Ferguson & Ferguson
Attorneys at Law
The construction industry has consistently been one of the most treacherous jobs in Alabama. Alabama construction accidents injure thousands of workers every year. In fact, construction workers account for one in five workplace deaths in the United States. Construction workers often work at high elevations and on inclines, and must use both hands and rely on their balance to work. In most jobs in the construction industry, there is little room for error and mistakes can be deadly. This is why mandatory courses are put into place, to give construction workers the necessary information in order to keep them as safe as possible during work. With working from a height on a daily basis, staying safe is a worker’s main priority.
When companies cut corners on safety or fail to properly train workers, or when workers are injured from using dangerous or defective equipment, injured workers may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Injuries from construction accidents may be very serious and cause permanent disability. Construction injuries are an all-too-common occurrence in Decatur, Huntsville and the surrounding metro areas. We are experienced construction accident attorneys who understand the law governing construction site injuries and can help you with your claim.
Types of Huntsville and Decatur Construction Accidents
There are numerous different causes of construction site accidents, including:
- Asbestos exposure
- Asphalt fume exposures
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Compressed gas injuries
- Crane accidents
- Electrocution accidents
- Explosions and fires
- Fatal injuries
- Forklift accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Nail gun accidents
- Negligent maintenance
- Noise induced hearing loss
- Roofing accidents
- Scaffolding falls
- Stairway collapses
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Trench accidents
- Welding accidents
If you are hurt in a construction accident on a work site in Huntsville or Decatur, Alabama, you may be entitled to compensation from one or more parties including the owner of the site, contractors, manufacturers, architects and others. If you were injured during the course of your employment, you may be entitled to compensation above and in addition to any workers compensation benefits in a third party claim. Thousands of construction workers are injured or killed on the job each year. Most construction workers know that if they are injured on the job, they have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The act provides benefits for workers who are injured on the job or suffer an occupational disease arising out of the course and scope of employment, regardless of who was at fault. Even if an employee is partially or totally at fault for his or her own injury, the employee is still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
There are limitations on the employees’ rights. Except for very limited circumstances, employees may not sue their employers for an on-the-job injury, even if the employer was at fault. Also, workers’ compensation often does not provide enough benefits for the damages suffered by the worker. There are, however, circumstances under which the worker can pursue both a workers’ compensation claim and a case for damages against a liable party other than the employer. This is known as a third-party case.
Third Party Liability
Under certain circumstances a third party could be responsible for job-site injuries. The architects, owners, contractors, and equipment manufacturers or their employees can all be held liable for accident’s arising from insufficient safety measures or negligence. Manufacturers, distributors, and providers of rented construction equipment are responsible for designing, maintaining and leasing safe equipment. Defective or dangerous equipment may be at fault in a construction accident. Some examples of equipment used on a construction sites include the following:
- power tools
- woodworking tools
- back hoes
- heavy equipment
- pressure vessels
- gas detectors
- other types of construction equipment
Alabama Bridge Accidents
There are approximately 607,000 bridges in the United States. In 2012 over 11% of those bridges were deemed structurally deficient by the Federal Highway Administration (FHA). While that is an alarming statistic in itself, the FHA also reported that the average age of a standard, often-used, and in-operation bridge is 42 years. Many bridges in Alabama that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete are still in use and are a hazard to those who must travel over them as pedestrians or in motor vehicles. Many bridges contain structural failures and are due to engineering or architectural negligence, including the failure to ensure proper support. Improper support, which is common with bridges, can lead to catastrophe. In fact, a recent study reported that 60% of bridges and roadway failures are due to preventable erosion. When some or all of a bridge fails, collapses or malfunctions and/or when the bridge is poorly designed travelers can be injured or killed.
As a result of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968, the Secretary of Transportation is required to establish national bridge inspection standards for all highway bridges. Federal agencies are required by federal law to inspect bridges on all public roads under their jurisdictions and to annually report the data to the Federal Highway Administration’s National Bridge Inventory. States are responsible for the inspection of all highway bridges, except those that are federally owned, according to the National Bridge Inspection Standards.
Bridge Accident Causes
- Inadequate bridge maintenance
- Insufficient quality and/or scarce frequency of bridge inspections
- Unintended bridge opening / bridge opening by mistake
- Drawspan sections unexpectedly rise and are hit by cars
- Pontoon letdown / pontoon sinking
- Drawspan failure
- Corrosion of major support structures
- Bridge structures hit by vehicles
- Cracks in the bridge structures
- Under-engineered for local environmental conditions
- Poor structural support
- Oversized vehicles damage bridge structures
- Overpass failure
- Lack of proper warning signs
- Human errors and poor decisions
If you have been injured or know someone who has been injured or died as a result of a bridge collapse or construction accident in Huntsville or Decatur, there could be various municipalities involved in determining the cause. Bridges generally connect one state with another, or one part of the country with other and determining the boundaries of the accident are difficult when water is involved. The Huntsville law firm of Ferguson & Ferguson has been a leader in the area of bridge and structural collapse and defect litigation for over 20 years. We have represented victims in complex and serious personal injury and wrongful death cases arising from the negligence of others in designing, building, maintaining and repairing bridges, porches, decks, buildings and industrial sites.
Why Hire Ferguson & Ferguson?
We take construction accident and bridge cases on a contingency fee basis. If you have been injured in a construction or brridge accident, or someone you love has been injured, you need to talk with an attorney who will help keep you and your family above water and get you the money you need for medical treatment, your lost earnings and other expenses and for the pain and suffering you go through. If you have suffered a construction or bridge accident injury in Decatur, Scottsboro, Cullman or the surrounding North Alabama area, talk to the experienced construction accident lawyers at Ferguson & Ferguson. We can assist both with workers’ compensation claims and with identifying responsible third-parties to maximize recovery.We are available 24/7, and if necessary we can visit you at Huntsville Hospital, Decatur General Hospital, Crestwood Medical Center or Parkway Medical Center. For over 20 years Ferguson & Ferguson has worked with construction workers and their families in Huntsville, Alabama. Contact the Huntsville construction and bridge accident attorneys at Ferguson & Ferguson for a free consultation. Call now. Call 256-534-3535 to schedule a free initial consultation. We are here to help.