If you’re ever injured as a worker on a construction site and your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, your next inquiry should be whether or not a third party is to blame for your injury.
Workers’ compensation insurance usually blocks lawsuits from injured employees. However, if a third party is to blame for your injury, you could have a claim against them, and they might not be covered under your employer’s workers’ compensation policy.
You should always investigate the facts of any incident to see if you can pursue a claim against any entity on the construction site.
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Third-Party Liability in a Construction Injury
For an accident victim to be able to recover any compensation through a personal injury claim, they must be able to show that another party’s negligence was the direct cause of their injuries.
Establishing negligence in any case requires showing that the party from which you are seeking compensation deviated from the required standard of conduct in a given situation and that this deviation was the direct cause of your subsequent injuries.
In other words, a party mishandled their responsibilities (i.e. their “duty of care”) and made a mistake, but you were the one who paid for it.
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Can a Third Party Be Held Liable for a Construction Accident?
In short, yes — you can bring a liability claim against a third party for a construction work injury accident.
For many on-the-job accidents, workers are not able to sue their employees because of something called workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that many employers carry that reimburses employees for any medical bills and lost wages from an injury sustained while at work. The trade-off, however, is that employees are typically not allowed to file a suit against their employers if they are receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
If workers’ compensation doesn’t cover the extent of the losses that a victim experiences, then holding a third party liable may be a potential solution. There are many factors that can come into play when it comes to causing a construction accident, and one of those factors could be the negligence of a third party.
Examples Of Third Party Negligence in Construction Accidents
Many different types of accidents can occur on a construction site, which means that there are numerous different examples of negligent conduct that can cause those accidents. For example, a civilian in their vehicle may collide with you while you are driving a work truck.
Construction sites also typically require lots of heavy machinery to operate. If one of these pieces of equipment malfunctions while you are using it, the consequences can be severe.
Which Third Parties Are Often Sued in Construction Site Accidents?
The third parties most often sued due to construction site accidents include:
Construction operations usually involve a few levels of contractors and subcontractors. If you are working on a site while employed by a subcontractor, but the negligence of the general contractor creates unsafe conditions that caused your injuries, then it may be possible to file a third party negligence claim against that general contractor.
The companies that manufacture essential construction equipment are responsible for selling safe, well-engineered equipment and disclaiming warnings of the potential dangers involved.
If a manufacturing or design defect or a failure to provide adequate warnings ends up causing an accident that leads to injury, then it is possible that the manufacturer of that equipment could be held liable.
In certain cases, someone who is entirely unrelated to the construction site could cause an accident. For example, a drunk driver who is driving near the construction site and collides with a worker or piece of equipment could be held liable for the damages that they cause, up to and including pain and suffering.
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Most Common Safety Code Violations On Construction Site
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) keeps track of safety code violations for construction sites as a way to encourage employers to maintain safe working environments. Some of the more commonly cited violations include:
Many construction sites involve being elevated above the ground in some way, whether it be working on a skyscraper or just working on the roof of a one-story building. Because of this, it is important that employers provide the proper training and equipment to prevent falls from happening in the first place and mitigate the damage that can happen when they do occur.
Eye and face protection
Wearing things like goggles or other face protection may not seem like a big deal at the moment but they can prevent serious injuries. It is the responsibility of both employers and employees to make sure they have and utilize the proper eye and face protection while on the job.
Machinery and machine guarding
Construction site equipment is heavy and very powerful. However, this means that they need to be used very carefully and that all the proper precautions need to be followed to avoid a catastrophic result.
How to Sue for Wrongful Death in a Construction Site Fall?
There are a few important steps involved in suing for wrongful death.
Contact a wrongful death attorney
If you think you may have a viable case, it is important that you contact an attorney who has experience in this area of the law. An experienced attorney will be able to walk you through the following steps and ensure that you have the best chance when seeking the compensation that you deserve.
Determine whether you are eligible to file
If you are an immediate family member, you may be able to file a claim. However, as mentioned before, states have differing laws on the rights of extended family members, so discussing the laws of your state with your attorney is an important preliminary step.
Negotiate with the insurance company
In most cases, the person at fault will have some form of insurance to cover potential incidents. Thus, seeking maximum compensation for your case will come down to negotiating with the insurance company. The insurance company is a business, and they will attempt to pay out the smallest amount of money that they can, which makes it important that you have an attorney by your side to make sure you are treated fairly throughout the process.
How Long Does the Claim Process for Construction Injuries Take?
Because each case is unique and dependent upon a number of different factors and circumstances, it is impossible to give an accurate estimate for how long a case might take. However, victims should be prepared for the case to take some time.
Need Help? Zinda Law Group Will Help You Through the Difficult Process
Our dedicated team of attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you or your loved one after a construction accident.
We believe victims shouldn’t have to worry about affording legal representation, which is why we work on a contingency fee basis. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Call us today at (888) 292-1049 for a free consultation with one of our construction accident lawyers.