Newark Construction Accident Lawyer

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Newark Construction Accident Lawyer

Working in construction puts you at risk every day. The average construction worker has a 75% chance of suffering a disabling injury at some point in their career. That makes construction one of the most dangerous professions out there.

Construction site injuries and fatalities are high, with as many as 2.8 construction workers in 100 suffering injuries, but statistics could be even higher because the Bureau of Labor Statistics relies on businesses self-reporting.

If you have suffered an injury while working at a construction site in Newark, you may have a personal injury claim. Because of the complexity of these kinds of cases, it’s essential to have a Newark construction accident lawyer by your side to guide you through the process and fight for your rights.

Common Causes of Construction Accidents

There are all manner of dangers at a construction site. Accidents are bound to happen when you’re working with heavy machinery, electricity, and many other people.

Falls belong to the construction “fatal four.” They make up a significant percentage of all fatalities in construction sites, accounting for as many as one in three.

Fatalities and serious injuries tend to involve roofs more often than falling off ladders or scaffolding. Most falls in the industry occur because workers don’t have access to the right equipment or choose not to wear it.

Employers have an obligation to provide the right fall protection, which can include guardrails, harnesses, and safety nets. These must all meet OSHA standards. If the equipment suffers wear and tear or there are errors in construction or improperly installed guardrails, having protective gear won’t offer the necessary help.

Unsafe ladders, unfinished roofs, and tripping and slipping hazards all contribute to incidents of falls on construction sites.

Struck-by injuries occur in construction sites as a result of a violent impact between a person and an object or a piece of equipment. These injuries tend to be serious and can result in disabilities. Even when injuries aren’t as severe, they can often still force you to take time off work.

Falling objects pose a particular risk at construction sites. Materials, tools, and many other types of objects can fall off roofs, scaffolds, and cranes, but even objects that fall from lower heights can lead to injuries.

The shape and size of the object, as well as where the object struck you, all impact how severe the injuries are.

Additionally, a large number of struck-by accidents involve a vehicle hitting a worker.

Electrocutions are another of the fatal four. Construction workers often come into contact with dangerous levels of electricity. More than half of all electrocutions result from direct exposure to power sources or indirect exposure to live wiring or electrical equipment. Workers are more at risk if:

  • The employer fails to provide ground-fault protection
  • They fail to ground electrical equipment
  • They don’t use extension cords correctly
  • They don’t follow the manufacturer’s instructions

Electrocutions can lead to devastating injuries, as well as fatalities. Most injuries occur when equipment is not maintained or used properly or when safety protocols are not followed. In some instances, workers may skip crucial safety steps to satisfy unreasonable employer expectations.

These accidents result from a part of the body or the entire person being squeezed, pinched, or otherwise trapped between objects. Some examples of these accidents are if you’re caught under a falling load, pinned between two machines, or have a body part caught in a saw.

Fires and explosions can cause serious injuries at construction sites. Fires may occur as a result of the poor maintenance of power tools, faulty wiring, portable heating sources, and more. Using flammable or combustible materials can also contribute to explosions and more severe injuries.

In construction, workers often need to perform repetitive movements, lift heavy objects, and work in awkward positions. OSHA maintains ergonomic standards, but employers may not always rely on them. Overexertion can lead to chronic conditions like back and knee problems.

Ground collapse is a risk on construction sites, especially for workers working below ground. Ground collapses can occur when foundations aren’t strong enough to hold people or when wet soil erodes. Because these accidents happen very quickly, most people don’t get a chance to react.

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Types of Injuries in Construction Accidents

Injuries can range in severity, but the best thing you can do after a construction site accident is speak with a medical professional to start leaving a record of the injuries you sustained. After that, you should turn to a construction injury lawyer in New Jersey to see if you’re eligible for compensation.

Broken bones are a common problem, and they often cause complications even after they’ve healed. Depending on the injury’s severity, you could need screws, pins, or plates to stabilize the bone. This could lead to mobility restrictions and chronic pain. Broken bones can occur in falls, hits, and other construction accidents.

