Who’s At Fault if Construction Workers are Injured at Work

Who’s At Fault if Construction Workers are Injured at Work
Calendar icon January 23, 2021

Construction workers are exposed to a high risk of injuries and death. Height, heavy machinery, dangerous tools, and equipment are just several of the dangers that are constantly present around these people.

But, even with this risk, construction workers shouldn’t expect to end the day with severe injuries. Feeling safe and protected at work is a human’s right. However, if an accident happens, there are many factors that contributed to it.

The worker isn’t the sole person to blame for their injuries. Maybe the tools were inadequate, the place wasn’t secured, the employer knew about the potential risks and didn’t do anything to prevent their workers from injuries.

If you were injured in an accident of this type, you have several options when it comes to filing a claim. Be sure to seek guidance from a New York construction accidents lawyer.

Common Construction Site Injuries Suffered by Construction Workers

Construction workers experience one of the following injuries:

  • Falling objects – Construction workers climb on ladders and other high surfaces, which increases the risk of accidentally dropping heavy objects on other workers below them.
  • Falls – Working on ladders, cranes, rooftops and other locations on dangerous heights increases the risk of falls.
  • Equipment – Construction workers use heavy machinery like nail guns and forklifts. The most common worksite injuries occur because of defective equipment.
  • Fires and explosions – Fires may happen because of chemicals, exposed wires, and leaking liquids. This could result in terrible burns and even death.

Determining Liability

The owner of a construction site is responsible to create a safe place for their workers. In cases when an accident occurs, the owner may have absolute liability no matter their level of involvement in the performed work. In cases when a worker falls from a height, the owner will be 100% at fault even if they weren’t directly involved in the work being performed.

Here are other parties that can be held liable:

General Contractor

The general contractor is obligated to ensure the construction site is reasonably safe. They are also required to inform construction workers of existing hazards or potential dangers on the construction site. The general contractor is responsible for hiring qualified workers and implementing safety regulations.

If a construction worker is injured at work, the general contractor will be at fault. They will have to compensate the worker for their injuries. In cases when a construction worker falls from a height, the general constructor will be entirely responsible for the accident.

Subcontractor

The subcontractor has the same legal responsibility as the general contractor. Their accountability is restricted to the area of where they are in charge. The subcontractor must provide a safe working environment. They should hire qualified workers and ensure the employees follow construction safety regulations.

Architects, Design Professionals and Engineers 

These people have different degrees of responsibility for potential construction accidents. Their responsibility is based on their contract with the construction site owner. Design professionals are responsible for making sure routine inspections happen on the construction site to ensure the building is built according to the plans and code regulations.

Architects and engineers are held to certain standards when completing their services and must recognize them throughout the entire construction process. If a design professional doesn’t meet the accepted standards, they may be liable for a construction injury.

Machinery or Equipment Manufacturer

There are cases when the liability falls on the manufacturer of faulty equipment. They would be liable for harms and damages that happened because of their machines.

If a worker injures themselves because of inadequate or lack of a suitable warning, the manufacturer will be at fault for the injury, lost wages, and so on.

Insurance Company

Even the insurance company can be at fault. The site owner is responsible for the law to have several types of insurance. If a construction worker is injured on the construction site and requests a compensation claim, they would examine the construction site insurance policy. The worker will hire an attorney and would try their best to get their deserved claim.

The typical construction insurance claims include:

  • Workers’ compensation
  • Employer’s liability
  • Premise or property liability insurance
  • Commercial general liability

Do You Need an Attorney?

Construction workers are eligible for workers’ compensation and they usually don’t have problems getting it. However, it’s a smart move to hire an attorney to guide you. Allow them to do the job while you recover.

If you seek legal help, Cellino Law attorneys are here for you.

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.

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