The construction industry has a well-earned reputation for being a dangerous environment for its workers. One look at the average construction site and it's easy to see why. There's scaffolding, power tools, heavy machinery, and other potential hazards—any of which has the potential to cause serious or even deadly accidents.
Construction workers rely on property owners, general contractors, and crew foremen to ensure the safety of their workplace.
They also depend on their fellow crew members to follow regulations put in place to keep everyone safe. Unfortunately, when supervisors put profit before safety, or the work environment is so fast-paced that workers make mistakes, devastating construction site accidents may result.
If you were injured in a construction site accident, you may have already discovered that construction accident cases aren't straightforward. Fortunately, you don't have to go it alone. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you meet the challenges of construction accident cases.
Identifying the Appropriate Defendant
Believe it or not, one of the main challenges injured workers face after a construction site accident is determining who to sue for damages. Construction sites are busy places where people come and go all the time. Property owners, general contractors, sub-contractors, prime contractors, architects, engineers, and crewmen are just a few of the many people who might be on site at any given time.
If you were injured in a construction accident, any one of these people could potentially be named as the defendant in your lawsuit if he failed in his duty to provide a safe work environment. An attorney who specializes in construction litigation can review your case to identify who should be held responsible for the accident and related damages.
Worker's Compensation vs. Personal Injury Claims
When someone is injured in an accident caused by another person's negligence, he typically has the option of filing a personal injury suit to pursue damages from the at-fault party. However, in construction site accident cases, the possibility of resolving the injury claim through worker's compensation insurance can muddy the waters.
In some states, worker's compensation is the only option for injury victims seeking a legal remedy for on-the-job injuries. The problem is that worker's compensation insurance doesn't provide full restitution for damages.
Most of the time, worker's compensation covers an accident victim's medical expenses and provides some disability-style payments during recovery away from the job—usually at two-thirds of the victim's usual salary. It doesn't compensate for lost wages, loss of earning capacity, physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional anguish, permanent disability, scarring or disfigurement, and other damages. But all of these damages can be pursued as part of a personal injury lawsuit.
When worker's compensation payments aren't sufficient, some states allow employees to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer directly if it can be shown that its negligence played a role in the accident.
Construction Site Accidents Involving Rental Equipment
In many cases, a construction company rents specialized equipment and machinery used on site from a heavy equipment distributor. If defective or poorly-maintained equipment causes a horrific site accident, the rental company could potentially be liable.
Do You Need a Construction Accident Attorney?
If you were seriously injured in a construction site accident and are considering taking action, the knowledgeable legal team with McGartland Law can help you explore, and make sense of, your legal options. Our award-winning attorneys will thoroughly investigate all aspects of your case to determine the appropriate at-fault party, as well as form a strategy to get you the maximum financial recovery possible.
Contact McGartland Law today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss the details of your construction site accident case. We're ready to help you fight for the justice you deserve.