Although construction accidents involving falls from heights attract more attention, workers below ground level are also at risk. Excavation accidents can cause serious, life-threatening injuries. If you were hurt in an excavation or trenching accident, it’s important to reach out to an experienced construction accident lawyer who will fight to get the fair compensation you need.
At William G. Kolodner, P.A., our Baltimore personal injury lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience. We know you’re facing challenges if you were hurt in an excavation accident. We’re here to do everything we can to help.
Your first consultation is always 100% free–so you have nothing to lose. Call our law offices today to speak with an experienced Baltimore excavation accident lawyer.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Attorney to Protect Your Rights After an Excavation Accident?
Putting any serious injury in the past requires time, patience, and money. If your injuries were permanent, you may need to adjust to an entirely different way of life. You need money to get the best treatment possible while keeping your family afloat financially.
Our skilled trial lawyers have the experience you need to get the highest verdict or settlement possible. When you choose William G. Kolodner, P.A., you can rest assured that we will:
- Investigate to find out what caused the accident
- Identify every party that could share financial responsibility for the excavation accident
- Negotiate with the insurance companies to protect your best interests
- Build a strong, evidence-based claim to counter the at-fault party’s defense tactics
- Stand up to the insurer, who might try to reduce or deny your workers’ compensation benefits
- Work with experts to get evidence to support your case’s value
Like any other construction accident case, multiple parties may share in the blame. Inevitably, these companies may try to blame one another to avoid paying their share of your compensation.
Our lawyers are familiar with these defense tactics. We know what it takes to cut through the red tape and get the fair compensation you need. Give us a call today to learn more.
Excavation and Trenching: The Basics
Excavation is any type of operation where workers remove part of the earth to conduct work underground. In most cases, heavy machinery is used to dig into the soil, rock, or other natural materials. Most construction projects require excavation work as the first step in the construction process.
A trench is a particularly narrow form of excavation that is deeper than it is wide. Because of the structure, trenching accidents can quickly become deadly if proper safety precautions aren’t taken
How Dangerous Are Excavation Accidents?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identifies excavation and trenching as among the most dangerous construction projects around. According to CDC statistics, about 54 people are killed every year in trench and excavation-related accidents. Cave-ins cause about three out of every four excavated accidents. The danger of cave-ins is clear: one cubic yard of soil can weigh about 3,000 pounds.
The vast majority of excavation accidents are completely preventable–especially those involving trenching.
Excavation Safety Precautions
Because excavation is such dangerous work, OSHA recommends following strict safety precautions. The following OSHA rules are designed to keep workers safe in excavation and trenching projects:
- Unless the excavation is primarily through stable rock, trenches five feet deep require a protective system
- Trenches 20 feet deep or greater require a protective system designed by a professional engineer
- Trenches used in excavation must be inspected daily by a competent person
- A safe means of exiting the trench must be located no more than 25 feet from workers
- Surcharge loads should be kept at least two feet from the trench edges
- The area should be tested for low oxygen, hazardous fumes and toxic gases
- The area should be examined to locate all underground utilities
Construction accidents are much more likely when companies cut corners to increase their profit margins.
Why Do Excavation Accidents Happen?
Some of the common causes of cave-ins and other excavation accidents are:
- Failure to use proper protective systems
- Failure to identify and prepare for the soil type
- Lack of competent supervision
- Contact with underground electrical systems
- Environmental factors
- OSHA safety violations
With proper protective systems, many excavation accidents can be prevented. Protective systems can take many different forms. Depending upon the ground composition and soil, construction teams might use:
- Benching, which involves digging horizontal, bench-like levels in the sides of the excavation
- Shoring up the walls of the trench with wall supports
- Sloping or angling the trench wall away from the bottom of the excavation
Taking simple protective precautions can save lives. If you were hurt in an excavation accident, you might not know exactly who is to blame for your injuries. Give our lawyers a call today to learn more about how we can find out what caused the accident.
We Handle All Types of Excavation Accidents
At William G. Kolodner, P.A., our Baltimore personal injury lawyers handle all types of excavation accidents, including:
- Crush injuries from equipment falling into the excavated area
- Toxic fume inhalation
Comprehensive daily inspections should identify any problems that might cause these types of accidents. If you were injured because someone failed to follow safety guidelines, call us today for a free consultation.
Excavation Accidents Cause Serious Injuries
In addition to the risk of suffocation, excavation accident victims can suffer:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crush injuries
- Burn injuries
- Broken bones
- Chest injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Broken ribs
- Lost limbs
- Wrongful death
These types of serious injuries can be devastating for you and your family. If you were hurt, you don’t have to handle your claim alone. In fact, it’s always smart to at least speak with an experienced construction accident lawyer who has handled these types of cases before.
Our personal injury lawyers have over a century’s worth of experience helping accident victims with the legal issues in complex injury cases. We have what it takes to go up against the insurance company and protect your right to full compensation.
If you have any questions about your rights, don’t hesitate to call our law firm for a free consultation today. We’ve already helped hundreds of clients successfully resolve their personal injury cases and are here to help with your claim.
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Claim?
Various laws limit the amount of time you have to file a claim for damages. These laws are called the “statute of limitations”. The applicable time frame varies depending upon how you’re making the claim–via workers’ compensation or a lawsuit.
Maryland state law gives you three years to file a personal injury lawsuit. For workers’ compensation claims, there is a two-year deadline. Keep in mind that you must notify your employer as soon as possible after you get hurt to preserve your right to file a claim.
What Types of Damages Are Available for Excavation Accident Victims?
Getting fair compensation for your excavation accident injuries might be one of the most important things you ever do. Our lawyers at William G. Kolodner, P.A. are here to make sure you get all the money you’re entitled to receive.
We can help with both the workers’ compensation process and filing a personal injury lawsuit for additional damages. Our lawyers can also help you file a wrongful death claim if you lost a loved one in an excavation accident.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Most excavation accident injuries qualify as workplace injuries. If you were an employee, you’re entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits. Under Maryland law, injured workers are entitled to:
- Disability benefits
- Medical expense reimbursement
- Reimbursement for hospitalization expenses
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Death and funeral benefits
These benefits are generous, but not everyone can get workers’ compensation. If you were an independent contractor, rather than an employee, when the accident happened, you might not be entitled to benefits.
In other cases, workers’ compensation simply fails to cover the full cost of your injuries. With workers’ compensation, you don’t receive any benefits for things like pain and suffering or emotional trauma.
Damages for Personal Injury
Injured construction workers often believe they’re limited to claiming only workers’ compensation. That’s not always the case. Workers’ compensation laws take away your right to sue your employer.
If someone who is not your employer caused the accident, you keep your right to file a lawsuit for full compensation.
Depending on what happened, you might have the right to file a third-party claim for compensation against:
- Property owners
- General contractors
Our personal injury lawyers will research to determine the amount of compensation you should be entitled to receive–in other words, to reach a fair value for your claim. In most cases, this will include money for:
- Medical bills
- Future medical care
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Long-term care needs
- In-home assistance
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Valuing your case is more complex than it might initially seem. If you haven’t completely recovered, you have to estimate what your future damages will be. Our lawyers work with respected experts to get the evidence needed to support your claim.
Call for a Free Consultation with an Experienced Baltimore Excavation Accidents Lawyer
At William G. Kolodner, P.A., our personal injury attorneys work tirelessly to get the money our clients need. If you were hurt in an accident, call an experienced Baltimore excavation accident lawyer today. We are ready to put our proven track record of success to work for you. We handle cases in Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.