Construction Excavation Accidents

Charlotte Excavation and Trench Accidents Attorneys

Representing those injured in construction accidents throughout North Carolina since 1992

At Warren & Kallianos, we understand the devastating impact that trenching and excavation accidents can have on construction workers and their families. When tunnels and trenches collapse, workers can suffer serious injuries or lose their lives. We are here to help.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a trenching or excavation construction accident in Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina, you can count on the hardworking legal team of Warren & Kallianos to fight for justice for you and pursue full compensation for your losses. Don’t wait to act after a trenching or excavation accident. Contact us today. We will review your case for free and give you advice about your legal rights and options.

What Is the Difference between an Excavation and a Trench?

OSHA defines an excavation as a man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in the earth’s surface formed by earth removal. A trench is a narrow excavation made below the surface of the ground which has a depth greater than its width, but with the width no wider than 15″ measured at the bottom.

Why Did Your Trenching or Excavation Accident Occur?

Because of our extensive history of pursuing construction accident claims in Charlotte and throughout North Carolina, we can handle a broad range of accident types. We know how to gather key evidence and identify issues that arise in cases involving:

  • Cave‐ins: The walls of a trench or the ceiling of a tunnel may cave in, trapping workers inside the excavation. These types of accidents are likely to occur if proper care has not been taken to reinforce the walls and ceiling and to examine the area to be excavated before the digging begins.
  • Falls or falling objects: Falls and falling objects can be particularly dangerous to those working inside the excavation because they may have no communication with the world above them – and thus no way to know that something is plummeting toward them until it is too late.
  • Utility accidents: Workers in trenches or tunnels may work around water mains, gas lines or electrical lines. A water or sewer line that bursts can quickly fill a trench or tunnel with thousands of gallons of liquid under extreme pressure, leading to serious injuries or drowning. Gas or electrical lines may catch fire, explode, or cause electrocution or serious burn injuries.
  • Low oxygen situations: Airflow can become stagnant in enclosed spaces. Pockets of methane, carbon monoxide, or other gases trapped underground may seep into the tunnel, causing workers to suffocate. Fumes from equipment, generators, or materials can also contribute to poor air quality and a lack of oxygen. Proper attention must be paid to tunnel ventilation to ensure that workers have safe, clean air to breathe.
  • Heavy equipment accidentsBulldozers, backhoes, and other types of heavy equipment are frequently used to move dirt and prepare or extend a tunnel or trench. When this equipment is used, care must be taken to pile the dirt at a safe distance from the trench or tunnel and to avoid driving the equipment too near the top of the tunnel or the rim of the trench.

As an injured worker, you should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You may also be able to pursue a personal injury claim. You can seek funds for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. If you have lost a loved one, you may have the right to obtain benefits and damages as well. You can count on our experienced Charlotte construction accident attorneys to vigorously explore and pursue all legal options.

5 Safety Tips When Working in a Trench or Excavation

The U.S. Department of Labor has published a new public service announcement on trench safety. Here are the five safety tips:

  • Ensure safe entry and exit
  • Trenches must have cave-in protection
  • Keep materials away from the edge of the trench
  • Look for standing water or other hazards
  • Never enter a trench that has not been properly inspected

What Injury Did You Suffer in a Trenching or Excavation Accident?

Nearly any serious injury can be caused by a trenching or excavation accident at a construction site. However, some types of serious and fatal injuries are more common than others. At Warren & Kallianos, we will do everything we can to make sure your past and future medical and financial needs are met if you have suffered an injury such as:

  • Brain and spinal cord injury: A fall, trench or tunnel collapse, or a heavy equipment accident can all cause serious damage to the brain or spinal cord. Even a mild brain or spinal cord injury can cause lingering problems with speech, movement, memory, and concentration. More severe brain and spinal cord injuries may cause permanent and total disability or death.
  • Organ damage: Lack of oxygen causes a condition known as “hypoxia,” in which the brain and other organs may suffer severe damage. Hypoxia may result from a drowning or near‐drowning, or it may happen in a situation in which ventilation is inadequate inside the trench or tunnel. The damage done by a lack of oxygen may be irreversible, even if the victim survives the accident.
  • Broken bones, crush injuries, and amputations: Fractures, crushed bone and tissue, or amputation of a body part may occur during a fall, cave‐in, or heavy equipment accident in a trench or tunnel. These injuries may require multiple surgeries and a lengthy period of rehabilitation. A severe crush injury may also require amputation of one or more limbs to save the victim’s life.
  • Burns: Thermal burns from fires or explosions, chemical burns from exposure to concentrated vapors in a small space, or electrical burns from electrocution may all occur in a trench or tunnel accident. Severe burns require extensive treatment. They may require surgeries or skin grafts and greatly increase the patient’s risk of contracting a severe infection.

How Warren & Kallianos Can Help After Your Excavation Accident

At Warren & Kallianos, we have a firm grasp of North Carolina construction accident law. You can count on us to identify and aggressively pursue all options available to you and seek a maximum financial recovery in your case. Those options may include:

  • Workers’ compensation benefits: Contractors and subcontractors in North Carolina’s construction industry must carry workers’ compensation insurance. We can pursue benefits that will cover your medical treatment, replace a portion of your lost wages, and pay for your rehabilitation. We will fight for you if an employer – or its workers’ compensation insurer – tries to avoid paying the benefits you deserve.
  • Personal injury damages: If you suffered injuries in a tunnel or trench collapse that was caused by a defective piece of equipment or the negligence of someone other than your employer, we can bring a personal injury claim on your behalf. We will seek full and fair compensation for all of your medical expenses, lost past and future wages, and pain and suffering.
  • Death benefits/wrongful death damages: As the family member of a construction worker who was killed in a trenching or excavation accident, you may have the right to obtain workers’ compensation death benefits and/or wrongful death damages. We will seek all funds you may be due.

When you hire Warren & Kallianos, you will benefit from working with lawyers who once represented large corporations and insurers. We can use our knowledge of how these companies operate to seek just compensation for you.

Our goal is to obtain a full and fair settlement of your claim, which will allow you to move on with your life in as timely of a manner as possible. If necessary, our skilled litigators will be ready to fight for you at a hearing or in court. You will pay nothing in attorney’s fees unless and until we secure a recovery for you.

Work with an Experienced Charlotte Construction Accident Lawyer Today

Don’t wait to connect with us at Warren & Kallianos and receive your free case review. Please call 704-377-7777 or contact us today to schedule your consultation with an experienced Charlotte construction site injury lawyer today.

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