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Phone: 515-222-1110
Lombardi Law Firm

Construction Site Personal Injury Accidents

If you have been in a personal injury construction site accident in Iowa call the lawyers at the Lombardi Law Firm for help with your personal injury or wrongful death claim. 515-222-1110 or [email protected]. We represent injured accident victims from all over the country in these, personal injury cases that can also be a workers’ compensation case.

We handle these cases on a contingent fee basis. If you’re a wife or husband whose husband or wife has died as from a construction site accident we can help you. We can recover damages and compensation you deserve, but construction site insurance companies refuse to pay. When they say ‘no’ call us. 515-222-1110 or [email protected].

It is dangerous to work in a construction site and that is why workers get killed, injured and maimed.  When you, your husband, wife, father or mother are either injured or killed call us for help making the recovery you deserve.

Construction site accidents that cause serious injuries or death can be caused by falls by failing to tie off, chemical spills, explosions, the wrong hand signals to crane operators, scaffolding that collapses due to incorrect erection, faulty or improper or no safety equipment being supplied, dropped or falling objects, defective machinery and tools, welding, excavations, wall or supports collapsing, no breathing apparatus causing asphyxiation, improper training, improper supervision, along with many other failures.  These dangers can cause serious injuries including:  sprains, fractures, dislocations, burns, loss of an arm or leg, loss of eyesight, spinal cord injuries, head injuries resulting in brain injury, or even death.  While all employees are entitled to compensation from workers’ compensation, those benefits often falls short of covering the continued medical bills and future lost wages from not being able to do the same job after treatment is completed.  Worse still, the insurance company often times denies the claim for workers’ compensation and leaves your family finances in dire straits causing damage to your credit while creating an uncertain future for you and your family.  

If you are injured on a construction site in central Iowa, do not simply accept it as “part of the job.”  It’s important to contact an experienced attorney who is familiar with the laws related to accidents, who knows the benefits you’re entitled to, and who is willing to fight for your rights.  After all, the insurance companies see you as a cost, and your employer, who must file the paperwork for your compensation, may not be willing to do more than the insurance adjuster offers you.  That’s when you should call someone like Steve Lombardi who, with over 26 years of experience, knows how to help you through this process.  

We can help you with crane accidents, carpentry accidents, roofing accidents, backing up accidents, iron worker accidents, construction worker, electricians, cement men, welders, plumbers and steamfitters, truck drivers, common laborers, foreman, supervisors, repairmen, cutters and all other labor men on a construction site hire us to help recover personal injury damages.

Because safety regulations are not fully enforced, more construction workers are getting hurt.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ publication “Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days away from Work, 2006,” 40,510 construction laborers took time off work for non-fatal injuries and illnesses.  Despite updates to 30-year-old regulations regarding machinery and despite attempts to increase workers’ and employers’ awareness of safety regulations, not enough is being done to ensure the safety of workers on construction sites.  

With all the risks you take by working on a construction site, the one thing that is not a risk is hiring Steve Lombardi to represent your interests. I work for you not for well-paid lobbyists working for the insurance industry.  If you, your spouse or your parent have been injured in a construction site accident, he will apply his 30 plus years of experience and knowledge about labor laws, workers’ compensation, construction site accidents, and the court system to fight for your rights.  You can reach Steve Lombardi, of Lombardi Law in West Des Moines, Iowa, at 515.222.1110.

CRANE FALLS AND ACCIDENTS
This is a work related accident that demonstrates several issues surrounding personal injury and how the law weaves a common thread between workers’ compensation and personal injury. The Kansas City Star on its dot.com website reported a crane toppled onto a railroad track in Iowa killing the 27 year old crane operator. The operator apparently worked for A.M. Cohron & Son, Inc. of Atlantic, Iowa. They were doing work on an overpass bridge of the railroad tracks. At the time they were moving a beam.

Now I know nothing about this man or the company he worked. The fact that a worker died will trigger an OSHA investigation by IOSH. The work related accident with a worker being injured or killed should trigger action on the part of the workers’ compensation insurance company. The employer is required to report this accident and work related death to the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health division. The workers compensation insurance company is required to file a First Report of Injury with the Division of Workers’ Compensation, a part of Iowa’s Workforce Development Division.

Any dependents of the operator are entitled to Iowa workers’ compensation benefits. Chapter 85.  Those may be automatically paid by the workers’ compensation insurance company; but then again they may not. Sometimes it depends on what the employer knows about its employee’s personal life – such as whether or not he was married and had dependent children. Employers don’t always know that an employee is married or has dependent children or parents.

The operator’s estate is entitled to ambulance, rescue, emergency care and hospital services without regard to any dollar limit; so long as the charges are reasonable and necessary. The estate is also entitled to funeral and burial expenses within the limit set by the Iowa legislature. (Currently $7,500.00.)

