Construction Accident Lawyer


According to the Missouri Department of Labor, construction is the second-most deadly industry in the state. In 2022 alone, there were over 4,000 injury incidents on construction worksites across Missouri, – and these accidents predominantly affect young males.

If you were injured in one of these incidents, you might be wondering whether you need a construction accident lawyer. Legal professionals like Sotiriou Wilmowski can guide you toward positive outcomes after your construction accident, allowing you to access effective medical treatment without breaking the bank.

Your construction accident claim can also provide compensation for missed wages, giving you the chance to rest and heal without worrying about income loss. If you have lost a loved one to a fatal construction accident, you can pursue death benefits on their behalf with help from a construction accident lawyer.

To learn more, be sure to book a consultation with Sotiriou Wilmowski today

Common Causes of Construction Accidents

Construction workers in Missouri face threats from an almost endless list of hazards, and these dangers depend on numerous factors – including the type of machinery, materials, duties, and job site locations. Construction is a highly specialized field with a variety of tradespeople, and specific tasks carry unique hazards.

Negligent Drivers in Roadside Construction Zones

Roadside workers face serious hazards from passing vehicles. Only a few feet may separate employees from speeding motorists – and these motorists frequently ignore speed limits in construction zones.

While a few plastic cones can discourage drivers from veering into work areas, they obviously fail to protect employees from impacts. These collisions often lead to catastrophic or fatal injuries.

In 2023, Missouri saw 33 total fatalities in roadside work zones – representing an increase of more than 100% compared to the previous year. As a result, the Missouri Department of Transportation urged motorists to reduce speed, watch for workers, and move into far lanes if possible.

Unfortunately, these warnings often fall on deaf ears – and roadside workers pay the price.

Lack of Proper Training

According to the Construction Safety Training Act, all contractors must provide their workers with proper safety training. This training must warn workers of all the various hazards they may encounter at construction sites, and it must adhere to strict regulations set forth by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).

Most construction workers receive over 10 hours of safety training, and contractors face serious penalties if they do not follow these regulations. Unfortunately, many contractors fail to meet their OSHA training requirements – and construction workers suffer serious injuries as a result.


Lack of proper training is especially dangerous for those working at heights, and falls can prove fatal in the construction industry. Often, these workers find themselves operating far above the ground on high-rises with no restraints or railings.

However, falls can also be fatal even at much shorter distances – and residential construction workers can easily suffer catastrophic injuries after falling from single-story roofs. Serious injuries may also occur when workers fall from ladders – even after they climb a few rungs.

Slips or trips on level ground can cause equally serious injuries, and contractors must keep construction sites free from cables, debris, and liquid spills to prevent these accidents.

For example, a worker might slip on a puddle of oil before falling backward and fracturing their hip. Scattered ball bearings might cause an employee to tumble down a flight of stairs and break numerous bones. A cable might trip a construction worker, causing them to fall forward, outstretch their hands, and fracture both wrists. These are some of the most common accidents in the Missouri construction industry.

Unguarded Machinery

Unguarded machinery poses unique threats in the construction industry, and employers must take steps to guard any machinery with hot, rotating, or crushing parts. Accidental contact with this type of machinery can lead to a wide range of fatal and catastrophic injuries, including burns and amputations.

Covers, casings, or shields can protect workers by creating physical barriers against accidental contact. These guards should be secure, shock-resistant, and difficult to bypass. In addition, employers should instruct workers to avoid loose clothing, hair, or equipment that could get caught in heavy machinery.

Heavy Construction Equipment

The average construction site is filled with all kinds of heavy equipment. Examples include rollers, excavators, forklifts, bulldozers, dump trucks, scissor lifts, and much more.

Workers in close proximity to this equipment face a range of hazards, and “caught-between” accidents are especially common. As the name suggests, this type of incident occurs when a worker is stuck between heavy equipment and another structure or object – such as a concrete wall.

