Average Construction Settlements [2024] Staff Profile Picture
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Construction injuries and accidents in the United States are unfortunately common, with construction experiencing more total deaths than any other industry. Construction professionals have a higher injury rate than most other professions, as well as long-lasting effects like hearing impairment, mobility problems, respiratory issues, and substance abuse. Roughly 199,000 construction accidents are reported every year, and about 21% of all worker deaths per year in the United States are in the construction industry. When these accidents happen, victims must fight for their rights and get the compensation they deserve. In this guide, we will take a look at some of the average construction accidents, the average settlement amounts of these accidents, the factors that affect settlement amounts, and why it makes all the difference to have an experienced personal injury attorney in your corner.

Average Construction Settlement Amounts

Construction sites can be hazardous places for workers and can be a threat for various hazards and injuries if the proper precautions are not taken. When these injuries happen, and a workers’ compensation claim won’t cover the severity of the accident, a lawsuit is generally in the cards for people who want compensation for their harm. In this section, we’ll look at some of the most common construction injuries and the average construction settlement amounts for those cases. 

Slips and falls

The average settlement amount for slip and fall injuries for workers is around $50,000, but each case varies and can be significantly more. Falls occurring on construction sites are not uncommon, as there are scaffolding, ladders, and roofs that workers fall from. Fall injuries are the most fatal construction accident, causing 35% of construction deaths. These accidents can also result in very severe injuries, including fractures, spinal injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Often, these lawsuits focus on issues like inadequate fall protection or safety measures on the site.

Heavy equipment accidents

Construction sites are well known for involving the use of heavy machinery, specialized equipment, and other heavy vehicles that are used for a wide range of reasons on the site. Accidents that involve equipment like cranes, bulldozers, dump trucks, forklifts, etc., can lead to devastating injuries and fatalities for workers. Lawsuits that deal with heavy equipment have an average settlement amount of just over $89,000. 

Falling objects

It is common to see construction workers wearing hard hats and to see the signs that state they are required to wear them, yet workers are often injured as a result of falling objects on construction sites. Over 11% of the “fatal four” fatalities on work sites are from falling objects. With so many hazards on these sites, workers must wear the proper protection to avoid serious injuries like severe brain damage and even death from falling objects. Structural failures like building and scaffolding collapses can also be a cause of these types of accidents, leading to lawsuits over the use of substandard materials, failure to adhere to engineering specifications, and the structural integrity of the buildings.

Electrical accidents

Construction involves heavy usage of electrical work, including wiring and other components that could potentially cause harm to workers. Accidents from faulty wiring, electrical shocks, and arc flashes can be extremely harmful and fatal, with these accidents being responsible for a large number of deaths in the industry. These lawsuits focus on pertinent issues such as inadequate electrical safety measures, improper equipment maintenance, and negligence in following electrical codes. Depending on the severity of the accident, these settlements can average well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars range for victims. 

Crush injuries

Construction workers have to be especially careful and mindful of their surroundings when working on their respective sites. There are cases, however, where a worker might find themselves working in a tight space between two objects or near heavy machinery that could potentially trap them. These types of accidents are terrifying and almost always result in severe injuries, including fractures, amputations, internal organ damage, and even death. Amputation cases are by far the highest settlements for victims of crush injuries, with the average amount of these cases reaching the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Chemical exposure/burns

There are times when construction sites may be around or contain harmful chemicals and other substances that could pose a threat if they were released around workers. Chemicals and toxic materials can cause severe injuries from exposure like respiratory issues, skin conditions and burns, and other long-term health problems. The average settlement amount for burns is around $52,000, but these types of lawsuits vary based on the severity and the type of injury that occurred. They will generally focus on how the chemicals were handled, lack of safety protocols, lack of protection for workers, and inadequate training on chemical safety.

Factors That Influence Construction Settlement Amounts

Settlement amounts for construction accidents will always vary on various factors that will be taken into account when your case is heard. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most significant factors that can influence the amount of money that a victim could see in a construction accident settlement and why they affect the amount.

Liability and negligence

The fundamental factor in determining the settlement amount for construction accident lawsuits is the establishment of liability. If it can be shown that the construction injury was a result of the negligence of another party, like the employer of the worker, a subcontractor, or a manufacturer of materials, the chances of securing a higher settlement amount increase dramatically. Negligence in these cases could include certain aspects like failure to provide safety measures on a construction site, inadequate training, or violations of industry regulations.