Burns are also common in construction sites. They can occur from malfunctioning equipment, welding issues, exposure to hot surfaces or liquids, fires, and more. Electric shock or electrocutions also cause burns, which tend to be even more severe because they’re internal. These burns could lead to organ damage.

Medical professionals separate burns into three types. The first type is first-degree burns, which only affect the top layer of skin. In these, the skin can be red and painful.

Second-degree burns affect the first two layers of skin, and you can experience blistering. The burn could have a glossy appearance and leak fluid. These usually require substantial medical treatment.

Third-degree burns affect the entire thickness of the skin, destroying tissue. These burns could result in skin that has a patchy and leathery appearance. They require immediate medical assistance.

Back and spinal cord injuries can leave you with lasting pain and can be serious enough to affect your mobility.

Back injuries include sprains and strains from lifting and repetitive motions, slipped discs, pinched nerves, and broken vertebrae.

Spinal cord injuries can be some of the most severe injuries you can sustain during an accident. They involve damage to your spinal cord.

You can have a complete or incomplete injury. A complete spinal cord injury usually means permanent loss of function below the injury. An incomplete one means you may retain some function below the injury.

Most of the time, the higher up the injury is along your spine, the more function you will lose. Because of the severity of these issues and how they can impact quality of life, compensation can be substantial.

Despite the use of hard hats, construction workers are at risk of head injuries. Concussions are common and occur when your brain hits against your skull, leading to burst blood vessels and bruising. They can occur due to falling debris, slip-and-fall accidents, and more.

Another type of head injury is a hemorrhage. If you receive a forceful impact on your head, it can cause tearing in brain tissue, leading the brain to bleed. Blood can pool in the tissues and cause swelling. The swelling could then press on nerves and cut off oxygen supply to parts of the brain.

Penetrating head wounds are another common injury construction workers suffer. Falling debris or tools can all pierce through the skull and damage the brain.

If you’ve been hit in the head, you should always get medical attention, even if you don’t think you’ve suffered an injury.

Many materials the construction industry relies on contain corrosive and otherwise harmful substances. You can absorb them through the skin if you don’t have the right protection, and you can also breathe them in.

Although most people think of asbestos as a substance that’s no longer available, construction workers still come into contact with it. Asbestos is highly toxic, leading to breathing problems and even cancer.

If you don’t have the right protection and have become ill because of toxic substances at work, you could be able to receive compensation for what you’ve suffered.

Steps to Take After a Construction Accident

Taking the right steps after being in a construction site accident is essential. What you do right after the incident can impact your chances of getting compensation later.

Before you do anything else, you must ensure you have a medical professional examine you. It’s common for people to feel fine right after an accident when adrenaline is still pumping and then start feeling pain or severe effects hours later.

Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it’s beneficial to start a medical record. If you have medical expenses later on when getting treatment for the injury, having as much information from the start is the best thing you can do.

Once you’ve received medical help, you have to let your employer know about the accident and the injuries you sustained. Reporting the incident gets the process started more rapidly.

OSHA also requires employers to take certain steps after an accident to help prevent it from occurring again. If you don’t let your employer know of the accident, they can’t make the necessary changes to fix the problem.

Write everything down, including the events leading up to the accident. Even important details can fade from memory, and that can be a problem if you decide to file a claim later on.

You should also gather evidence. If there were witnesses to the accident, get their contact information so you can get statements from them. It is also a good idea to take pictures or videos of the scene of the accident. This is crucial if your employer fails to provide you with the right equipment or if the work conditions are sub-par.

If you sustained damage to your equipment or if you have visible injuries, record these as well. If you’re not sure whether to record it or not, err on the side of caution and do so.

Start keeping track of your medical expenses, too. This allows you to prove that you suffered because of the accident.

You need to preserve all of the correspondence between you and your employer related to the accident. If you speak via a phone call, make sure to immediately write down what you spoke about, as well as the exact time and how long the conversation was.

After a construction accident, you need to reach out to a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible. They can help you understand your options.

