Construction work is inherently dangerous, which is why contractors, subcontractors, property owners, developers, and others involved in construction projects have a duty to take reasonable precautions to protect workers. Obligations for employers and property owners include ensuring a safe worksite, equipment, and tools, supplying proper safety equipment and protection, and providing the necessary training and supervision.
When injuries occur, as experienced construction injury lawyers and attorneys, we tenaciously seek full compensation from all those responsible on behalf of our clients.
If you were injured at a construction worksite and are in need of a construction injury lawyer, we invite you to call us. We represent construction injury clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only receive a fee if we are successful in recovering compensation for you.
Do I Need to Pay for Expenses and Legal Costs While My Construction Injury Claim is Ongoing?
No. We advance all expenses and legal costs while your claim is pending. Normally, these expenses and costs are repaid through a settlement or favorable verdict.
What Are The Common Causes of Washington Construction Accidents?
According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, the following four hazards lead to the majority of construction accidents and injuries:
Other frequent causes of construction accidents include:
- Lack of proper protective equipment,
- Failure to secure scaffolding,
- Deficiently maintained tools, equipment, and/or machinery,
- Lack of appropriate training for the operation of complex equipment or heavy machinery,
- Worksite defects,
- Negligent supervision, and
- Failure to communicate.
What Types of Construction Injury Cases Do Your Construction Accident Attorneys Handle?
At Karr Tuttle Campbell, we are available to represent clients across greater Seattle and throughout the State of Washington. We help and represent construction workers injured in all types of accidents, including those involving (but not limited to):
- Falls (including those from ladders and other high areas),
- Defective tools and machinery,
- Scaffold collapses,
- Trench wall collapses,
- Forklift injuries,
- Crane accidents,
- Toxic chemical exposure,
- Falling objects, and
- Vehicle crashes.
We also represent the families who have lost a loved one in a construction fatality wrongful death case.
In particular, we represent clients who have sustained:
- Broken bones,
- Lacerations and internal injuries,
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Paraplegia and quadriplegia,
- Hearing or vision loss, and
- Wrongful death.
Can I Sue My Employer for My Construction Injury in Washington?
Generally, an injured worker’s sole right for compensation against his or her employer in Washington is through workers’ compensation benefits. Under Washington law, workers’ compensation benefits generally include the costs for treatment, a portion of lost wages, and a number of other related benefits. Long-term benefits may also be payable for permanent disability, as noted below.
Are There Exceptions in Washington When an Employer May Be Sued in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Yes. Under Washington law, an injured worker can file a personal injury lawsuit against an employer if they were injured as a result of the deliberate intention of an employer.
Proving deliberate employer intention is generally rare, as legally an injured construction worker would need to prove that the employer knew there was an unreasonably high risk of injury. Often in these cases, in addition to the unreasonably high risk of injury, an employer will also seek to hide these risks or not provide reasonable safety matters.
As experienced Washington construction accident lawyers, we can review the facts of your case and explain your legal options for pursuing maximum compensation through all available avenues, including workers’ compensation claims and personal injury lawsuits.
What Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available in Washington?
Workers’ compensation benefits in Washington include:
- Payment for necessary medical care,
- Temporary total disability,
- Temporary partial disability,
- Permanent partial disability, and
- Permanent total disability.
In addition, surviving family members may be entitled to death benefits if a loved one dies due to a construction injury or illness.
Do You Represent Construction Injury Clients in Workers’ Compensation Cases?
We only represent clients in workers’ compensation cases in which a separate case exists against a non-employer, such as another contractor, property owner, or the manufacturer of defective equipment.
Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit If I Am Collecting Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
If you have been injured at a worksite, you may be receiving workers´ compensation benefits. However, these benefits may not be sufficient to compensate you for your injuries. If someone other than your employer was at fault for your injuries, you may also have a personal injury claim for significant damages, including damages for pain and suffering.
Our construction accident lawyers and construction fatality attorneys have a reputation throughout Washington for taking construction injury cases to trial if a fair settlement cannot be achieved. We believe that insurance defense attorneys are well aware of our reputation for taking cases to trial, and that this significantly helps in the negotiation process. Put simply – if the defendants are not prepared to offer a fair settlement, we will not hesitate to take a case to trial and tenaciously advocate for the full compensation our clients deserve.
Schedule A Free Consultation with An Experienced Seattle Construction Injury Lawyer at 206-223-1313.
At Karr Tuttle Campbell, we handle construction injury lawsuits and workers’ compensation claims on a contingency-fee basis. If you’re looking for the best construction injury lawyer for your case, we invite you to call us at 206-223-1313 to schedule a free consultation.