Reversing dump trucks or excavators can easily crush workers against walls or other equipment. In addition, workers may fall under the wheels of a wayward scissor lift or bulldozer.


Workers face electrocution hazards in almost all construction sites. During a typical day, the average construction comes into contact with a variety of power tools, generators, machinery, wiring, and lighting. Liquid spills, exposed cables, and power surges can all increase the risk of electrocution.

Workers engaged in excavation and digging may encounter buried power lines, while those on scissor lifts may accidentally touch overhead power cables. Electrocution is often fatal, and survivors may suffer disfiguring burns.

Toxic Exposure

Construction work can expose Missouri employees to a range of dangerous toxins, including silica dust, asbestos, and fumes. All of these toxins have the potential to dramatically alter lives, and employers must prevent this exposure at all costs.

If toxic exposure is unavoidable, contractors must provide their workers with proper protective equipment – including respirators, ventilation, masks, and so on.

One of the most worrying aspects of toxic exposure is the delayed appearance of various symptoms. Often, doctors diagnose construction workers with mesothelioma decades after initial asbestos exposure. The same logic applies to disorders and terminal illnesses caused by silica dust, fumes, and a range of other construction-related toxins.

Fortunately, you can still pursue compensation for these illnesses decades after initial exposure – as the statute of limitations only applies after you become “aware” of your injuries.

Repetitive Strain

Although repetitive strain might seem like a minor ailment, it can prove life-altering and disabling. The average construction worker carries out all kinds of manual labor, including lifting, bending, pulling, and so on. Some workers perform extremely repetitive movements, such as hitting nails with a hammer or tying rebar with pliers.

Over the years, this can degrade and destroy ligaments, joints, and a range of other soft tissue. When issues like tendinitis, arthritis, and bursitis progress to a certain level, the worker may have no other choice but to retire. This can lead to years or even decades of missed earnings – not to mention expensive medical bills.

Fires and Explosions

Fires and explosions are relatively common in construction sites around the world. These range from small electrical fires to major explosions that obliterate entire construction sites. Electrical fires are often caused by short circuits, and electricians may be more likely to encounter these hazards while working on construction sites.

Demolition workers may use high explosives, and the risks associated with these materials are obvious. Even in the absence of demolition work, liquid fuel and other explosive materials may ignite, causing not only fire but also toxic fumes. Explosions can lead to fatal or catastrophic injuries, such as burns or smoke inhalation.

Employers have a legal responsibility to implement fire safety training programs and install firefighting equipment on each site.

Collapses and Cave-Ins

A significant portion of construction work involves digging or excavating trenches. These trenches may collapse without warning, trapping workers within and causing potentially fatal injuries. Soil and debris can easily crush or suffocate these workers, and often there is no time to dig them out before they lose their lives.

Even in relatively shallow trenches, contractors must provide workers with sufficient safety resources, including escape ladders and trench wall reinforcements. For more extensive trenches and pits, OSHA regulations may mandate inspections from qualified, independent engineers. Aside from trenches, entire structures may collapse onto workers, and these accidents are often fatal.

Defective Equipment

Even if contractors carefully follow all OSHA regulations to create safe construction sites, defective equipment can still cause injuries. Power tools, heavy machinery, and even safety equipment can malfunction, causing numerous workplace injuries each year. For example, a power tool with faulty wiring might electrocute a worker. A chainsaw or grinder might suddenly kick back, slicing into a worker’s arm or chest.

A safety harness could break at a crucial moment – sending a worker falling to their death, which may later be considered a wrongful death. These accidents are often caused by negligent manufacturers that fail to test, design, or produce their construction products with any degree of responsibility.

Let us help you

As former insurance defense lawyers, personal injury attorneys Deme Sotiriou and Tom Wilmowski of Sotiriou Wilmowski pride themselves on using their inside knowledge of the insurance industry to obtain maximum value — and often more — for their clients.