One of your options is to file a worker’s compensation claim. In New Jersey, your employer must file a worker’s compensation claim within 21 days after they become aware of the accident. You need to stay on top of this. If your employer didn’t file a claim, it’s essential that you contact a lawyer.

If your employer filed a claim but it was denied, you also need to get a lawyer involved. A lawyer will be able to offer their opinion on the claim and give you some guidance.

In the majority of worker’s compensation cases, you have the right to claim compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. Medical expenses refer to any bills related to the care you’ve needed for your injuries. The severity of the injury will dictate how much compensation you receive.

In the case of severe injuries that require ongoing medical care, you could receive coverage for future expenses as well.

Dealing with injuries you sustain in a construction site often means having to take days off work. That means missing out on wages. worker’s compensation also provides reimbursement for the wages you’ve missed.

If the injuries are disabling and you can’t work in construction or can’t work at all any longer, you can also apply to get future wages.

If you aren’t eligible to get worker’s compensation, you suffered an injury at a construction site because of a third party not covered under worker’s compensation, or worker’s compensation doesn’t cover your medical expenses, filing a personal injury claim can be the best option. 

When dealing with the construction industry, the most common types of personal injury claims are negligence lawsuits and product liability lawsuits.

Who Can Be Liable in Construction Accident Cases

To prove liability in the construction accident case, you have to first have an idea of the parties that could be liable.

Construction companies are often the liable parties. They’re responsible for providing a safe work environment. New Jersey requires that construction companies take every reasonable step to protect their employees. This includes providing the right safety equipment, maintaining all equipment, and more.

If the company failed in any of these and that caused an accident, it’s likely the company is to blame.

General contractors could also be liable. They’re the ones who have to oversee the entire project, and they have a duty to make certain all safety protocols are in place. If the accident occurs because of their inability to keep a safe work area or ensure everyone complies with regulations, they could be liable.

Subcontractors and independent contractors could also be on the line. General contractors hire subcontractors to carry out certain tasks within the construction project. If they fail in their duty to keep workers safe, they may be liable. In some cases, you could hold both general contractors and subcontractors liable.

Property owners and developers also have a duty of care toward those who work on their land, even if they’re not involved in the everyday operations. They have to ensure the construction site meets safety standards.

The manufacturers and suppliers of the machinery and equipment for a construction site could be liable if their equipment malfunctions. In many cases, you can bring a product liability claim against them.

There may be other parties involved in the construction project, like architects, consultants, engineers, and more. If their negligent actions led to the accident, you may be able to file a claim against them.

What You Need to Prove in Construction Accident Cases

There are a few key requirements to prove liability. The first is to show that the party had a duty of care toward you. In construction sites, the people in charge, from the company that hired you to the general contractor, have a duty to keep all workers safe while on the premises.

You must then show that the liable party somehow breached that duty of care. That means demonstrating that they cut corners, didn’t enforce safety regulations, or engaged in other negligent actions.

The next thing to prove is that the other party’s negligence led to your injuries and that you can be compensated for them.

How a Lawyer Can Help When Filing a Worker’s Compensation Claim or Personal Injury Claim

Many people assume that filing a worker’s compensation claim is easy and quick. That’s not always the case.

The problems could begin with the mere need for your employer to file a worker’s compensation claim. They have 21 days to do so, but if you see that they’re dragging their feet or don’t intend to file, you need to have a lawyer by your side.

If your employer knows that you have representation, they’ll be less likely to try to delay the process.

Employers could also downplay your injuries. They will likely have lawyers on their side who deal with these kinds of claims, so you need to have equal representation if you want them to treat you fairly.

Having a lawyer could also help you attain higher settlements. They will work aggressively and tenaciously to identify everyone liable so that you can maximize your claim.

Gathering evidence is a crucial part of the process of proving that you received an injury because of negligence. This isn’t always easy to do on your own, especially if you’re dealing with injuries. When you hire a lawyer, they will work hard to gather the necessary evidence.

Lawyers with experience in this field usually have access to expert witnesses who can provide their input and even offer accident reconstruction services.

