Construction Accidents can and do happen every day across the country. If you’re injured as a bystander, the general law of personal injury applies, and the person or persons who are at fault may be held responsible in a lawsuit for the damages caused. If you’re working as a construction worker, when the accident occurs, the law of ‘Employee Injuries’ applies between you and your employer.
Your state’s Workers Compensation Laws may cover you. In that case, Workers’ compensation will pay your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses in exchange for you agreeing not to sue your employer.
However, you may have been injured by another employer at the same work site, or by another participant in the construction process such as an architect or engineer. In such cases, you may be able to sue the other parties responsible for the injuries, without being limited by the workers compensation statute.
Whether a particular participant in the construction process may be liable for harm done to you depends on the legal duty that person owed to you. Usually, those duties are determined by the contracts among the various parties. For example, an architect is usually not responsible for workplace safety, so the employee of a subcontractor cannot hold the architect responsible for injuries resulting from an unsafe job site. However, if the architect has agreed to be responsible for workplace safety, the architect may be liable.
Even if a construction project participant is not liable to workers, either because they aren’t employees or because there is no contractual duty to them, he may still be liable if he knows of an actual dangerous condition and fails to give proper warning of the danger. Special rules usually apply as well to especially dangerous activities involved in a construction project, such as working with explosives or dangerous volatile substances.
If you’ve been hurt in a construction accident, it’s a good idea to see a lawyer right away.
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