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Who is Responsible for a Construction Site Accident?
Construction sites are dangerous places to work. Anyone in this industry understands the risks they may face while working on a construction site. Construction workers face injuries from large equipment, heights, or changing weather. These work sites are often chaotic when multiple crews working on different projects simultaneously. This confusing and often disorganized dynamic increases the risk of accidents and complicates determining liability in a workplace accident.
Those in control of worksites are responsible for providing their employees with a safe workplace. Suppose you or a loved one suffered an injury while working on a construction site. A construction accident attorney can protect your legal rights and get fair compensation for your workplace injuries.
Injured construction workers can often obtain workers’ compensation benefits, though they might not cover all their losses. Sometimes, you can hold a third party liable, and injury victims can seek additional compensation from those parties and their insurers.
Who Is Responsible for a Construction Site Accident?
Despite the dangers on construction sites, every workplace should be safe for all employees. Because construction sites are so dangerous, specific guidelines require companies running these worksites to keep them safe.
The company running the construction project must provide safety gear to ensure everyone stays safe on the job. Additionally, the company must keep all equipment in working order and teach all employees how to use it. The dynamic of these worksites is even more complicated when several different crews and parties simultaneously work on different parts of the site.
When multiple companies hire people to work on a construction site, including subcontractors, it may become difficult to determine who is responsible for an accident. Hiring an experienced construction accident lawyer is the best way to determine the level of liability held by each party responsible for your accident.
The construction company isn’t the only potentially liable party in a construction site accident case; here are some examples of the parties who may be obligated to compensate you for injuries sustained in a construction accident.
Some of these parties may include:
General contractors or project managers: General contractors are responsible for directing a construction project and minimizing the risk of construction site accidents by ensuring workers adhere to safety protocols. Additionally, they have a legal duty to warn workers of any hazards or defects on the worksite. Contractors will sometimes hire subcontractors to handle different aspects of the work on a site; however, subcontractors are typically responsible for bringing their own equipment, which often complicates liability. They are also responsible for ensuring that they perform their work safely and that every employee they hire is reasonably competent and complies with the proper safety regulations.
The owner of the construction company: This is typically the first place a construction accident attorney will look to determine liability in a construction site injury case. When a construction company oversees all aspects of the work on a site, determining who the liable party is often easier.
The owner of the construction site: The possessor of the construction site property has a legal obligation to ensure that anyone who steps foot on the site is safe by informing them of any known hazards on the worksite and posting information warning about any dangerous materials. If the property owner doesn't relinquish primary control of the site to subcontractors, you may hold them liable for accidents on the property. When the construction site owner hands control of their property to a contractor during a project, they may not be considered the site's legal owner at the time of the accident.
Architects and engineers: The work and designs architects and engineers produce on a construction site must comply with industry standards to protect workers from dangerous design defects. For instance, if an engineer or architect creates a plan that leads to an accident, they may be held liable for any injuries or deaths resulting from the accident. Design professionals must meet safety codes during a site's design or risk liability for their negligence.
Equipment manufacturers: If the equipment or machine a worker uses malfunctions or has a design flaw that contributed to an accident, you may hold the equipment manufacturer liable for the incident.
Workers can hold many contractors liable for a construction accident. Some examples of this include failing to adequately train employees on safety measures, supervising dangerous construction activities, or maintaining safe working conditions for employees.
The many complexities surrounding construction accident cases make hiring an attorney who has experience with tricky insurance policies and other specific legalities surrounding this industry so important.
Experienced lawyers understand the dangers of construction work and can review your case and discuss your legal options during an initial consultation.
Common Causes of Construction Site Accidents
Essential safety precautions may go out the window whenever an employer decides to rush workers to complete a job to achieve the lowest possible cost. In many construction site accidents, employers often prioritize costs and work schedules above the safety of their employees.
Understanding the most common causes of construction accidents and how to prevent them is the best way to achieve and maintain worksite safety.
Some of the top accidents that occur on construction sites include:
Our construction accident attorneys understand that construction is a dangerous line of work. Inadequate training, outdated equipment, insufficient safety practices, and other hazardous conditions make construction workers considerably more susceptible to injuries than people in other lines of work.
