Supervisor Negligence and Construction Accidents: Who Is Really at Fault?

By Peter DePaolis

A construction site accident can occur for any reason – from poor equipment to lack of safety protocols. Construction teams are constantly changing scenery. One day they might work on an office building, while the next they are in a residential neighborhood constructing homes.

Employers of these construction companies may have multiple crews working at various sites at any given time. Therefore, they hire site supervisors to manage the team, monitor safety, and keep the project on track.

In many instances, a supervisor could stop a construction accident. In others, a supervisor that is not doing their job or is outright negligent could result in catastrophic accidents.

Holding Negligent Supervisors Accountable for Construction Accidents in Greenbelt, MD

A negligent construction site supervisor can be held accountable for injuries that occur on the job site. If that site supervisor fails to follow protocol or implement safety rules, he or she could be considered negligent.

Also, if a supervisor fails to follow safety regulations that are implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the company and supervisor could be fined.

Did the Supervisor Owe a Duty of Care?

A case involving negligent supervision is exceptionally complicated. There are numerous factors that a plaintiff must prove and the most important being that the supervisor owed a duty of care to the injured worker and then breached that duty of care.

When a supervisor fails to exercise caution or care as part of his or her duties on the construction site, it could constitute negligence. For your supervisor or employer to be negligent, the supervisor must have authority over the construction project. If the supervisor only had a general authority, but did not have the power to implement or enforce safety protocols, they may not be liable for injuries.

Common Causes of Negligent Supervision on Construction Jobsites

To hold a supervisor liable for your accident, your attorney must determine the cause of that negligent supervision. You need an attorney to decide this legal aspect of your injury case because deciding the exact reason requires years of experience in personal injury and construction accident law.

Common reasons a supervisor may be liable for negligent supervision include, but are not limited to:

  • Inadequate training
  • Negligent hiring by supervisors or employers
  • Failure to research a supervisor’s background
  • Supervising while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to address employee concerns about safety or health
  • Failing to communicate with other supervisory staff on site
  • Failing to warn employees or site visitors about any potential dangers on the construction site
  • Failing to maintain or repair equipment necessary to support a safe job site

Proving a Supervisor’s Breach of Duty

You must show that the supervisor breached his or her duty of care. Now that you have established they owe you a duty of care, such as determining that they are in control of the safety and health of workers at the job site, you must show their breach.

Above you have seen examples of common breaches. However, you need an attorney to help gather evidence proving that the construction site supervisor breached that duty, such as failing to follow employee protocols.

Connecting the Breach of Duty with Your Injuries

If you suffered injuries at work, your injuries must be the result of the supervisor’s negligence. If your injuries are unrelated to the supervisor’s negligence, then you may not have a valid claim against the company or supervisor.

You must show that the supervisor’s negligence caused the accident and that accident is what led to your injuries.


Now that you have connected the supervisor’s negligence and the accident, you must show that you suffered damages. Damages are your financial losses and what you seek compensation for to return you to a pre-injured state. Realize that most construction injuries are catastrophic; therefore, no amount of money may return you to your previous state. Furthermore, putting a dollar amount on your pain, suffering, and losses can be complicated, which is why you need an attorney to help you calculate the proper damages for your case.

Some damages that may qualify for compensation include:

  • Medical Expenses – Medical expenses cover all costs associated with the injury immediately after it occurs and future medical costs. This includes your hospitalization, surgeries, ambulance transports, physical therapy, and doctor’s appointments. You may also be able to claim prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and medical equipment.
  • Lost Wages – Lost wages can include the wages you lose while recovering, but also the wages you lose for the future if you are unable to work.

Workers’ Compensation or a Private Claim?

In most cases, construction site accidents result in a workers’ compensation claim, especially if you are injured on the job while doing your normal job duties. If, however, there is a third party involved in your accident, you may be entitled a third-party claim. Third party claims allow you to collect compensation in addition to the minimal compensation you receive from workers’ compensation.

Speak with an Injury Attorney about Your Case Today

If you or a loved one was injured on a construction site due to negligent supervision or a third party’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation. Schedule a consultation today with an attorney from Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP.

You can contact us at one of our three office locations or schedule your consultation appointment online.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.