You also need to remember that filing any kind of claim means lots of paperwork. Someone who’s struggling with injuries, as well as the stress of missing work and potentially having lasting disabilities, can really struggle to focus on filling out forms or meeting deadlines.

You may not even realize you’ve run out of time to file a claim until it’s too late. When you have a lawyer helping you, they will handle all of this for you so you can focus on healing.

worker’s compensation doesn’t cover pain and suffering, and for severe injuries, it could also not offer enough compensation to cover your needs. In those instances, your lawyer can focus on establishing all the negligent parties so that you can file a personal injury claim.

When you turn to a lawyer, you don’t have to worry about dealing with insurance companies on your own. Negotiating with them is complex, and they may try all manner of tactics to get you to give up your claim. With lawyers by your side to do the negotiating for you, you have one less thing to worry about.

Many times, people assume they don’t need a lawyer because their claim is going smoothly. That could mean you are not being made aware of all of your rights. A lawyer will ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

The Role of OSHA and Safety Regulations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a government agency that regulates and legislates workplace safety. President Nixon formed the agency in 1970 to provide safe working conditions for men and women by offering training, outreach, and more.

OSHA safety standards are the rules that outline the various methods employers must put in place to ensure the safety of their employees. Each industry has its set of OSHA standards, and that includes the construction industry.

The Hazard Communication Standard is a federal regulation that requires construction sites to have adequate information on the various potential hazards of the chemicals on site. Construction sites have to alert all employees about these hazards, usually via a material safety data sheet.

Eye and face protection is another regulation OSHA imposes. It requires employers to provide adequate eye protection to workers who may be exposed to molten metal, flying particles, acids, and any other substances that can harm the eyes.

Another important standard is training requirements. Workers must have the right level of training to work at construction sites. Employers have to require certifications.

General requirements for scaffolding are another OSHA standard. All scaffolding at a work site has to meet certain safety standards.

OSHA also has a standard called the duty to have fall protection, which requires that workers have functional and safe guardrails as well as harnesses or safety nets when they’re working more than six feet above a lower level.

Despite OSHA’s inspection efforts, thousands of job sites get significant fines each year for not adhering to the general standards.

How Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq Can Help in Newark

Construction sites are among the most dangerous worksites. Falls, electrocutions, and many other types of accidents can occur, leading to catastrophic injuries that could impact all aspects of your life.

At Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, we have decades of experience helping people throughout New Jersey who have been in construction accidents. We have a client-centric approach that helps us provide not only the legal guidance our clients need but also the emotional support they deserve.

If we take on your case, you can expect fierce litigators by your side. We’ll never under-settle your claim. We prepare each case for court so that we’re ready to fight for what you need to cover your bills.

We pride ourselves on our communication. It’s tough to have to deal with the long wait times that claims sometimes force on you, so we keep you updated regularly.

At GGL, we treat our clients like family. Because we are one of the few bilingual firms in the area, we can be a good choice for clients in the Spanish and English-speaking communities of Newark.

You don’t have to go through this alone. When you turn to our team at Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, we’ll carefully assess your claim to find the best way of helping you.

If you’ve suffered an injury at a construction site in Newark, don’t wait to get the guidance you deserve. Contact Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq online or give us a call at 800-923-3456.

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Newark Construction Accident Lawyer

Address: 20 Green Street Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: (973) 922-0903

Open 24/7 365

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Recent GGL Wins

Medical Malpractice

A 30-year-old pregnant woman went into labor. The doctor failed to take proper steps in the baby’s delivery, making the mother wait in the hallway for ten hours while the baby’s heart rate began to drop. The baby was delivered via C-Section; he was blue from lack of oxygen resulting in Cerebral Palsy.

$14 Million


Construction Accident

Mediation award resulting from an industrial explosion causing disfiguring burns and severe orthopedic injuries.

$7,8 Million


Auto Accident

31-year-old man who was cut off by another car causing his car to flip over. He sustained head injuries, facial injuries, and half of his pinky finger was amputated.

$3 Million