Pain and suffering

For personal injury cases like construction injuries and accidents, there are generally two different types of damages that will be sought: economic and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. All of these play a critical factor in the calculation of the settlement amount for the victim. Courts will be able to recognize the toll that injuries and accidents can take on a person’s overall well-being. This includes certain factors like the severity of pain, duration of suffering, and the impact the accident or injuries have on the victim’s daily life.  

Medical expenses

Medical expenses are one of the biggest factors in determining the amount that a victim of a construction accident will receive in the settlement. These damages can include things like immediate medical costs, long-term treatments, rehabilitation, and future medical expenses. The more severe the injury and the more medical care that is required for the victim, the higher the settlement amount is likely to be.

Lost wages and future earnings

Serious construction accidents can result in life-changing injuries that leave the victim with temporary or permanent disabilities, directly affecting their ability to earn a living. Settlements in these cases will take into account lost wages during the recovery period. They may also consider potential future earnings that are in jeopardy due to the nature of their injuries. Workers who have specialized skills or are in high-paying positions might see higher settlement amounts to compensate for their diminished earnings.

Comparative negligence

In some states across the country, comparative negligence can be a significant factor in the determination of the settlement amount that a victim can receive in these cases. In these states, they will carefully review the case to determine whether or not the victim’s own negligence played a part in their accident and subsequent injuries. Typically, they will award the victim a percentage of the settlement that is not caused by their own negligence. For example, if a construction worker suffers an injury on a construction site, but the courts determine that they are partially at fault (let’s say 25%), they could still award a settlement to the victim. However, it will only be 75% of the total amount, as they will be held at fault for the remaining percentage.

Pre-existing conditions

If a worker who has suffered injuries from a construction accident has pre-existing conditions, it could complicate the case and have a direct effect on the amount of the settlement. Medical experts are often involved in these cases and have to assess the specifics of the accident to determine whether or not the pre-existing condition exacerbated the severity of the injury. For example, suppose a worker who is a known smoker suffers from a respiratory issue due to a chemical exposure at a job site and files a workers’ compensation claim. In that case, there is a strong chance that medical experts will deny the claim or suggest a lower settlement amount due to the fact that the respiratory issue came from chronic smoking and not the chemicals.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Recover Compensation

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury due to a construction accident, it can be difficult to know where to go or who to turn to when you deserve compensation. Personal injury attorneys can provide much-needed support and assistance during this difficult time. Don’t try to navigate the legal complexities of these cases on your own! Let an experienced personal injury attorney represent you and your best interests to get the compensation you rightly deserve! In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the ways that a professional attorney can help you recover compensation for your injuries.

Legal expertise

An experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in construction injuries and the laws surrounding construction injuries can be the best person to have in your corner during these challenging times. Their impeccable understanding of relevant statutes, regulations, and case law allows them to build a strong case on your behalf. Having their expertise ensures that all legal aspects of your claim are thoroughly addressed and presented to the courts on your behalf. Additionally, attorneys have the experience and the means to handle all the documentation and procedural requirements that are involved in the legal process. This way, you don’t miss any key deadlines or violate any court rules that might put your case in jeopardy. 

Evaluation, evidence gathering, and strategy

A personal injury attorney will take the time to conduct a thorough evaluation of the construction injury case. They’ll be able to assess and understand the circumstances of the accident and gather evidence and liability in the case. Gathering evidence is the key to building a compelling case for construction injuries. Attorneys will be able to obtain relevant documents like medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and expert opinions. Based on the information they discover and gather, they will be able to develop a strategy to maximize the chances of success in the case. Their approach can include identifying key arguments and potential ways to get compensation for their client and how to pursue it. 

Negotiation skills

Experienced attorneys understand how to work with insurance companies, employers, and legal representatives. In construction injury cases, it can be very daunting to take on these parties on your own, so having someone who represents you and isn’t going to roll over for them is crucial to securing a fair settlement for the accident. Attorneys will always fight for their clients and make sure that all relevant factors that influence the settlement amount are considered during the negotiation process. 

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