Provide adequate safety equipment and establish a no-exceptions rule to using it.
  • Perform regular inspections/reviews of the site, equipment, maintenance records, and employee procedures.
  • Equip all hazardous tools with appropriate safety guards.
  • Provide safe, dry, and secure areas for equipment storage and maintenance.
  • Adhere to local, state, and national safety regulations.

 

What the Crew Can Do

  • When pulled off a job to participate in a training exercise, don’t complain—give the new procedure or refresher your full attention.
  • Avoiding construction accidents means not using a piece of equipment on which you haven’t received training.
  • Crew members who are sick should stay home or perform only low-risk tasks if taking any medications that make them sleepy or dizzy.
  • If a work area needs guardrails, hand holds, non-slip surfaces to walk on, or barriers to reroute traffic, workers should inform supervisors of the situation.
  • Be aware of the hazards of working on or around dangerous areas such as raised scaffolding, open trenches, and machinery with exposed moving parts.
  • Watch not only your own back, but keep an eye out for your coworkers as well.

 

What the General Public Can Do

  • Speed limits are often lowered in road construction zones. Avoiding construction accidents means staying within the posted speed limit and keeping an eye out for workers who often must do their jobs a few feet or less from lanes of moving traffic.
  • Whether driving or walking, respect temporary barriers that have been set up to protect not only the construction workers, but you as well. Don’t be “that guy” who was too impatient to take an alternate route to your destination.

 

Avoiding construction accidents takes a combined effort. Call us if someone dropped the ball and you wound up hurt.

When to Reach Out to a Work-Related Injury Attorney

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Question: Do you need to hire a work-related injury attorney as soon as you’ve had a mishap on the job? Answer: It depends.

 

 

In cases like the following, you don’t need an attorney to navigate through the workers’ comp system:

  • It’s indisputable that the mishap occurred on company property (or on a job site) while you were performing work-related tasks.
  • The injury was minor—a bruise, sprain, or cut that needed a couple of stitches.
  • You didn’t need to take time off to recover.
  • No pre-existing illness contributed to the accident.

 

Even if you don’t wind up needing a work-related injury attorney, it won’t hurt to schedule a quick, often free consultation to ensure you’re not overlooking anything. Then, if you decide later you need representation, you already have a relationship established.

 

How do you know when you need to call in the troops? Here are a few red flags:

  • You’ve done everything you’re supposed to do (and hit all the deadlines), yet your claim is denied. Or your settlement is so slow to arrive, you wind up in collections due to unpaid medical bills.
  • Your claim successfully worked its way through the system, but the compensation doesn’t cover your bills or lost income.
  • You’re doing so poorly you can’t return to your previous work, and you’re also unable to work at any other job due to your injury.
  • You were fired because you got injured and filed a legitimate claim.
  • A third party contributed to the occurrence and/or severity of your injuries, such as faulty equipment or a worker from another company.
  • The government (through Social Security) grabs a big chunk of your settlement because it wasn’t worded properly.

 

When you’re hurt on the job, there’s no time to waste—call for a free consultation with a work-related injury attorney!

A San Antonio Work Injury Attorney Cares About Your Accident

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You get along well with everyone at work, from your colleagues to your boss, and his or her boss. So well, in fact, you may be reluctant to file a report when you get hurt on the job. You don’t want to cause trouble for the people you like, and that’s admirable. That would also be a mistake—just ask any competent San Antonio work injury attorney.

 

 

 

 

Workers’ compensation laws were enacted for your protection, and to make sure employers can’t wiggle out of paying up when they’ve failed to provide adequate preventive training and workplace safety measures. Sure, your boss may like you personally and be satisfied with your job performance. Once you file an injury claim, however, you’ll find out who your real friends are on the job.

 

Even if you trust your employer to do right by you, it makes sense to be aware of what you need to do and your deadlines in order to cover your legal bases. That’s why there’s no better protector to have on your side than a qualified San Antonio work injury attorney.

 

What should you do when you’ve suffered a work-related injury?

 

• Report the incident. In most if not all incidents, you have a very narrow window of time to report your injury. So even if your back strain or twisted ankle seems minor, don’t wait to report it to your boss and/or human resources department. A delay could end up hurting you more.

