Construction work is undeniably a dangerous profession and too often, construction workers have to deal with hazardous working conditions. Unsurprisingly, construction site injuries are common. But when it happens, injured workers often do not know who is liable for their injuries or what to do following an accident.
What to do Following Your Accident
If you are injured at a construction site, here is a simple list of steps you should take following your work-related accident:
· Seek immediate medical attention for you injuries. Make sure to document your medical visits, doctors’ names, any treatment you receive and medications you are prescribed.
· Report your injury to your supervisor or superior as soon as possible. Make sure to record the name and position of the person you report to and the date you inform them.
· Take down the contact information of any witnesses to your accident.
· Take pictures of your injuries, the location where the accident occurred and the equipment or tools involved.
· Try to preserve as much evidence as possible. If you can, hold on to the tools or equipment involved in your injury.
Who Is Liable?
Claims against your employer may be prohibited by applicable workers’ compensation law(s). Workers’ compensation laws are in place to ensure that workers who are injured on the job receive fixed monetary awards to compensate them for their injuries, without having to litigate their claims against their employers. In essence, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system where your own negligence or the negligence of your employer or co-worker(s) is not an issue. Rather, you simply receive compensation for your work-related injuries. This also means that workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy with respect to your construction accident, and prevents you from filing a lawsuit against your employer or co-workers.
However, if a third party contributed to your construction accident, you are able to sue that third party to recover damages for your injuries. Here are some potential third parties you may have a claim against:
Construction Site Owner
Depending on the amount of control the landowner possesses at the time of the accident, the owner of the property where the construction site is located may be liable. The owner of the land on which a construction project is performed will be liable for any injuries caused by a potentially harmful condition on the land that the owner knew of or should have reasonably known of, if they fail to warn of the condition.
General Contractors and Sub-Contractors
Both general and sub-contractors have a duty to provide construction workers with a construction site that is reasonably safe, and they have a duty to warn workers of any known defects or hazardous conditions on the site. General and sub-contractors who have been given control over a portion of the work typically have a duty to ensure that the work is being performed safely, including compliance with any safety regulations. If the general or sub-contractors fail to warn of hazardous conditions or fail to ensure work is being performed safely, you may have a claim against them for your injuries.
Knowing who is liable for your construction site injury and whether or not you have a third-party claim can be difficult and confusing. You should discuss your case with a personal injury attorney who is familiar with construction site accidents to determine the extent of your rights and whether you are entitled to further compensation. The qualified personal injury attorneys at Murphy & Garner, LLC have experience with construction site litigation and are here to help you. Contact us today at (678) 563-1584.