The construction site is one where everyone must work together to avoid accidents. After all, construction accidents can be devastating, if not fatal, when someone does not perform their duty correctly.
Job-related fatalities are too common. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that there were 4,693 fatalities in private industry in 2016 and 21.1 percent of those were from construction sites – equal to one out of five deaths being constructed related. The high propensity for severe injuries in construction inspired OSHA to create their “Fatal Four” list, which included the four common causes of fatal construction-site accidents: falls, being struck by an object, being caught in between something, and electrocutions.
After a construction site injury, an employee might wonder whom they can hold accountable, especially when they suffer permanent or long-term effects.
Determining responsibility is essential in these types of cases, and an employee might require the assistance of a construction accident attorney in the area to hold the responsible parties liable for their negligence.
While most construction site accidents fall under workers’ compensation, an employee might have a claim against a third party for their injuries outside of the employer.
If an employee suspects that another employee is responsible for their injuries, they would need to prove the responsibility with evidence. Furthermore, additional parties could be liable for the accident as well. Therefore, workers should go through several steps to determine liability appropriately before assuming just one party is at fault.
If an employee is liable for the accident, it will come down to their role on the job site and how they caused the accident. Some common workers who could be held responsible for a construction site accident include:
Construction sites often involve multiple contractor companies who may utilize subcontractors. These parties are not part of the employer’s workers’ compensation, and they are considered outside employment. General contractors are required to ensure that the job site they control meets all OSHA requirements and that any employee of their service does too. They are also expected to monitor subcontractors they hire, and a subcontractor owning his or her own company must follow all OSHA procedures as well.
When a general contractor, their employee, or a subcontractor breaches his or her duty of care, they can be held responsible in an injury lawsuit.
The structure being built must be safe and practical. If the individual who designed it did not take proper precautions or they developed a building with numerous faults that led to a severe injury, they could be held liable.
One thing that injury victims do not realize is that they carry the burden of proof. That means that the law expects them to prove with a preponderance of the evidence that the plaintiff named in their suit is at fault for their injuries.
When recovering from a severe injury, no victim has the time or resources to gather the evidence required to meet this burden. Therefore, a victim should consult with a construction accident attorney. These attorneys are versed in the area of workers compensation and construction site accidents. They can gather evidence, help with workers’ compensation benefits, and seek out third parties who may be responsible.
Workers’ compensation only covers a portion of lost wages and all medical expenses. However, a victim cannot receive compensation for pain, suffering, and the loss of quality of life. When a third party outside of the employer is responsible, workers can seek additional damages from them through a private lawsuit.
For your construction site accident, speak with the injury team at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP, today. Our team understands the complexities of these types of accident claims, and we will advocate for your right to compensation.
Schedule a consult at one of our three office locations or contact us online with your questions.