Let a team of experienced construction accident lawyers maximize the potential financial value of your claim by handling your case and protecting your rights through the entire process. A lawyer will defend your rights throughout the process and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Construction Accident FAQs
How can injured construction workers get compensation for construction site accidents?
Construction workers injured on the job are entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Sometimes, the workers' compensation carrier will deny the claim, reduce the claim amount, or argue that medical treatments are unnecessary. Anyone injured in a work-related accident is entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, decreased earning potential, and emotional pain and suffering.
What if the injured victim is not a construction employee?
Because of the hazardous nature of construction sites, passersby may also suffer injuries in an accident. Victims of construction accidents who are not employees can still be compensated for their injuries by filing a claim with the construction company’s liability insurance carrier. The accident victim must establish that the entity in charge of the construction site was directly and legally responsible for the accident.
Why do I need a construction accident lawyer?
Even in cases where negligence is apparent, insurance companies will go over every detail of your case to deny compensation. An experienced construction accident lawyer can help you recover the settlement you deserve. When a loved one dies in a construction accident, an attorney can help your family recover compensation in a wrongful death case.
Steps to Take After a Construction Accident Injury
Despite the often hazardous nature of construction sites, construction workers have a right to navigate in a safe work environment. Thousands of construction workers suffer injuries from minor cuts to more catastrophic or fatal injuries. Most construction accident injuries have coverage under workers' compensation laws.
In some cases, an injured employee may need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Understanding the proper steps you should take following a construction accident can help protect your right to the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Here are the steps you should take after a construction accident injury:
Seek medical attention
After being injured in a construction accident, your priority should be to seek immediate medical attention. Speak openly and honestly with your doctor about what occurred and how you feel. In some cases, injured construction accident victims fear the consequences they may face for reporting the accident. They will tell their doctor an inaccurate version of how the accident happened and how severe their injuries are.
No matter how minor you think your injuries are, you should still schedule an appointment with a medical professional and receive a complete physical assessment. Sometimes, you may not notice head, neck, or spine injuries. Symptoms of more severe injuries may not appear for hours or even days after the accident. The most crucial step in your recovery is promptly treating your injuries. Records of medical tests and treatments can be helpful evidence if you file a workers' compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Report the accident
Once you receive the proper medical attention, you should report the accident to your employer or immediate supervisor as soon as possible. You should write the report and request a copy from your employer. When recounting what happened, be as specific as possible. Recount what happened by including as many details as you can. A well-written report can help accelerate the process of retrieving your benefit and serve as an invaluable piece of evidence in case any dispute arises.
Reporting the accident is not only crucial to making sure you have proper documentation of the incident, but it can also prevent future injuries by exposing unsafe practices. Always note who accepts the report and the date it’s submitted should you decide to take legal action in the future.
Gather and preserve evidence
If you can, take photos of the scene after an accident or have a co-worker assist you. Have someone take pictures of your injuries or any damages you've sustained to your property, such as your clothing. Gather contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident. If you cannot gather this information, have a co-worker write down their names, addresses, and phone numbers.
Keeping track of your medical expenses is imperative and will ensure that you receive compensation for any accident-related expenses. Documenting the accident's impact on your everyday life in a journal can provide important evidence down the road. Create a folder where you can keep all written correspondence with your employer. Additionally, make a note of any telephone calls or in-person conversations.
Contact a construction accident lawyer
As an employee, you may qualify for workers' compensation benefits if you suffered an injury in a work-related accident.
If your employer
did not purchase the proper workers' comp coverage, your lawyer can advise you of your options. Following your injury, you should consult an experienced construction accident attorney who can help ensure you don't miss any important filing deadlines.
Your lawyer can also determine if you can pursue a personal injury claim against a third party that contributed to the accident. Product liability and negligence lawsuits are two of the most common legal actions in construction accident cases.
Consulting a construction accident lawyer is in your best interest and can prevent you from accepting less than you deserve. A construction accident attorney can handle all paperwork in your case, investigate the accident, and negotiate on your behalf while you focus on recovery.
Contact a Construction Accident Lawyer Today!
To determine your best option moving forward, consult a construction accident attorney who can fight for your legal rights. Reach out to a respected law office for your initial consultation with a construction accident lawyer. They can provide you with the representation you need and deserve. For reliable advice and powerful advocacy to get you everything you're owed in your case, get in touch with the experienced attorneys at Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP. Contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.
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