It should come as no surprise that traumatic brain injuries are a common type of injury sustained by construction workers. After all, we have grown accustomed to hearing about workers who fall 25 or more feet or stories about someone getting hit by a steel beam as it is being hoisted. These are the type of construction accidents that we often hear about and typically will lead to a traumatic brain injury.
Want to learn more about traumatic brain injuries in the construction field?
How common are traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, in construction? According to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the construction industry has the greatest number of work-related traumatic brain injuries in this country. More than 2200 construction workers died as a result of a traumatic brain injury between 2003 and 2010. That figure represents one quarter of all construction fatalities and almost 25% of all work related TBI fatalities during that same period.
Workers in smaller companies appear to be more susceptible to accidents causing traumatic brain injuries than those who work for larger construction companies. Another factor appears to be the background of a worker. The study concluded that immigrant workers are much more likely to have a construction accident that leads to a traumatic brain injury then nonimmigrant workers. Not surprisingly, falls from heights continue to be the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the construction field. Falls make up more than 50% of traumatic brain injuries.
What conclusions can we draw from the above?
· Larger companies, while not perfect, are generally providing a safer environment for their workers. This is well documented and difficult to dispute. Smaller companies, usually non-union, are often working on smaller jobs where they are more comfortable skirting fundamental safety rules and regulations.
· Sadly, immigrant workers are being asked to perform the most dangerous jobs at construction sites and are often required to do so at considerable risks. The immigrant worker is in a position where they are less likely to voice concerns about unsafe work conditions. Their generally weaker economic position and tenuous position in this country, if undocumented, place them in a spot where they are vulnerable and can be taken advantage of. The statistics seem to bear out that employers are, in fact, taking advantage of immigrant workers. Consequently, they are exposed to the most dangerous work hazards and have the highest rate of traumatic brain injury in the construction field.
· Construction falls are the most significant cause of injuries in the construction field. Construction workers who fall makeup a very large portion of traumatic brain injury victims. It makes the concept of fault protection for workers who are laboring on roofs, letters and scaffolds that much more critical.
There is a silver lining in all of this. The rate of fatal traumatic brain injury accidents in construction is decreasing annually by more than 6%. While we are decreasing the number of deadly TBI accidents, there is room for improvement.
A traumatic brain injury can have severe consequences, like paralysis, memory loss, loss of motor function, decreased cognitive ability, a loss of emotional stability, changes in personality and a diminished or a complete loss of mobility. It can be very difficult for a victim as well as their family and friends. Victims and their family members are understandably concerned if they or someone they love is suffering from a traumatic brain injury.
Traffic brain injury victims who were involved in a construction accident may have the ability to bring a lawsuit to recover for the damages. The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy have an extremely impressive track record in helping victims of traumatic brain injuries. They have the largest injury verdict in Long Island history, more than $32,000,000, for a traumatic brain injury victim, a $8,800,000 Settlement against the City of New York for a woman who suffered a TBI and a $5,500,000 recovery for an electrician who sustained a brain injury during construction work.
Traumatic brain injuries are an all too common occurrence for construction workers. Worker safety needs to become a greater priority for society. There have been signs of improvement but we can do much better. If you are suffering from a traumatic brain injury or you are a loved one who is a traumatic brain injury victim and you want to discuss your legal rights, you may contact the attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy any time at 212.736.5300.