From the South Hill to North Side, Spokane grows more every day and construction workers supply a lot of the sweat and effort to keep projects moving along.
It’s a job that gets visible results, but it’s also physically demanding work that comes with risks. All parts of your body can be vulnerable, but injuries affecting the lower extremities like the knees and ankles are some of the most common. Falls and impacts from construction site hazards can quickly leave you hurting, but kneeling, lifting, and other strains can create serious injury over time.
Knee and Ankle Damage on the Site
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in a single year 23% of on the job accidents involved injuries to the lower extremities. The knee injuries resulted in an average of 16 days missed for a worker. Ankle injuries resulted in around 9 days of recovery and lost work time.
No construction company wants missed time for their workers, but many sites don’t take safety seriously. Many ergonomic safety devices can lessen the risks of repetitive strain and constant work that’s performed low to the ground. When the numbers are so convincing, these safety measures need to be in use.
A property owner or construction firm can be held liable if work zone strain leaves your joints damaged and they did nothing to prevent or reduce the risk. They can also be held responsible for sudden accidents that target the lower extremities. Especially if there was a known hazard that your employer failed to fix or correct.
Common Knee Injuries on the Job
The knee is made up of bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons, all of which can be damaged during construction work.
These are just some of the common issues construction workers will see:
- Overuse injuries. Constant strain can result in bursitis and tendonitis. Musculoskeletal disorders such as repetitive motion damage can also result. Common for workers who are on their knees a lot.
- Any of the bones that form or secure the knee can be fractured. The most commonly broken bone is the kneecap. High impact trauma like the force of a fall or a strike from heavy equipment can cause fractures.
- Torn cartilage injuries. These are meniscal tears. The wedges of cartilage between the thighbone and shinbone are torn. When a tear happens a pop may be heard or felt in the knee.
- The anterior cruciate ligament injury. The ACL runs diagonally down the front of the knees and can be torn or sprained by a quick change of motion. After surgery, recovery can take an entire year or longer.
- In a knee dislocation, one or more of the bones may slip out of place. Also common in a fall or impact.
- Tendon tears. Soft tissue that connects bones and muscles. The patellar tendon is commonly injured after being overstretched.
Ankle Injuries on the Job
The ankle is where the leg and foot merge. Bones, ligament, and tendon can all be damaged in accidents involving the ankle. Broken ankles are usually caused by a rotational injury, where the ankle becomes twisted, turned or rolled while walking. A construction worker can also take a fall and land on an ankle. A piece of equipment can fall on an ankle. Here are a few of the most common ankle injury results:
- Tendon tears. In the ankle, the peroneal tendons are often strained. They stabilize and protect the ankle. The inflammation of a tendon is called tendinitis. Microscopic tendon tears that accumulate over time can lead to tendinitis. Tendons can also rupture.
- The three bones that meet in the foot can all be broken. The tibia (shinbone), the fibula (outer ankle bone), and the talus bone in the foot.
- An ankle sprain occurs when the strong ligaments that support the ankle stretch beyond their limits and tear. Without proper treatment and rehabilitation, a more severe sprain can weaken your ankle making it more likely that you will injure it again.
Compensation After a Construction Accident
With most injury cases in Washington, you have three years to file a claim for your accident.
A construction accident claim can be tricky because you first have to determine who is responsible. The owner of the property and the construction company working on the property may be liable. Others, like a sub-contractor, an investor, or a tool manufacturer can all be targeted in a claim. A construction accident attorney is an expert in sorting through these many possibilities.
Contact a Spokane Construction Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured at a construction site you’ll need an attorney with expertise in state liability laws. You have your hands full with the challenge of recovery. Let an attorney fight for your rights to get compensation for your hospital bills and lost wages now and in the future.
Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is committed to providing our clients with the absolute highest quality legal representation. If our construction accident attornies represent you for your accident case, you have our assurance that we will use our absolute best efforts to win your case. Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. We will only offer you advice which is in your best interest.