Liability in Construction Accidents
Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on May 03, 2017 in Workers' Compensation News
Construction sites can be hectic environments. The many contractors and other parties often involved in bringing a project to completion can create hazards at every corner.
Because of this, if you are injured while working on a construction site, it is important that you determine who is responsible for your injury.
Although your injury will be covered by workers’ compensation regardless of who was at fault, you may also have an additional claim for compensation if your injury was caused by a third party other than your employer.
Determining Construction Accident Responsibility
Because construction accidents can result from a variety of factors, you should answer the following questions to begin the process of identifying responsibility for your injury:
- Where did the accident occur? Construction workers perform various job duties in many locations and on many parts of a construction site. It is important that you determine exactly where your accident happened.
- What were the conditions of the accident site? Job sites are regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which requires that they meet certain safety standards and regulations. If the scene of your accident was not maintained properly, the party responsible for maintaining it could be held responsible for any resulting injuries.
- What equipment was involved? There are multiple parties that are responsible for building, selling and maintaining the equipment used on a construction site. If that equipment fails or malfunctions, any of those parties could be held responsible.
- Was the equipment used properly? If the misuse of equipment caused your injury, the party using the equipment at the time could be responsible for your injuries.
- Who had control over the site and equipment at the time of the accident? It is important to identify all parties that were supervising and managing the construction site at the time of your accident. Any error by the supervisor could make him or her responsible for resulting injuries.
- Who do you work for? It is important to determine if your employer or another party was responsible for your injuries. If your employer was responsible, you may not have a personal injury claim. However, if another party was responsible, you may have a third party personal injury claim, which may help you obtain additional compensation.
Third Party Construction Accident Liability
If someone other than your employer caused your injury, it may be possible to file a third party lawsuit to hold them accountable for the harm they caused. Some of the most common third parties on construction sites that could be held liable for an accident include:
Owner of the Construction Site
The owner of the land the construction project takes place on could be held liable in the event of an accident. Their liability depends on their control over the site.
In some construction projects, the land owner gives control over the land to the contractor or another party for the duration of the project. In such a case, the land owner may not be held liable for an injury because they were not in possession of the land when it occurred.
Contractors and Subcontractors
General contractors are responsible for making sure a construction site is safe and meets OSHA standards. If hazards are present, they must take the proper steps to correct the hazard and warn workers about potential dangers.
They are also responsible for all workers on the site and must ensure that they are performing their work in a safe manner.
Subcontractors also have the same responsibilities for the workers and part of the site under their control.
Engineers and Architects
Design professionals are tasked with ensuring the structure is practical and safe. Their responsibility is usually detailed in their contract and may include verifying the project meets safety codes in the construction and final stages. If design safety standards have been neglected, causing an accident, the architect or engineer may be held liable.
The manufacturer of construction equipment or machinery may be held liable for an accident if the equipment or machine is defective or is designed in a dangerous manner, which leads to an accident.
If you have been injured in a construction accident, you need an attorney experienced in such cases who knows which parties to pursue for liability. The construction accident lawyers at Lynch Law Firm are knowledgeable regarding construction accident injury cases and will pursue involved parties to recover maximized compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
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