 

• Check the bureau of workers’ compensation website for your state. While each state is slightly different, the website should have the proper procedures and forms listed.

 

• Retain a San Antonio work injury attorney. If all the procedures, forms, and rules seem overwhelming—and they probably will—don’t wait to contact a San Antonio work injury lawyer to not only guide you through the process, but relieve you of some of the burden so you can concentrate on getting well and getting back to work.

 

Need a San Antonio work injury attorney? Pat Maloney has some of the best. Contact us today!

Suffering from Head Trauma? A San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

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Just because your accident didn’t result in you lying unconscious in bed for weeks or months doesn’t necessarily mean you haven’t suffered a serious head injury. That’s why you need a San Antonio personal injury lawyer who is up to speed on all the latest research into the symptoms and treatment of traumatic brain injuries.

 

 

 

Outward Signs of Possible Brain Injury

A medical diagnosis of any degree of brain injury can be difficult, particularly if the patient has a pre-existing condition that might mask the symptoms of mild impairment.

 

Here are some of the signs first responders and doctors look for that indicate they could be dealing with head trauma:

 

  • Bleeding scalp wounds
  • Facial fractures, open or closed
  • Facial bruising
  • Loss of consciousness for any length of time
  • Nasal discharge, whether bloody or clear
  • Stiffness in the cervical spine

 

Timely documentation (written and images) are critical not only for diagnosis and treatment, but to provide a solid foundation on which a San Antonio personal injury lawyer can build your case.

 

Subtler Symptoms to Watch for

Some symptoms of brain injury can be deceptively mild and too easily brushed off. The symptom may depend on which of the brain’s six main regions are affected. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to:

 

Frontal lobe (forehead/crown)

  • Inability to perform a common, multi-step task in sequence
  • Fixation on a single thought or idea
  • Mood swings
  • Sudden onset of ADD-like behavior
  • Unable to come up with the words to complete a sentence

 

Parietal lobe (sides)

  • Difficulty reading or writing
  • Can’t tell left from right
  • Inability to solve simple math problems
  • Loss of eye/hand coordination
  • Lack of awareness of personal hygiene

 

Occipital lobe (back)

  • Visual disturbances
  • Hallucinations
  • Inability to distinguish colors or recognize a written word
  • Reading/writing impairment

 

Temporal lobe (above ears)

  • Inability to recognize familiar faces
  • Memory loss
  • Constant talking
  • Unusual increase in aggressive behavior

 

Brain stem (core of brain)

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Decreased breath control
  • Balance disturbance
  • Insomnia

 

Cerebellum (base of skull)

  • Decrease in fine motor skills
  • Muscle tremors
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Slurred speech

 

Because the brain can take several months to heal, the effects of a brain injury can impact almost every area of a victim’s life, from personal relationships to their ability to hold on to a job. These same symptoms can make it nearly impossible to gain adequate compensation through insurance or the court system.

 

That’s why it’s critical to contact a San Antonio personal injury lawyer as soon as possible—before you think you need one. The Law Offices of Pat Maloney offer an experienced team of personal injury lawyers ready to help. Contact us today!

What Evidence Does a San Antonio Workplace Injury Lawyer Need?

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Gathering evidence for a San Antonio workplace injury lawyer to evaluate can be a delicate process. The company against which you’re gathering proof of your injury likely has you under a microscope, and while you’re building a claim, chances are good they’re also quietly organizing to defeat it. Or, at least, to pay out as little as possible.

 

 

 

What does a San Antonio workplace injury lawyer need to know to properly evaluate your case?

 

Where and When it Happened

Where were you and what were you doing at the time the injury occurred? Was it on company property or while engaging in company business elsewhere, but on company time? Even if it took place at a company-related recreational activity like a holiday party or picnic, it could qualify as a workplace injury. A San Antonio workplace injury lawyer will know what state laws apply to your case.

 

It will help to have photographs of the injury and where it occurred to document dangerous conditions such as a wet floor or an unsafe working environment.

 

Your Employment Status

Do you have a formal, signed employment contract? Or were you informally hired to do some temporary work on a cash-only basis? Were you driving a company truck or using your own vehicle and equipment? Without a signed document stating you are definitely employed by that company, they could claim you are a temporary contractor and, therefore, not qualified to receive compensation for a workplace injury.