"Medical Benefits

Your employer must pay for all reasonable and necessary medical care required to treat your injury. This includes reasonable and necessary travel expenses for treatment. Mileage for use of a private car is reimbursed at 48.5 cents per mile. (85.27)

Under certain circumstances, if you are required to leave work for medical treatment, you may receive payment of lost wages. (85.27)

A medical care provider cannot seek payment of charges for treatment from you while a contested case proceeding or a dispute as to the reasonableness of a medical treatment fee is pending before the Workers' Compensation Commissioner. (85.27)

                        Death Benefits (85.28, 85.31, 85.42, 85.43, 85.44)

If you were dependent on someone who had died as a result of an on the job injury, you may be eligible to receive death benefits. A surviving spouse may receive death benefits for life or until remarriage. Dependent children are entitled to death benefits until age 18 or, if actually dependent, age 25. Other persons may qualify for death benefits if they were actually dependent upon the deceased worker. If a surviving spouse remarries and the deceased worker has no dependent children at the time of the remarriage, the surviving spouse is entitled to a two-year lump sum settlement. In addition to the weekly death benefits, the deceased worker’s employer (or its insurance carrier) must pay burial expenses of up to $7,500.00.

And the operator’s estate and spouse, if any would also be entitled to make a claim against any third party that is at fault or partially at fault for the accident occurring. At this point it is nearly impossible to say what that liability could be without an investigation. This type of claim requires legal representation. Insurance company adjusters who promise to give you a fair shake should not be trusted to follow with any promises."

Current events often times demonstrate how one accident can be both a workers' compensation benefits case and a personal injury lawsuit. When a death is involved several layers of investigation should be involved in preserving evidenced.

TRENCH COLLAPSE

Marion, IL worksite saw the untimely deaths of two construction workers this past March when a trench caved in and buried the two men under several tons of dirt. A construction worker was crushed to death when a trench collapsed in Brooklyn. Two brothers were entrapped in a collapsed trench in Potomac, Washington.

Many who aren't familiar with the construction industry are probably wondering: what exactly is a trench? A trench is a confined space utilized in construction projects. As can easily be seen by the aforementioned examples, trench collapses occur more often than many know. In fact, trench collapses are responsible for the deaths of approximately 30 construction workers each year and have been responsible for some of the nation's deadliest construction incidents; and considering that soil weighs between 2,000 to 3,000 pounds per cubic yard, it's no wonder why these incidents often result in serious injury and/or death. What's worse, many of the deaths caused by trench collapses occur when other workers climb in in attempt to save other workers.

The construction industry is widely regarded as 'high-risk'; however, contractors and employers have a responsibility to protect theiremployees. In order to ensure a safe work environment is maintained, a set of safety guidelines have been developed which must be met in situations where trenches are involved. However, meeting these guidelines does not necessarily ensure an accident won't occur.

General safety rules require that trenches over five feet deep utilize one of these safety precautions: sloping, shoring, or using a steel cage or trench shield. In addition, each trench must have a way out, be it a ladder or a ramp. All trenches must abide by the OSHAs rules unless the trench is in a stable rock or the trench is less than five feet deep and there's little reason to expect a cave-in.
And OSHA isn't the only source for trench safety information; in addition to training CDs and awareness programs, there's a full, in-depth excavation safety glossary which details and defines the various aspects of excavation and trench safety. Many other websites are also dedicated to informing workers of problems and safety precautions pertaining to trench safety.
One should research such websites before working in a trench; however, research alone is not enough. Workers should also make sure all equipment is in good condition and mark utilities before digging.

CONSTRUCTION WORKER FALL

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, one-third of fatalities in the construction industry are caused by falling from elevation. The implementation of a fall protection plan could help decrease the number of deaths from falls by a significant amount.

Under OSHA guidelines, a fall protection plan is required when there is leading edge work being performed 6 ft. above the ground and conventional fall protection equipment (such as personal fall arrest systems, guardrails, and safety nets) create a greater hazard or are impractical. The fall protection plan is to be prepared by a “competent person” specifically for the site, and must contain reasons why conventional fall protection systems are infeasible or more hazardous.

A fall protection plain contains a number of sections. First, a fall protection plan should contain a statement of company policy which discusses the responsibilities employers and the purpose of the fall protection plan. The statement of company policy should also discuss the areas and activities of the project where non-conventional means of fall protection are necessary. The areas where a fall protection plan applies are known as “controlled access zones,” and only trained and experienced employees should be authorized to enter.

Following the statement of company policy should be a section outlining the fall protection systems which will be used on the project. There are a number of fall protection systems available, such as: positioning device systems, warning line systems, and safety monitoring systems.

Next, the fall protection plan should contain a section outlining the reasons why conventional fall protection systems were hazardous and/or impracticable. This section should discuss the individual fall protection systems that were initially considered and discuss in detail the reasons why each system was hazardous or impracticable.

Finally, the fall protection plan should state who is responsible for implementation and enforcement of the protection plan, how changes to the plan will be made, and what happens if an accident occurs. Changes to the protection plan will be approved by the person who authored the construction plan, and all employees should be trained on any new procedures. If an accident should occur, an investigation should occur and the plan reviewed to determine if changes need to be made to prevent other accidents from occurring.