Construction Site Accidents As Premises Liability Claims
People who own or manage grocery stores, shopping malls, office buildings, restaurants, and other venues open to the public are required to take every reasonable precaution to prevent injuries to workers, patrons, or visitors.
When owners or general managers fail to take the proper precautions and accidents occur, premises liability laws allow them to potentially be held responsible for injuries and other damages.
Construction sites have a number of known dangers and are in a near constant state of change, which can cause some construction site accident victims to assume that premises liability laws don't apply to these areas.
Fortunately, that isn't the case. Construction site accidents are actually a sub-sector of premises liability law, meaning individuals injured on unsafe construction sites may be eligible for compensation.
If you were injured in a construction site premises liability accident and are considering taking legal action, here's what you need to know.
Common Causes of Construction Sites Premises Liability Accidents and Injuries
At a construction site, possible hazards lurk around every corner. If the owner or contractor hasn't taken the proper precautions to protect workers or visitors from potential dangers, serious accidents can occur.
Some of the most common causes of construction site premises liability accidents and injuries include:
- Unmarked or improperly marked safety hazard areas
- Improperly erected or improperly maintained scaffolding
- Broken or uneven pavement
- Open trenches
- Slippery surfaces
- Hazardous materials
These and other construction site hazards can cause slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents, electrocutions, caught-in or caught-between incidents, trench collapses, fires, explosions, and other incidents.
The injuries that result from such accidents can include lacerations, burns, broken or crushed bones, eye injuries, hearing or vision loss, amputations, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), respiratory conditions, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and even death.
Help for Injured Construction Workers and Site Visitors
Injured construction workers can seek compensation for their medical expenses and temporary disability payments to replace wages lost by missing work while they recovered from their workplace injuries. Texas law allows employers to opt out of offering workers' compensation coverage, but that doesn't mean their employees are out of luck if they're injured on the job.
People who aren't covered by workers' compensation insurance—such as construction workers whose employers don't offer the program and people who were injured while visiting a construction site—can file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation for injuries and other losses.
As one might expect, there are both pros and cons to this situation. Workers' compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that injured workers aren't required to prove fault to gain benefits. Conversely, personal injury lawsuits do obligate the injured worker or construction site visitor to demonstrate the site owner, a general contractor, or sub-contractor was negligent in a way that directly led to the injuries and losses in question.
While personal injury cases require plaintiffs to prove that negligence occurred and directly caused their injuries, the benefits of doing so can really add up when it comes to compensation. Damages in workers' compensation cases are limited to economic losses and are often capped at a set amount that may or may not be sufficient to meet the injured workers' needs.
In addition to economic losses, personal injury cases allow both injured workers and injured construction site visitors to seek compensation for a second category of damages known as non-economic losses. These damages can include pain and suffering, emotional anguish, scarring or disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, among others.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney You Can Trust?
If you were injured while working on or visiting a construction site, you may be eligible for compensation. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney with experienced handling construction accident and premises liability cases can help you explore your legal options and fight for the compensation you need. Contact McGartland Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.