Types of Construction Accident Claims and Lawsuits

After a construction accident in Missouri, injured workers may be eligible to file various claims and lawsuits. The most appropriate course of legal action depends entirely on the unique circumstances of each accident.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

The most obvious course of action after a construction accident is a workers’ compensation claim. There is no need to assign fault, and a successful claim should cover medical expenses and the majority of missed wages. However, workers may still encounter challenges when navigating the workers’ compensation program, and denied claims are relatively common.

A construction accident lawyer in Missouri can help workers navigate this system and pursue fair settlements.

Lawsuits Against Negligent Drivers

In the event of a roadside construction accident case involving a negligent driver, it may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit instead of going through workers’ compensation.

For example, you might have been struck by a drunk driver while fixing potholes on a highway, and you could sue the driver directly instead of (or in addition to) filing a workers’ compensation claim.

This strategy can be advantageous, as it may lead to not only higher missed income coverage, but also additional compensation for emotional distress and other non-economic damages.

Lawsuits Against Third-Party Contractors

While the workers’ compensation program prevents you from suing your own employer, you may still have the opportunity to sue third-party contractors. As long as the negligent party is not your direct employer, you could file a personal injury lawsuit.

For example, you might have suffered burns due to a negligent electrician working for a different company (but at the same construction site). As with other personal injury lawsuits, this can lead to higher compensation compared to workers’ compensation claims.

Product Liability Lawsuits

Finally, you can file a product liability lawsuit if your construction injury was caused by defective equipment. This process involves suing manufacturers, designers, or marketers for violating their duty of care and distributing defective and dangerous construction products.

Contact a Construction Accident Lawyer in St. Louis

While a construction accident can easily cause life-altering injuries, survivors can still maintain financial security into the foreseeable future. All workers deserve protection under Missouri’s workers’ compensation program, and additional legal options could provide further compensation.

Even if your claim has already been denied, a construction accident lawyer can help you pursue a fair settlement. The path to recovery may be challenging, but Sotiriou Wilmowski is prepared to help you overcome the challenges you face.

During your consultation, you can discuss the unique aspects of your accident and determine the most appropriate course of action. We also work with families who have lost loved ones to fatal accidents as they pursue crucial death benefits.

Reach out to Sotiriou Wilmowski today – and take your first steps toward financial and medical recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Construction workers tend to ask similar questions in the aftermath of their accidents. Here are a few examples:

What are the most common causes of construction accidents?

According to the Missouri Department of Labor, the most common causes of construction accidents include tasks related to lifting, climbing ladders, and working on scaffolding. Various walking hazards also contribute to slips, trips, and falls – representing some of the most common types of construction accidents.

What is the average cost of a construction accident attorney?

When you work with a construction accident attorney, you usually don’t need to provide any payment until you actually receive your settlement. Like most injury lawyers, a construction accident attorney takes a contingency fee – which represents a relatively small percentage of your total settlement. If you don’t receive a settlement, you don’t pay anything at all.

Who can I sue if I am injured at a construction site?

You may not need to sue anyone to receive compensation for a construction site accident, as the workers’ compensation program in Missouri guarantees settlements for almost all injured workers. You can file a workers’ comp injury claim without assigning fault and receive compensation for various economic damages. That being said, you might also sue a range of third parties for contributing to your accident. Possible defendants include third-party contractors, negligent drivers, and product manufacturers.

What is the settlement award for a construction injury?

A settlement is a cash payment to an injured worker after a construction accident. Depending on the type of accident, this might result from a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit. A settlement helps parties avoid time-consuming, expensive litigation – and it does not require the defendant to admit fault. In exchange for a settlement, the injured party agrees not to pursue further legal action.

Contact us now

Committed to advocating for the Injured. Get the legal guidance you deserve, reach out to our team and get a Free Consultation today!

    First Name

    Last Name

    Phone Number

    Email Address