Construction and Industrial Accident Investigations

Accidents at a construction site or industrial work environment can cause catastrophic damage. From worker injuries due to unsafe job sites to fires, explosions, and building collapses, these accidents often make headlines nationwide. When a serious construction accident occurs, state, local and federal agencies may investigate to find the causes of an accident.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration Investigations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the primary agency involved in investigating workplace accidents and injuries. OSHA has field offices around the state, which will request an investigation after an accident. OSHA reports contain the professional opinions of the investigating engineer, opinions as to the cause of an accident, and other factual data regarding the Administration’s findings.

OSHA is required to investigate any accident which results in a fatality or the hospitalization of at least three workers. Employers are required to leave the scene of the accident untouched for OSHA investigators. OSHA’s investigative report will contain a description of the operations at the work site, a description of the accident, photographs, interviews, measurements, and other data. The eventual investigative report is largely available to the public, and many investigations are available on OSHA’s website.

National Transportation Safety Board Investigations

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducts independent investigations into major transportation accidents, including those involving road work construction. While the NTSB plays its biggest role while conducting aviation accident investigations, the Board also investigates ground transportation accidents as well.

The NTSB’s primary role is to determine the cause of transportation accidents and make recommendations about how transportation safety can be improved. So far, the NTSB has made over 14,000 safety recommendations, including its suggestions to create a graduated drivers’ licensing system, commercial driver licensing standards, and alcohol restrictions limiting the drinking age to 21 and over.

NTSB investigations are completely independent. The Board has discretion over who it allows to investigate each accident, and only allows individuals with technical expertise to join investigations. Investigators for insurance companies and attorneys cannot participate in the NTSB’s processes.

Independent Accident Investigations

Not all accidents will be investigated by the NTSB or OSHA. Smaller accidents that injure fewer people without causing catastrophic damage may only be investigated by local police or fire departments. In cases like these, it is important to consider an independent investigation.

Professional investigators may be looking for the root causes of an accident, but they often miss details that could be crucial to a personal injury lawsuit. For that reason, it is important to speak with a personal injury attorney if you were injured in a construction or industrial accident.

As part of a personal injury case, it is common for attorneys to hire their own independent investigators and technical experts to look for evidence that may be legally relevant. This can include taking pictures of the scene, interviewing witnesses and victims, and making sure hazardous and dangerous materials were properly handled or stored. While private investigators may need to wait to gain access to a site until state and federal officials are done, their subsequent investigations may turn up details that would have otherwise been missed.

People who are injured at work are often limited seeking financial help from the workers’ compensation system after an accident. By contacting an attorney and conducting an independent investigation, you may be able to find additional sources of recovery.

The attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., have spent decades helping injured people and investigating the cause of their injury. If you were injured at work, make sure that you get all the compensation you deserve, including payments for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and other expenses. To schedule a free consultation and find out if you can file a lawsuit after your work injury, contact the experienced Miami personal injury lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz today by calling (877) 475-2905.

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