Each year thousands of construction workers are injured or killed in construction site accidents. Even though construction companies are typically obligated to inspect each site with safety engineers and provide safety programs, accidents still occur.
Generally, an injured worker cannot sue his or her own employer for injuries arising out of work related activities; however, if it can be shown that a third party’s negligence caused the injuries, that party can be held liable. Additionally, in some instances workers may be injured at a construction site due to their own inadvertence or due to a condition that was no person’s fault. When a worker is injured due to his or her own negligence or that of his or her employer, or due to a condition which was nobody’s fault, that injured party can still receive compensation in most states through Workers Compensation. Workers’ Compensation Acts provide benefits to workers who are injured on the job or suffer an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment. The benefits under Workers’ Comp include weekly payments based on a percentage of the employee’s average weekly wage for temporary total disability, partial disability, permanent and total disability and permanent loss of function and disfigurement. Workers’ Comp also covers medical expenses for treatment that is reasonable, necessary and related to the industrial injury and vocational rehabilitation services.
In some instances, however, a third party is to blame for injuries that occur on the job site. When a construction site accident occurs, the owners, architects, and manufacturers of equipment can be held responsible for inadequate safety provisions. The general contractor and all subcontractors are required to provide a reasonably safe site, to warn of hazards inherent in the site and work, to hire careful employees, to coordinate job safety and to supervise compliance with safety specifications.
Manufacturers of construction equipment are responsible for designing and maintaining safe products. Defective or dangerous products may include the following: scaffolding, cranes, power tools, derricks, hoists, conveyors, woodworking tools, ladders, winches, trucks, graters, scrapers, tractors, bulldozers, forklifts, back hoes, heavy equipment, boilers, pressure vessels, gas detectors and other types of construction equipment.
Therefore, it is often possible to find liable third parties in the event of a construction related injury. This is often important because Workers’ Compensation benefits do not provide compensation for the pain and suffering that a person endures as a result of an accident.