Construction workers are needed to erect houses, apartments, stores, restaurants, office buildings, bridges, and other structures. While construction is necessary to support the world’s growing population, there’s no doubt that it is dangerous. In 2017, 971 people were killed while working on construction sites across the United States.
When accidents happen in the workplace, establishing liability is crucial. This is especially true in construction accidents, where there could be multiple entities responsible for contributing to an accident. With help from a qualified personal injury lawyer, a construction accident victim can prove that their accident was caused by a negligent third party.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
In construction accidents, multiple parties could be held liable. However, determining who is in fact responsible for your accident and subsequent injuries can be confusing. They could be any of the following:
- Construction site owner. A landowner is often responsible for any accidents that occur on the property. The owner has an obligation to ensure that the property is safe and that any hazards are fixed promptly.
- General contractor/subcontractor. Contractors are typically the ones in charge of the construction project. They have a duty to ensure that the premises are safe and to warn workers of any issues that can compromise their safety.
- Machinery and equipment manufacturers. Machines and equipment are supposed to be safe for consumers to use. Manufacturers can be held liable if their product is defective and that defect causes serious injury or death.
- Architects and engineers. Engineers and architects are in charge of designing the building. The building must be safe for the public to use. These professionals must ensure that the buildings meet safety codes. If they are negligent, and their building is deemed unsafe, they could be held liable for any injury accidents.
Workers’ Compensation vs. a Lawsuit
An injured construction worker can either file a lawsuit or file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, but they can’t do both. That’s because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so by claiming these benefits, a person gives up their right to file a lawsuit and sue their employer. Workers’ compensation benefits employees who caused their own accidents due to their own negligence.
However, if a person was seriously injured on a construction site and they can prove that another party was at fault, filing a lawsuit may be the better choice. By filing a lawsuit, a person may be able to obtain much more compensation than they would by receiving workers’ compensation benefits. A lawyer can assess your case and determine the best course of action.
Get Hurt? Get Gary!
Construction accidents can cause serious injuries and death. If you or a loved one was involved in such an accident, it’s important that you obtain the compensation you deserve. This means holding the liable parties responsible for their actions. Get legal help from the Falkowitz Law Firm. We can determine the cause of your injuries and protect your rights. To get started, call 844-GET-GARY and schedule a consultation today.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.