TRENCH ACCIDENTS2019-01-28T00:14:23+00:00

TRENCH COLLAPSE LAWYER

WHAT IS A TRENCH COLLAPSE?

Trench collapses, also known as cave-ins, are the deadliest of all construction accidents. Trench accidents are prevalent in the underground utility industry, and often result in catastrophic injuries.  Workers and their families need the support of an experienced trench collapse lawyer when companies fail to keep their site safe, and workers are injured.

WHAT TYPES OF COMPENSATION ARE AVAILABLE FOR TRENCH ACCIDENTS?

There are many ways to collect compensation that only an experienced trench accident lawyer can navigate successfully:

  • Workers Compensation

  • Workers Compensation Exceptions Allowing Lawsuits Against Employers

  • Labor Laws

  • Lawsuits Against Third Parties

  • Product Liability

HOW SERIOUS ARE TRENCH ACCIDENTS?

When trenches collapse, crushing injuries cause the greatest amount of death and catastrophic injuries from trench accidents, but there are other very serious dangers.  Trench excavation accidents where asphyxiation is caused by the inhalation of toxic fumes in an enclosed space are another serious type of trench accident. Construction workers can also be injured during trench work by electrocution or explosions that occur when workers come into contact with unexpected electric cables or gas lines.  According to OSHA, the fatality rate for trench excavation work is 112% higher than for any other type of construction work.

WHAT’S NEEDED TO PROSECUTE A TRENCH ACCIDENT LAWSUIT?

To effectively prosecute trench accidents cases an attorney must hire expert wtinesses with experience and proficiency in trench accidents, including knowledge of the various installation methods, soil classifications, the impact of weather and OSHA regulations.  Trench collapse accidents often require oral and written testimony from experts to legally prove how the accident happened. Some examples of what the expert must prove are that the accident was caused by the negligence, recklessness of either the owner of the project, contractors or sub-contractors, third parties.  They are also claims for product liability that can come into play. These are complicated cases, and the construction industry has their own teams of lawyers, so an experienced trench accident attorney is necessary to obtain the highest amount of compensation possible for victims.

EXAMPLES OF OSHA REGULATIONS FOR TRENCHES AND EXCAVATIONS

  • Each employee in an excavation shall be protected from cave-ins by an adequate protective system . . .
  • Protective systems shall have the capacity to resist without failure all loads that are intended or could reasonably be expected to be applied or transmitted to the system

OSHA RULES AND REGULATIONS

OSHA outlines very detailed specifications for how the above rules are employed for different types of trenches, excavations and the lay of the land.  Due to these very specific rules about the construction of trench boxes, the trench wall and other aspects of construction sites with trenches, experienced attorneys can show where the builders were liable.  The reality is that many of most of these accidents were preventable and experienced personal injury lawyers know how to get settlements and verdicts based on builder’s mistakes. Hundreds of workers die each year in trench accidents.  The most deadly accidents are when the trench collapses, happening so quickly that workers have no chance of escape. This usually happens because proper protective systems were not in place or a competent person was not in charge of the operations.  

WHAT CAUSES MOST TRENCH ACCIDENTS

  • There is no protective system in place inside the trench
  • There is no safe for ingress and egress to the trench
  • There are no suitable ladders
  • There are no ramps
  • There are no stable stairways
  • Inspections by a competent person are not performed on a regular basis
  • Inspections by a competent person are not performed after changing in the area, such as storms.
  • The project drags on beyond the recommended life expectancy of the trench
  • The soil was not properly analyzed to determine the best type of trench for the land
  • Excavated soil is placed in too close a proximity to the trench

WHEN SHOULD I HIRE A TRENCH ACCIDENT ATTORNEY?

LIke with all accident cases, it is best to hire an attorney as soon as possible after the accident.  There will be representatives from insurance companies and defense law firms eager to interview the victim and their family, and without an attorney, damage can be done to a case early on.  An attorney can also help with getting medical bills paid quickly and applying for disability and lost earnings, getting the family needed money right away. If you have any questions, please feel free to call trench accident attorneys Wittenstein & Wittenstein for a free consultation.  We will put you at ease.

THERE ARE MANY OTHER TYPES OF CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS

Building Collapse Accidents, Weather-Related Accidents, Forklift Accidents, Power Tool Accidents, Crane Accidents, Electrical Accidents, Scaffold Accidents, Explosions and Fires and more.  These are complicated cases, and require experienced attorneys to succesfully obtain the highest amount of compensation possible under the law.  At Wittenstein & Wittenstein, we don’t go home until all of your questions are answered.  Call us at 718-261-8114

 

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