Construction Accidents

Iowa Construction Accident Lawyer

Have you suffered serious injuries while working at a construction site? Do you need help figuring out how you’ll continue to support yourself through your recovery? Contact an Iowa construction accident attorney who can help you recover without worry.

Working in the construction industry is much more dangerous than working in many other fields. With an increased risk of injury, you should be prepared for the possibility of a devastating accident. But that is easier said than done.

Iowa requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which should protect you. But what do you do when your claim is denied or workers’ comp doesn’t cover all of your costs?

If third party is liable for the cause of your construction accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against that party to obtain the full compensation you need to cover the costs associated with your injuries. And if your work comp claim has been denied, an Iowa construction accident lawyer can help you fight back.

Learn more about how our Iowa construction accident lawyer by calling (319) 318-0450 or contacting us online today!

Types of Construction Accidents

A construction accident refers to an unforeseen incident or event that occurs during any phase of construction work, resulting in injury, property damage, or even loss of life. These accidents can happen due to various reasons, including human error, equipment malfunction, unsafe working conditions, or environmental factors.

Common types of construction accidents include:

  • Falls: These are among the most common construction site accidents and can happen from roofs, scaffolding, ladders, or other elevated surfaces.
  • Struck by Object: Workers can be hit by falling tools, materials, or machinery on the construction site.
  • Electrocution: Contact with live wires, faulty equipment, or improper use of electrical tools can lead to severe injuries or fatalities.
  • Caught In/Between: This includes accidents where a worker is caught or trapped between equipment, machinery, or collapsing structures.
  • Machinery Accidents: Injuries caused by heavy machinery or equipment malfunction, such as crane accidents, forklift mishaps, or conveyor belt injuries.
  • Trench Collapse: Workers involved in excavation or trenching work can be trapped or suffocated if the trench collapses.
  • Chemical Accidents: Exposure to hazardous chemicals or substances on the construction site can cause injuries, burns, or long-term health issues.
  • Fire and Explosions: Accidents involving welding, cutting tools, or flammable materials can lead to fires or explosions.
  • Overexertion: Strain or injury due to lifting, carrying heavy loads, or repetitive motions can also occur on construction sites.
  • Scaffold Collapses: Improperly erected or maintained scaffolding can collapse, leading to serious injuries or fatalities.

Causes of Iowa Construction Injuries

The injuries construction workers suffer are often life-threatening. The industry as a whole has a high fatality rate when compared to other industries. In part, this is because of the many hazards workers face daily. Some of the most frequent causes of Iowa construction accident injuries include the following:

  • Unsafe Working Conditions: Poorly maintained equipment, inadequate safety measures, lack of safety gear, and insufficient training can create hazardous work environments.
  • Human Error: Mistakes made by workers due to fatigue, distraction, inexperience, or lack of training can lead to accidents. Additionally, miscommunication or misunderstanding of safety protocols can contribute to incidents.
  • Negligence and Non-compliance: Failure to follow safety regulations, cutting corners to meet deadlines, or ignoring safety protocols set by regulatory bodies can significantly increase the risk of accidents.
  • Inadequate Planning and Design: Flaws or oversights in the initial planning and design phase of a construction project can lead to structural failures or unsafe conditions during construction.
  • Poor Communication: Lack of clear communication among workers, supervisors, and management regarding safety procedures, changes in plans, or potential hazards can contribute to accidents.
  • Equipment Failure: Malfunctioning or poorly maintained machinery, tools, or equipment can cause accidents, leading to injuries or fatalities.
  • Environmental Factors: Adverse weather conditions, unexpected geological issues, or natural disasters can create unsafe conditions on construction sites.
  • Pressure to Meet Deadlines: Tight project schedules or pressure to complete tasks within a short time frame can compromise safety measures and result in rushed work, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
  • Subcontractor and Worker Coordination: Lack of coordination and oversight among subcontractors and workers from different companies on the same site can lead to confusion and unsafe conditions.
  • Lack of Risk Assessment: Failure to properly identify, assess, and mitigate potential risks in different construction phases can result in accidents that could have been prevented.

With risks like these, it’s easy to see how so many construction workers are critically injured on a day-to-day basis. When you’re trying to focus on recovering from catastrophic injuries, you should not be burdened by increasing medical costs and household bills that are going unpaid while you are unable to work.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Your employer is required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect employees in the event of a construction accident. Every employee who is injured while performing his or her duties is entitled to collect workers’ comp benefits as long as he or she was on the clock and not in violation of company policies.

