Construction sites usually have lots of heavy machinery, building materials, and other equipment, all of which have the potential to cause lots of harm. While unexpected events are usually preventable with the correct safety measures and protocols, it is impossible to avoid every risk.
Due to the fact that anything can happen at a site, there are numerous causes of accidents that can occur. However, there are some common causes, which stay common regardless of location, type of construction project etc. They include but are not limited to; lack of any protection from falling objects; tripping hazards from debris and construction materials; missing guards on the construction workers body and lack of protection from power tools; unsafe construction equipment; lack of safety precautions near power lines; and lack of safety protection for workers that work in trenches.
Determining liability can be one of the most difficult because there could be so many different parties involved. Some groups who are most commonly found to be liable as third parties are the following; construction site owners, engineers and architects, equipment manufacturers etc. Construction site owners are usually held liable because they are in charge of the space where your incident occurred. It is their job to control the site and keep everyone safe. Engineers and architects are responsible for any plans used on the site, so they should have safety exits / measures planned out. Other groups who could be liable for your injuries, include but are not limited to, sub-contractors, site managers, machinery suppliers and insurance companies.
If you get injured on a construction site, you may be able to pursue one or more of the following claims:
-Workers’ compensation: Usually an insured employee will not bring a lawsuit against their employer because they are entitled to certain benefits anyways (meaning they are bound to receive some kind of compensation for their injuries). The worker is entitled to these benefits via the worker’s insurance company. A worker pursuing these benefits needs to prove two things; that the injury actually occurred and that it there were no other relevant circumstances surrounding the incident.
-Personal injury: Ina personal injury lawsuit, the worker must prove that a third party was negligent. This third party can include a plethora of people, as seen above. Some of these people include, but are not limited to, sub-contractors, managers, machine suppliers, insurance companies etc.
-Product liability: If the injury was caused by a defective product the injured party can bring a suit against any party in the chain of distribution. The chain of distribution for construction products is highly complex and is lengthy. Therefore, these kind of lawsuits can be time consuming, resource intensive and complicated.
-Wrongful death: If a worker gets killed on the job, his or her family may be able to bring a wrongful death claim on the loved one’s behalf. The boiler plate elements for a wrongful death lawsuit involve the following; someone must have died; due to the defendant’s intentional / negligent conduct; and the plaintiff(s) must have suffered economic and / or non-economic damage.