Trench collapses, also called cave-ins, are one of the deadliest kinds of construction accidents. They’re especially common in the underground utility sector, and they can often lead to severe injuries like broken bones, structural damage, and crushing injuries. Similar kinds of injuries may also appear in building collapses when debris falls on a worker. When these kinds of injuries occur, workers may have their lives totally altered, losing their ability to perform their work duties and potentially suffering harm to their quality of life. Injury laws exist to support construction workers and their families when companies make their workplaces unsafe.
Injuries From Trench Accidents
When a trench collapses, crushing injuries cause the most serious amount of damage in a trench accident. However, there are a number of serious dangers that could possibly occur.
In incidents where toxic fumes are released as a result of a collapse, asphyxiation and chemical exposure can also be serious health hazards. The same can be said when infrastructure is damaged during a collapse, electrical and gas lines can be damaged during a trench accident, leading to electrocutions and explosions.
As you can see, there are a number of serious dangers that can be caused by trench accidents, leading to catastrophic injuries. For this reason, OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration acknowledges that trench excavation is more than twice as likely to result in death than other types of construction jobs. That’s why employers must take the safety of their workers seriously and prioritize safety precautions for these types of jobs.
Compensation for Trench Accidents
While the dangers posed by a potential trench accident are great and require a great deal of caution on the part of a construction employer, it’s all too common for these companies to put profits over the safety of their workers.
When worksites and employers fail to protect their workers, there are a number of ways for workers and their families to get compensation for the injuries they suffer including:
- Workers compensation
- Third-party lawsuits
- Labor lawsuits
An experienced construction injury lawyer can help you navigate all of your legal options and help you decide what the best option is for your particular circumstance.
Trench Accident Lawsuits
Bringing a trench accident lawsuit against an employer or third party requires a number of items to be successful. You’ll need expert witnesses with knowledge on trench accidents to testify about the conditions (methods used, soil types, the weather’s impact) leading up to the accident. This testimony will be used to show that the accident was caused by negligence on the part of the employer or other party.
Building Collapse Lawsuits
People in buildings that collapse because of negligence can make claims against the owners of the buildings, as well as other parties that may have played a role in the building collapsing. There a number of reasons why a building or section of a building might collapse including:
- Structural weaknesses: When building codes aren’t adhered to, undertrained workers are used, and subpar materials are used in the structure, especially the foundation, of the building may be flawed
- Bearing too much weight: buildings are only engineered to withstand a certain weight, when they try to bear a load that’s too great (like construction equipment) this can cause collapses
- FAILURE TO TEST – Even if everything seems fine, the architectural plan makes sense and the materials are good, a building has to be fully tested to ensure that it is safe. Building codes require this kind of testing but it is often ignored
Philadelphia Trench Injury Lawyers
The reality is that many of the injuries that result from a building collapse or trench accident could have been avoided if the employer took the correct steps to ensure their workers’ safety. When a construction employer fails to uphold their duty to protect their workers, their victims can work to hold them accountable through a workplace injury lawsuit.
If you or a loved one have been injured on a construction site due to your employer’s negligence, contact the team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt today by filling out our form or calling 1-800-590-4116. We are hard-working lawyers for hard-working people.