The amount of weekly compensation you will receive will depend on how disabling your injury is and your average weekly income. As a general rule, you will be able to collect up to 80 percent of your income until you go back to work.

In addition to these benefits, your workers’ compensation insurance should cover medical costs associated with your injuries. This could include the costs of your prescription medications, hospital bills, medical equipment, copays, and similar expenses.

Because Iowa construction accident injuries are often severe, the compensation you’ll receive from workers’ comp may not cover the total costs stemming from your injuries. That’s why some on-the-job injury victims consider filing a personal injury claim.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Construction Accident

In Iowa, workers’ compensation benefits are paid regardless of fault. This is not the case when seeking compensation in a personal injury claim. The liability of another party is crucial to your success. Your construction accident lawyer will investigate your construction accident thoroughly to determine who is to blame for your injuries.

Once the fault has been established, we will calculate the value of your claim by examining the total impact your injuries have had and may continue to have on your life.

Unlike a work comp claim, a third-party claim refers to a legal claim or lawsuit filed by an injured party (who is not an employee of the construction company) against a party other than their employer who may bear some responsibility for the accident and resulting injuries. In addition to receiving workers' compensation benefits, this type of claim can compensate you for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. You can also account for your loss of income (including the 20 percent or more workers comp will not cover) and loss of earning potential.

Common types of third parties in construction accidents include:

  • Subcontractors: Other companies or individuals hired by the primary contractor to perform specific tasks on the construction site. If a subcontractor's negligence or actions contribute to the accident, they may be held liable.
  • Property Owners: Owners of the construction site or adjacent properties might be liable if their negligence in maintaining safe premises contributes to the accident.
  • Manufacturers or Suppliers: If a defective product or equipment malfunction causes the accident, the manufacturer or supplier of that product could be held responsible.
  • Design Professionals: Architects, engineers, or design consultants may be held liable if their design plans or specifications are faulty or contribute to the accident.
  • Government Entities: In cases where government regulations, inspections, or approvals are involved and their negligence contributes to the accident, they might be held accountable.
  • Utility Companies: Entities responsible for maintaining underground utility lines might be liable if their negligence leads to an accident, such as a gas line rupture or electrical hazard.
  • Drivers or Pedestrians: If a construction accident involves a vehicle collision or a pedestrian injury caused by someone outside the construction site, that party might be held liable.

Identifying third parties in construction accidents requires a thorough investigation to determine their level of responsibility. It's common for multiple parties to share liability, and these claims can significantly impact the compensation received by the injured party beyond workers' compensation benefits.

Therefore, if someone else caused your injuries and workers’ compensation benefits aren’t covering all of your costs, filing a personal injury claim could help you recover without the added stress of financial insecurity.

Work with an Iowa Construction Accident Attorney

When you’ve been injured in a construction accident, the last thing you should have to worry about is money. If you need help obtaining workers’ compensation benefits or filing a personal injury claim against the person responsible for your injuries, speak with an attorney at our firm today.

At Pothitakis Law Firm, PC, our construction accident attorneys have the utmost respect for our hardworking clients and refuse to let them be taken advantage of by insurance companies and left to deal with the consequences of their injuries alone.

Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with an Iowa construction accident lawyer today by calling (319) 318-0450 or filling out the form on this page.

Our Case Results

  • $1 Million Workers Slip and Fall

    After hearing, the Deputy Workers’ Compensation Commissioner entered an award fully in favor of the Claimant finding him permanently and totally disabled. The Decision resulted in an award with the present value of in excess of $1 million. In addition, the Defendants were ordered to pay the Claimant’s medical expenses for the remainder of his life.

  • $450,000 Partial Commutation

    In 2013, our client was a truck driver who was fatally injured in a tragic auto accident. He was married at the time and as a result his wife was entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Those benefits would end upon her death or shortly after she were to remarry. The surviving spouse was finding it difficult to live on the weekly Workers’ Compensation benefits and for other reasons wanted to have the money paid in a lump sum.

  • Workers’ Comp Appeal Results in Settlement

    Pothitakis Law Firm pursued this claim for in excess of three and a half years. Mr. Pothitakis conferenced with the claimant’s doctors and obtained reports over those years to put the claimant in the best position to obtain a favorable result at hearing. When the initial decision was inappropriate, Pothitakis Law Firm filed an appeal and was successful on that appeal.

Are You Looking For A Team Who Will Fight For You?

For a results-driven approach, call The Pothitakis Law Firm. We have offices in Burlington and Keokuk.

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