Determining who is liable for a construction site accident is not always as clear as you would think. In most cases construction companies carry workers compensation insurance. If your employer does carry workers compensation insurance then they are typically immune from personal injury lawsuits. However, even though your employer may carry workers compensation insurance, it does not mean that they are absolutely immune from personal liability suite. An injured worker is still able to bring a personal injury lawsuit in the event that the employee’s injury was brought on by an intentional or egregious act by the employer. However, in most construction injury cases it is more common to file against a third party as opposed to the direct employer. If you or a loved one have suffered a construction site injury, it is important to contact an experienced Arkansas construction accident attorney immediately.
Construction Site Owner(s): In some instances the person or company who owns the actual construction site can be held liable for the injuries. However, in these cases liability typically hinges on the degree of control the owner has over the premises, compared to the degree of control over the work being conducted itself. Therefore, the more removed the site owner is the less likely you will be able to hold them liable for any injuries.
General and Sub-Contractors: According to the provisions set forth in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, both the construction sites general contractor as well as sub-contractors have a duty to provide constructions workers with a reasonably safe construction site. In addition, contractors and sub-contractors have a duty to warn of any hazards on a construction site such as exposed live wires or toxic chemicals. If a contractor or sub-contractor fails to provide a reasonably safe environment or they fail to warn of dangers then they may be held liable in the event that there is an accident and subsequent injury.
Prime Contractors: Prime contractors are different from general and even sub-contractors because they are only delegated a particular task per the terms of a written contract. Generally, a prime contractor can only be held responsible for work that is identified in the contract or for any specific work that they delegate to subcontractors. However, a prime contractor can generally only be held liable for an injury where they had exclusive responsibility over the project.
Architects and Engineers: While most construction sites are not filled with the architects who designed the building and the engineers who oversaw that the plans were properly made, they may still be a party that can be held liable for injuries to a construction worker. An architect or engineer may have a duty to observe the progress of the building process and to ensure that all plans are in strict conformity with the construction.
Manufacturers: It is essential to a construction site to have products and materials to build or repair their projects. However, if there is a defective product that causes an accident and or an injury then the company, manufacturer, retailer, and wholesaler may potentially be liable for any injury.
Common Mistakes that Lead to Accidents and Injuries
Working on a construction site should always be approached with caution. While OSHA has enacted and enforces an incredible amount of rules and regulations to promote and ensure safety accidents do happen. While safety should always come first, some of the most common mistakes that lead to accidents and injuries include:
Failure to Follow Safety Regulations: The government has enacted an incredible amount of safety regulations that construction workers, contractors, subcontractors, and construction site owners are required to follow. However, it is often the case that when an injury happens on a construction site it was because one or more parties did not follow the safety regulations.
Misusing Machinery: A hallmark of almost any construction site is large machines that are used to help the workers move large objects, dig, and generally assist the project. All these machines have limitations and should be approached with caution, because when these limitations and safety procedures are ignored it often causes accidents.
Inadequate or improper Training: There are countless different tools and pieces of equipment employed in the construction industry, many of them are high powered. Because many of these tools are considered dangerous, in order to properly use them construction workers should be trained. However, many injuries and accidents happen every day because a worker was not properly trained how to use a piece of equipment or tool.
If you are a construction worker then you know that there are accidents and injuries waiting at almost every corner. Unfortunately, accidents in the construction industry are all too common. In addition to such a high rate of accidents and injuries construction workers also face a much higher risk of sustaining a fatal injury when they are working on a construction site. However, if you find yourself injured because of another’s’ negligence, you do not have to face your injuries alone.
Injured in a Construction Accident? Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law has been fighting for those who have been injured by third parties and negligent employers for more than twenty years. We work with you to try and secure a favorable settlement and will help you work with insurance companies and negligent parties. For your free and confidential legal consultation call us at (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.