Any time you get into an accident that involves someone else’s negligence, you may find yourself dealing with a complex investigation. Construction site accidents, however, can involve even greater overall complexity.
Working with a construction accident attorney can help you navigate the challenges associated with your construction site accident and give you a better idea of what to consider.
Liability in Construction Accident Claims
Determining liability after a construction accident can make it much easier to establish who will need to pay compensation for any injuries sustained during the accident. Often, however, determining liability can prove more complex than anticipated. You may be dealing with several questions about liability for a construction site accident and the associated injuries. Liability for a construction accident can rest on several parties.
The Construction Company
Often, the construction company will bear liability for a construction site accident due to failure to meet essential regulations on the job site. Construction naturally involves high accident potential. The private construction industry accounts for around 21 percent of total workplace deaths. Even more construction workers suffer life-altering injuries each year.
These injuries can occur when the construction company does not offer adequate safety protection for its workers, including:
- Adequate fall protection
- Warning signs
- Basic safety equipment
When the construction company fails to provide the required basic safety equipment, it can result in severe dangers and serious injuries to workers on the site.
Subcontractors on the Job Site
Most construction sites fall under the oversight of a general contractor, who will hire subcontractors to take care of specific areas of construction on the site. For example, the general contractor might need to hire an electrician to oversee electrical work on the job site. Subcontractors generally bear responsibility for their specific areas of expertise, which means that if they create danger on the job site, they will typically assume liability for any hazards created by their lack of safety precautions.
The Owner of the Job Site
In some cases, the owner of the property where the construction site takes place will bear liability for potential dangers. For example, the site owner might accept liability for a dangerous area where visitors to the site, including construction workers, cannot safely travel or for failing to warn construction workers about potential dangers on the job site.
Equipment Manufacturers or Providers
On some construction sites, the company doing the work may have to rent equipment from a separate provider. That equipment makes it possible for the construction company to do its job and take care of the job site. However, in some cases, equipment may pose an unexpected danger to workers.
Damaged or faulty equipment can pose a serious problem for the workers on a construction site, who can suffer serious injuries. The manufacturer may bear liability for the incident when the defect occurs because of a manufacturer error. On the other hand, the equipment owner may be liable if the failure occurs due to poor maintenance.
In some cases, more than one party may bear liability for a construction site accident. In that case, each party might take responsibility for paying out a percentage of the claim to the injured party. A claim involving shared liability may prove much more difficult to pursue accurately, making having a lawyer on your side critical.
Suppose, for example, that you suffer injury due to damaged equipment. You may find that both the manufacturer of the damaged equipment and the company that uses that equipment bear liability for the incident. However, this will depend on when the company discovered the damage and how it handled that recall.
A lawyer can help give you a better idea of who may bear liability in your specific case and how you can pursue compensation for the full damages you sustained in the accident.
The compensation for an injury and workers’ comp claims can look very different. An injury claim will generally mean a one-time payout for the losses you sustained as a direct result of your injuries. Your lawyer will work with you to lay out your losses, including your medical bills and wage losses. Many construction accident injury claims will also pay compensation for the suffering you faced because of your injuries.
On the other hand, a workers’ comp claim will include payments over time for your ongoing losses. Workers’ comp generally pays for approximately two-thirds of your wages during recovery. Workers’ comp will also cover the charge for your medical costs. However, workers’ comp does not usually include compensation for your pain and suffering.
Medical Bills and Treatment
Construction site accidents often mean substantial injuries. They frequently bring heavy medical bills, including ongoing treatment costs for long-term injuries.
If you file an injury claim, you will not receive direct payment of your medical costs. Instead, you will receive compensation for those medical bills as part of your settlement. With a workers’ comp claim, on the other hand, your workers’ comp provider will usually pay for the cost of medical treatment directly.
That can make medical expenses much more affordable after your accident. However, you may have to have each medical procedure approved by your workers’ comp provider before you move forward with treatment. In some cases, that can mean delayed treatment. It may also mean that you have fewer choices when selecting medical care providers or choosing the right treatment progression for your specific needs.
Combined Workers’ Comp and Injury Claims
In some cases, you may have the right to file both an injury claim and a workers’ comp claim after a construction site accident. You may have the right to file a workers’ comp claim because the injury occurred at work. On the other hand, if someone else’s negligence directly caused your accident, you may also have the right to file an injury claim against the party that caused your accident.
An attorney can help you determine whether you should file a workers’ comp claim, an injury claim or if you may have the right to file both. Keep in mind that in some cases, going forward with both an injury claim and a workers’ comp claim can complicate the claim process, so working with a lawyer can prove essential.
Your lawyer may consider questions like:
- What caused or led to the accident? What party bears primary liability for the incident?
- What compensation can you claim through workers’ comp versus an injury claim?
- How will using workers’ comp influence the payment you can recover for your injuries?
Talk to your lawyer about managing your claim after an accident on a construction site.
How a Construction Accident Attorney Can Help?
If you suffered injuries in a construction site accident, having an attorney can prove crucial to managing your claim and maximizing the compensation you can recover for your injuries.
An Attorney Can Help You Understand Your Full Rights
When you have an attorney on your side, an attorney can help answer many questions about your right to compensation after a construction site accident.
An attorney can help go over all the details of your claim and provide you with an assessment of your next steps and how you can protect yourself, including:
- An assessment of whether you can file a workers’ comp claim or an injury claim based on the cause of your accident.
- A look at what compensation you should expect from workers’ comp or the insurance company covering the liable party. Injured individuals often accept less payment than they deserve because they do not fully understand the remuneration they should expect.
- An evaluation of the evidence related to your construction site accident. Sometimes, it can prove much easier to establish liability for a construction site accident when you work with an attorney who can break down any evidence associated with the incident. That evidence can also make it easier to assess liability for the accident.
When you work with an attorney, you can feel confident that the insurance company will consider your rights and that you fully understand what you deserve.
An Attorney Can Help Fight on Your Behalf
Both workers’ comp and the insurance company that has to pay out for an injury claim can make pursuing that compensation much more difficult than anticipated. All too often, you may find yourself fighting to have your injuries recognized and for the company to pay the full compensation you deserve.
When you file a workers’ comp claim, you may have difficulty getting approval for much-needed medical procedures or feel pressured to return to work long before you feel physically able. When you file an injury claim, the insurance company may even try to pressure you into accepting a settlement offer that does not come anywhere near reflecting your needs.
An attorney can fight for you, increasing the odds that you will receive all the compensation you deserve.
An Attorney Can Help Collect Evidence That Will Establish Liability for Your Accident
When you have serious injuries from a construction site accident, you should identify precisely who caused your accident. You may need considerable compensation for your injuries. The more evidence you have, the more easily you can prove that the liable party did cause your accident and that, as a result, you deserve compensation. An attorney can help you seek this much-needed evidence, which may allow you to lay out who bears liability for your construction site accident.
Having an Attorney May Help Reduce Your Stress as You Recover
You have enough on your plate as you recover from your construction accident. An attorney can help take over dealing with the insurance company and navigating the difficult claim process, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Did You Suffer Injuries in a Construction Accident?
If you suffered injuries on a construction site, you may have the right to compensation. Contact a construction accident attorney to discuss your rights and your next steps.