While any worker can get injured, construction workers face some of the most serious injuries on a daily basis. The use of power tools can cause serious injuries if they malfunction or when they are not used correctly.
Unfortunately, these injuries can leave workers with serious injuries and ongoing medical needs, while also keeping them out of work and unable to earn a living. The good news is that if you have been injured at work, your employer has an insurance policy that will probably apply.
What Types of Injuries are Common with Power Tools?
There are many injuries which can occur from the misuse of a power tool or when a power tool malfunctions. Injuries range from painful but quick recovery to life-altering.
- Laceration: Lacerations, cuts, and puncture wounds are some of the most common injuries from power tools. When a sharp object pierces the skin, it can cause a quick jolt of pain but can also lead to an infection if not properly treated.
- Repetitive Motion: Power tools allow construction workers to perform certain tasks quickly and effectively. But those same tools used over a long period of time can cause painful damage to a worker’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Repetitive motion injuries are extremely painful but can heal well if caught and treated early.
- Electrocution: On construction sites, electrocution hazards are always present. If a socket is not properly installed or if there is a faulty wire in the power tool, the worker could get an electric shock. This can cause painful burns and be permanently debilitating. Sometimes fatal, electrocution can make a worker’s heart stop and cause brain damage.
- Tripping: Tripping is another always present hazard on construction sites. When a power tool is used, they require an outlet, but there is not always one nearby. Workers sometimes need to use long extension cords and, if not properly secured, could present tripping hazards where workers could suffer sprains, strains, and even broken bones. In the worst-case scenario, a worker could trip and fall from a height, causing serious injury or even death.
- Eye Injuries: When using power tools, workers should wear protective eye gear. And not just workers using the power tools, but all workers nearby. Especially when using nail guns and other power tools that shoot items at high speeds, workers can instantly suffer eye injuries if they are not properly protected. This could cause permanent blindness and other types of eye damage.
- Hearing Loss: Construction sites are noisy workplaces. It is estimated that nearly half of all construction workers suffer some level of hearing loss during their careers. Much of this hearing loss comes from power tools. These tools are very loud and often used very close to the worker’s ears. Hearing loss and other ear injuries are not life-threatening, but can be life-altering.
- Be Crushed: One of the most devastating injuries a worker could suffer is getting crushed. Whether from large construction equipment or from a heavy power tool, when some item falls on a worker, it can cause life-threatening injuries. These could include injuries which require amputation.
Under Delaware law, all employers, with a few exceptions, must carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This insurance provides compensation to workers like you who get injured while working. It is no fault insurance, which means that you are entitled to benefits, unless you intentionally injure yourself. Even if you caused the accident, so long as you did not intend to cause yourself any harm, you would still be entitled to benefits.
To collect workers’ compensation benefits, you need to report your injury to a supervisor as soon as possible. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company will require a full report within a very short period of time. You cannot delay reporting this to them.
Workers’ compensation benefits only cover medical bills and lost income. So non-economic damages like pain and suffering are not included. But, depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may have other legal options to collect compensation for your injuries and your suffering.
Other Legal Options
If your workplace injuries fall under your employer’s workers’ compensation benefits, you will not be able to sue your employer for additional compensation. However, you can file a third-party claim if another party contributed to your injuries.
One place to look for additional liability is the manufacturer of the power tool. Sometimes, power tools are defective and that can have disastrous consequences, leading to serious injuries for workers.
For example, if you are a construction worker using a nail gun and the nail gun malfunctions and launches debris into your eyes, it is possible that the nail gun was improperly manufactured. This means you could file a claim against the company who manufactured the nail gun and attempt to get additional compensation from that company to compensate you for your injuries and suffering.
If you are working on a construction site and a contractor leaves a power cord out which you trip over, fall, and break your leg, you may be able to file a claim against the contractor and their employer. While filing a personal injury claim may be the last thing on your mind after suffering a workplace injury, it can be a good way for you to try to collect compensation for your injuries, above and beyond the workers’ compensation benefits you may be entitled to receive.
The Wilmington Construction Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help You Get the Benefits You Need
Getting injured at work can cause serious issues not only for your ability to earn a living but also get collect compensation for your injuries. When you are injured at work, your employer’s workers’ compensation policy will apply. But that does not cover everything you may need. To determine your legal options, speak with our Wilmington construction accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Call us today at (302) 427-9500 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with our experienced team. With offices in Wilmington, Delaware, we proudly serve our neighbors across Delaware.