 

Injury Documentation

Did you seek treatment right away? You will need proof in the form of medical records and doctor notes. Also, you will need to have notified your employer of the incident within a specific Workers’ Compensation Act deadline.

 

Witnesses

If there are any witnesses to your workplace injury, they could be valuable in proving your case. “Witnesses” include anyone who saw your accident when it happened and medical professionals who saw you after the fact.

 

For more expert advice, schedule a free consultation with an experienced San Antonio workplace injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney.

What Happens When You Hire a Texas Construction Accident Attorney?

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Construction accidents happen in the blink of an eye, but then, without a Texas construction accident attorney on your side, time seems to slow to a crawl as everyone from your employer’s insurance company to worker’s comp to even the medical establishment seem to drag their feet.

Meanwhile, you and your family are going without a paycheck.

Here’s what happens when you hire a Texas construction accident attorney:

  • The sooner after an accident you hire a lawyer, the more likely it is you’ll navigate the system more quickly and without mistakes that can cost time and money.
  • A lawyer can help you cut through mountains of paperwork and act as your advocate with your insurance company, your employer, and the worker’s comp system to get you the compensation you need as fast as possible.
  • An attorney will know all the ways you can receive compensation for expenses incurred from your injuries, including medical expenses, lost income, and the estimated cost of future treatment, therapy, and negative impact on your future earning potential.

When should you contact a Texas construction accident attorney?

Ideally, no more than one or two weeks after the accident occurred.

What happens after you make the initial phone call?

You will schedule an initial consultation, which is usually free. Remember to bring a few things with you to streamline the process and help the attorney determine the validity of your claims, such as:

  • A copy of the contract you signed when you were hired.
  • Pictures of the scene of the accident. Provide the exact address.
  • Pictures of your injuries, even if they aren’t immediately visible. Photograph where it hurts, and take more pictures hours and even days later, as some bruises and swelling may take time to appear.
  • Copies of medical records, doctor’s notes, names and contact information of all the doctors who examined you, x-rays and their associated reports.
  • A calendar marking the days you’ve missed from work since the accident.
  • Names and addresses of witnesses

Need to schedule a consultation with a Texas construction accident attorney? Call us and set up an appointment. We’ll give you a complete list of items to bring with you to our initial meeting.

What to Do When Construction Site Accidents Keep Occurring

Construction site accidents can happen to anyone. In fact, construction is ranked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the most dangerous form of employment, with 150,000 on-site accidents occurring annually, resulting in 1,000 deaths per year.

 

Recurring construction site accidents can lead to broken bones, injuries to the face, burns, traumatic brain injuries, scars, spinal cord injuries, or paraplegia.

 

On a construction site, it is the responsibility of all contractors, owners, engineers, manufacturers, architects, and superintendents to ensure the employees are safe and protected at all times.

 

Recovering fair compensation is imperative if you have been involved in a construction site accident, especially if the same type of accidents keep happening. You are entitled to more than just workers’ compensation. You can rely on this to cover medical expenses or lost wages, but the intangible damages you need covered—specifically your pain, mental anguish, loss of the ability to enjoy the things you once did, and suffering—can be aided by third party liability suits.

 

With construction site accidents, one of the first steps for your personal injury attorney is to determine the responsibility held by each involved party for maintaining a safe workplace, and where that responsibility may not have been upheld. This is where the liability is determined.

 

While workers’ compensation can cover medical expenses and lost wages, liability claims can increase the recovery amount you receive so that it is meaningful enough for you to move forward in your life after an accident.

 

If you or someone you know is in need of a personal injury attorney to help with construction site accidents, contact the Law Offices of Pat Maloney.

 

Construction Site Accidents: Recovering Physically and Financially

It’s a sad fact, but the construction industry is one of the most dangerous employment sectors in our country. In 2014 alone, it accounted for more than 20% of all U.S. worker fatalities, meaning one in every five on-the-job deaths occurred because of construction site accidents. That’s pretty shocking.