CONSTRUCTION INJURY FAQs
Can I Recover for Pain and Suffering in a Washington Workers’ Compensation Case?
No. As part of the “no-fault” workers’ compensation system in Washington, there is no separate payment for “pain and suffering. However, pain and suffering can be recovered in a personal injury lawsuit against a person or entity other than the injured worker’s employer, which is a significant reason to determine whether there are other companies, contractors, or individuals that may be liable.
Are property owners responsible for construction accidents?
Yes, in many instances, if the injury was a result of an unsafe property condition.
If a construction worker sustains injuries at a job site as the result of a property owner failing to remedy or properly identify a dangerous conditions, the property owner could be liable for any damages stemming from the hazardous worksite conditions.
Can I sue a subcontractor or general contractor other than my employer for a construction injury?
In addition to pursuing workers’ compensation through an employer, injured construction workers may also be entitled to pursue damages against a subcontractor or general contractor if their negligence caused the injuries (in whole or in part). As experienced construction accident attorneys, we can listen to the facts of your case and explain whether you may be entitled to pursue additional compensation through a third-party personal injury claim against someone other than your employer.
Am I limited to worker’s compensation in a construction accident case?
In Washington, construction injuries, such as falls, defective equipment, toxic chemical exposure, and electrocutions, are usually handled through the workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation is typically the exclusive remedy against an employer, meaning that an individual generally cannot sue an employer for worksite injuries.
However, if an individual is hurt on a construction site, he or she may be entitled to file an injury claim against another entity, such as a:
- A general contractor (if the employee is working for a subcontractor),
- Subcontractor if the employee is working for the General Contractor or another subcontractor,
- Property owner,
- Developer, and
- Equipment manufacturers for defective products (as well as others involved in the sale of the defective products, such as dealers).
What are the benefits to being able to sue a non-employer in a construction injury case?
In most cases, the only right that an injured worker will have against his or her employer in a construction injury case will be limited to workers’ compensation benefits. Under Washington workers’ compensation law, workers are only entitled to limited lost wages, medical treatment, and various ancillary costs and benefits.
In a personal injury case against a non-employer (such as a case against another contractor, property owner, or defective equipment manufacturer), there are no such limits. Further, injured workers are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.
In general, injured workers can seek the following from non-employers in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Past and future lost compensation,
- Pain and suffering from the initial injuries, and from future and pain and suffering from the injuries and from surgeries and other treatment,
- Past and future costs for medical treatment, including surgeries, prescriptions, rehabilitation, and home health care needs,
- Compensation for lifestyle impacts, such as the inability to engage in activities previously enjoyed prior to the injury, such as playing ball with the person’s children or engaging in other recreational activities, and
- Compensation for costs, expenses, and other matters that are directly due to the injury.
How long do construction personal injury cases take in Washington?
The length of time it takes to resolve a construction workers’ compensation case varies depending on the extent of the injuries, the number of defendants, and other factors.
Generally, it can take twelve to eighteen months from the time of filing of a lawsuit to conclude a case; however, when injuries are more severe, or if there is a fatality, a case can take much longer. Also, cases almost always take longer if a trial is necessary.
What must be proven to win a personal injury construction case in Washington?
Personal injury construction cases are dependent upon proving negligence, which is a legal concept that means that there was a failure to use reasonable care by a person or entity that had a duty to do so.
For example, a contractor may have violated a safety standard or failed to maintain a safe construction site by not training or properly supervising employees. The contractor may have also used defective equipment. If an injury or death can be shown to have been a result of such failure, then negligence will be found to have occurred.
Can I Keep All the Money Received in Both Worker’s Compensation and a Personal Case?
Most likely, no. Workers’ compensation carriers and other insurers may have a lien on the amounts recovered in a personal injury case that will need to be repaid to them. For instance, if a workers’ compensation carrier pays $25,000 to a hospital for medical bills and you receive a settlement or verdict that includes a payment for medical bills, you may need to pay some or all of this amount to the insurance company since you will have not paid these bills yourself.
Does a jury need to be unanimous in finding negligence in a construction case in Washington State?
No. Because personal injury cases are civil (and not criminal), a majority vote of the jury will determine liability.
Do jurors need to find negligence beyond a reasonable doubt in Washington State?
No. Because personal injury cases are brought in civil (not criminal) court, jurors only need to find that negligence “more likely than not” occurred. This translates to “more than 50%.”
 RCW 51.24.020
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Calculating Pain & Suffering in Construction Injury Cases
Construction Wrongful Death
Defective Construction Equipment