The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) considers excavation and trenching among the most dangerous construction trades. About 54 workers are killed each year in excavation accidents and many more workers are badly hurt. If you were hurt or lost a loved one in an excavation incident, a Georgia construction accident attorney can help you seek justice and due compensation.
The Gumprecht Law Firm represents construction workers who suffer catastrophic excavation injuries, including compound fractures, head injuries, crush injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, inhalation injuries and vision loss. We also help families whose loved ones died in trench collapses. We have a proven track record of successful recoveries that has won us a membership in the prestigious Million Dollars Advocates Forum. Trust that we will work diligently to secure the maximum damages for your claim.
If you were injured at an excavation site, we urge you to seek immediate legal counsel. You have a small window of opportunity to investigate the accident before companies resume work and permanently alter the scene. Companies may also destroy crucial electronic data if not specifically ordered not to do so. Our attorney is available 24/7 to discuss your case and is ready to take immediate action to protect your rights.
Negligent Excavation Practices
Excavation sites require substantial measures to maintain stability of the trench’s dirt walls. Often, workers are ordered into the excavation area without the appropriate safety mechanisms in place. Equally dangerous is requiring workers to stand too close to the edge of what can be a stories-deep hole.
Negligence can lead to a number of serious accidents at an excavation site, including:
- Trench collapse or wall cave-in
- Toppling of heavy equipment positioned too close to the excavation wall
- Backhoe and other heavy machinery that hits a worker within the trench
- Worker fall from height from side of trench into the excavation area
- Insufficient escape tools, such as ladders, ramps and ropes
- Inhalation of toxic fumes in the enclosed trench area
- Sudden flash flooding and drowning risk within the trench
Collapse is the most common trench accident, and can suffocate or crush a worker under the weight of tons of soil. Shoring can help to prevent collapse, whereas shielding can protect the workers within the trench should collapse occur. Appropriate escape mechanisms give the workers the means to safely exit the trench in case of an emergency. If none are in place, accident victims may have a claim against responsible parties for negligence.
Excavators’ Right to Damage Recovery
You are placed at serious risk while working in or near a trench. That risk increases exponentially if contractors do not follow excavation safety regulations. Your recovery for compensation from your employer, regardless of fault, is limited to workers’ compensation. However, this is not your exclusive option. You may have a cause of action against another contractor or subcontractor that acted negligently at the worksite.
For example, if you were an excavator injured by a dump truck that rolled on top of you, you can file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer and a lawsuit for damages against the company that employed the dump truck driver. Similarly, if you inhaled toxic fumes while checking gas lines inside the trench, you can collect worker’s compensation benefits from the gas company that employed you while also pursuing a civil case against the trench company that failed to provide a mechanism to release the fumes or escape.
Discuss Your Excavation Injury Claim With a Georgia Construction Accident Attorney Today
Learn more about your rights after an excavation accident. Call 678-800-1050 to schedule an appointment with a Georgia construction accident attorney at our firm, who is available to talk to you 24/7. The Gumprecht Law Firm offers you a free initial consultation and a no-risk contingency fee arrangement.