 

As worksite accident attorneys, we have seen many victims of construction accidents come through our doors, each one of them dealing with financial hardships, physical pain and emotional suffering. If this sounds like you or someone you love, we can help. Here’s how you can start to bounce back from the damage that was caused, and get your life on track both physically and financially:

 

  • Find a doctor you trust. If you’re going through workers’ comp, you may be required to use an insurance-approved doctor. Definitely see him or her as instructed, but don’t limit yourself. Seek a second opinion with a doctor you trust, and make sure the insurer’s doctor made an honest and accurate diagnosis. Many times, these doctors get kickbacks from the insurance company, so they don’t have your best interests at heart.
  • Keep track of everything. Keep detailed notes of all the bills and invoices you’ve paid as a result of your accident, and track your missed hours and lost income, too. You’ll want to make sure you’re compensated for these losses either through workers’ comp or via a legal claim.
  • Get a lawyer’s help. A lawyer will know the best possible route to recoup your losses, keep your job and assert your rights. Even if it’s just filing a workers’ comp claim, they’ll make sure you get the full compensation you’re due and in a timely manner.

 

At the Law Offices of Pat Maloney, we know construction site accidents. If you or someone you love was injured on a construction site, give us a call. We’ll be your guide as you cope, heal and recover.

 

OSHA Construction Safety 101

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OSHA has standards and regulations for all employers, no matter what industry they’re a part of. There are, however, a few sectors considered more dangerous than most. For these, OSHA has created industry-specific safety standards all employers must follow. One such industry is construction. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 4 percent of all construction workers are injured on the job every year. Due to this high rate of injury, there are numerous OSHA construction safety standards all employers in the industry must follow.

OSHA Construction Safety 101

Some highlights of these OSHA construction safety standards include:

  • First aid and medical care must be made available and easily accessible for all employees. If there is no hospital or physician reasonably accessible to the construction site, a person with valid first aid training must be on site at all times.
  • All fire protection equipment must be maintained, and fire extinguishers must be made available. The employer also should have a fire protection program in place.
  • All work areas, passageways, and stairwells must be kept clear of scraps, nails, and debris.
  • Any combustible debris must be removed regularly, and a safe means for its removal must be provided.
  • There should be on-site containers for hazardous or flammable waste. These must be kept separately from other waste and trash, and be fitted with a cover.
  • All construction areas, stairs, ramps, shops, storage areas, and offices must be lit with natural or artificial lights while work is in progress.
  • Protective equipment and gear must be provided for all employees. This includes equipment for the eyes, face, head, and extremities, as well as protective clothing, respiratory devices, protective shields, and more.
  • There must be an adequate supply of water in all places where workers are present. Water containers should be marked as such and used only for water and no other liquids.
  • Toilets and urinals must be provided on site. When there are 20 employees, there must be at least one toilet. For 20 to 200 workers, there must be one toilet and one urinal for every 40 workers. If there are 200 or more workers, there must be a toilet and a urinal for every 50.
  • All power tools and equipment must be maintained and kept in good condition. All belts, gears, shafts, pulleys, and other moving parts of these tools must be guarded, to prevent employee contact.
  • All scaffolding should be able to support its own weight, as well as at least four times its maximum intended load.
  • All ramps and walkways more than six feet above ground must have guard rails in place.
  • Any equipment or vehicles left unattended must be fitted with reflectors or lights.
  • All vehicles on the site must be equipped to emit a signal when reversing.

 

There are hundreds more OSHA construction safety standards, covering everything from the demolition of chutes and the use of explosives to on-site cranes and training requirements.

Violations of OSHA Construction Safety Standards

Since construction sites are such dangerous places, it’s crucial that employers follow the OSHA construction safety standards to the letter. If they don’t, they may be issued a violation from OSHA, which will require them to amend the issue. If the employer fails to fix the issue, they may be issued additional violations, or they could face fines or jail time.

 

OSHA has the authority to conduct random inspections and ensure employers are following all safety regulations. They also may conduct inspections in response to employee complaints. Any employee who sees safety hazards or risks on their job site should get in contact with their local OSHA office immediately.
After an Injury

Were you hurt because your employer failed to follow OSHA construction safety standards? Call the Law Offices of Pat Maloney at 210-226-8888 today or Contact Us Here.