Construction sites are among the most dangerous workplaces in the country. With heavy machinery and unfinished structures, there are many ways that one could be injured. That’s not to say that construction sites are exempt from safety regulations. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which is enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA, requires that certain precautions be taken at all workplaces, including construction sites, so that a reasonable effort is made to prevent accidents and injuries.
Accidents Involving Employees: Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ Compensation is a claim that can be filed by an employee who was injured on the job. Unlike other types of personal injuries claims, you do not have to prove fault in a workers’ compensation case, only that you were injured while performing work-related tasks. Your company is required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance. The funds in a workers’ compensation award are intended to reimburse the injured employee for lost wages, medical expenses and disability.
Depending on the specifics of your case, you may also be able to file a civil personal injury lawsuit in addition to your workers’ compensation claim. If you are injured on a construction site due to the negligence of a subcontractor, machinist or even a supplier, it may be possible for you to seek damages from that individual.
Faulty Products and Machinery
Even the safest construction site with the most conscientious employees is not immune to the possibility of an accident. If a piece of equipment or machinery is operated properly and safely and malfunctions, causing an injury, the injured party can file a civil product liability lawsuit against either the designer or manufacturer of the item. In a product liability case, the plaintiff must prove that the equipment or tool was dangerous when it left the warehouse of the manufacturer or shipper; that the plaintiff was using the item safely and according to its intended use; and that the item had a defect and that said defect resulted in an injury.
Bystander and Non-Employee Accidents
An accident on a construction site that results in the injury of a bystander or someone who is not employed by the construction company or any of its subcontractors or vendors will be treated as a personal injury case. The bystander or non-employee will not be eligible for workers’ compensation, as he or she was not employed by the construction company. Rather, the victim will have to seek damages by filing a personal injury claim according to the jurisdiction of the state in which the accident occurred.